My Day One Disaster

It’s an absolutely gorgeous day for a walk so my friend and I decide on a trail we have not tried before. We opt to drive to the starting point since it is quite a distance away. We arrive and with walking sticks in hand. This route is mainly flat but with some rock climbing to a summit overlooking the ocean at the end of our route. It should have been an awesome experience but instead, I would call it My Day One Disaster.

Setting Up The Sticks

It seemed awkward and time-consuming to set them up so that my arms are at a 90° angle. I found that they would collapse if I put any weight on them. What a pain! Then I discovered that I had not tightened the thumb screws adequately.

The Walking

I am trying to keep up our normal pace but I can’t do that and manage the poles too. I am putting one pole forward and taking a couple of steps before putting the other one forward. This just was not working!. My walking friend manages our pace by listening to some music that sets our speed. She is way ahead of me.

When we reached the steep rocks, it seemed a bit awkward but there were places where I felt more secure because a pole helped me keep my balance. When we reached the summit we found a couple of lawn chairs for taking a rest while enjoying the wonderful ocean view in the sunshine. Finally, it was time to descend the rocks and the poles were even more reassuring.

Back on level ground again and knowing that I wanted to document my experience with my ladies walking sticks, I asked my friend to take my picture while using them.

Frustration Rising

On the return route back to the car, I’m noticing quite a bit of discomfort in one shoulder. The walking was feeling awkward and choppy. In frustration, I collapse the poles and opt to just carry them. Conversation about the experience heard me say “I think I’ll send these damn things back. This just does not work for me!”

  • I had no confidence that the poles would not collapse;
  • When not in use, they are a nuisance to carry;
  • They are too long to fit into my knapsack;
  • They disrupt our pace and flow of walking;
  • My tender shoulder reacts.

Friend’s Good Advice

My walking friend described a demonstration of walking poles she once had in a mall a few years back. “Why not check out some of our sporting goods stores in town and see what they have and maybe do some online research about technique.” Good advice Robyn!

Stay tuned for the next instalment of my adventure and see what happens after this Day One Disaster.


6 thoughts on “My Day One Disaster”

  1. Hi!

    I’ve never used walking sticks – but have studied gait mechanics in the certificate course Restorative Exercise Specialist I took about 6 years ago. When I began increasing my walking endurance it took time to recondition myself to be able to walk without discomfort. Walking is our most basic (and important) skills and I still find that I need to add stretching into the mix to be able to walk efficiently (endurance plus ease.) I often find, for example, when my hip is bothering me when I walk, it is actually tightness in my feet. So I focus on my foot exercises, my hip improves, and my gait improves.

    • Thanks for dropping by Deb. Isn’t it interesting how pain and tightness refer to other parts of the body. Of course, stretching is always good no matter what we are doing.

    • Happy you stopped by Patricia. At this point, I can share that even after a 30-minute walk, I feel as though I got a workout.

  2. LA, Seems like more practice and instruction is in order. I’ve had a friend fall down on the trail when her walking stick collapsed so I am still not a convert.

    • Yes, I discovered that adjustments need to be checked each time the poles are used. This past weekend, while walking on a steep wooded trail, my poles were a great help. But then, by now I have done a great deal of research on their proper use.


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