Being able to walk non-stop up hills, noticing increased confidence and enjoying a general feeling of good health and brightness were just some of the benefits that residents taking part in Ryman’s Walking for Wellness initiative have noticed.
One of the main reasons Logan Campbell resident Ian Dalton moved to the village with his wife Sandra was its proximity to Cornwall Park which had always been on their doorstep.
Naturally, it was the perfect place to train for the Walking for Wellness challenge.
“We always walk around Cornwall Park and occasionally up One Tree Hill but after Walking for Wellness we started going to the top every two to three days,” says Ian.
“I noticed I was able to go up without stopping whereas previously, I’d need to stop a few times to get my breath back.”
Just before moving into the village, Ian had a pacemaker fitted and a new mitral heart valve and credits his regular gym-going then regular walking and overall fitness for helping him to recover as well as he has.
Last October, the couple completed Ryman’s Abel Tasman-inspired Walking for Wellness walk in just five days.
Ian and Sandra Dalton on one of their many walks to the summit of One Tree Hill, above, and during their walk through the actual Abel Tasman National Park, top.
“Coincidentally, we had done the actual Abel Tasman walk the month before, but we did it in just three days.”
Ian and Sandra would often do longer walks at weekends, and once decided to take a walk around the bays which ended up with them walking the length of Tamaki Drive twice, a distance of about 20km!
“Doing the challenge just gave us that extra motivation, that focus to get our steps in,” says Sandra.
The couple now can’t wait to take part in this year’s Everest Challenge and plan to get a good group from Logan Campbell to join them.
Adds Ian: “We won’t be doing the real Everest walk beforehand this time though!”
For William Sanders resident Glynne Cockerton, the Walking for Wellness challenge did wonders to boost her confidence after the COVID-19 pandemic had given it a big knock.
“We honestly thought that after COVID we would never travel to the other side of the world but doing the wellness challenge made me more confident in travelling a long distance – my husband Eric just goes with the flow!
“And in general terms we both noticed feeling brighter and more confident in approaching new challenges.”
With this renewed outlook, Glynne can now say with pride that she has ticked off a big item off her bucket list.
“In May, Eric and I took ourselves to the other side of the world to walk the magnificent Monsal Trail in the Peak District, with its old train tunnels, its wonderful viaduct and winding river – it was wonderful!”
Eric and Glynne Cockerton during their walk of the Monsal Trail earlier this year, above, and Glynne at the Headstone Viaduct, below.
Glynne says taking part in the Olympics@Ryman in 2021 is what started the ball rolling. The William Sanders team won a gold medal which came as ‘a huge surprise’.
Then the Abel Tasman Walking for Wellness last year built on that exponentially, with the camaraderie resulting in the whole village team turning out to support their most senior walker, Vic Murray, now 94, on the day he completed his 60km.
“The team spirit during that walk was fantastic and was the best part of the whole challenge,” says Glynne.
For Bob Scott resident Ray Byrne, the commitment to regular walking with a defined goal improved his fitness levels markedly.
“It was my general fitness, it certainly improved. I noticed I was walking more freely,” he says.
Like many people, Ray has had health issues over the years and sees keeping active through regular walking as very important, particularly in maintaining good lung health.
“I’m in good shape as long as I look after myself – my goal is to reach 100 and the only way I will get there is by keeping my body moving!” he laughs.
Ray and Joan Byrne during one of the Walking for Wellness inter-village walks last year.
Ray loves meeting fellow residents and hearing their stories so the inter-village walks were a real treat.
“They were slightly extended walks and then being part of a group, we had that socialising side of it which I really enjoyed. Each of us is unique and we all have interesting lives.”
In fact, he found at the time that the walks evoked thoughts of Sir Edmund ‘knocking off Everest’ so with this year’s theme being Everest he will no doubt be racing to the finish!
“You sort of say ‘well I’ve got to do it, so let’s get it done!”