Pumping Irony

Craig Cox, EL’s director of business operations and resident geezer, explores the joys and challenges of aging well.

Experience Life Magazine

Walk Like a Man

borchin-valeriy-392-cp-080816.jpgValeriy’s my new hero.

It occurred to me on the walk into the office this morning
(glorious blue skies, soft NW breeze, 32 degrees) that I’ve maybe been
beating myself up a bit too much about this running thing. I think I’ve
been trapped in some weird paradigm that’s dictating some false
assumptions — namely that running is sort of the ultimate fitness
test, and that I’m wimping out if I don’t suck it up and get that knee
replacement so I can get back on the treadmill on a regular basis.

it’s true that whatever jogging I’ve been able to do since I began this
fitness regimen almost two years ago has lifted my heart rate in a way
that other activities generally haven’t been able to match, the toll on
my knees, calves and, lately, my left ankle have been akin to cruel and
unusual punishment. And, I mused while striding vigorously across the
Intercity Bridge (ice now beginning to form on the Mississippi), why
can’t I — and the fitness gods — attach some similar value to a brisk

No, it’s not the same as a 2 1/2 mile jog from
Minneapolis to St. Paul, but my morning commute does involve covering
that distance on foot at a moderately brisk pace. I mean, people who
run marathons often walk part of the way, don’t they? I’m just walking
the whole way.

The more I think about this, the more
this whole glorification of jogging/running is beginning to annoy me.
Why isn’t there a magazine called Walker’s World? How come we don’t have 5K and 10K walking races? Why does the sporting press worship guys like Usain Bolt and ignore Olympic 20K walking champ Valeriy Borchin (above)? It’s not because he’s Russian, I’ll bet.

I’m suddenly feeling like an oppressed minority.

instead of moping around, I  think I’m going to simply create a new
trend, right here, right now: Walking is the new running. Maybe I’ll
get T-shirts printed, start a Web site, lobby for a shoe endorsement
from Keds — turning down all offers from the walkophobes at Nike.

like this. I can save my lower appendages, do something everyday that I
really enjoy, and maybe even create a cult following. What’s not to

(Photo: Anja Niedringhaus/Associated Press)