Swim a daily routine
His legs may not work how they used to but Bill Berry, 85, endeavours to swim 50 lengths at South Waikato Indoor Pools every morning.
It would be strange not to see the Tokoroa retiree there at 7.20am.
Wearing his blue and yellow flippers, black goggles and well- used swimming trunks, Berry starts with a deep dive. He then swims one full length of the 25m pool without coming up for breath. Just one though, he said. After that he alternates between freestyle and backstroke.
‘‘Every morning for more years than I can remember, about 20 I think.
‘‘I used to do 100 [lengths] but I had a stroke a couple of months ago and had to stop.’’
Plenty would have given up, not Berry though. ‘‘It sort of gets me going for the day.’’ But he never used to be a swimmer, walking was always his passion.
When he arrived in town in 1969 to work at Kinleith, he joined the Alpine Club.
To this day he wished he could have kept up but his health got in the way.
One trip out ended badly when he led his group through a forest in Rotorua.
‘‘When I turned the group around, I suddenly went blind.’’
After numerous visits to the doctor, it was found he had an issue with blood flow to his brain, he said.
Swimming was the next best thing, he said. This way he could always stop and get out if he felt unwell.
And so for now he takes it one length at a time, and he can’t see an end in sight.
Nothing stops Bill Berry, 85, from getting his daily exercise.