Walk1200km participants share how the first weeks of the challenge have affected them
Sarah McIlroy (featured)
“I want to say a big thank you for inspiring me and other New Zealanders to get out and get moving with Walk1200km.
“I love walking and last year started doing some overnight tramps with friends. This love has just grown and has become a little addictive. So when the Walk1200km challenge hit my letterbox, I jumped at it.
“I have struggled with fibromyalgia for the last 11 years. The condition causes chronic pain and fatigue, and when a flare-up hits, I can be wiped out for a few days. However, I have been determined to help relieve symptoms and ward off flare-ups through diet and good self-care. A big part of that is being active (even on the days my body says ‘no!’). Some days it’s 4km around the park; other days it’s 12km in the Waitakeres.
“Interestingly, my flare-ups are few and far between now and my energy has increased immensely. So, it’s a big deal and hence my need to show my gratitude. Wilderness alone inspires me, and Walk1200km is helping to cement a most rewarding lifelong habit.”
“In order to create a daily walking habit, instead of driving the kids to school we now walk. Every morning I walk 1.7km there and back, then I drive home after work and walk there and back to pick them up. That means, through very little effort, I can achieve 6.8km a day during the school week.
“My body feels a lot happier because of it. I feel a lot better knowing that I’ve already enjoyed a morning stroll and some fresh air and that I have it to look forward to after work, too. The mental clarity is huge. Sometimes I listen to a podcast on the part of my walk without the kids, but often I’m happy to be quietly with my own thoughts and observe the world around me.”
“Teaching is not a sedentary occupation but Zoom teaching during Covid is! The Walk1200km challenge is proving the trick to returning activity into my day.”
“A good example of what this challenge has done for me is a recent three spare hours before catching up with a friend. It was overcast and threatening to rain. Without the challenge, I would have sat at home, but because I was behind with my kilometres I got off the couch and walked 5km around my neighbourhood.
“Silly isn’t it? There’s no reward. There’s no prize. But human nature is to want a goal or a challenge.”
“I turn 65 soon and have a lot of ‘to-dos’ and the Walk1200km challenge is just what I need now for:
a) Recovery from a leg injury which has taken two years to be properly sorted;
b) Motivation each day to record something, whether it is metres or kilometres;
c) My mental health, because I have struggled with Covid restrictions and wondering whether I will ever be able to tramp in this beautiful country of ours given my age and lack of tramping fitness.