The next fortnight

It’s not technically a lock down here, but it will feel like one because I’ll be working from home for the next fortnight.

It’s an opportunity to brave the cold and get back into a bit of walking. It’s an opportunity I’d better embrace, otherwise I could be a very strange person in 14 days.

Unfortunately, winter is not a good time to add walks to the site. The photos are rarely cheery.

I should check out the Parkes Showground. I hear there’s been a bit of work up there.

PAC Park could be interesting in winter.

And there’s some public art back out on display down the main street, around the park and the new library. That’s always fun, in my book.

I could start tomorrow. Or the next day!

Set yourself a challenge

How many times have you been encouraged to set yourself a challenge? Any sort of challenge? Eat better! Exercise more! Read the Iliad!

Today is our first day of significant heat for the season, with an estimated max of 27 degrees C. It’s time to prepare for summer.

So today, I’m going to add to that growing list of challenges. Here are my tips.

Go for quirky

Not the heading you were expecting? My social feed has been filling up with charity walking events that people do solo or with family. “25 kilometers in 5 days”. That sort of thing. That’s kind of quirky.

Another quirky idea requires a slightly longer term plan. Why not try selecting three locations that you can revisit every season? That’s one major outing each month of the year.

What can you think of that’s a bit offbeat?

Timing is everything

You’ll have noticed that each of those suggestions involves a time frame. Mark it on your calender. Set an alarm on your phone.

Plan ahead

Know what you need to make it happen. Water bottle and walking shoes by the front door. Picnic basket in your knapsack. A knapsack.

Understand the weather

Download the Bureau of Meteorology app to your phone, if you haven’t already. Don’t forget to take your phone with you.

When I want to add a new walk to this site, I keep an eye on both the temperature and wind speed. Not too hot, so I can think clearly. Not too windy, so the trees and grasses stay still in the photos.

Find a sound track

Everything significant in life should have a sound track. Pick one for this challenge and use it to get you motivated and keep you interested.

What will you pick? Jazz! Classical! Or a bit of goth rock?!!

Happy walking your way up to that next level.

Photo of a section of the Federation Arch sculpture at Orange Botanic Gardens, NSW.

Site revamp

Every now and then, a website starts to feel stale and the only option is a redesign.

Motivation was one of the reasons for starting the website, and clearly that motivation had declined because I was not walking regularly, not exploring new paths, not taking lots of photos and not adding anything to Walking in Parkes.

Plus, I’v never been happy with the photos used on this site. Composition was OK, but technically they felt very unprofessional. Not the quality I was aiming for.

Something had to change.

With no classes for two weeks, and no rain in the weather forecast, it seemed the ideal time to make those changes.

I’m delighted to report that Walking in Parkes now has a brighter look. Much of the success is thanks to the continual improvements WordPress is making to the flexibility it offers website developers.

The other breakthough was discovering how to improve the technical quality of photos taken on my phone, thanks to a google search and a helpful website.

The task now is to update each of the walks. Some have been completed, but there are still a few to do. It means revisiting each walk and taking a new set of photos, while finding new paths to add.

Spring cleaning really makes it feel like Spring has arrived.

Is there value in short bursts of walking?

Apparently, most Australians are like me. We don’t get enough exercise, according to this article from the ABC website:

It contains the usual list of excuses for not exercising, and suggests that short bursts of walking are a way of getting back into action. Think of it as snacking on exercise, one block at a time.

The article also contains a host of links to other great material, with lots of tips to get us up and walking.

And have you noticed? Spring is almost here!

So Many Choices: Some fundraising walks for August

Do you need an excuse for a fresh start when the weather starts to warm up?

Three fundraising walks popped up in the social media feed this week. I wonder if there will be any more before Spring arrives?

For these types of fundraisers, you set yourself a kilometer target and organise some sponsors. If you are going to be sponsored, you need to register with their website. Links included below.

Why not find some walking buddies, work out the social distancing, and give one of these a go!

Fred’s Big Run

Started in Australia, the Fred Hollows Foundation now works world-wide to restore sight, with the aim to end avoidable blindness.

Link to website.

The Bloody Long Virtual Walk

The Bloody Long Walk raises funds for the Mito Foundation, which supports those affected by mitochondrial disease and associated research.

Link to website.

Step Up to Breast Cancer

The National Breast Cancer Foundation has one simple mission: To stop breast cancer deaths.

Link to website.