Thursday, July 23, 2009

Um, Not For Anything...

But I totally invented this! I called it Urban Glide, and yes, I did envision long ski-like skates to be worn, but come on! Same basic idea! Ugh, Nordic Walking! Why didn't I think to use Nordic? Everything sounds more official with "Nordic" in front of it.

Honestly though, I've had this idea since college. Because Syracuse is so effing cold, I used to try to get from point A to point B as fast as possible. My eye froze shut once on a walk to class. I'm not kidding. But, as you might imagine, running everywhere was hard to play-off.
-Why were you sprinting around like an idiot on the quad today?
-What? That wasn't me.

I found that if I held on to the excess material hanging from my backpack straps, I could use those as pole-type devices, swinging my arms as I walked, and thus increasing my normal walking speed. I wasn't running, I was gliding. Add in a nice layer of ice and I could literally slide from class to class. In the spring I always thought to myself, OK, some sort of skate should be involved here. And then I did nothing about it.

And now, years later, someone has stolen my idea about swinging your arms as you walk, and has thought to use actual poles instead of backpack straps, but same basic principle really, except that the poles have technology, design, and a trade association on their side, and mine were straps of nylon connected to a book bag. Whatever. I thought of it first.


Sabrina said...

Did you see how expensive those "walking poles" are??? Like $90! Has anyone ever heard of sticks? Sticks! They're free! and they're outside your house! And you can walk with them!

That is the dumbest article nyt has written.

This "sport" reminds me of those reclining bikes that look like the person is kicking back with a cold one - oh but no, they're moving their legs, so they're actually exercising. whatever. i'm going to go do rebounding on my couch tonight.

Yessica said...

Here in Iceland, it's common to see tourists in the city of Reykjavik walking on the sidewalks...with hiking poles (and full hiking gear of course -- because you never know when there'll be a stream to ford). It's so awesomely ridiculous. They have not yet discovered urban gliding!

I can relate to your cold morning walks in Syracuse. I think the only way I survived the bitterly cold walks to my campus in Wisconsin was the fact that I still had a high blood-alcohol content from the previous night. Ya know -- like the cook from the Titanic.

Jess said...

Really funny Bri. Sticks!

Q: What did the trainer say to the apple?
A: We have to work on your core.

Q: What did your fav trainer say to the apple?
A: Swing these ninja sticks around and live in an apartment with no furniture.

Q: What did the urban rebounding instructor say to the apple?
A: Urban rebounding isn't a sport. And there's nothing urban about it. It's just a trampoline. And actually, being an apple, you're probably going to have a really difficult time with this.

Jess said...

Yessica has a real positive spin to it.
I worked with a lady once who called me Yessie. I loved it.

That's hilarious about the full hiking gear. You should really start taking pics. I smell an ad campaign for sure.
Iceland: We're Ready For Anything.
Iceland: Yup. It's That Extreme.
Iceland: We Got A Really Great Deal On All This Hiking Gear.
Iceland: Our New PM is a Total Lesbian.
An old roomie of mine used to wear her camelback everywhere. I was like, "where the hell are you going that you need a gallon of water on your back?"

And nice lesson to take away from The Titanic. I love history.

Yessica said...

I'm always kicking myself for not taking my camera with me each & every time I leave my apartment. Anytime the temps reach 65 degrees here and the sun is shining, the freak shows start! Hiking sticks, men in tie-dyed kilts (yep), fashion victimes, & tourist children in plastic viking's precious.

P.S. glad you like the "Yessica" moniker. I read that in recessions, people have to get creative and diversify. I took that as a hint that I should change my name. The rest will just fall into place!

ClaireWalter said...

Yes, of course, anyone can walk with old ski poles,sticks, cut-down broom handles or whatever, but that's not Nordic Walking. As others have noted, to get the full benefit, you need specially designed poles and the technique that goes with it to help propel you, build upper-body strength, increase the cardio and increase calorie burn.

Claire @

Jess said...

Claire, thank you very much indeed for an insider's perspective! I've heard similar arguments made for pole vaulting. Like when I showed up to the Olympic Trails with a broom stick and the officials asked me to go home.

Jessica, way to make your financial planner proud. I've heard some people are diversifying their portfolios by investing in chocolate coins. You just never know in this market.

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