Post by Ken & Anitra Dowli » Sat, 11 Feb 1995 02:40:26

The following item is published in our club newsletter. May be of interest to those who have previously active relaives and friends who have developed arthritis. Worth a try!

During the winter of 1994, I entered my eightieth year. I was losing the age
old battle that everyone wages against advancing years. For some months I had
abandoned my weekly outings with the Wanaka Walkers. Slight arthritis in one
hip had suddenly worsened and for one depressing three day period, I was
unable to walk more than one hundred metres. When the arthritis eased a
little, I let a friend persuade me to visit the Waiorau Nordic Ski Area.

That first day, I took only my video and spent an entrancing day filming that
wonderful landscape. The second day up I persuaded myself to don the light
weight cross country skis and try the two easy one kilometre beginners ski
trails. The third day I went a little further. The easy gliding movement of
cross country skiing seemed to agree with my dodgy hip. The lovely weather and
magnificent environment, gave my psyche a wonderful boost.

Before I knew it, I was hooked. Like a powerful drug, my new love was working
in a wonderful, healing way. I increased the extent of my little skiing
jaunts. One wonderful day I skied to the Meadow Warming Hut by the banks of
the Roaring Meg. On my last days skiing, I covered about six*** kilometres.
The transformation had been miraculous and I am now in training for the next
ski season; climbing Mt. Iron two or three times each week; and occasionally
while walking on the golf course, I will even jog a little.

Next winter I even plan, with the help of my old firm, to attend a big cross
country ski meeting at Falls Creek in Australia. There I will compete along
with about 800 others in a seven kilometre race. I can think of no better way
to meet the challenge of ageing. "Could I do it" you might ask. A good sense
of balance helps. A high degree of fitness is not needed that will certainly
improve with each days skiing. So give it a go and join me next season. I
cant wait for the winter snows

 ... by Ralph Warburton
Footnote: Ralph didnt wait - he took part in a 6 hour rogaine on the ski area
in January.

Regards, Ken Dowling, Dunedin, New Zealand.