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