Friday, June 23, 2017

Winter fitness challenge

This is what I saw when I went out on my little run this morning:

If you're moving to rural Tasmania and (like me) don't like gyms and prefer to exercise in the fresh air, here's some honest truth. Be prepared for the mental barrier to climb just a little bit higher. I prefer to exercise first thing in the morning before work, and at this time of year when I go out, it's dark until after 7am. I mean pitch black. There's no ambient light or street lights like you get in the city. I find it easy to go out walking or running at 5.30 or 6.00am when I'm in Sydney for work. Here, I wear a head torch that illuminates the patch of dirt road immediately in front of me, helping me to avoid puddles and potholes. Apart from the occasional hopping sounds of pademelons fleeing from my path, I could be anywhere. Sometimes forestry guys in their utes whiz by on their way to work and the occasional truck thunders past and I have to step off the road until they pass. In the daytime, walking in the forest is beautiful, in the dark it becomes just a little bit scary.

Boo hoo, I hear you say, you're just making excuses not to exercise. Fair enough. I much prefer to walk and run in the cold than (say) the humid heat in Sydney, but I won't pretend its not harder to get myself out the door here. This morning it was a pleasant 7 degrees, unlike yesterday's sub-zero temperatures and chunky frost (I stayed in bed). While it will no doubt get colder over the next couple of months, I am so happy at the passing of the winter solstice this week, as it will start to get lighter at both ends of the day. Hurray!

A few months ago, David and I decided to bite the bullet and get a personal trainer to visit once a week. It seemed like a splurge, but it's been absolutely worth it. For the first couple of sessions we were able to exercise outdoors, but since daylight saving ended our trainer comes to our home and we work out in the living room. The bonus is I can wear a t-shirt and can see my own feet! Without someone (nicely) bullying me I doubt I would ever work as hard. Another step I think I'll have to take is to vary my exercise time and go out after 4pm some days when I'm too brain dead for complex work but before it gets dark. If you have any good winter exercise strategies, please let me know. It has been a challenge, one that I'm only just starting to get on top of.


  1. Great post Susan, I share your suffering. I'm loathed to put lycra on when the temperature won't budge over 1 degree. So it feels like an excuse not to go to the gym. I've just got to find it in the dark!

    1. That made me smile Louise, I hear ya! Glad I went out for a run yesterday at 6.15am in 2 degrees but clear weather - because there's no way I'll be going in the snow forecast for tomorrow/Friday!