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?