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The perils (police!) and joys of walking
Old 03-27-2020, 10:10 AM
  #1

You’ve all heard me talk about my daily walks with hiking poles (for balance & stability & a touch of upper body strength) and my need to occasionally stop to rest (my goal is 2020 miles in 2020, but I can’t walk 6 miles without a few rest breaks).

Part 1: Today a woman called to me from the opposite side of the street. I smiled and gestured to wait. I turned off the book I was listening to and smiled again, “Hi.”
She pointed at me. “You’re doing the hiking poles all wrong. You need to be lifting your hands to your shoulders then stabbing them down hard.” I stood speechless, so she continued, “I know, I’m a doctor.” I thanked her and kept walking.

Part 2: About 15 minutes after the encounter with the doctor, I was addressed by a policeman from his SUV. I was resting on this bench when he stopped to tell me, “You can’t sit there.” I looked around—look at the pic I took of the bench, imagine me sitting there and notice how crowded it is around me. He continued, “You can’t congregate here.” I looked around again. Seriously, people walk here, but there was no one within 100 feet. I asked him if I could walk and he said, “As long as you don’t congregate.”

Part 3: The hope. I liked the sign I saw on the local coffee place (my section of town is called Bird Rock). I do believe we’re all in this together.


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Old 03-27-2020, 10:21 AM
  #2

I can’t believe he said you couldn’t stop to rest. That’s taking things a little too far. I’d have been tempted to wait for him to move on and then return to the bench. Love the sign though!

Can I ask a question? How did you get the pic of you? Self timer?
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Walking
Old 03-27-2020, 10:27 AM
  #3

Apparently you, yourself, and your shadow are considered a congregation.
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:29 AM
  #4

Quote:
Can I ask a question? How did you get the pic of you? Self timer?
So funny you ask that because I couldn’t figure out how to ask someone to take a pic this morning without getting too close. I wanted to show you how I effectively use them. The other 2 pics are today, but the pic of me was taken by a friend back in the old days of non-distancing.

I included the pic because I was going to be snarky and talk about the response I wanted to give the chubby doctor, but I tried to be nice.

I also wanted to ask the 12-year-old police officer if he knows what congregate means, but I zipped it.
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:30 AM
  #5

Did you tell him you just needed to rest for a bit? I don't think he knows what congregating is. Seems a little petty to me to bother someone sitting on a bench with no one around. But I guess we are all stressed and edgy these days. Keep walking!


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Old 03-27-2020, 10:39 AM
  #6

Ya, the "congregating" comment would bother me, too. I believe we are allowed to get outside and enjoy nature by OURSELVES. You obviously were by yourself...

Honestly, I think it was a power trip.
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Is it necessary?
Old 03-27-2020, 10:47 AM
  #7

Quote:
I included the pic because I was going to be snarky and talk about the response I wanted to give the chubby doctor, but I tried to be nice.
I am sorry, maybe its the isolation that is making me a little punchy, but was it really necessary to comment about the doctor's weight? She was offering advice, even if it was unsolicited. She was reaching out to make friendly conversation at a time when we are all feeling very alone.

I take offense to people who are thin and think that those who are not as thin can't possibly be physically fit or know anything about how to use exercise equipment. Amiga, I would think you can relate to this because you have very openly shared your weight and exercise issues with us on PT. I appreciate your candor and honesty with your struggles to stay fit. I applaud your commitment to exercise. But, I find the comment made here to be offensive and judgmental.
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:02 AM
  #8

I am very curious how a party of 1 can congregate.
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:05 AM
  #9

Quote:
Originally Posted by all41
I find the comment made here to be offensive and judgmental.
You’re absolutely right, I’m so sorry I offended you. I wanted to strike back at her because she was judging me. I didn’t interpret her directions as “friendly conversation,” to me it was unsolicited and condescending superiority. How can “You’re doing that all wrong” be seen as a kind and friendly overture?

However, you’re right. I said nothing to her and I shouldn’t have shared my mean-spirited thoughts here. I sincerely apologize.
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:08 AM
  #10

A couple of things about the police officer:
1. given his response of "as long as you don't congregate", he might not know what "congregate" means.
2. he may have been warning you off the bench because others might have touched it and the virus stays active on surfaces for a few hours to a few days.

Lucky you to be able to walk in such a lovely area. We're going for walks in our neighbourhood and we have to pass people on the sidewalks so we gauge when it's time to step into a driveway. Just as we stepped into a driveway, we saw the couple coming towards us stepping into the driveway one past us to let us go first--it felt like playing Chicken in the time of physical distancing.


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funny cop
Old 03-27-2020, 11:12 AM
  #11

The cop you encountered needs an in-service on the meaning of congregate. A group of one can not congregate when alone. He was doing a great job of preventing you from sitting but that has nothing to do with congregation. Perhaps he had a directive to have anyone move along who looked as if they might intend to "congregate". .
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:15 AM
  #12

All public benches that I’ve seen in my area of NJ are covered in police tape. You can’t sit on them.
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:29 AM
  #13

The police office was probably told no one should congregate, like sit on benches, etc. And he probably assumed that sitting on a bench was equal to congregate. I'm just making it up.

