From my previous post about Group Fitness one might infer (correctly) that I spend most of the time indoors and, more specifically: exercising indoors. In fact, I rarely leave the small radius that work, home and gym fall in to. But, after staying put in Wellington and working through the Summer break I was starting to feel – isolated. So when the opportunity came up to get away from the city for a short while and spend some time in nature, I was all for it.
I lived in Dunedin while I studied which was a fantastic place for walking, with a plethora of bush walks in about a 10-minute proximity to the CBD. Since moving to Wellington I have found that walks in nature are a little harder for me to access. I have climbed Mount Victoria and the ridgeline behind Brooklyn several times. But I will admit part of the reason for this is the busy and distracted nature of city living.
I have minimal experience in hiking. Evidenced by:
– the day before the climb I was out buying a suitable day pack and several other ‘necessity’ items
– gloves, hat, windbreaker, thermal, woollen socks;
– complete disregard for the 1440 m climb, which sounded small at the time;
– borrowing a sleeping bag; of which, was thick, bulky and extremely heavy;
– packing the snacks at the bottom of my day pack (super irritating);
– and taking a mere 1 litre of water.
Despite this ‘preparation’ I completed the 9-hour walk (7-hours, day one and 2-hours, day two), with some good friends and came out the other side feeling revitalised and centred. The journey was arduous and at times it took a mental strength and inner resilience I forgot I had. The downtime from city living and technology was a great way to reflect and get some perspective on the previous year and plan for the upcoming one. I was also able to dredge up the old Spice Girls back catalogue, much to the amusement of my tramping peers. There’s a certain charm to five lads singing Viva Forever with the crickets chiming in the background.