Valu­able les­son learnt while walk­ing

Mike Bain joined 70-plus el­derly peo­ple for the Global Walk, for our se­ries.

Cambridge Edition - - CONVERSATIONS -

Walk­ing a lap of the Cam­bridge Race­way may not ap­pear to be much of a chal­lenge, es­pe­cially for some­one as fit and young as me.

Let me as­sure you, the day of the In­ter­na­tional Global Walk to cel­e­brate the value of the older per­son sounded sim­ple, but was in no way a walk in the park.

The day started out with a very brisk wind blow­ing down the track, mean­ing at least one way was go­ing to be a strug­gle.

Fear­ing the risk of hy­pother­mia, a quick shuf­fle around my lim­ited wardrobe in the boot of the car re­sulted in a rain jacket with a hood, just in case.

Mak­ing the most of the warm up time I chat­ted with Sport Wai- kato’s Ac­tive and Well pro­gramme co-or­di­na­tor, Hay­ley Berk­ers.

Ap­par­ently eat­ing takeaways is not good for you, and by mak­ing sim­ple di­etary changes can make a big dif­fer­ence to your over­all health.

Time to ven­ture onto the track for the walk with the other 70-plus peo­ple.

I caught up with a Hamil­ton cou­ple whose names I couldn’t catch be­cause of the head­wind.

Kit­ted out with ther­mal jack­ets, woolly bal­a­clavas and walk­ing sticks they were pre­pared for any­thing.

His big back­pack he told me was full of wet weather gear, as if it would ever rain in Cam­bridge I thought.

Com­ing around the fi­nal bend I caught up with Mar­garet Udey.

We chat­ted about her move from Tau­marunui to Cam­bridge.

And sud­denly with­out warn­ing, the rea­son why this walk sud­denly be­came a chal­lenge.

She asked me if I knew of any walk­ing groups in Cam­bridge.

My sug­ges­tion she should join the Fat Bot­tomed Girls walk­ing group was like pulling the pin out of a grenade and wait­ing for the ex­plo­sion. It came.

‘‘What! Are you sug­gest­ing I have a fat bot­tom,’’ she said

As any man knows be­fore an an­swer is given to this ques­tion, your life flashes be­fore your eyes. There’s a dry­ness in the mouth as you break out into a sweat, look­ing for all op­tions of re­treat be­fore an­swer­ing.

Once I diplo­mat­i­cally ex­plained about the walk­ing group we re­mained on good terms and ended up walk­ing an­other lap to­gether.

Re­porter Mike Bain stands ready to take part in the Global Walk to cel­e­brate the value of older peo­ple.

EMMA JAMES

Walk or­gan­iser Florence Shear­man ready to lead the walk­ers on their jour­ney.

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