Recently, my Dad died.  

It has been an extremely hard time, filled with grief and sadness, but it has also been a time of reflection. One of my Dad's friends gave a eulogy at his funeral and it reminded me of things about my Dad that I hadn't thought about for a long time. Afterwards, someone came up to me and that's where you got your love of walking from!

My Dad loved to walk. He walked the Sutherland to Surf (an 11km Fun Run) back in 1983 - I did it with him. My parents walked in the evenings after dinner for years. Then my Dad took up walking in the early morning and he kept this routine for close to 20 years. When Mum and Dad were in their 50's and 60's they would go on walking holidays with a group of friends. They walked the Overland Track in Tasmania, the Milford Track in New Zealand and the Six Foot Track in the Blue Mountains (just to name a few).

I love to walk and I may (or may not) have been influenced by my Dad. He loved to walk on his own and so do I. He also loved to walk in nature with a group of friends - I love that too.  He loved to walk with my Mum, I love to walk with my wife. He loved the challenge, the health benefits - both physically and mentally, and the space and time to think. And that's what I love about walking too.

Lately, I've been walking on Seven Mile Beach from Gerroa. Gerroa has always been a place close to my heart.  My Dad holidayed there when he was a young boy with his family, and he continued that tradition when he had his own family. We spent many holidays in the same areas that he holidayed in when he was young.

As a family, we agreed that my Dad's ashes should be released in the river at Gerroa. It’s a place with real meaning for him, and for us. It holds our history, one that I continue. I feel really lucky that I’m still local and that I still walk the tracks my Dad used to. It feels like I am still walking with my Dad.

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