fitness · injury · walking

Sam, the slow walker

If you are hiking in a group and waiting for slower people to catch up, don’t start walking again when they do catch up, because then you got a rest and they didn’t. I think about this tip a lot, in many different contexts.

Thanks to severe osteoarthritis in both knees, I’ve become a slow walker. See here and here and here.

I feel pretty good that I am still walking and I’ve read lots about the benefits of walking even though it hurts. But I’m not walking very far or very quickly these days.

Cheddar is very patient and seems to easily adjust to whatever speed I want to walk.

Walking with Cheddar

I’m glad my friends who walk with me–hey Kim!–are patient.

On the bike, I’m sometimes the faster one and this same lesson about waiting for slower people is true there too. When waiting for slower riders at the top of the hill, never just take off when they get there. Sometimes cyclists play a game called “no rest for the wicked” where first to the top have to ride back down and ride up again with the slower riders. As a slower rider, on hills, that feels ok with some people, some of the time. I talk more about this here.

When I’m walking and people get ahead, I’m happy if they walk back to me and I’m also happy if they wait. The only bad combo is waiting and then taking off again the minute I get there. That’s lonely and it would be less pressure all round just to walk by myself.

Walked home from work!

Recently my knees have been feeling a little less painful. I’ve even been able to walk home from work and I’ve been enjoying walking alone in a way I haven’t before. It’s a nice mental break between work and home (the bike ride is too fast to count as a real break) and I like getting to have complete control of the pace without worrying about other people.

2 thoughts on “Sam, the slow walker

  1. My running group does a version of ‘no rest for the wicked’ as well as we set meet up/rest points throughout each run and those who get there first have to run back to meet the last runner. It truly means that no runner gets left behind or feels like they are holding others up – and the faster runnners get to improve their distances – so everyone wins.

  2. I love riding up hills. Years ago I had a riding partner who climbed slowly. I would climb a hill, turn around and descend, then climb it again with him. I saw it as being both fun and supportive. Nearly 50 years later, in describing it to someone else, I realized it could also be/be seen as arrogant. (I can climb this twice in the time it takes you to do it once!) I thought about our interaction and my place in it. Since I haven’t seen him in 40 years, I don’t know how he feels about it now, but I know I didn’t feel arrogant about it (then or now). It was a bit of a relief to read that this is a thing – “no rest for the wicked”.

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