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Cross Country Skiing

Without Snow

Nordic Walking Hits Boulder County Article Ellen Nordberg | Photography Provided

W

hen a friend from back home in Sweden tried to talk former Olympian Annette Tannander Bank into becoming a Nordic Walking instructor, Bank balked. “I said, ‘I don’t need to walk with sticks. I can still walk just fine,” says Bank, an NSCA certified strength and conditioning specialist and two-time Olympian for Sweden in high jump and Heptathlon. She is now a trainer at Rally Sports, as well as a track coach at Monarch High. Banks’ friend talked her into it, and she recognized the benefits immediately, eventually offering classes in Boulder through Fleet Feet Sports and Rally Sport Health and Fitness Club. Gail Storey, author of “I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail,” was also skeptical about the value of pole walking. “I had my doubts about whether Nordic Walking would be fun and challeng34

Boulder Lifestyle | October 2014

ing,” she says. “But my hike of the Pacific Crest Trail made me a devotee of trekking poles, so the transition to Nordic Walking around Boulder came naturally. I love a walking/hiking method that I can tailor to the terrain, weather and my energy levels.” Designed in the 1930s for competitive Finnish Cross-Country skiers to train on dry land, Nordic Walking has become hugely popular in Europe for people of all ages, and is catching on in Boulder County. The American Nordic Walking Association asserts that it’s one of the fastest growing sports worldwide, with approximately a million users in the U.S. “Nordic Walking is good for many different people for a lot of reasons,” says Bank, also a massage therapist. “Activities like swimming, biking and running use muscles on the front of the body a lot, which get tight and short and need to be stretched out, while the muscles on the back side often are weak and need to get


Boulder Lifestyle October 2014  

October 2014 Issue of Boulder Lifestyle

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