I’ve had a crazy mix of a week this week. The joy of welcoming our friends Nordic Walking Girona for seven days of Nordic walking in and around Bristol and Bath. The stress of having my car window smashed in Leigh Woods and my computer stolen. The fun of getting together with some of you for our summer social.
Nordic walking has given me the highs and has put into perspective the lows. The blue skies and beautiful walks, the bonds that we have built through our club, and the support that we give each other.
I read an article recently about seven benefits of joining a club:
- New Friends.
- Increase knowledge.
- Regular activity.
Not only have we learnt a new skill Nordic walking; we’ve become fitter (and more confident in our fitness); made exercise a regular part of our lives; met new friends; enjoyed a fair few social events; benefitted from some handy discounts (especially at the cafes!); possibly done some networking; most certainly done a lot of talking. Trips and holidays have been a natural continuation and even more excitingly many of you are now putting them together yourselves.
Twelve of our club have just come back from a Nordic walking and yoga week in Switzerland. All organised amongst themselves, everyone having met through Nordic walking. At our summer social a number of you told me of your exciting plans to group together and walk a section of the Camino de Santiago trail. Many of Miro’s walkers are mooting a Nordic walking holiday in Spain once he moves to live there. And so the list goes on.
For me it's not just about us visiting new places, it's about welcoming others to Bristol and Bath and showing off these amazing cities of ours. I only moved to Bristol sixteen years ago but I have fallen in love with this strongly independent city and feel immense pride in showing visitors around it. Our Girona guests have genuinely loved everything about their week (except possibly the number of hills). Things that are everyday occurances for us, such as the deer in Ashton Court, squirrels, mature woods, and hot air balloons, are all new to them. They are learning about our history, enjoying our local beers and ciders and of course the amazing sunshine which they've had all week! Plus as a club we are bringing business into our city and helping support other independent business - and that too gives me a sense of pride.
We are in turn visiting Girona this October (if you want to find out more come to our information evening this Wednesday 10th July). It is a beautiful city, small and friendly with excellent restaurants and plenty of wine. We are looked after so well by David and Cristina that a long weekend feels more like a full week's holiday. They have become our friends and do all they can to make us feel welcome and at home.
As we've grown as a club we've deepend our friendships, broadened our horizons, and extended our community. It feels good.
If you want to find out about the week Nordic Walking Girona have had with us, click here to see their Facebook posts.