Saturday, 10 July 2010

Is walking the answer?

I have completed two races this year. Unfortunately not without injury. I think that now I'm in my mid-60's I have to be a little more circumspect. A running injury that took 3 or 4 weeks to get over can now take much longer, several months in fact. And so I'm looking for an alternative form of exercise, at least until my injury settles down. Nature must always be given a chance to heal. I recall about ten years ago I injured my foot;perhaps a minor fracture somewhere in the arch. It felt like that anyway. It took 12 months to get back to running. Maybe my groin strain will also take that long. If so, then I'm mentally prepared to adapt. And so I've recently bought a pair of entry level Nordic Walking Sticks.
The shop assistant gave me a 10-minute course in the technique up and down the wide aisles of the multi-national sports-equipment supermarket and confidently sent me on my way. After 3 tentative days, during which small children laughed at me and big dogs bellowed as I passed, I found that I'd mastered the basic skills involved. In fact, I soon found that I was even inserting one or two confidence boosting flourishes into my walking style. And so I go on. My shoulders and upper arms appear to appreciate the work out, and without the pounding involved in mountain running my legs now have the opportunity to recover from the strains imposed upon them. A shelf full of cups, medals and trophies won since I was 60 are a sign that I've been pushing myself a little bit too hard.
So, is walking the answer? It could well be. Ask me again in 6 months.