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Life Chez Dee Episode #8: Walking with Poles

Updated: May 16, 2019

So today I decided to try out Nordic walking.

I’ve been thinking for quite some time now that I need to get back to getting my backside into gear and doing a bit of exercise. I’m so busy with so many things; the kids, the charity, just life in general, and its so easy to get out of the habit of exercise, and, certainly in my case, pile the pounds on too.

I’ve done power walking before, well fast walking anyhow. I tried doing fast walking rather than running as I hated running so much … and it hurt my knees. I loathed running and would look for any excuse under the sun not to do it. Even Edward used to ridicule me when I ran … “Is that how fast you can go? Dad’s miles faster! Are you going to give up? Are you going to have to lie down when you get back? he’d say. I’d listen to this “encouragement” every time I went out …. I knew I was bad. In fact when I did start doing my power walking, I was actually faster than when I ran!! Work that one out! Either I’m really crap at running … which I am … or I’m a super dooper power walker.

Anyway just recently I got chatting with the very lovely Ewa and Bartek over cake as it happens. They’re the experts at Nordic Walking, and run Stepping Out – the wellness club.

The cake Ewa had made was a matcha cheesecake, for Edward, which she’d arranged with Farina & Co for them to offer this as dessert, and they kindly agreed to do this to help raise awareness, coinciding nicely with Viral Meningitis Awareness Week. Leaflets would be given out, and all proceeds from the sale of the cake would go to The Edward Dee Fund. Anyway we chatted, and chatted about all sorts, from the cheesecake, to her experimental baking, to kids, to the charity, to me deciding to bite the bullet and ask about getting involved with their Nordic walking.

I needed to do something. Too long have I been unfit and overweight. It wasn’t always the case. Up to a month before having William I was very fit indeed – running *(until the bump was too big); step classes; aerobic classes; gym; spin; bodypump …. 6 days a week, more sometimes.

My fitness waned after having William, and even more after having Edward, and became almost non existent after Oliver, until I decided that I’d push myself into a couch to 5K, but it was a real push. I did it, but my loathing of running came back into play.

Exercise needs to be enjoyable. If you don’t like something, you look for every excuse under the sun not to do it. My knees hurt, I was tired, I was busy, it was raining, it was too icy, too wet, too cold. Winter came and that was it … and about four years on and I’ve not returned to any sort of exercise regime. I need to sort this.

So I met Bartek this morning at 9am in Lowther Gardens. I had a 1:1 induction to Nordic walking and using poles. The induction included knowing about which muscles I was targeting, walking technique, pole technique; lots of information …. well I was interested in finding out loads so I asked loads of questions. We started walking with the natural swing of the arms … he’s telling me loads … I’m asking loads …. But I’ve got to just go with the natural flow of the rhythm of walking, swinging my arms, being aware of my posture, my stride, my arm movement, but not overthink (ha! a first for me!). So he asks me irrelevant questions about holiday destinations, wine choice, coffee choice … anything to keep me from overthinking things, and keep me going with the natural flow of things.

I’m using bungy poles, so they have some suspension in them, and therefore resistance, so I’m getting an arm and upper body workout too. My walking pace is faster with poles, my stride is longer, my heartrate is up as I can hear by the way I’m talking. I’m getting some pretty good exercise. I wish I had a fitbit to count those steps and count those calories burned!

Bartek says he’s pleased with me; with my capabilities, with my progress, and he invites me to join the walking group he’s leading next. So I join in with my second hour of Nordic walking exercise.

It’s a beautiful day, and rather hot to be honest. We set off for a loop round Lowther, a bit of a warm up, and then off we go through Witch Wood, so that we can keep out of the sunshine for a bit otherwise we’ll all be far too hot. We go through the wood, out onto the high street in Lytham, and onto Lytham Green, then along to the old Land Registry Building and back.

Quick cool down; quick chat; then a photo opportunity, which we do over by Edward’s tree; then its time for some refreshment so off we go to the café in Lowther Gardens – a latte for Bartek, and a nice big mug of #milkytea for me. I loved it. It was a beautiful day, lovely company and a real sense of achievement and wellbeing too. I’m not sure how I’ll feel on the days when its wet, windy and cold, but apparently its great to do in that weather too (I’ll no doubt let you all know).

Thank you Bartek for your time, patience and company – you’ve convinced me, you’ve converted me and I’m coming back for more.

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