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    Clubs in Motion – Annual Report 2019–2020

    by Maggie Palu, AW Aquitaine


    This is the annual report that would have been presented at the Interim Meeting(IM) in Luxembourg. Although for the moment we can’t get together to walk in groups, it’s important to recognize what was achieved in the past year.

    Motion is healthy. One member wrote: “I just like to move, so I achieve this by walking, hiking, stepping in gym and just doing normal household activities. I think my husband dreads the times when I say, ‘Do you want to go for a walk as I still need a few thousand steps?’ We live in a village and we mostly walk to the shops in preference to using the car.  When we do use the car, we look for free parking and then walk to the shops from there.” 

    This is good advice for all of us, and while motion in itself is healthy, motion with others can be fun too. There are currently 38 clubs on the Clubs in Motion(CiM) mailing list. Four clubs have been reporting their activities fairly regularly and sending photos. A few more sent info just after the conference in Edinburgh (when CiM reported having virtually walked the circumference of the earth) or when activities resumed in the autumn, but seem to have gone MIA since then. Three clubs have reported that they are interested in CiM, but have not yet organized any events. Eight clubs replied to a request for an update at the beginning of February, but 14 clubs have been silent as lambs. This, of course, does not take into consideration all the clubs who have never asked to be included in the CiM family. 

    FAUSA Johanna Linda aug2The clubs that do participate send some great reports and photos, and once a year the CiM album is shared with all the participating clubs. There is also Motion activity at Regional meetings, and this year the big news is that FAUSA is also participating. They organize a monthly “virtual” walk, when members spread out across the North American continent walk on the same day, and send photos. Here are some reports from the clubs.

    Munich IWC is still our most stalwart reporter, and with weekly and monthly walks, they cover a lot of territory. Despite foul weather that prevented a few of their hikes, they reported a total of 4285 km. They also have a solo walker who is doing parts of the Camino de Santiago and walked 534 km in Switzerland and Spain last summer.

    AWC Luxembourg, forever active, has reported 5359.3 km walked or hiked between July 4, 2019 and February 2 of this year, in villages with some marvelous names. It is truly a shame that they were not able to take us all walking at the IM, but there is always the future to which we can look forward. They started a Road Bike group last summer, with up to four members participating, and rides from 30 to 40 km. In just two rides, they covered 200 km. One of their members is also walking parts of the Camino de Santiago.

    AWC Amsterdam mar20AWC Amsterdam’s walking group is on the go again, walking one or two days a week, with anywhere from four to 12 members participating in walks that are generally about 5 km. They claim to be terrible about remembering to take pictures because they are usually all chatting away, but they have submitted 10 photos for the CiM album, including a One Billion Rising photo on February 14.  Four members also participated in a 12-km run, which started on an automobile racetrack, “ran” along the beach and then through the town. They got medals for their efforts. The Wednesday Walking Ladies reported 25 km for one day last July, so they’ve probably clocked up a lot more since then, but CiM hasn’t yet received the stats. The club also has a biking group that even the rain does not discourage.


    AWEP 26jan IMG 6674AWEP in Saudi Arabia joined Clubs in Motion this past year, reporting regularly and sending photos from a variety of locations for their walks – in a shopping mall (and in full abayas because it’s a public place) when the weather was really too unbearable for walking outside, and on a beach within the compound (without abayas). In October, four of them walked 6 km within the Aramco camp at night because it was so hot and humid during the day, but it was too dark for a photo. They have the added difficulty of having to be careful not to get random Saudi women in their daytime photos, but as well as reporting a total of 164 km, they sometimes have lunch together after the walks.

    AIWC Naples has been moving, sometimes within the city limits, stopping to see a lot of churches and other important sites, following small streets and previously unknown (to them, at least) stairways and discovering wonderful views.  They even have guided historical walks, led by a member of the club. They also walk in the countryside, with its vineyards, and walked around Lake Averno, noted to be the “entrance to Hell” of Virgil’s Aeneid (perhaps as a change from the churches?), on a beautiful day that was not at all hellish. Although they are not always counting their steps, they have reported an approximate distance of 167.56 km covered. They do not count calories at lunches after some of the walks.

    AIWC Casablanca has a running/walking group of six to eight members who meet twice weekly for nine months of the year and walk or run 5 km each time, as well as a wading/walking-at-the-beach group of three members who wade in the ocean several times a week for 10 months of the year. Once again, several club members participated in the annual DIVA 5 km run, a charitable event in the fight against breast cancer. 

    AWC London woodlands 3AWC London reported that one group, with eight to 12 members, has hiked 1488 km as of February. There is also a London Walks group that does a Blue Badge certified guided tour almost every month, usually with 25 members walking two or three miles each time. Members also participate in a weekly Booty Camp in Hyde Park with a trainer, but it is not an “official” club activity. 

    AWA Vienna has one group that has been walking for a year now. They meet once a week for a casual walk and average 5 km around the ring of Vienna. They reported a total of 1265 km, and hope to get other groups to start tracking their motion and report to CiM too. 

    AWC Hamburg has launched a new group called Get Up and Move. They have zumbaed, canoed, and taken walking tours, and now have four regular walking or jogging groups in various parts of the city that meet on a weekly or monthly basis, and have reported an approximate total of 825 km.

    AWC Central Scotland has a group called Daunder N Blether (perhaps only those who know Scottish will understand that), with three or four members who met on a not-quite-every-two-months basis to walk not-quite 4 km each time, for a total of just over 90 km. Added to that are four “miscellaneous” events that clocked just under 75 km, for a grand total of 164.95735 km. Sadly, no photos this year. 

