These boots are made for walking
15 August 2023
Since moving into Pinesong Village nearly 23 years ago, Jocelyn Cartwright has gone through more than her fair share of sneakers.
An avid walker, she runs two village walking groups on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is also the driving force behind the Saturday tramping club. Described as a ‘superhuman’ by some of her neighbours, the active 88-year-old and her fellow ramblers have covered every inch of Auckland, from the North Shore to the Hunua Ranges, the Waitakere Ranges to Clevedon. She has participated in Round the Bays, traversed the Karangahake Gorge and regularly scales Auckland’s highest volcanic cone (Maungawhau Mt Eden). And although Jocelyn may be getting older, she’s got no intention of hanging up her hiking boots.
“I love everything about walking. It’s a great way to meet people, you get to explore places you’ve never been, and I’ve also read that exercise is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of dementia,” says Jocelyn.
Now the second longest-standing resident at Pinesong, Jocelyn started up the Thursday walking group a few months after she moved in.
“When we started we just walked around the local area getting to know the different parks, and then we began car-pooling so we could travel further. Now we have over 130 different walks all around Auckland.”
In 2002 Pinesong purchased a bus, making it easier for the group to tackle walks that were further afield.
“Every second Saturday about 12 of us go on a tramp. You’ve got to be fit for that. We’ve got a great group and a few also drive the bus, meaning I can just concentrate on leading the tramps.”
And for those unable to manage hills, steps and tricky terrain, Jocelyn’s Tuesday walking group is the perfect tonic.
“I actually started that group in 1988 and I brought it to the village with me. My 93-year-old sister and I are the only original members.”
Jocelyn’s sister Margaret Bovaird also lives at Pinesong, and although she now uses a walker, she still gets great enjoyment from her Tuesday walking group amble.
“We only go to places that are flat on Tuesdays, and we always finish up at a café, which I think is what many of the ladies look forward to most.”
For Jocelyn, walking has been a cornerstone of a happy, healthy life.
“I’ve always been a keen exerciser. I’ve always walked, I still do lots of gardening, and up until Covid I played golf three times a week. At 88, I’m not the gal I used to be, but I still love being active!”