Saturday, 11 August 2012

A new respect for walking

I've been so focused on 5k training lately that walking has taken a bit of a backseat.  I still love walking, and will be doing a lot of it when we go to the Lake District later in the month.  But, because I've literally fallen in love with running - every time I go out to exercise, it has been to run.  I suppose what it comes down to, is that I started to think that walking (compared to running) is the easy option.

I can honestly now say that I was wrong.  This morning, we did what we've been doing for the last two weeks - watched the Olympics!  I noticed that the finish of the Men's 50k Walk was on - yes - that's right 50k (or 31 miles)!!!  Not being familiar with racewalking, I googled it.  Basically, one foot has to maintain contact with the ground at all times.  In order to do this and to maintain a race speed they propel their pelvises forward and this gives them a unique little 'wiggle'!

I was a bit skeptical at first ("Walking, an Olympic sport?!"), but when these dudes started crossing the finish line, I knew this was no joke.  Man, after man crossed the finish line and collapsed into a heap.  Olympians were literally being carted away in wheelchairs as their bodies gave in from exhaustion.  I was hazard a guess that 80% of the men who finished either collapsed, or 'wobbled' and needed assistance.  What those men will feel like tomorrow is anybody's guess, but suffice it to say I think any amount of muscle soreness, blisters, or any pain we mere mortals have experienced in our fitness journeys probably doesn't even come close!


I've been thinking the past few days about inspiration.  I've been inspired by so many people in the blogging community - ordinary people, like me, with families and jobs and busy lives - who have done extraordinary things in terms of weight loss and fitness.  I'm really grateful to have that inspiration - in fact I would go so far as to say that I wouldn't have got this far in my journey without it.

But these last couple of weeks watching the Olympics, I've found myself with renewed inspiration.  This time the inspiration comes from the extraordinary people - the Olympians.  The people who literally personify fitness. I suppose it comes down to the fact that Olympians prove that anything is possible if you work hard enough.

So, the next time I'm out for a run (or a walk!) and my body is hurting, I'm struggling to catch my breath, and I want to give up, I'm going to think about those amazing racewalkers - literally pushing themselves with everything that is within them to finish.


  1. Yeah it's kind of funny to watch them sometimes. I always imagine that at the goal there is a bathroom and everyone is dying to get in there. Though it is quite an exercise try to walk as fast as you can for 4 blocks having always at least a foot in the floor, it's super hard!

    Have a good week!


    1. Hi Emilio - yeah, I must admit I started watching the Olympic walking because I thought the 'waddle' was quite funny - but once they started passing out at the finish line, I thought, wow - that's got to be hard work!

      Hope you have a good week too!

  2. I know they can walk a faster pace than I can run! Walking is a great exercise. I'm also addicted to running, but work in a 6k walk with my dog almost every night. Sometimes walking can make my glutes hurt more than running. Thanks for the motivation Mary and the on-going inspiration:)

    1. Thanks Leigh :-) Walking is great exercise - I think the Olympics has just reminded me of that!

      You're an awesome inspiration as well! Congrats on your 103 pound loss - that is SO inspirational! You're amazing!