Monday 23 November 2020

Walking is not just a good pair of shoes

Equip yourself for the walk

When I stepped out for my walk this morning, I first checked the weather forecast, it was not going to rain, but it was 2 Celsius, I knew by the time I got back home, the tips of my fingers would feel like I had been rearranging and poking red hot coals in a fireplace.

Then I put into consideration the range of paraphernalia that goes into the simple act of walking as a form of exercise and it reads like an interesting acquisition of trinkets and baubles, but we must not be deluded into thinking they are not both essential and necessary.

First, my trainers, a trusty pair of wonderfully cushioned running shoes for someone who cannot run, but needs the support that takes the strain off shin splints whilst making allowances for the softening effects on the feet, the ankles, the knees, the thighs and the hips. For someone who has over time suffered back pain and uses a cane, they are a miraculous workmanship in footwear – Brooks Ghost 10, now completing their 3rd year of wear and tear.

I did get the Brooks Ghost 11, 2 years ago, they are the ones I wear out in South Africa, I ventured the possibility of the latest version a few months ago, they just did not have my colour.

In the rain and the dark

As the weather began to change with rain, I first got a waterproof poncho with high visibility bands, but after 3 uses, it was not as comfortable as it seemed that I had to shell out for a Patagonia all-weather jacket with hood and zippered side vents.

The driving rain blowing into my face and obscuring my sight through my eyeglasses meant the hood did not suffice that I donned a baseball cap to shield my glasses until the rising heat from my scalp made that uncomfortable. So, I found I could get a run visor.

The shorter days as we moved into autumn along with scheduling my walks for early mornings before dawn broke left me a vulnerable target a few times. A cyclist almost ran into me and swore he did not see 6-foot of I. I was taking no risks, so I got LED armbands, a high visibility vest with useful pockets, and high visibility clips to wear round the wrist or ankles. I might well be lit up like a Christmas tree than be run down by unaware cyclists or inconsiderate electric scooter users and they are a growing menace on our roads.

From the cold of ice

With experience comes the need for possible remediation. I do have a good pair of leather gloves, but they are no match for the biting cold that I have now ordered a pair of Yobenki thermal gloves able to handle the freezing cold, with cuffs to go under the arms of my jacket so the rain and wet does not get to my hands, with the added luxury of an index finger for the touch screen of my phone.

I could not help but notice an accident this morning, a car had run into a tree, most likely because it had slipped on black ice, with the drop in temperature and no gritting of the roads, the pavements or pathways yet, I have on occasion felt that absence of grip between my shoes and the surface I am walking on. It is a scary prospect that calls for a solution, anti-slip spikes or what I found to be Yaktrax Walk, come snow, I will be all prepared and ready for any eventuality. One very important point read the instructions too.

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