Week 35/2023: Barb and the Mountain

Barb and the Mountain

Week of 28 August 2023

How it started

Some years ago (five to be exact), I reached a goal I had set for myself the previous year of walking to the summit of kunanyi/Mt Wellington.

This was the Point to Pinnacle 2018, which starts at Wrest Point Casino and ends at the summit of kunanyi. It took me just over four hours, and having done it once, I had no plans of ever doing it again.

Barb is standing in front of some rocks leaning on a sign that says "The Pinnacle Area". She is wearing sports clothes, a cap and has a medal around her neck. She is smiling.
My 2018 triumph

The next year, however, Kramstable wanted to enter the event, but because he was under 14 he was only permitted to take part in the Point to Pub event. This has the same starting point and ends at the Fern Tree Tavern, which is about a 10 km walk (or run if that’s your thing). The full event continues for another 11 km to the summit.

Unfortunately, that year the weather gods were unkind, and the route was changed to bypass the Mountain and go to the Longley Pub. While it was disappointing, it was better than having to turn around and go back to Wrest Point, which is what I believe they used to do when they couldn’t get onto kunanyi.

As an aside, walking 11 km downhill is far worse than walking 11 km uphill, and I hurt for a week afterwards.

Kramstable was still keen to do the event but once he had reached the age where he could do it, other commitments prevented him from signing up.

Fast forward to this year, and the event was finally on a weekend when he had nothing on and he said he still wanted to do it. I agreed to go with him, but I hadn’t counted on getting injured, or on the injury recurring and taking months to heal.

But when entries opened, we had a lot of time to prepare and train (and recover).

We signed up.

It’s on 19 November.

We’re doing it!

As at the start of this week, I have 11 weeks and six days to get back to a level of fitness where I can reasonably expect to walk 21 km, most of which will be uphill.

Everything’s starting to feel a lot better and I think I’m at the point I was two weeks ago when my back seized up again and everything fell apart. I’m moving a lot more freely and am now back at work, but on reduced hours.

I have to be careful not to sit for too long and I have a very high tech solution to help with this.

A circular kitchen timer with a black face and silver dial
Hi tech anti-sitting device

I went to the physiotherapist on Tuesday for more treatment on my back. I told her that I’d signed up for the Point to Pinnacle, expecting her to tell me I was dreaming. She didn’t. She said it’s a good goal (her exact words) and, as long as I build up slowly, I’ll get there.

That was reassuring and I started to work out a training plan for myself, which involves walking every day. This was something I used to do religiously, but when I got sick in the middle of winter last year, I stopped my daily walks and I found it a real struggle to get back into the habit. It’s also highly likely that my increased sedentariness (I googled it; it’s a word. Don’t @ me) has contributed to my current condition.


No more excuses. I must walk. Even if I wasn’t doing the Point to Pinnacle, I’d still have to walk every day so I can get over this injury.

My vague plan is to walk at least two km every day, which can be built into walking I have to do to go places, or it can be a morning walk like I used to do every day. The physio suggested increasing this to three km every second day, and my aim is to be able to walk seven km by the end of week 4 (24 September).

I’ll build that up to 14 km by the end of week 8 and 21 km, the event itself, by week 12.

I just have to be careful not to overdo it. To do my distance and stop until I get stronger and used to walking longer distances.

This blog is going to be my accountability partner for the next 12 weeks so I can track my progress and make sure I give myself the best chance possible of getting to the summit.

Week 35 summary

What was the best thing about this week?

Feeling so much better was fantastic.

What did I notice this week?

This partial rainbow when I was on one of my afternoon walks.

A small land mass across the river with a partial rainbow and heavy cloud cover
Beauty on my walk

What did I learn this week?

A friend shared this article a couple of weeks ago. (It took me this long to read it.) It discusses the way our world view is shaped by the language we “live in”, and that this shapes how we think about things. There are some concepts that we can’t express, which speakers of other language can because our language doesn’t have a way of expressing them.

What I’m reading this week

  • Built to Move by Kelly Starrett and Juliet Starrett

Habit tracker

  • Daily walk (Goal: 7): M, T, W, T, F, S, S (7)
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