What’s Your Excuse?

When I started this whole bushwalking/hiking thing about 13 years ago, I was astounded at how unfit I was.

If you’d asked me to fill out a form that included a question about my fitness, e.g.: unfit / average / fit / marathon fit, I thought I was average, possibly even average-fit. As a desk junkie during the week, I still managed to get out and walk the suburbs regularly, could happily walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge (one of my favourite past-times) and would take the stairs at work.

But it wasn’t until I started venturing in the outdoors with people who had serious fitness (especially the ‘rock-scrambling-up-800m-elevation-with-an-overnight-pack-and-still-holding-a-conversation-type-of-fitness’), did I begin to learn what being fit is really all about.

Talk about everything being relative!

During that painful first 12 months, I discovered a range of techniques to blend in with the others and now, over time, I’ve learnt that there are often more actors in the outdoors than in NIDA.

The video above shows some of my excuses… what’s yours?

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  1. Graeme says

    Checking where we were was always good for a minute; a couple of minutes if the map was buried in my pack. I suppose the modern day version is the GPS, one can play around with that for ages, especially if the “signal is poor”.

    Not really an excuse, but a good ploy if you were like me and agile rather than fit, was to choose walks where the ridges had lots of small cliffs rather than one continuous slope. Even better if a pack haul was needed. This was always good for a long break, provided someone else was doing the hauling!

  2. Paul McCarthy says

    When I was acquiring my hard earned ‘hill fitness’ I would be quite anti social at times, preferring to save my breath for walking rather than talking!!! I looked on it as not wanting to disturb the tranquility of the moment with mindless chatter 😉

  3. Tony says

    I tend to walk on my own on the coast, my excuse is I’m really into photography so tend to pause a lot anyway, I would like to find other people into both backpacking and photography that like a few nights out under the stars will have to find a new excuse then ha ha lol……….

  4. Janey says

    Some more NZ pause tactics to slow the speedies down and give yourself you a breather… “Is that a Kaka or a Kea?”, “That looks like flowering mistletoe in that tree up there, what do you think?”, “Wow, how deep do you reckon that river is?”, “There seems to be a strap flapping around on my pack, can you have a look?”, “Do you think that’s a jewelled gecko?”, “What’s the best route up through those bluffs?”, “Isn’t it about time for a scrogg-stop, I made double portions of a delicious home-made energy bar with cranberries and white chocolate.”…. :-)

    • says

      Love it Janey! What about “is that a Kaka, Kea or Kakapo?” My fave has to be the home-made energy bar… Yum. That would have me stopping in an instant!

  5. David M says

    I read somewhere once that you should walk at a pace that means you can walk for extended periods without the need for breaks. Breaks seem good, but while you are pausing, your body is cooling down from the rhythm it has got into, and will take a while to warm up again.

    I have been doing this for a number of years, walking only fast enough to breathe a bit heavily, but without panting. I can keep this up for hours, even on steep or rough terrain. And you know, I am never the last one to arrive! In fact, I am often the first. All those little breaks add up, and more than compensate for walking a little slower.

    So, no need to come up with any creative excuses……

  6. says

    I’m a big guy. And even though I take it nice and slow, I still huff and puff when hiking uphill, I’m usually too winded to try to come up with an excuse so I either whip out my camera and try to get a group pic or just tell the others to continue on since I’m the sweeper. Cool blog by the way!

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