My degree is in Recreational Therapy and I worked in the field for several years after graduation before moving back to Minnesota and starting Alg’s Gang, my own family daycare business. As I continue to grow my Nordic Walking Queen business and promote Nordic Walking, Lindy Smith recommended that I reconnect with my past and attend the MN State Activity Professionals convention.
This was the first time I had attended an event as a “vendor”. I had a lot to do to be credible. Dan had already helped me to build my pole display and it was all dressed up with gold glitter paint. I had my Youtube slide show that I could use on the computer but I had no posters or banners or signage. I borrowed Lindy’s ideas from Own Your Walk and got my daughter, Laura, on board to do the art work and eps files. She’s really great with the internet and even found a site for chapstick so I could have a Nordic Walking Queen give away at the table. It all came together with pictures and handouts.
The best part of the event was taking Gail along with me. As a social worker she’s specialized in Senior services and programs and is my “go to” person for information as well as my walking partner. We strategized together about how to present Nordic walking, just what the message was to be and what we were going to do to have fun with it.
There was lots of curiosity and interest in the poles, both for personal use and for senior programing. It was a challenge to keep up with all of the different conversations and I quickly learned that I need to provide more specific information on poles and available programs. We were able to demonstrate the many different uses of the poles from fitness walking to providing balance and stability and finally to using them for upper body strength while pushing along in a wheel chair. We went for walks around the pool area (walking with the Queen of course) and Gail was even promoting wheel chair races for residents, hope we don’t get anyone thrown out.
It was a very positive experience and we met so many amazing, caring people. I’m looking forward to connecting with them and Nordic walking all over the state.