I have not gone for a walk for four days.
I didn’t set out to have such a break, but things happen. The kids all got sick, with a short-lived, but dramatic, virus. I stayed home the first day as it was all hands on deck.
The second day, both myself and my husband were starting to feel the effects of said illness.
The third day, I’d started feeling a bit better, but just in prepping to go for a walk, it was made clear by my body that I’d be wiser to stay home.
The fourth day…. I can’t say much about the fourth day, other than perhaps, that Newton’s laws of motion took force. That is, a body in motion tends to stay in motion…. and a body resting (for ‘at rest’ has all the wrong connotations!) tends to stay resting. Sure, I had kids home, I was out and about most of the day, including a coffee group and a special one-on-one trip to the hairdressers and mall (and Santa!) with my five year old…. sure, it was hot… but they’re really excuses, as I’m quite convinced that I could have walked – at least a small walk – had I decided to make the effort.
Today, I didn’t feel like making the effort either. It’s still school holidays – but it will be until the beginning of February. It’s still Christmas craziness – but it will be for another week. It’s still hot – but it will likely be so for some number of months still (and then it will be too cold!). It’s still hectic getting out when the kids are around. But I can still find ways to do it if I’m determined.
I wasn’t determined, today, but I was disciplined. I did not feel like walking. I felt like moping around with a book and computer games. Which, other than two hours of Christmas craziness in the morning, I had been doing all day. But I decided to go to a nearby track just to try it, with no intention of getting to the end, just pushing myself to GET OUT THERE and start. One thing I’ve learned by now, it’s always harder to get out the door than it is to keep going once you’re going (an object in motion…).
Old Coach Track. I picked this track because it was nearby, I hadn’t done it yet, and the name sounded deceptively benign.
I hadn’t brought my hiking poles – mainly because I’m not exactly sure where they are. They’re around. But I didn’t want to let searching for them distract or deter me from getting out the door, as above.
I also hadn’t realised I would need them – but in fact, they would have been super handy. Old Coach Road – at least the Scenic Drive end – is a root and rock-filled, dirt and mud path, that ascends at a moderate to high grade for awhile, then descends at a similar grade, and so on. ‘Undulating’ sounds a bit too calm for these hills – but they’re not too extreme, either. However, I was quite cautious about my footing, in particular on the downhills, and that’s where poles become quite useful.
Following the trail, I climbed a hill. I went down a hill. I climbed a hill. I started to go down that one, and it got gradually steeper, until I decided – actually, maybe not. It’s not that the path was bad, or too extreme, or too muddy (although it rained yesterday, it was fully dry by this afternoon). It was that I didn’t want to push it too hard when I wasn’t as well equipped as I would have liked, and as always, was running out of daylight – and in this case, motivation. I’d gone roughly a km by then, so I turned around, and walked back. Where Old Coach Road Track meets up with Fairy Falls track, I decided to do more. Fairy Falls track, at the beginning, is a very well maintained, even track with no worries over footing, a very gentle grade, and a pleasant walk through bush. As I’d only been out for about 4o minutes by then (and I find, for mental health reasons in particular, I do better with 60+ minutes) and hadn’t quite walked as far as I wanted, that I’d head down Fairy Falls Track for awhile – just on the gentle, easy bit – to get that feeling of an enjoyable walk, feel like I’d accomplished more, but still not have to worry about straining myself or the workout that is the lower half of Fairy Falls Track. And I did just that – walked a bit, then decided I’d had enough, turned around, and came back.
With both partial tracks together, total walk was 2.78 km, or about 5000 steps.
And on the drive home, just because I wanted to, I stopped at a scenic lookout and took this photo of Auckland.