Bethany J. Royer
PIQUA — Nearly a dozen women congregated at the Upper Valley Centre Mall Tuesday morning to get their walking on as part of the YWCA Piqua Wild Walking Women program, the name attributed to Lynn Marroletti, program director.
“Women want to walk, but they don’t want to walk alone,” explained Cheryl Hepner, group leader, who facilitates the walkers meeting spot, whether at the mall or varied locations, from 9 to 10 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday for an hour long (two to three mile) walk at your own pace program.
The idea of a walking group was born from multiple facets as Hepner, a walker, says she felt there was a need in the area and was pleasantly surprised when nearly a dozen participates attended the first gathering in the fall.
“It blew me away!” said Hepner of the women who not only wanted to walk, but walk with others. The group first walking in downtown Piqua then in French Park, talking, laughing and motivating one another. Before members, Joan Beck and Nancy Hirby, took the reigns during the winter months by facilitating walkers through the mall.
“Some prefer to walk here (the mall) if its not really nice and some of us, we say, let’s go outside,” continued Hepner with as many as 18 participants and no less than six walkers on average. “Once they’ve signed up, they’ve really been dedicated.”
Another influence on starting the program, according to winter facilitator Beck, was a Woman’s Day article of a group of East Harlem walkers, “They walk as part of a church, and I thought we could do that at the YWCA.”
Besides the mental and physical benefits of walking, the group emphasizes it is an opportunity to meet and make new friends while walking at one’s own pace but never by themselves.
“You look out for everybody,” said Hepner. “I like that.”
For more information or to register visit the YWCA at 418 N. Wayne St. or call 773-6626 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bethany J. Royer may be reached at (937) 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall