LA VALLEUR COMMUNICATES: Musings By Barbara La Valleur — Nordic Walking Unmasked

Who knew I’d enjoy exercising so much? That was certainly a new experience. Sure, I enjoy water aerobics, especially since recovering from two knee surgeries in 2018. But walking has never been at the top of my list of exercising practices. Until this past January, when I discovered the joys of Nordic Walking.

It was time to take off the weight I’d gained after my surgeries plus the sluggishness I felt from being inside most of 2020 due to the pandemic. So in early January, I sent off for York Nordic poles. You’d think I’d have the sense to start something like this in spring or summer or even fall. But winter? Call me crazy.

So there I was, bundled up against the subzero temperatures and accompanying wind and heading up and down the gravel road outside La Farm, our home away from home near Ashby, Minn.

My usual time is 20 to 30 minutes. Whether I’m outside or inside, which, when back at our Edina, Minn., condo, sometimes means walking at Southdale Mall when it’s snowing or raining or it’s just too damn cold.

The Nordic poles give me three advantages to just plain walking: I’m more stable, I can walk faster and I feel safer.

In addition to joining WW in January, I’ve lost over 22 pounds. I’m sure that has as much to do with Nordic Walking as it does with tracking my food. In any case, I’ve set exercise and weight goals for myself in 2021, and I have a long way to go. What could be a daunting forecast doesn’t bother me. I really enjoy being outside as often as possible and exercising.

What has been a downer, though, in walking in the Twin Cities, is the number of discarded masks I’m seeing on my walks. Seriously, they couldn’t possibly have blown off. Well, maybe one that had a broken elastic band. So what’s with all the discarded masks?! Is it really so difficult to pick it up when it accidentally falls off? Even if you choose not to wear it again, please, for the sake of the environment, pick it up!

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