365 days of gratitude

July 19, 2018

After I got over the shock of the diagnosis that my baby had a degenerative brain disorder that would mean he’d have multiple disabilities and probably die soon I started to think about what I could control.

One thing that came to mind was my fitness.

With a baby and a two year-old to care for I had to find something I could do at home, settled on stationary biking and hired an exercycle.

The baby died the day after I hired it but I figured fitness would help with grief and began pedaling the stationary equivalent of 20 kilometres most days.

A year later I returned the hired bike, bought one myself and kept up the cycling through another pregnancy, a second diagnosis of a degenerative brain disorder and life with a profoundly disabled child.

About seven years after I started, around the time our second son died, the routine of biking nowhere was beginning to pall. By then the older child was at school which left me free to exercise away from home and I began jogging instead.

Going somewhere was better than staying still but after a few months recurring joint pain was taking the edge off the enjoyment. As the pleasure of increasing fitness gave way to niggling injuries, I had to find an alternative exercise I didn’t dread doing and began walking instead.

There’s a reasonable hill not far from home. I began walking up it and kept that up most days for several years. Every now and then I’d get a bit slack about it but the purchase of a Fitbit about three and a half years ago keeps me motivated to exercise most days.

I’m built for distance rather than speed and have no aspirations to race.

But the knowledge that regular exercise is better for both physical and mental health and the determination not to be the one who says “you go, I’ll wait here” when an expedition is proposed keeps me walking.

I sleep better and feel better when I’m fitter and I’m grateful I have both the time and ability to exercise.

366 days of gratitude

August 22, 2016

I spent the weekend in Wanaka and decided to make the most of two spare days by improving my fitness.

On Saturday I went up Mt Roy (that’s what the locals call it but maps have it as Roy’s Peak).

I was wearing walking shoes rather than tramping boots with decent grip and after about 45 minutes in snow and 20 or so minutes from the top decided that even with walking poles it was too slippery to continue.

The view from there was still pretty good.


Mt Roy

Yesterday I walked to Glendhu Bay and back, a distance of nearly 30 kilometres which took about 6 1/2 hours.

Today my legs are letting me know I’ve had a pretty good workout but the endorphins that come from it more than compensate and I’m grateful for that.


366 days of gratitude

May 29, 2016

Yesterday’s cold wind and rain gave me the excuse I wanted to forgo my morning constitutional.

Today was overcast but more or less dry so I chose the 7km round trip which gives me a mix of flat and hills.

It was cool enough to encourage me to keep up a brisk pace and when I got home I knew I’d exerted myself.

It’s a good feeling. I’m grateful for it and the ability to do the exercise that brings it.

366 days of gratitude

April 24, 2016

Mid afternoon I was enjoying a book when our daughter suggested we go for a walk.

Not just any walk but one which would involve about an hour up a steepish hill and, owing to the gradient, nearly as long coming down.

I hesitated – a couple of relaxing hours reading vs the same time going up and down a hill made it very tempting to say no.

I said yes and while I huffed and puffed my way up I did have the odd moment wondering why.

But the view at the top and conversation coming down (I can walk, talk and breathe on the flat or downhill but manage only two of those three going up and it’s the talking which gets dropped) made it worthwhile.

Today I’m grateful for the suggestion of a stiff walk and the enjoyment of having done it.

This Girl Can

January 16, 2015

Love the line I jiggle therefore I am:

Considerate flyer & a wellfesto

August 12, 2014

Discussion with Paul Brennan on Critical Mass today was sparked by:

* 8 ways to avoid being ‘that annoying passenger’ on a flight at Conde Nast Daily Traveler


* 10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Working Out at the Wellfesto (which is a blog manifesto for wellbeing).

This post was sparked by an experience at a gym where the work-out coach was exhorting the class to imagine how they’d look.

The writer knew she didn’t want her daughter to be thinking of appearance as a motivation to fitness, instead she wanted her to know:

1. Strength equals self-sufficiency. . .

2. Fitness opens doors. . .

3. The bike is the new golf course. 

4. Exercise is a lifestyle, not an event. . .

5. Health begets health

6.  The bike is the new golf course. . . .

7.  Working out signals hard-working. . . 

8. If you feel beautiful, you look beautiful. . .

9. Nature rules. . .

10. Little eyes are always watching. . .


Get fit hits ACC

January 1, 2013

RadioNZ reports that the first five days of the New Year are likely to cost the Accident Compensation Corporation about $1 million in claims, as New Year ‘get fit’ resolutions are put into practice.

I ended 2012 with a reminder that exercise can lead to injuries.

As I got to the top of Mt Iron yesterday I reached for my phone to check how long it had taken me, tripped and fell.

My left thumb swelled and my leg is sporting a large multi-coloured bruise and graze but it’s nothing that requires medical assistance or an ACC claim.

It did prompt a resolution for 2013 though – I’ve resolved to take more care to look where I’m going.

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