I first saw walking poles on a morning TV show and thought about them for my mother. She’s been having trouble with her balance, and what better way to help her exercise safely. Of course, Mom has her own ideas, and walking poles weren’t on her list. She's too busy quilting, playing cards and volunteering at the old folks home and the library.
My dad, however, decided to try them. He lasted one week then he kindly gave them to me. Dad always did like me best.
If you haven’t heard of them, walking poles are like adjustable ski poles, and the exercise is like cross country skiing without the skis. When I mentioned them on Twitter, a friend in Montana said she was designing a program for the elderly at the medical center where she works. She messaged me a week later to say the walking poles were kicking her . . . assets.
Now she’s a much younger woman than I am, who owns a ranch, runs barrels, and ropes. She even skis, for goodness sake. She’s in much better shape than I am, but did I listen to her? No, I thought she was making an elderly joke at my expense. Elderly, me? I had more of a vision of Superwoman for myself.
Did I listen when the brochure said these poles will give you a full body workout, and the user should take it slow in the beginning. No I did not. See the Superwoman picture above. Why would I have trouble with some stinking poles?
The first time I walked with the poles was a couple of days after Christmas. I had a wonderful time. The snow was about six inches deep, and the poles, by reducing the chance of slipping, made walking easier. I went the whole mile and a half around our place.
I walk a lot. It’s my major form of exercise, so I figured I’d just use the poles when the ground was slick. You can see this coming, can’t you? Again, reference the Superwoman fantasy.
When I woke the next morning, I felt like I’d been run over by a herd of wild horses then backed over by a Dodge Ram 3500. Every part of my body was sore. I had to wear slip-on shoes for two days, because I couldn’t bend over to touch my feet. It was the fault of the evil poles. My friend should have cautioned me. There should have been warning labels on the poles.
Oh yea, she did and there were.
I’ve been using the poles a couple of times a week since then, and I’m getting in better shape, but I have yet to walk even a short distance without feeling it the next day. The amazing thing is that when I’m walking, I never get tired or winded, so I walk farther than I intended.
Superwoman is still my inner goddess, but she's changed just a bit. She's tackling life's little problems in smaller bites, but make no mistake, the poles are going down just as soon as she and I rest up.