I’m Quoted in an Article On Nordic Walking

Writer Ellen Nordberg writes for Boulder Lifestyle magazine.

Ellen Nordberg
Ellen Nordberg

Nordic Walking caught the attention of my friend Ellen Nordberg, a local fitness instructor, author, humorist, performer and mother of twins, and I was one of her sources/resources for an article she was researching a couple of months back. Click here to read the article she wrote for Boulder Lifestyle  magazine. The full-color photographs accompanying the piece are pretty nice too.

Thanks, Ellen.

Nordic Walking Classes in Bozeman

The mind and Nordic Walking.

NordicWalkingRecreational Sports and Fitness at Montana State University in Bozeman hosts a series of free workshops on Wednesday, September 17  that focus on Nordic walking and individuals’ mental lifestyle presented by Robert Sweetgall, who has walked across America seven times and is often called “The Real Forrest Gump.” His motivational Creative Walking program focuses on health and wellness issues.

The first workshop, “Nordic Walking 101,” from 11 a.m. to 12 noon in Shroyer Gym is a hands-on session focusing on basic Nordic walking techniques and tips. “Nordic Walking 201” follows from 12:15 to 1 p.m. in Shroyer Gym. Approximately one-third of the session is a seminar, one-third focuses on advanced learning techniques and one-third is a workout. Individuals who attended the Nordic Walking 101 session or who attended a similar Nordic walking session in 2013, are eligible to attend.

“The Brain Workout Workshop” from 1:15 to 2 p.m. addresses a mental lifestyle that improves and maintains brain function. It incorporates mental and physical activities, nutrition and strategies for controlling blood pressure, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. It is to be “The Brain Workout Workshop” will be repeated fom 6:30-8:30 p.m. in SUB Ballroom B.

While fhe workshops are free, RSVPs are required. To register, call 406-994-5000 or visit 120 Marga Hosaeus Fitness Center. FoMoInfo: Michele Cusack, 406-994-5000 or michele.cusack@montana.edu.

Department of Misinformation XXI

Not ski poles. Definitely not ski poles.

FrustrationFrom a UK post, “New Fitness Walking Activity on Offer at Luton’s Stockwood Park“: “NORDIC Walking sessions have been introduced in Stockwood Park for people who want to improve their fitness. Nordic Walking involves walking with ski poles to ensure the upper body muscles are used as well as the leg.”

How often do Nordic Walking advocates explain that walking poles are similar to, but not the same as, ski poles? Seemingly, not often enough. Some of the confusion might come from the fact that “ski walking” is one of the several names that what I refer to as “Nordic Walking” has gone by.


Pole Walkers on My Street

NordicWalkingI haven’t added any posts in months, because I wasn’t seeing a lot of traffic — or a lot of interest in Nordic Walking. I was encouraged this morning. When I popped outside to pick up my newspapers, I saw a couple striding up the street at a good clip — poles in hands. I was still wearing my nightshirt, so I didn’t trot after them to talk to them. Also, they were behind parked cars, so I couldn’t tell what kind of poles they were using. But the very sight of them encouraged me enough to post this, to approve some comments left since I last checked and to be more conscientious about posting now and then.

Poland Hosts Big Nordic Walking Event

I was intrigued by this poster, which I found on the Facebook page of Dorota Sosnowska of Poland. She posted it in January, but this competitive event is about to take place at a Polish seaside resort called Zdrowtel Leba that seems to focus on family activities, outdoor sports and fitness. All I know is that I’m impressed by the notion of a “great rivalry” of some sort involving Nordic Walking.


‘Nordic Walking Queen’ Retires

Linda Lemke, advocate for Nordic Walking, calls it a career.

Linda Lemke
Linda Lemke

Ever since Nordic Walking slipped into the fringes of US fitness consciousness, Linda Lemke was one of its strongest advocates. I’m not even sure what her official title was at Hoigaard’s, a fantastic sporting goods store based in the Minneapolis, but she called herself the “Nordic Walking Queen.” And so she was — holding classes, leading walks and building up enthusiasm. In fact, I have often referred the Twin Cities as a hotbed or Nordic Walking — and so it as been, thanks to Linda Lemke.

A very few days ago, she posted on her Facebook page, “Woke up this morning and I’m not thinking about work.  First day of being retired, yahoo!”  I hope someone steps up to put on her crown, but frankly, I’m not optimistic. Top Nordic Walking pole manufacturers from Europe have largely given up on the American market, and every effort at presenting a unified marketing and public image presence for fitness walking with poles has failed. Nordic Walking in this country remains Balkanized — just a time when fitness-conscious boomers are, like Linda herself, retiring and open to new, less aggressive ways of retaining their fitness levels.

