My Active Retirement Includes Search-And-Rescue and Climbing Kilimanjaro—This Is A Week From My Peloton Routine

Member Stories

My Active Retirement Includes Search-And-Rescue and Climbing Kilimanjaro—This Is A Week From My Peloton Routine

Peloton Member Don S, who served in the Canadian Military for 33 years and is now more active than ever, says: "I can say with certainty that Peloton will be my training partner for many years to come and will be pivotal to helping me to achieve my fitness goals."

By Don S. & Team PelotonNovember 10, 2021

Peloton Diaries is a series where we feature Peloton Members who have written about a week of their life and the Peloton classes they took. If you would like to submit your own Peloton Diary for a chance at being featured, you may do so here.

About Me

My mame: Don S.

Find me on the Leaderboard: _Sasquatch_

My Tags: #PelotonCanada, #TogetherWeGoFar, #MilitaryVeteran, #PelotonRetiredNurses

I've been a Peloton Member since: 2020

My Peloton stack: Tread, Bike and App

My occupation: Retired Military/Public Servant

To introduce myself: I’m Don, and like my father before me, I served in the Canadian military—in my case for 33 years. The majority of my time in uniform was in the Health Services as a Critical Care Nurse and later as a Health Administrator. I have never been considered an athlete, and shift work and erratic hours made it challenging to work out regularly and my diet was not always the healthiest. When I retired from the military in 2010, on my release medical, I was told I would likely need knee replacements in 10 years. Military service is not gentle on joints, and all too frequently, military persons will ignore or even hide injuries to avoid being sidelined. I felt my knees had more than 10 years, so with the help of physiotherapy and personal training, I began to strengthen the muscles that supported the joints, and six months later, successfully climbed Kilimanjaro.

Following retirement from the military, I worked in the Federal Public Service for the next eight years, and gym-based workouts with a trainer and a supporting group became part of my “new daily normal.” My vacations were spent on multi-day, high-altitude and strenuous treks in the Himalayas, Andes and Alps, and every trek was progressively more challenging and pushed me to higher levels of fitness. Fully retired in 2018, I moved to Vancouver Island to pursue an active and healthy retirement. With British Columbia’s coastal mountains and the Pacific at my doorstep, there is no shortage of outdoor activities, if you don’t mind getting rained on from time to time. Daily visits to the gym continued to be a priority and joining the local search and rescue group allowed me to use my fitness and military/medical skills to support my community. I never thought at 60, with the support of my fellow volunteers, I would be dangling from ropes to rescue lost or injured people.

A fitness achievement I'm proud of: Many high-altitude, multi-day (18+), strenuous treks. Hopefully going back to Bhutan in 2021.

My most frequently taken classes: Hikes, Power Zone Rides and Classic Rock Rides

My advice to other Peloton Members: Stretch, warm up, cool down and stretch again.

My Favorite...

  • Instructors: Matt Wilpers, Emma Lovewell, Sam Yo

  • Recovery day class: Recovery ride, restorative yoga

  • Class playlist genre: Classic Rock

  • Post-workout snack: Chocolate Milk

  • Time to work out: Late morning


  1. 5 min Pre-Run Warm-Up Stretch with Adrian Williams

  2. 5 min Warm Up Run with Matty Maggiacomo

  3. 30 min Hike with Becs Gentry (with a 30 lb. weight vest)

  4. 10 min Cool Down Walk with Andy Speer (Century walk)

  5. 15 min Arms & Shoulders Strength with Matty Maggiacomo

  6. 10 min Full-Body Stretch with Becs Gentry

  7. 10 min Foam Rolling: Calves with Hannah Corbin

I start my daily workouts with a rough plan which includes stretching, a warm up, a cardio and strength sessions, followed by cool downs and stretching/foam rolling. Some days, one class catches my attention and that becomes my starting point; other days, I have to choose as there are so many attractive options. If I am feeling strong after the first cardio workout, I may double or triple up.

Despite what some may think, I am not a masochist. The 30-pound weight vest I wear for Peloton Tread hikes or walks is roughly equivalent to my SAR backpack and half the weight of the daypack that I use during treks, so it has been one of my go-to workouts to keep fit for hiking. I have learned that jogging with the vest, as well as increasing the weight excessively only leads to injury.

I hit my Century walk today, but only noticed when the stats for the cool down walk appeared. Zephyr the Pelo-dog woke up briefly from his nap on the yoga mat to acknowledge the accomplishment. While I look forward to the Millennium ride and the resulting high fives, real respect must go to those hitting 2,000+ rides/runs. That’s real dedication!


  1. 5 min Warm Up Ride with Ally Love

  2. 30 min PZ Endurance 2000s Ride with Denis Morton

  3. 20 min 2000s Run with Jess King

  4. 10 min Cool Down Walk with Selena Samuela

  5. 10 min Post-Run Stretch with Jess Sims

Knowing that my joints are no longer those of a 20 year old, I have been gradually increasing the duration and frequency of the runs to gauge what stress my knees can take without incurring training injuries. Likewise, mixing ride and run classes allows me to amp up my workouts.

