Sunday, January 22, 2012

breaking the barriers

Well it hasn't exactly been a New Year resolution, but it has mostly been since the New Year that I've been putting it into action, but on the grounds that I don't generally make a list and even when I do I have a lousy track record of sticking to them, I'll call it a goal and leave it there!

So, what was it? Basically to increase the amount of exercise I get on days when I'm not working - ie when I don't get a brisk walk up the hill (as I'm usually cutting it fine timing-wise), several hours on my feet and then usually a somewhat more sedate walk home. I realised it was all too easy, especially on wet days, not to venture any further than the compost heap at the bottom of the garden. Not that that matters too much occasionally, but I realised with the long holiday it could end up happening more often than not.

Having a PO Box rather than mail delivered to the house does help at least get me out on a fairly regular basis - but as I don't get that much mail and it is only a 15min walk round trip along the flat in anycase it wasn't really going to cut the mustard, even assuming I actually went each day and didn't just leave it until tomorrow...

So I'd been getting into the habit of taking a rather circuitous up and down hill route to the mail boxes which was an improvement of sorts. But I realised I needed to come up with a few more circular routes of various lengths to get me out of the 'there and back again' walk to the Plaza (and the healthfood shop) which was usually the limit of my exercise.

When I was in Auckland after Summer Gathering I'd stayed with Jennie for a couple of nights and ended up walking to the nearest shopping mall - firstly to buy some groceries and the next day do some 'city shopping'. I realised that I was walking further than I had for a while, not without feeling pretty knackered afterwards admittedly, especially given the heat and humidity, but considerably further than I had expected to manage. But because it was unknown territory I didn't have the psychological blocks of beyond a certain point being 'too far', especially to be carrying a bag of groceries, I also didn't have much choice which is a great motivator!

So today I put it to the test, deliberately not walking along the main route through town that I normally take I decided to break beyond the psychological barrier of Griggs Corner - walking the length of Matthews Ave to the Intermediate School. Having got that far it was then a short distance over the bridge and there I was at Bells (greengrocer and deli) and not that far short of the new PaknSave. Not wanting to over-do it I stuck to Bells, had a good look around (having never been there before) treated myself to some cherries and headed for home. The round trip took all of 50mins! Hardly the huge walk it had always been in my head.

To be fair though 6 months ago it really would have been too far as even the Plaza and back took some serious psyching up for. It was certainly a mark of how much fitter I am again which was a relief.

So, with debt free days in my sights for later this year (mutter mutter, international students fees, etc etc). I'm beginning to think about getting a bike at some point - but a sit up and beg type shopping one, with a basket, not exactly high speed or anything, but a means of getting a few cartons of rice/soy milk etc home from PaknSave or veggies from Bells without straining the muscles in my shoulders that carrying a laden backpack did on the one I used to use. Unless I choose there are no hills in the way to put a strain on my knees either, so who knows, it might happen yet.

But in the meantime I'm going to try to get into the habit of doing that round trip regularly if I can, which will be much easier to manage whilst the cherries are still in season!

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