Thanks for a job well done, Linda.


Nordic Walking Intro in Ottawa

Anne Hutchinson, Nordic Walking/Urgan Poling instructor
Anne Hutchinson, Nordic Walking/Urgan Poling instructor

You know it’s spring when the Canadians begin to think about outdoor activities that don’t involve ice or snow. Registration is now open for the spring session of classes with Nepean Nordic Walk, which offers a “gentle” class on Wednesday evenings that is specifically designed for people with limitations such as knee pain which has previously prevented them from enjoying walking.  Physiotherapists are now recommending urban poling for the rehabilitation of knee injuries.

There will be a free Nordic walking demonstration on Saturday April 12 in the east parking lot of the Walter Baker Centre in Barrhaven beginning at 10 a.m.  Poles will be available to try and to purchase and instruction will be given by Anne Hutchinson, certified Nordic Walking/Urban Poling instructor. The eight-week session runs from April 28 through June 16. Check the calendar for dates and locations of the intro session as well as an intermediate-level class and one designed for individuals with limitation such as knee or back pain, arthritis, etc.

Go to her website to see YouTube videos of local television appearances she has made to discuss the benefits of Nordic Walking/Urban Poling.

White Winter Race in the Green Mountain State

Peak National Snowshoe Championship coming to Vermont.

PeakSnowshoeRace-logoThe same people who bring the grueling Death Race to the woods of Vermont every summer are hosting the upcoming 2014 Peak National Snowshoe Championship, reportedly the largest snowshoe race in America. The course, near Pittsfield, VT, is certainly one of the most challenging.  Use of poles is optional.

There are four distances for different levels and abilities: the 100 Mile Race; the Snowshoe Marathon; a Half-Marathon;,and a 10-K Race. The 100-mile race begins Friday, February 28 at 8 a.m. and has a 34-hour cutoff.  The other races all begin on Saturday, March 1 at 8 a.m.  Fees to enter range from $70 for the 10K to $240 for the 100-miler. Registration is open until race day.

“Snowshoeing in the Green Mountains of Pittsfield is no stroll in the park,” said Peak Races co-founder Andy Weinberg.  “We can’t control the weather or the conditions but we can promise all competitors a rugged course, challenging competition and great camaraderie from snowshoe racers of all abilities from all around the world.”

Racers in 2013. Photo: Courtney Desena, courtesy Peak Races.
Racers in 2013. Photo: Courtney De Sena, courtesy Peak Races.

Last year, at the Peak National Snowshoe Championship Marathon, 245 racers completed the marathon with the winner finishing in a remarkable 4 hours 30 minutes.  This year, with an expanded field and more world-class racers scheduled to compete, a new record is expected.

The course, a rugged 6.5 mile loop in the Green Mountains of Vermont, challenges racers with each loop offering a 1,200-foot vertical climb. Competitors have until 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 1 to finish the race before the course closes. No exceptions. The rules, say the organizers, are simple: don’t cut the course and don’t litter.

Nordic Walking on Snow

Eagle Trail is snow-covered and smooth

P1050988 During the quadrennial Winter Olympics, I spend a lot of time “tele-veging” because the sports of snow and ice are my favorites. My husband and I took a break today, going for a walk on the Eagle Trail in northeast Boulder. The trail system crosses grazing land, some of it now managed by Boulder Mountain Parks & Open Space and some in private hands. The gentle, flat trails provide fine big-sky views.

The trail was snow-covered, and while it was soft in late-morning, I did slip the traction paws onto my LEKI Nordic Walking poles. They are like studded snow tires, suitable for ice sidewalks but good for soft snow as well. We saw people walking, people walking with dogs, people running, people running with dogs and one cross-country skiers. I was the only Nordic Walker.

Haystack Mountain seen across white meadows and through the trees.
Haystack Mountain seen across white meadows and through the trees.


We encounter a number of people, but I was the only one with Nordic Walking poles.
We encounter a number of people, but I was the only one with Nordic Walking poles.
Where the trail branches with the Eagle Trail to the left and the Sage Trail to the right, we chose Sage in honor of American slopestyle boarder Sage Kotsenburg, who just became the first American gold medalist at the Sochi Olympics
Where the trail branches with the Eagle Trail to the left and the Sage Trail to the right, we chose Sage in honor of American slopestyle boarder Sage Kotsenburg, who just became the first American gold medalist at the Sochi Olympics.