At Norfolk Nordic Walking, we were not going to let the UK Covid-19 Lockdown stop us in our fitness tracks, or isolate us from one another.  We quickly adapted to a “new normal” by embracing tech and staying connected.

Up first came our WhatsApp group – through which we set up daily / weekly/ monthly challenges.  We completed a 26 Day A-Z Photo Bomb which was brilliant fun – and a FAB way to feel ‘connected’ whilst out solo walking by sharing our views from our routes.  We then threw ourselves into a Kaleidoscope of Colour, 21 days of daily posts based on different (and unusual) colours ‘collected’ whilst out and about on our different walks.  Spring was zinging and pinging on our phones…It was a great way to say hello to each other in these strange (often bewildering) times.

Way back in week 1 of the lockdown (23rd March) we set our walkers the fitness challenge to individually clock up enough miles WHILST OUT ON THE ONE DAILY WALK PERMITTED BY GOV UK,  for our participating NNW Club Members to collectively reach Paris by the end of the week. We needed 375 miles and this seemed like a good way to keep people motivated when we could not walk / talk in our groups. No surprise our walkers smashed it and totalled up 789 miles. We were subsequently en route to Barcelona next (but totalled an additional 839 miles to reach Seville instead) and that’s where our NNW version of Race Across the World took shape……

….10 weeks of lockdown later, it’s simply staggering to look back on the journey which took us down through France and Spain then down through Africa. Fridays were ‘Count Up Days’ and on average 60 walkers would sent in their weekly mileage totals, ranging from 4 miles to 84 miles individually clocked up that week. We ended our Race Across the World Challenge in Cape Town, 12,678 miles later, and with Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Zaire, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger and Morocco as good memories in our wake.  (Many different beach bars welcomed us via Zoom every Saturday! )

Zoom revolutionised the way we exercised.  Who knew we could embrace home workouts in the way we did?  From Cardio Circuits to Ab Crunch classes, we created our home gyms with a myriad of weights (pesto jars, baked bean tins) and Norfolk Nordic Walkers tuned into daily NNW Virtual HIIT sessions led by Rebecca. We stretched, flexed, pumped, balanced and toned – and LOVED it so much, that by popular demand, NNW Virtual classes have continued post lockdown.  Why not?

As we came out of lockdown, we wondered what the ‘new normal’ would look and feel like. Recce-ing walks with 2 metre wide paths, negotiating mask wearing at pinch points, staying two poles apart, staying safe….

…but one thing is for sure, we have come out of this experience with some amazing, colourful memories of a totally unusual time of our lives and kept fit and connected at the same time.  #vivanorfolknordicwalkers

Updated: July 25, 2020 — 9:36 am