Man using trekking poles while hiking, surrounded by mountains and trees.

Walking

Do you have any idea how many times walking is mentioned on this website? Yeah, me either.

I searched for walking on the community website, and I got 138 pages. I was going to count them, but by page 5, I gave up.

Not all 138 pages have specifically said walking on them, but all 138 pages discuss some physical fitness in my sample of the first 5 pages.

Struggles due to neuropathy and balance

The thing is, walking is a big issue for many of us, I included. Personally, with neuropathy in my feet due to diabetes, I look like a Weeble People walking around.

For those of you not raised in the 1970s, a Weeble People was a toy that looked like a person, and they could not be knocked down. However, they wobbled from side to side and fell over, but they always came up straight.

When I fall over, I usually do not come up straight. I usually end up lying flat on my nose or worse. Weebles wobble, but they never fall; Rick wobbles and can barely stand up. So, I guess I looked like a broken Weeble People.

A new set of walking poles

That was until last November when I bought a set of walking poles. A friend of mine got a pair, and she said she loved them.

So, I looked at her website and I thought, "Hey, that looks like an idea." But, naturally, I put off the decision to order. I mean, let's not rush into something that might help you, right?

Finding my balance

I finally ordered the poles and, when they arrived, I tore into the package right away, figuring I would instantly be able to walk 30 miles.

Instead, after the first week of little walks, I thought, "Oh my, what a mistake." I looked like a Weeble people with two unbalanced clubs. I looked like the movie monster Slender Man. Except slender man was more handsome. I moved right and left like a broken helicopter. Sheryl said, "Please take those outside before you do some damage."

Then I watched some videos and learned how to use them. I realized there is a rhythm to it. Fairly soon, I could stay upright and not spin like an out-of-control carnival ride. Instead, I was controlled and stable.

Benefits of my walking poles

Wow, what a difference my walking poles have made in my life. I joined a Fitbit group. The people in it decimate me on steps. But the key thing is that I am walking.

This one lady on the videos on YouTube suggests I do me. She says no two people walk alike. I don't know about all of that, but I know that I go along without tumbling over when I get going. I can walk with Sheryl again, and that is wonderful.

Routine walks with my wife, Sheryl

We have developed a routine of walking in the afternoon and enjoy coffee dates after. We have two local parks we like to walk in and, of course, we have spotted some wildlife friends we see almost every time.

The high-flying hawks and the cardinals that sing a beautiful song are just two of our favorites. Of course, we have made friends with a duck family or two, and the little rabbit is growing by leaps and bounds.

We have met two baristas who know just how to get our decaf Americanos exactly right and we enjoy the funny squirrels in the park as we sip coffee and have an afternoon treat.

The thing is, before I got these walking poles, none of this was possible. So, maybe it is the poles that I love. Or maybe - just maybe - it is the fact that I get to hang out in the afternoon with a beautiful lady and have great coffee.

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