Pluswalking > ARE YOU A PLUSWALKER?
 
Pluswalkers are "people who choose to regularly walk much faster and/or much farther than is required for mobility or basic fitness."  It is a simple statement, but the devil is in the details.  What do "regularly," "much faster," and "much farther" really mean?  How do you know if you are a pluswalker?
 
First of all, "much faster" and "much farther" are relative terms and reflect gender, age, and physical limitations.  They are not the same for a 72-year old woman, a 35-year old man, or a person with two artificial legs.  They are, however, of such speed and distance that either you, or people who watch you, feel a sense of "Wow!" in seeing what you are doing.  Your walking speed and/or walking distance clearly stand(s) out from that of your peers.  Using race walking technique to walk at a casual pace does not make you a pluswalker.  Conversely, powerwalking a marathon at 12-minute per mile pace with weights in each hand and using extremely long, bone-jarring strides, however unorthodox it might be, would qualify you as a pluswalker in my opinion.
 
"Regularly" means that you do "it" on an ongoing basis.  A person who does a 50-mile / 3-day charity walk once is not a pluswalker--even if he or she had to train to do it.  A person who trains for one month each year to speedwalk an annual 5K running race, and then only infrequently walks the rest of the year, is not a pluswalker.  "Regular" means it is part of your normal lifestyle and not an occasional aberration.
 
I'd also say you are probably a pluswalker if you can answer "yes" to most of the following statements
  • Do you see yourself as "training" rather than "exercising?"
  • Do you find yourself trying to set new (or repeat) personal records for walking speed and/or walking distance?
  • Are you willing to purchase gaudy, or even ugly, shoes because they are more functional?
  • Do you understand "layering," "pronation," "Gu," "hyponatremia," "negative splits," "fartlek," and "LSD?"
  • Do you at least periodically sport black toenails or multilayered blisters somewhere on your feet?
  • Are you willing to coat your feet in vasoline or Body Glide to walk an event in a heavy downpour?
  • Does your watch also include a stopwatch that records splits?
  • Do you no longer complain when you have to use a portable toilet?
  • Do you ever say to yourself during an event "I will never again ... " only to find yourself, within a short time after finishing the event, really looking forward to the next time?
  • Do you ever find yourself alternatively laughing and crying during an event for no apparent reason?
  • Do you ever join a group at a party only to have most (if not all) of them disappear shortly after you began answering a question about how your walking is going or when your next event will be?
... and finally. At one point in a "Star Wars, Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back", Yoda, the Jedi Master, tells Luke Skywalker to do something.  Luke responds that he will try.  "No," scolds Yoda.  "Do, or do not.  There is no try."  I strongly disagree with the great Yoda.  The world is full of people who honestly try--and try hard.  And, I believe there is a strong element of "doing" in repeatedly and honestly trying.  I love to do, but the only real failure comes in not trying.  For those of you who try hard, fail, and then try hard again,  I am proud to include you in my legion of pluswalkers.  I rate you well ahead of those with so much natural talent that they do not have to "try" at all.
 
 
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Marcross222