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Stephen Baker’s 2020 in Review

151 – Oliver Thorne

This last year has been another successful one at Royal City Physio. A big Thank You to Karen Nichol for continuing to support our growth as therapists while maintaining the fun and creative atmosphere of Royal City Physio. This year has seen new faces and an expansion of the Royal City Physio community. Thank you to the whole Royal City Physio team – Karen, Jayme, Dan, Mikaela, Adele, Lauren, Pat, Cami and Maria - for another great year! Katie, Myah and Emily, I wish all the best to you on your new educational adventures!

Twenty-twenty saw a forced two month vacation due to Covid that brought a lot of time to reflect and to focus on outdoor adventures. The weather was beautiful and I turned my attention to cycling. I made it a point to do laps of Gaglardi and the top of SFU a few days each week to improve my hill climbing. As a non-cyclist on a road bike, I can produce lots of power for a very short period of time and my hill climbing is abysmal. Focusing on hill climbing has paid dividends, as my commute to the clinic on the bicycle up Cariboo Road is the fastest it has ever been.

Cycling gave way to a number of rock climbing adventures in Squamish, including climbing ‘Butt Light,’ an easy route up the Chief. My partner and I started with Slab Ally, a very moderate near walk up the rock face. We reached Broadway Ledge at 9 AM shared a quick glance and decided to race the impending rain up to the summit. As the first few raindrops fell, we finished Butt Light and enjoyed a panoramic view from the top of the first peak of the Chief on a day when there wasn’t another soul in sight.

Unfortunately, one such rock climbing adventure resulted in a shoulder injury that lingered for 6 months while I continued aggravating it in the clinic. Because of this injury, I turned my attention back to cycling and started training for a Triple Crown. This gruelling ride was completed on the hottest day of the year. A few weeks before the Triple Crown, I climbed Mount Sir Donald in Rogers Pass with two friends. You can read about both of them in my August 2020 feature.

Cycling to and from the clinic has been a lifestyle game changer. I no longer feel I need to carve time out of my day to exercise because I ride my bike a few days a week for thirty minutes each way. Waking up early for a morning shift is offset by the energy I receive when exercising. The evening rides home tire me out physically and allow me to get a deep sleep as a result. If you’re looking for an exercise activity that will jump start your day and improve your health with minimal time commitment, commuting on a bicycle is an incredible option!

I wish you all a fulfilling holiday season this year and I look forward to seeing you in January and beyond!

Stephen Baker graduated from Western University with a Masters of Physical Therapy. He has a passion for helping people who have sustained a fracture or had surgery regain full function and return to their daily adventures. Book with Stephen today.


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