Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Take a hike with a walking stick

After my dog was attacked by a smaller but vicious dog on one of our daily walks, I started using a walking stick. The intention was to use the stick to ward off future attacks. Instead the walking stick helped me as a walking aid.

I'm top heavy so walking on trails with loose gravel, branches and shallow holes made for slow, unsteady progress. Having an excited dog pull on the leash just added to feeling unbalanced. I have fallen several times and broken my pinkie and foot. So I am wary of walking in rough terrain.

With the walking stick, I walk faster and with more confidence. I enjoy the walks a lot more. The cane provides a third foot on the ground, creating a tripod, which is more stable than a bi-pod.

As the walking stick distributes your weight through three points, it takes the stress off any painful joints you may have. It didn't take long for me to pick up a natural gait using the walking stick.

I'm not the only one has thought of using a walking stick as a weapon. A walking stick or cane is used in martial arts and has been used as a weapon for centuries by many cultures when formal weapons were outlawed.

You can buy a fancy cane or walking stick or you can make your own. I haven't used my walking stick to hit anyone, but I did scare two little terrier mutts back into their yard. And then I dashed away, with confidence.

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