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We have a wonderful community here at Bristol & Bath Nordic Walking, so we’ll be learning more about them in our new section Getting To Know.

John Marsh has been Nordic walking since 2017 and we asked him about fitness, the area he loves and his way of staying motivated.

Where do you live and why do you like it?

Keynsham has been home for three decades since a new job brought me to the area and quickly discovered it to be convenient for travel, countryside, two major cities, culture, and a variety of activities.

Partner Mark and I are constantly finding new things to do, interest groups, and areas to explore walking and by  bikes.   

If we were with you on a weekend, what are your favourite things to do?

Weekends are generally planned ahead with, musical theatre or classical concert, a bike ride or walk with picnic lunch, meeting friends, home garden/DIY jobs, and general R&R at home.   

You always have a positive outlook on life and Clair loves having you on her Nordic walks. What are your tips on staying positive?

Being positive and happy makes you feel good although Mark and I often joke, “Thank you Pollyanna” (check out Wikipedia).

It’s infectious to others growing quickly when fed and nurtured with little treats such as encouraging someone to smile or exchanging a friendly word, a kindly gesture, taking the positive route out of a situation which may be doing nothing, live every day to the full and if it doesn’t quite work out then try harder tomorrow.

A positive outcome or silver cloud can generally be found in most situations

Why is fitness so important to you and what do you do to stay in shape?

Fitness at school and growing up seemed unimportant, especially not being of athletic build and liking food.

Then in early 20s there was a Damascus moment realising weight, fitness and appearance could be changed and has been important ever since.

The 2-5 fast/eat diet works if weight creeps up then taking the exercise option when possible, walking, cycling, stairs, or bus and complete workout Nordic walking provides and being generally active takes care of fitness.   


How did you discover Nordic walking and what keeps you coming?

Various gyms and programmes have been tried with marginal success, generally boring, and indoors. I had heard of Nordic walking and seemed worth a try as a new post retirement fitness activity so signed up for a beginners class.

The experience was enjoyable and revolutionary, discovering exercise with aims whilst talking with interesting people, all in the great outdoors.

Goodbye all the disappointing years of gym membership, hello regular fitness training, development, new friends, and the regular gang who are now valued friends. 

Share a memorable Nordic walking experience.

Mark and I like to holiday in Scotland where amongst many Nordic walks, two are very memorable.

One was on Skye to the high point of Trotterness Ridge where poles were invaluable on the loose shale and the other was to Sandwood Bay, Sutherland in the Highlands, which involved an 3 hour walk to reach the deserted beach. 

What are your favourite places to walk in Bristol or Bath?

The never ending variety of Oldbury Court with the gang is a real favourite and easily reachable from Keynsham, even in morning traffic.

On Bank holiday Mondays we sometimes catch the Bath crowd in Victoria Park seeing Sarah in person rather than on Zoom for Monday Full Body Conditioning.

The longer walks have also become a favourite discovering new local areas and meeting other walkers.  

A huge thank you John, and we love having you & Mark as part of our community.

Bristol & Bath Nordic walking team

You can find our favourite Nordic walking poles here and if you’re looking for our advice on best walking kit here’s our recommendations:

walking shoes     waterproof boots     waterproof jackets

walking socks  walking accessories