12 October 2020 - That Was Quite A Day!

7.30 AM: Monday, 12 October 2020 began much like any other day. Up early, answering the handful of questions and inquiries that had arrived overnight from users around the world.

We'd been looking forward to getting cracking. We had a new walk to publicise - a 1,000 mile journey around the vast US state of Arizona - and a user to thank for suggesting this new route. We'd been working on it on and off for a few weeks; working out the milestones, choosing and buying new images, and writing the descriptions for each place along the way. At 10.00 we were ready to publish:

Job done! It was already a good day.

2.00 PM: And we had something else to look forward to. Last week, we'd received an email from Angela Griffiths, Corporate and Community Manager, at 'Once Upon A Smile', a children's bereavement charity in Manchester, inquiring if we could help them with a virtual walking challenge to raise much needed funds in the run up to Christmas and a Zoom call had been arranged for this afternoon. It was great speaking with Angela about the work of this inspiring charity and we agreed that, between us, we'd to try and create a new virtual route round Manchester for their donors and supporters to use. 

3.00 PM: During the Zoom call with Angela, an email arrived from Sylvia Howie asking for a little advice and, as it is always good to talk, a phone call ensued. It turns out that Sylvia is the Live Active Advisor for Springburn in Glasgow, a few miles away from our base in Greenock. She’s also a super-enthusiastic World Walker who has been making good use of World Walking to help the people who have been referred to her from the local health service to stay active and connected while all gyms have been closed and volunteer-led health walks stopped because of COVID-19. 

World Walking was inspired by the efforts of the Inverclyde Globetrotters, another Live Active Exercise Referral group based at Inverclyde Leisure’s Waterfront Gym, and it was brilliant to learn that similar group was following in their footsteps; quite literally, as, spookily, Sylvia’s Springburn + Maryhill Live Active Referrals Walking Team is tackling our 9,300 mile long ‘Walk the Med’ route just as the Inverclyde Globetrotters are doing at this very minute! 

6.00 PM: Just sitting down for a bite to eat when another email pops up; this time from 3,000 miles away in Maryland, USA and it’s from a very unexpected source, Tracy Cooper on behalf of the National Congress of American Indians.  The National Congress is planning a virtual health challenge to be held in conjunction with their 77th Annual Convention in November. They are interested in using World World Walking and would like to speak with someone.

So at 8.50 PM we’re happily back on Zoom meeting up with Tracy and having a great old time hatching an action plan to make this happen, hopefully, complete with a bespoke route.

Feet up, watching TV and chilling out. Thinking that the day could not have been better. - then.

10.45 PM: Another email pings in from across the Atlantic; this time from Christy Phillips, VP for Resident Engagement at Atria Senior Living.

Remaining physically active is one of the pillars of resident engagement at Atria and Christy and her team are using World Walking to support their ‘Atria Go Together! Walking Challenge’, the first step in a three-part program to promote physical activity among residents living in their communities across the USA. It’s early days, just the start of Week 2, but some of their communities are really embracing it and Christy wanted to share an inspirational video posted on one of their community’s local Facebook page. Way to go Tanglewood, Long Island, New York!

And there you have it. The end to a perfect day in the life of World Walking.  A day only made possible because a group of people living with heart health issues in Inverclyde, Scotland, decided to go for a walk way back in 2008.

Happy Walking.  Take care and stay safe.