Lately, during the coronavirus epidemic, I’ve noted more people out and about walking. The other day I encountered a person using trekking poles during their walk. My first reaction was rather judgmental, thinking that the person had some debility necessitating the poles for balance. Inquisitive, I asked the hiker what was the purpose of the poles as he appeared rather fit. The hiker responded that the poles made an otherwise moderate hike downright sublime, with just the right amount of support. At 34 years of age, he stated that his years of hiking rivers and mountains had taken a toll on his lower extremity joints. Additionally, his lower back suffered from all the years of skiing as a young man. The poles to this individual were not considered a “crutch”, a fact he wasn’t ashamed of.

As much as I hate to admit it, I’m not a thirty something anymore. At 64 years of age, my low back isn’t what it used to be, nor will it ever be. Eager to give trekking poles a try, I inquired if I could give them a try. Miraculously the poles seemed to make an immediate positive impact, and not just when walking on uneven terrain and steep inclines.

To those of you who love to walk, and prioritize fun and safety, I highly recommend the use of trekking poles. Just remember there is no wrong way to pole. Just do it!