The ride and run were both 2000s music themed, and I knew I was in good hands with Denis and Jess King as they always pick awesome tracks. At the start of the run, Jess flipped her pigtails and suggested that we should “make our hair match the moment,” which led me to wonder what impact my lack of hair was going to have on my moment, but the philosophical musing was replaced with “shut up and run,” and I did.”


  1. 5 min Bootcamp Warm Up with Andy Speer

  2. 5 min Warm-Up Run with Rebecca Kennedy

  3. 30 min Bootcamp Upper Body with Adrian Williams

  4. 30 min Hike with Chase Tucker

  5. 10 min Post-Run Stretch with Robin Arzón

Bootcamp workouts are perfect for those days when you want to do both a cardio and strength workout but are short on time. I enjoy the quick transitions between the run/ride and strength segment and back to cardio. For me, one of the best things about the Tread Bootcamps is that I don’t have to change shoes, but regardless, both are excellent workouts, even if I have to bend over and replace my shoes.

Most of my workouts are on demand, and while I know that the content is hours/days old, the easy flowing conversation from coaches like Adrian is both instructional and motivational and gives the impression that the workout is live. When the right balance of personal information and stories are injected in the “conversation” the connection is strengthened and it feels like I am working out with a friend. This is a quality that is shared by other Peloton trainers/coaches and I think this is what sets them apart from other fitness professionals.


  1. 5 min Warm Up Ride with Cody Rigsby

  2. 30 min 80s Ride with Sam Yo

  3. 5 min Cool Down Ride with Hannah Frankson

  4. 20 min Glutes & Legs Strength with Ben Alldis

  5. 10 min Full-Body Stretch with Andy Speer

After spending most of my first year with Peloton on the Bike, I was able to complete a lot of my favorite Power Zone and classic rock rides, but switching between the Tread and the Bike results in too many choices of new rides/runs. Choice is not normally a bad thing, but when you must select between two favorite trainers playing your favorite tracks, the challenge is real. Today, the relaxed style of Sam Yo was a winner as he always selects music that leaves me wanting more.


  1. 10 min Warm Up Walk with Becs Gentry

  2. 30 min Walk & Run with Matt Wilpers

  3. 10 min Cool Down Run with Andy Speer

  4. 15 min Core Strength with Adrian Williams

  5. 10 min Year of Yes Full-Body Stretch with Robin Arzón

Matt Wilpers is one of my favorite cycling trainers as he reinforces good technique and subtly gives that gentle push to work a little harder. Today was no different in the run/walk class, and the majority of the time was spent either in a jog or a light run. In retrospect, I could have pushed a little harder, but there is always tomorrow.

Ten minutes into the 15 minute core class with Adrian, I was glad I had a little energy left after the runs. I was going to need it to finish this workout as he “brought the thunder,” and my abs were feeling it.

When the trainers talk about the importance of warm ups, cool downs and post-exercise stretching, they aren’t exaggerating! Had I paid attention 20-30 years ago, I wouldn’t be so flexibility-challenged during the post-workout stretch, but Robin had some excellent stretches that allowed the tight muscles to relax and recover for the next workout.


  1. 10 min Warm-Up Walk with Matty Maggiacomo

  2. 45 min Hike with Rebecca Kennedy (with 30 lb. weight vest)

  3. 20 min Hike with Olivia Amato

  4. 10 min Cool-Down Run with Olivia Amato

  5. 5 min Post-Run Stretch with Becs Gentry

  6. 10 min Chest & Back Strength with Ben Alldis

  7. 10 min Foam Rolling with Hannah Corbin

All warmed up after 10 minutes with Matty, it was time to strap the weight vest on. The 45 minute hike with Rebecca flew by, although my “sexy pace” needs some work. I understand the concept is more about attitude, but my challenge is that my hips don’t seem to work that way, and my face hurts when I smile too much.

Another stretch—and another reminder I need to stretch more. Becs mentioned that as a runner she is normally less flexible and then proceeds to fold in half. I struggled to achieve half of her range of motion. I thought I was quite proficient at foam rolling, but introducing running into my program presented me to a type of burn that I have not felt since I started foam rolling several years ago. Hannah demonstrated rolling the area adjacent to the shins, and the burn was real! Lesson learned: My post exercise routine now includes rolling the shins at least three times a week.


  1. 20 min Recovery Ride with Christine D’ercole

  2. 5 min Post Ride Stretch with Tunde Oyeneyin

  3. 20 min Restorative Yoga with Aditi Shah

Sundays are often SAR training or a hike in the mountains. Today was a socially distanced hike with some SAR teammates. Normally I work out midday, but on my recovery day, I do some light exercise early evening, followed by a restorative yoga class which is a good way to end the week.

My goal for future classes is inclusion of more yoga classes to improve my flexibility, and perhaps one day, I can discipline my mind to stop making to-do lists during meditation. The Tread plan is to increase the duration of both the run and the run bootcamps.

I can say with certainty that Peloton will be my training partner for many years to come and will be pivotal to helping me to achieve my fitness goals.

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