Why I hike..

Blogpost Nick kicked of our active inspiration series with a post about 100 runs in 100 days, which he’s mid way through (for the 2nd time), which I read with great awe. I’m fairly sure I won’t manage 100 runs in my entire lifetime, let alone in 100 days. What I could happily do every single day, for as long as I’m able, is walk.  For me, walking / hiking / tramping (all of which, are words to describe the same basic activity of putting one foot in front of the other at a steady pace) has been a great love of mine for as long as I can remember.

I’ve been lucky enough to walk in some of the most beautiful places in the world, and these walks form some of my most vivid memories. Hiking up to Mount Sinai in the dead of night to view sunrise from the top, tramping along the rocky paths high above the Caribbean sea in the Virgin Islands, walking though the Nevada dessert, Hiking through the low mists of Cader Idris  to the windy summit.

I walk to relax, to clear my head, it connects me to the moment I am in. Walking helps me focus on my surroundings without the distraction that more strenuous exercise causes (for me anyway – like trying to actually breath) or the equal distraction of being still, which I will always fill with a book.

I like the endless conversations that stretch ahead when you walk a long track, with an old friend, I like the fact there is no where else to be, from the start of the path, to the end of the path.

Walking helped me hang on to my sanity when I had my first baby. I would bundle him up, each day, and walk for hours through Epping forest (where we happened to live at the time). I couldn’t imagine how else to fill the days (I wasn’t really a natural baby entertainer – if there is such a thing.)

Walking helped me fall in love with Wellington, when I was homesick, and overwhelmed, as a mother of four (how did that happen?).  I’d brace for the wind, put the kids on bikes and scooters and in pushchairs and backpacks and we’d inch round the South Coast, and if we could do that, somehow the day mostly worked.

Now I like nothing more than dropping the kids at school and Kindy and walking through the vineyards near my Martinborough home. You can track the seasons against the progress of the vines. My favourite time is now, just before harvest…which takes me on to another love…


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