Pittsburgh blogger shares his maiden voyage with walking poles
An unidentified male from Pittsburgh whose blog, Navigating the Finite, just started using poles and enthused about the relief they offer to sore knees and back. In a post called “In Praise of Nordic Walking Poles,” he wrote:
“I have had my Nordic Walking Poles for week now and have not used them until tonight. Fantastic! My knees and back are shot, complete and total junk, and while I can get around, walking certainly is no pleasure.
“I left work in time to go to a small park nearby. While walking through the parking lot at work I was thinking to myself, this is crazy, my knees are killing me, what the hell do I want to go walking for? I had spent most of the day on my feet on the concrete shop floor. The trip to the car after work was painful. Well I decided to go and try it. What the hell, if my knees and back hurt I could always quit. I drove home got the poles and my walking spikes and headed off to the park.
“One small step for mankind, one huge step for a couch potato! I walked! I enjoyed it. I walked fast. I am not using the poles right, but I ACTUALLY WALKED WITH LITTLE PAIN IN MY KNEES AND BACK! It was fantastic! This is the first time that I have enjoyed walking in a long long time!”
His surprise and joy were palpable as he wrote that he had an a welcome aerobic workout and that with this new-found pleasure, he isn’t even sure how long he walked. Then, he thanked “Old Baguette” for introducing Nordic Walking poles, writing, “I had never heard of Nordic Walking Poles until the Old Baguette mentioned them in her blog. Thank you, my dear for introducing me to something that just may turn my life around.”
Of course, I found “old Baguette.” In a post called “Are Walking Poles Lutheran?” about a hospital stay, she wrote, “I’ve spent the last week schussing up and down the corridors of Abbott Northwestern Hospital here in Minneapolis. I was the first person to use Nordic Poles instead of a cane, crutches, or walker, and I wowed ’em all! Doctors muttered, ‘I think I’ll have my patients use those things!'” The title of the post could have been written by Garrison Keillor, but the sentiments expressed another Nordic Walker’s realization of the benefits.
What struck me about both Sextant and Old Baguette, as they call themelves, is that they simply found walking with poles instantly beneficial. Were they actually Nordic Walking poles or hiking poles? I have no idea. What brand were they? I inititally had not a clue either, except later when I read Sextant’s comment on O.B’s post, Sextant wrote that his poles were made in “Lillyhammer,” which would be Lillehammer and would make them Swix. Did he use “proper” technique as taught by any of the training and certifying organizations? He didn’t mention it, so I have no way of knowing that either. I do know that Sextant reveled in the thrill of discovery when his pain went away while walking with poles, and I hope he keeps it up, wherever walking with his poles leads him — and I hope that his Nordic Walking muse, Old Bagutette, continues as well.
And once again, I realized that the Midwest indeed is the epicenter of Nordic Walking in the US.