California couple racks up miles and stays fit Nordic Walking around town
Marlin and Shirley Heckman first discovered Nordic Walking in the same country that I did — Switzerland — but several years before I came across it there. LaVernOnline.com profiled the 73-year-old retired university librarian in a story called “Take a Walk on the Mild Side with Marlin Heckman.” He and his wife Shirley bought a pair of Nordic Walking poles in Switzerland and initially split the pair, each using one pole. After they returned to the US, they sprang for a second pair and began Nordic Walking in earnest, taking an American Nordic Walking Association course.
The writer of the un-bylined online article wrote:
“In a little more than four years, 73-year-old Marlin Heckman estimates he’s walked about 7,000 miles. His isn’t some wild, age-addled claim. Heckman was a University of La Verne librarian for 30 years, so he sources this stuff.
“More impressive, Heckman did’t pile up all his miles trekking across the United States or Europe, although he’s certainly well traveled. No, most of his mileage has been racked up here in the tiny burg of La Verne, Calif.
“You see, Heckman walks everywhere … to Vons, to Stater Brothers, to the post office, to the University from his residence at Hillcrest. While his car usually stays put, he does bring something with him beside his beautiful wife Shirley and his trusty pedometer, and that’s his pair of Nordic walking poles.”
The article continues with basic information on Nordic Walking — the calorie burn bonus, the fitness component, the gentleness to the joints and everything else that Nordic Walking enthusiasts know and value. Marlin Heckman and Shirley plan to teach a Nordic Walking class through the City of La Verne in the fall. Let’s see. Fall is six months off, give or take. I wonder how many miles Marlin will have logged by then.