10km Pre-dawn Walk!
'Nothing special' about daily regime starting with 10km pre-dawn walk, 78yo Coolum man says
Posted on 13.09.2016
It is 2:30am and Con Stergiopoulos’s day is just beginning. Donning socks and sneakers, he leaves his Coolum Beach home on the Sunshine Coast for a 10km walk.
It takes two hours. And yes, it is 2:30am. This is a daily regime 78-year-old Mr Stergiopoulos has embraced for the past 14 years.
“I just like to go for walks I suppose. There’s nothing special about it,” he said with a hearty laugh.
“I used to have a little alarm on my watch and it [would] never wake me up, because I always awake before.
“At exactly the same time my eyes open and I say ‘Well, that’s it, I can’t go back to sleep’.
“Because sometimes if I go back to sleep I oversleep and I don’t feel comfortable, so when I wake up I’m happy,” he said chirpily.
Half way through his walk around the streets of the sleepy Sunshine Coast town, he stops briefly to meet Jake and the “rest of the boys” — Joe and Allan.
He does not know their surnames. There is no need to.
“I call him Joe and he calls me Con and that’s all it is and then we have a good chat,” Mr Stergiopoulos said.
“We just talk about things happen around the world,” he explains in his thick Greek accent.
A no-fuss man, Mr Stergiopoulos reluctantly admits it is pretty special to have mates to meet each day.
“It’s lovely, it breaks the monotony because there’s not many who go early. See, we are silly of course, we go very early,” he said.
“Sometimes I miss them. They never come out because they reckon it’s a bit cold … or if it’s wet,” he laughs in disbelief at the possibility someone could contemplate missing the pre-dawn ritual.
Mr Stergiopoulos is not fazed by imperfect weather — he walks in rain, hail or freezing conditions.
“I [once] walked with rain and I could not see my shoes, that’s how heavy it was,” he said.
“The road, it was like a river. It doesn’t worry me, it’s okay.”
The keen walker attributes his tolerance for challenging weather conditions to years spent in the national service, when the “blasted old sergeant” would command drills in the rain.
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