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Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

I have a lot of posts half-written now – or perhaps, less than half-written. But they’re not ready to go, and today I’ve been distracted with other chores, so I thought I’d share a photo or two from a very pleasant walk I took at the end of last week with my husband. When the wind drops in Wellington in spring, it is time to grab the opportunity and get out and walk. This year we’ve been trying to find new places to walk, because – perhaps due to the lockdown – I’m a bit sick of walking around my neighbourhood, frankly. For years we have been driving over a particular bridge at the beginning of a valley, and I’ve looked at the river and the walking paths along it and thought or said or both, “we really should walk up there one of these days.” But the decades passed, and we always drove on, needing to check in with the in-laws, and getting caught up there. Now that they’re gone, though, we felt free to park under the bridge, and take a walk.

It’s a simple path, made for dog-walkers and human walkers and cyclists, along a river. There’s nothing strenuous about it, but perhaps that’s the point. It is relaxing, we were surrounded by green, with trees with new spring leaves lining the river, and on the other side of the path, a couple of paddocks, a driving range nearest the bridge, and an expensive golf course next to the path. This was the adventureland of my husband when he was a child, before the driving range, and when the paddocks still had cows and sheep, and before the bypass was built on the other side of the river.

In the midst of some small rapids on the river was a fisherman, casting his line out into the calmer water. We tried to imagine what he was hoping to catch. “There aren’t any fish in that river!” my husband exclaimed. But the water was crystal clear, running down from the mountains without travelling through farmland or industry, and so it would make sense that there are a few. We were passed by the occasional cyclist, a jogger with a very tired dog, and we never caught up to the woman pushing the pram way up ahead of us. We eventually turned and walked back to the car. The exercise was good to have, but better than that, we had time to breathe some fresh clear air, enjoy the sun, and feel some peace.

Note: I did not play with the colours at all on these photos. It really was that green.

Can you see the fisherman?

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After days of wild stormy winds, yesterday was calm but cool. I ventured out for my first walk in a long time, tired of exercising inside with the blinds down to youtube videos. Coupled with other events, exercising inside had not been doing anything for my mood, and it was time to get out.

As I stepped out into the crisp air, I felt an immediate lift in my spirits. The sky was blue and finally the trees were relatively still. Everything sparkled, cleansed by nature’s storm. I headed off on one of my usual walking routes. The light had changed since my last walk – no longer the low, gorgeous light of winter. Now it was brighter, promising new things to come. It made me smile. Spring had definitely arrived.

I walked past my favourite stand of toi toi* that catches the light so beautifully in the early morning and late evening.

Alas, there was only one stem left, and a broken stem beside it showing how the wind had battered it. All the others had disappeared. I’m hoping it is resilient, though, and will be watching to see if it recovers. It wasn’t the only casualty of the wind. The neighbours’ gorgeous blossom tree next to our driveway was stripped of its blossom. But tiny green leaves were emerging, leaving a feeling of hope.

As I got to the park and playground, I could smell the freshly cut grass. Nothing smells more of spring or summer, does it? There were children playing on the playground, and kicking around balls on the sports field, enjoying the first beautiful day of their school holidays.

I continued my walk – past old folks venturing to the shops, quite a few other walkers and joggers, the occasional dog-walker, grandparents babysitting the grandchildren, and older kids out enjoying their two weeks of freedom.

The whole feeling was one of serenity, perhaps helped by the fact that we had no new community cases of COVID-19, and that it has now been two weeks since any new cases from the Auckland cluster’s outbreak. I took in a deep breath of pure, clean air, and smiled.

* or toe toe, or I may have mistaken pampas grass, an exotic weed, for our native toi toi.

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I have just cancelled my gym membership. I became a member at this chain of gyms in 2004, after my former personal trainer and physiotherapist, along with one of his colleagues (and one or two former clients as investors) set up their first gym. I’ve watched his company expand and achieve success, and have worked out at three of his gyms, each with a very different character and clientele, but each with high quality staff and facilities. Their own excellent physiotherapist clinics attached to the gym facilities have treated me with injured wrists, calves, knees, and a broken ankle. And every year I have enjoyed a free birthday massage, sometimes the only massages I get these days.

But I’m not driving into the city now on a daily basis, the only suburban gym in the group – the one with the amazing views and the wonderful drive around the bays to get there – is no longer working for me, given its distance from home, and the fact that other businesses are taking up all the available (and free) parking.

I need to change my workout routine, get into swimming, and have a cheaper gym membership nearby that I can visit regularly without taking up half of my day. But right now I’m mourning the loss of my lovely gym, the friendly people staff and the other members I have chatted to over the years, the views across Evans Bay, the scenic drive I took to get there, and the cafes where I would stop for a delicious coffee on the way home.

 

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