    AILO Florence 10avr19 IMG 6568

    AILO Florence reported its first walk last April. They shared, they laughed, and afterwards they had gelato. Since then, despite some bad weather, they have walked 92.7 km, including participation by five members in the Corri la Vita breast cancer fundraiser in September.

    AWG LR 20apr19AWG Languedoc-Roussillon continues to invite members of two other anglophone groups in Montpellier to join them on monthly walks in the picturesque regions surrounding the city, undaunted by the fact that some of them are inhabited by bulls. The club’s Garden Group had a walk in the scrubland north of the city with a guide who helped them identify medicinal plants, and was looking forward to another such walk at the end of March, to look for spring wildflowers with which to make flower essences, but we all know what happened to activities scheduled in late March.  Members also participated in a Join Me On the Bridge event on International Women’s Day, and then walked across the city of Montpellier to a restaurant where they brunched together.

    AWC Antwerp reported 50.61 km for three walks last spring, just after the conference in Edinburgh, and sent photos, but no news since then.

    AWC The Hague sends photos, and they participated for the third year in a row in a “flash mob” for One Billion Rising on February 14.

    AWC Brussels reported a walk and a cycling event last spring… through water! They sent a video rather than a photo, but it has been added to the album, with the hope that others will be able to view it. It’s unusual and amusing.

    AWC Denmark’s primary MOTION activity as a club is Ladywalk, an annual walk in May for women’s health charities in Denmark. A small group walked 20 km this year.

    AWC Zurich feb20 20200123

    AWC Zürich reports that they are “walking strong every week, taking selfies along the way.”

    AWC Bogota still has a hiking group, but unfortunately no stats or photos were received this past year.

    AIWC Sorrento scheduled their first MOTION activity as an Art Walk in February, but it had to be postponed. They then decided to have MOTION as a theme idea for their February meeting, but the health situation in Italy put a damper on that activity, too. They plan to send info and photos when things return to normal.

    AWC Madrid has not yet submitted any data for Clubs in Motion as the prospective coordinator has been on the injured list, and is probably the most active member. She broke her foot in August while training for a triathlon, but she reports that she has learned the joys of crutches, and is almost to the point where she can run again, so we’ll be hoping for news from that club.

    FAUSA Getaway Detroit oct19FAUSA’s activities included not just the annual Getaway, but also “virtual motion” on their once-a-month FAUSA in Motion day, including hikes (sometimes snowy and icy), neighborhood walks, “running” errands on foot, beach and mountain walks, golf, walking in the footsteps of prisoners at Auschwitz and Birkenau, and just plain sightseeing, which sometimes includes brewery visits. As some other clubs will attest, walking can make one thirsty, and brewery photos are becoming a tradition in the annual CiM reports. FAUSA counts miles, but their total translates, if calculations are correct, to approximately 560.994 km.

    There was a Pub Crawl at the Region 1 meeting in London in September, with a good-sized group of participants. The distance between pubs was not extraordinary, but at least there was movement of more than just the elbows. There were several walking tours at the Region 3 meeting in Madrid in September, including the Retiro Park, the literary neighborhood in the historic center of the city, a museum and a palace. Motion was also on the agendas for the Region 4 meeting in Amsterdam in October, and the Region 5 meeting in Leipzig in November, but there are as yet no photos in the CiM album.

     Individual Renuka Half Marahon dec19Although the stress is on CLUBS in Motion, there are also individual efforts that should not go unnoticed, such as marathons, vertical or otherwise, segments of the Camino de Santiago, and step-counting on a daily basis.

    Individual member Renuka Matthews climbed another Vertical Marathon in October – 52 floors in 1334 steps, for an altitude change of 265 meters.  She also ran her sixth Half Marathon of 21.1 km in Dubai in November. 

    IWC Munich member Astrid Poell and AWC Luxembourg member Amanda Surbey both walked “legs” of the Camino de Santiago, though not together (nor the same segments). The question remains as to why walking legs of the Camino de Santiago isn’t yet a Clubs in Motion activity for CLUBS? It was proposed a few years ago, and individual members are walking it, so perhaps more clubs could look into the possibilities.

    Munich IWC member Margaret Hilditch, who has returned to the UK, and who was quoted at the beginning of this report, set herself the target of a minimum of 12,000 steps a day because she thought 10,000 would be too easy. She achieved her target, and then some, for more than 630 consecutive days as of late February, and was still counting, regardless of travel and other possible hindrances. Her total steps for 365 days from February 2019 to February 2020 were 6,008,715, which translates into 4,344.03Km. Pretty impressive, and she can be very proud of herself. AWC Denmark member Mary Stewart Burgher also reported that she walks at least 10,000 steps per day.

    It should also be noted that, along with charity activities by members of AWC Amsterdam , AWC Casablanca, AWC Denmark and AILO Florence, members of four clubs, AAWE Paris, AWG-LR, AWAquitaine and AWC Central Scotland, participated in the 14th annual La Rochambelle, a walk or run of solidarity in the fight against cancer, in Normandy in June.

    Congratulations to all the participating clubs for making the effort for Clubs in Motion. It’s good for health, and motion together is good for the morale. Also, it’s nice to see one’s club’s exploits reported in the monthly issues of News in Brief. There is always hope that other clubs will join Clubs in Motion and report on their activities. (BWN in Barcelona and AAWE in Paris have shown interest.) In the meantime, stay healthy, and keep on truckin’.

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