It was gracious of you to thank the 'doctor' for the advice. I do think it was probably meant as helpful, but I agree it was condescending.

There have been many police hanging about in various places around here as people walk around.

Glad you got in your walk, I'm sorry you didn't get to rest. I don't think I've seen our benches blocked off around the walking park area (and I have seen several people out walking). What would he have done had you fallen to the ground to sit and rest? I might have been tempted But honestly, I might not be able to easily get back up without some crawling involved.
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:58 AM
  #14

Thank you Amiga!

Keep walking my friend!
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hiking/trekking poles
Old 03-27-2020, 12:01 PM
  #15

I would give that doctor some slack. She was trying to be helpful, even if she was incorrect in her advice and sounded condescending to you. Glad you thanked her. These are tough times for everybody, and a little kindness goes a long way.

There is indeed an art to using poles, from using an opposite arm/leg motion so you won't develop a swaying gait, to bringing the poles to the ground for stability. You do not have to firmly stab the tip into the ground as she said you should. Simply touch the ground lightly. You can stab if you want to get some upper body workout, which is probably what she thought you were trying to do.

There are other techniques, but I don't think you need them since you don't hike steep hills or mountains, or walk fast like what you would do in the Nordic technique.
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Old 03-27-2020, 12:08 PM
  #16

perhaps he was confusing the congregate with loiter?
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Old 03-27-2020, 01:01 PM
  #17

I don't understand why benches are not allowed to be used in some places? I can see not wanting to sit by other people, but that's just part of social distancing. Many people might need to sit down while walking or might just want to admire the view for a bit to get a break from being inside. As long as people are observing social distancing, I can't see why this isn't allowed.
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Old 03-27-2020, 01:36 PM
  #18

I saw this today
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Old 03-27-2020, 01:51 PM
  #19

UVA, is that real!!??!! Off to google.

I still see this
Quote:
Exceptions were made for essential jobs and errands, such as buying groceries and medicine, as well as for exercise.
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UVA and Amiga
Old 03-27-2020, 02:08 PM
  #20

The weather on Monday was warmish for Chicago (57 is warm- sad) and a bunch of people went to run by the lake. I guess it was super crowded. So, that was the response from the mayor. I just heard about it today.

Amiga- your weather and location looks lovely!
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I'd pay good money
Old 03-27-2020, 02:15 PM
  #21

to see a courtroom full of dastardly congregators!!!
That is so ridiculous! Sounds like a skit on SNL!
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Old 03-27-2020, 03:50 PM
  #22

If the Chicago mayor really said that, she is showing her ignorance. The virus in not spread by going out in the fresh air. What she said would really bother me. Going for a walk is not a crime. I also wonder how they would arrest you without getting within 6 feet of you.

Regarding the OP, I think the officer needs to expand his vocabulary. He seems to think congregate means to spend time somewhere.
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Old 03-27-2020, 04:11 PM
  #23

It's difficult to be a cop ,mayor and governor at this time. (Nurse and doctor goes without saying) Our cities have never had such a shutdown and most people are anxious and scared. Stay at home means stay near your house or in your house. I can totally understand amiga13's sitting session on a bench during the walk however I don't understand the "chubby"remark or the "12 year old" policeman remark. We are all under stress.

Grace for everyone in these tough times may be the answer.
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Old 03-27-2020, 04:55 PM
  #24

My guess is that too many people running/walking/exercising is occurring in some places. In both states I frequent they have closed parking lots in areas that have bathrooms or picnic areas. The trails are still open, but those areas with things like benches that would need disinfecting have been closed.

I have gotten out every day except today. Not getting out would just ruin me, too. My psyche would just wither and die. I hope at the very least I can still get out and walk the road in my neighborhood.

This really is a frightening time we are living in.
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Old 03-27-2020, 05:21 PM
  #25

Quote:
Grace for everyone in these tough times may be the answer.
If you don’t understand my chubby remark or my attempt-to-be-humorous-youthful-policeman remark, how about some grace for me?
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Old 03-27-2020, 05:27 PM
  #26

I understand completely.
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Old 03-27-2020, 05:57 PM
  #27

Quote:
I also wanted to ask the 12-year-old police officer if he knows what congregate means, but I zipped it.
Lol! You know he doesn’t know what congregate means- he just knows people shouldn’t be out and hanging around. You were out and hanging around therefore you were congregating.

I’m glad California uses kids for police officers as well. I was thinking it was only us. I stopped once at an accident on a very rural road. When the 12 year old police officer arrived on scene he told me I could leave. Without thinking I responded that I would wait until some grown ups arrived before I would leave.- but really- the people were really hurt and he was a BABY and I’m not even old!
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Old 03-27-2020, 07:25 PM
  #28

Quote:
I also wonder how they would arrest you without getting within 6 feet of you.
Ha! I was thinking the same thing!


I hope you run into that police officer again. You just must say something about the meaning of congregating...
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Old 03-27-2020, 07:43 PM
  #29

Quote:
I also wonder how they would arrest you without getting within 6 feet of you.
. I See I'm not the only one who laughed at that!


Quote:
Grace for everyone in these tough times
Not enough of me to go around...
although after all the Oreos I've been eating, there might be soon
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