Summer of 2021 actually began in December with the article in the Star Tribune by Kevyn Burger touting Nordic Walking as the perfect pandemic fitness activity. Even tho it came out in the winter, in Minnesota, it sparked off a huge interest in Nordic walking and all the benefits of the poles – It’s a full body workout, it takes you outside, connects you with other people and it’s safe!
My website, my email and my text messages blew up with questions and comments. I got phone calls from all over the US and even one from Ireland. It seemed that perhaps Nordic walking was finally going mainstream!
It was a walking season full of meeting so many amazing people, both in person and virtually. I walked with over 300 walkers and there were other’s leading classes and programs that I can’t even count. Here’s a quick recap of what went on.
We have 3 free community walking groups in the St Cloud area, Monday eve-Sauk Rapids, Wednesday-Cold Spring and Thursday-Lake George, mornings. We averaged 12-18 walkers on Wednesday mornings and 20-24 on Thursdays. The evening group is just getting going but we look forward to it growing in the spring.
I taught 25 classes including introductory and 3 part programs,”Beyond the Basics” for experienced walkers, private classes, Parkinson’s Support Groups, Senior Living Facilities, Community groups, Corporate Lunch and Learns, the random “can you just show me how to do it?” and one Instructor Training with 7 new Instructors.
Initiated POP Up Walks – Power of Poles – in a variety of settings all over the Twin Cities. Free Nordic walks with a quick intro and a walk in the park.
Organized Adventure Walks where we got off the beaten path and walked a trail outside the cities. Also dabbled with Wonder Walking with the poles and that was really fun.
There have been other community classes taught by Instructors all over the Twin Cities and even at the Hudson, WI YMCA. Thank you to Kay Okey (St Paul area), Donna Tilsner (Edina), Sandy Werts (Hopkins and Minnetonka), Julie Turnbull ( Edina, POP Ups), Sher Monfore (Maple Grove). I know that other communities also had programs so if you know of any please share locations and names so we can include them on the FB page.
Struthers Parkinson’s Center continues to use poles in their physical therapy programs to help Persons with Parkinson’s keep moving with balance and confidence.
Created the NordicwalkingMN Facebook page, a private group all about Nordic Walking. To date there are 170 members. We have been sharing lots of information about Nordic Walking.
It does feel like Nordic walking is getting the attention it deserves. So put on your walking shoes, grab your poles and step out proudly! I can’t wait to see what we do next summer!