Not Bad for an Old Lady

My shoulders are sore today, so I asked my husband to rub them. We got talking
about the extended time that seems to come before soreness after a hard workout,
now that we’re both over 35. This came after a killer workout on Thursday,
including our annual Stroller Hikes Turkey Trot at Fremont Older and a one-hour
leg, back, and abs workout. Week 10 of a 13-week workout starts tomorrow, as my
husband and I complete P-90X, a 90-day fitness challenge that includes eating a
little better and exercising for at least an hour six days per week. On
Thursday, I managed 27 pull-ups without the use of a chair (I could do only 5
when we started this), so the muscles between my shoulder blades are screaming
from damage due to hydrogen ions and ripped muscle tissue today.

When I was in grade school, Ann Corona and I tied as pull-up champions, racking
up over a dozen pull-ups each. We even beat the boys at our school. In college
I could still do maybe 7. When I moved out to California and rock climbed at
least once a week, I could do a bunch (one of my proudest moments climbing was
when I pulled off a Tom Cruise/Mission Impossible move, moving from one dike to
another at Lover’s Leap near Tahoe, thanks to my pull-up muscles). Several
years back when the Marines would visit the high school campus where I teach,
and my students would cheer me on, I could muster up a handful. But then there
was the span of time during pregnancy, recovery from labor and delivery, and
sleepless nights as a new parent, when the urgency of working out was so far
from my mind that, if I didn’t recognize its importance for my spiritual
well-being, it might have fallen off of my to-do list forever.

This happens all too often for parents these days, and I cannot fault anyone for
it – taking time for a workout when you’re a parent often means some level of
neglect for a nagging chore, child, or spouse. In the last 69 days, I have
learned to do plyometrics with clown tricks thrown in for my 5-month old and leg
workouts with my 38-pound son as my resistance weight (with both laughing the
whole time). Thanks to Stroller Hikes, I found it easy to integrate my kids
into cardio workouts – yesterday I piled both on (Holly carried on my front, Max
on my back) for the first half mile of the very hilly Duveneck side of Rancho
San Antonio, for a resistance-training warm-up, before Max hopped off of my back
to hike the remaining mile to what he called the top of the world. To finish
our workout, we jogged S’s all the way down this hilly trail from Black Mountain
to the valley near Hidden Villa.

I know that the majority of parents in the world don’t exercise as recommended
by the Attorney General, and many don’t even workout once per week, so I’ve
always been proud to get out for hikes and runs with my kids through Stroller
Hikes, anywhere from one to five times a week. Max now requests to workout – he
enjoys the change of pace and accepts exercise as a routine in his life, even if
he rides along and I end up being the only one who exercises. Working out
pretty much every day for P-90X, within the relatively strict parameters of this
DVD-based workout provided a challenge (we only modify the plan on cardio days).

So when my husband rubbed my shoulders and said “Not bad for an old lady,” I
smiled. Not bad for a parent.

Here are this week’s events:

Monday, November 29th at 11 am join Amy B. and her wee ones for a hike and
picnic at Byxbee Park in Palo Alto. Meet at the Byxbee parking area at the end
of Embarcadero Road. We’ll hike up and down the lovely crushed oyster shell
paths around the artistic installments to Byxbee Park, then hike over to the
Palo Alto Baylands Park, stopping to check out the birds around the duck pond as
well as any artists trying to capture the interesting landscape. The trail works
fine for all types of strollers. Dogs allowed! Bring a picnic for your family.
For more information about the parks and directions to Byxbee’s main parking
lot, see Byxbee Page ( and
Palo Alto Baylands Page
( If you’re
running late, call Amy at 408-368-7161.

Tuesday, November 30th at 4 PM join Megan and little Vera for a fast-paced
Stroller Hike at Stevens Creek Trail from Creekside Park off of Easy Street in
Mountain View. Any stroller or carrier will work; the path is a lovely two-lane
paved one. We’ll have the option of walking towards the bay or towards the hills
(the trail has been extended through Mountain View). For the bay direction, the
first and last quarter of this hike is well shaded, and we hope to have some bay
breezes, in case it’s warm. For the hill direction, the trail is shaded for the
majority of the hike. For more information about the trail or directions, see
The Stevens Creek Trail Webpage
If you’re running late, call Megan at 408-409-3206.

Wednesday, December 1st at 10 am Pippa and Ruth will lead a Toddler Trek at Bol
Park in Palo Alto. We’ll do a slow-paced trek along this old railroad line to
see the goats, chickens and donkeys. Toddlers will be encouraged to walk, but if
you want to bring transport, any stroller/trike/wagon will work as the path is
all paved. Dogs OK on leash. Meet at the playground by the road, 3590 Laguna
Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306. Call Pippa if you are running late at 510-621-7471.
For more information about the park and general directions, see The Bol Park
Webpage (

Thursday, December 2nd at 4:30 pm join Debbie, little Max, and wee Holly for
Holiday Treat Making in lieu of a Toddler Trek (it’s just too dark!). The dough
will be prepped and risen for pretzels, and chilled and rolled for cookies, or
chilled and in the cookie gun for Spritz. Bring your favorite cookie cutter,
pretzel topping, and cookie toppings, or enjoy the offerings we have on hand.
Please bring a bag, box, or jar to bring some cookies home with you – they
freeze well, if you want to save some for Santa! This event ends promptly at
5:30 so we can begin the “calm” before dinner and bed. Please respond to the
poll for the Stroller Hikes Yahoo Group to register for this – we need to know
how many people to prep for. Holiday Treat Making will be for one hour only at
517 Fern Ridge Court in Sunnyvale. Call Debbie if you need directions or are
running late: 650-776-1082.

Friday, December 3rd at 9:30 am join Melissa and Maxwell for a Stroller Hike out
to Arastradero Lake and beyond it towards Sobey Pond along Arastradero Creek
Trail at Pearson-Arastradero Preserve in Palo Alto. Meet in the main parking lot
off of Arastradero Rd. We’ll stop to play alongside the lake. It’s sunny here,
so bring a hat and water! Baby joggers or backpacks/carriers will work for this
hike. For more information, see The Pearson-Arastradero Page
( Call Melissa
at 650-224-5461 if you’re running late.

Work out!

-Debbie, little Max, and wee Holly

p.s. With this weekend’s drizzles, consider shplunking. You can read about this
seasonal activity in an old newsletter: Thanks to my
husband taking the kids out to shplunk, I found time to write this week’s

p.p.s. If you’re in the mood for shopping, love local businesses, and dig the
concept of online coupons, consider, where you can donate 5% of
purchases to non-profits (like Stroller Hikes) and schools. Stroller Hikes has
already signed up!

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