Promoting Nordic Walking Two Poles at a Time

Grassroots efforts can spur the growth of Nordic Walking

In her blog, Twin Cities Nordic Walk This Way’s energetic Rhea Kontos wrote: “The [Minneapolis] Star Tribune reported that Dakota County Parks, Lebanon Hills, is having an open meeting to solicit ideas from the public on the best ways to spend some funding to improve the park. Meeting is Tues, Nov 24 from 5-8pm @ 860 Cliff Road in Eagan. Is it time for some Nordic Walking poles to be available for rent? Have any other great ideas?” She included a link to the county parks site and even provided the phone number for a person to contact for information — or perhaps make a suggestion. She is setting a great example by getting the word out with a reasonable suggestion that can be impactful in her area.

The Lebanon Hills visitor center (right) at the 2,000-acre natural park laced with summer and winter trails already seasonally rents cross-country skis, snowshoes and kayaks and offers free loaner fishing equipment. So why not Nordic Walking poles?

Rhea’s pro-activity in this realm makes me think that pro-activity by individuals — individual instructors, usually — in their own communities is causing Nordic Walking to inch forward in gaining general acceptance as an easy-to-learn, easy-on-the-wallet route to better health and increased fitness. We who love Nordic Walking know this, but without the corporate muscle of a committed manufacturer or deep-pocketed Nordic Walking sponsor, it’s a tough row to hoe. LEKI gave it a good shot, supporting programs, hiring a New York public relations agency and training individuals to teach Nordic Walking or lead Nordic Walking groups. They’ve pulled back significantly, and no other large entity has stepped in, so it is left to passionate Nordic Walkers like Rhea to promote and cajole within their own communities.

2 thoughts on “Promoting Nordic Walking Two Poles at a Time”

  1. Clair – thx for the Books you sent very informative and great reference materials inside. Would recommend as one of the top 4 books on the market. In fact a better way to say it is each provides the basics but then each provides something unique to the other and their experience

    Thx for the great words about Rhea as I know those like herself who do what they do because it the right thing to do… and generally are firm in their unwaivering convictions.

    And yes they are lots of little fires around the world, but more importantly the re evolving fire in the US frontiers regarding Poles and Walking.

    There is a lot under radar, and yes it will be here with Balance Walking because of our year foundational development and my work and partnerships. I say this humbly as I know this tide will raise all the ships whom are desiring to have their passions for poles and walking to be a normal everyday activity.

    So buckle up as we have formalized with other visionaries who are not about a method, a brand, and elite-tizing. I talked with Jayah the other day for an hour and this would make it the 2nd hour in a year. It was exciting because collaborations simply makes more sense when you are about raising all and not limiting the scope of participation…

    Again thx for the books

  2. Thanks for posting this Claire. Yes, more local effort is needed to help make our parks more appealing to all and what better way than offering NWing poles on site to those parks that have rental centers. NWing trainers could also get involved in local events. I just did a 5K Turkey Trot this am. Most ran it, but just being out there with poles = exposure. I ran it in the past and comparing running to NWing, I'd much rather NW. So much more gentle on the body.

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