09 January, 2008

Walk Like a Russian

You know how it is when you're driving on the interstate and no matter how fast you are going eventually someone passes you? Well, the same kind of thing happens when you are walking on the sidewalks of Moscow or Zhelesnodoroshny. Somebody will walk right past you, so fast in fact that you'll think your feet are stuck in wet cement. They can make you look pretty inept, especially when they pass you, stop at a kiosk to buy a beer or a newspaper—as you go screaming past—but before you've gone another forty meters or so... Oops sorry, I forgot we Americans can only understand yards, and not meters. What about popsickle sticks for a change of pace? Let's say, before you can go another three or four hundred popsickle sticks, the person you passed at the kiosk passes by you again.

For me it was not surprising to Yahoo! Olympic stats and learn that the Soviet Union is the all-time leader in the men's 20 km walk. And already the Russian Federation is up to 10th place on the all-time list. Also not surprising, the US isn't even on the chart.

So walk like a Russian, if you can, but remember that means you have to keep up a rapid pace even on ice and snow. For me, measuring success in wintry conditions has a lot to do with something other than speed. It's called: “not falling.” (Knock wood) I haven't fallen yet, and we've had ice and snow on the ground since October. I sure hope to keep up this excellent safety record, even if it takes me forever to get from points A to B...and beyond.

~PITTSBURGH starts with PITT!~

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