Writing process

Walking to New Zealand

The view from a ship gym.

Next week it’s cruise time.

If you read this blog you’ll know that both Sherylyn and I enjoy cruising. There’s something about being on the water that is magic. Not having to cook or clean is nice, too.

I love New Zealand. We cruised there last year, and we’re going back mid-year to WorldCon. We weren’t planning on going there again at Christmas, we planned to cruise the Aegean, or reposition from Southampton or Seattle to Sydney.  

But the New Zealand cruise was cheap, and the time was good, and we’re both really looking forward to it.

Last trip we did everything Lord of the Rings. This year we‘re doing nature. Particularly nature of a volcanic origin, because here in Australia our land is geologically stable, relatively speaking, and has been for a long time. New Zealand, however, is on the Pacific Ring of Fire. Show me some geysers and hot springs, please.

Anyway, we picked out a tour that’s going to take us into the area we want. It has a three kilometre ‘moderate’ walk.

“I don’t think you realise how unfit I am,” I said to Sherlyn, who goes to Zumba twice a week.

“You’re not that bad,” she said. “We used to walk a lot.”

That was a long time ago now, and I haven’t done any real exercise for twelve months. Life right now is work, home, dinner, sleep, and get up the next day and do it all over again. I don’t even take the stairs at work any more as I have a dodgy knee.

Around the same time, my work had one of those get fit initiatives where you join a team and count the number of steps you do each day.

“I’m in,” I said. It was perfect timing to get fit for the cruise.

I struggled. Not because I had to walk—although that was hard—but because my dodgy knee decided to play up. It was agony.

It still is.

Sherylyn has ordered some walker’s sticks for me. If I take some weight off the knee it helps (it would help even more if I lost some weight) but I’m still not as fit or as fast as I’d like to be.

Hence I have decided to walk to New Zealand.

Not all the way, of course, because there’s so much to do on board, but those of you who have been on ships might know that two prime forward viewing areas of the ship are taken up by the beauty salon and the gym.

One thing I do enjoy on a ship is the treadmill. There’s the ocean in front of you, and not much else. It’s a perfect place to dream.

All I want by the end of it is to be able to walk three kilometres in reasonable time.

As for the knee, we’ll see how that is on the day.

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