Monthly Archives: June 2017

GVWC Weekly Newsletter | June 27, 2017


Thanks so much to Otto for leading the group last week while I was gone. By all accounts, Otto put together a terrific new route that was welcomed by all. We will add this one – the Greenlawn Trail south along the Scioto River – to our rotation of cool downtown Columbus routes.

After an amazing 11-day trip to Israel, Andrea and I are still trying to decompress from the inspiring, historic and, at times, emotional journey across the beautiful country that is the homeland of Our People. And we both are struggling to recover from jet lag. (Changing from Standard to Daylight Savings knocks Andrea out for a week, so she’s really hurting.) In this abbreviated, jet-lagged newsletter, you will find:

  • The Israeli diet
  • Are you fit enough for extended travel?
  • Winans new downtown Columbus store is open!
  • Mazel Tov Drew & Kelsey
  • Bagel Boogie 5-Miler

Fruits, Nuts, Olive Oil, and More

Andrea and I loved the meals we had in Israel. The Israeli diet is much like the revered Mediterranean Diet and is based on fresh fruits and vegetables, olive oil, fish, grains, nuts, and legumes. Oh, and wine! Israel does not import its fruits and vegetables; therefore, the availability changes with the seasons. (As it should be, right?) In Jerusalem, many Israelis buy their fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, pastries and more in the “Shuk,” the Israel market. This article from the Jewish Action Magazine discusses the Shuk and the Israeli diet. Below are some pictures from the Shuk when Andrea and I visited. I’m sorry the photos aren’t Scratch & Sniff because the aromas were intoxicating!

Fit Enough to Travel?

Andrea and I went to Israel with a group of 27 people, primarily from our synagogue. Other than the Rabbi and his wife, who are 54 and 45, respectively, Andrea and I were the youngest travelers. By my estimate, the average age of our group was late 60s. The itinerary for our trip was action-packed. As soon as we got off the plane in Tel Aviv—after about 10 hours in the air from Toronto—we boarded the tour bus and immediately started our adventure. We drove straight to Jerusalem to see the Old City. It was a full day of sites: walking, climbing stairs, standing. Actually, the first four days were nearly non-stop.

If you were looking to hang at the beach with casual strolls, this was not the trip for you. Indeed, the trip was challenging for Andrea and me—and we are in pretty good shape. We couldn’t imagine what it was like for our companions who were in less good shape. We observed the toll it took on some in our group. With all good intentions, they moved slowly to get on and off the tour bus, they struggled to keep up with the group, they were breathless after climbs at sites, they took frequent rest breaks, and even begged off on some activities.

There were others in our group who amazed me. Our tour guide, for example, is an inspiration physically and emotionally. David is 72 years old, an Israeli. He served in the Israeli army and fought the Six Day War in 1967 and the 1973 Yom Kippur War, where he was injured in battle. His body is riddled with shrapnel and he has a plastic vein in one leg. You would never know it, though. He led our group, with a serious bounce in his step, for 10 hours a day. He never let up. It is as if he is fueled by his passion for Israel and his desire to share his knowledge and love of his country to those in his charge.

Then there was Brian. At 75, he is very active. He swims for fitness and, though retired, is in the process of writing his first book. Brian is bright and interesting and engaging. He looks much younger than his age, and I’d hazard a guess he’s in better shape than most men 10 or 20 years his junior.

And there was Carole, 77, the dynamo who planned our trip. She has been to Israel more than 200 times. She accompanies her groups to Israel 3 or 4 times per year. In addition to being an active travel agent, Carole shows dogs and has established a foundation for an elementary school in Israel. She is steady and strong, and she exudes passion for life. All these people are very active—physically and mentally—which seems to be the necessary foundation for taking on a trip of this magnitude.

But, then there was Leslie. Leslie is probably in her mid to late 60s and she struggled on this trip. She knew in advance it would be a challenge, and she said she prepared for it by working with her personal trainer. (But “working out” one day a week for an hour is not going to cut it.) I was sitting with her to keep her company on one of her breaks when she admitted to me that this is probably her last big trip. She just can’t do it anymore. She just can’t keep up. Seeing Leslie come to grips with her limitations makes me sad. But I am hopeful she will regroup, take time to think about the future, and seriously work on improving her physical condition and stamina. Because she so much would like to keep traveling.

The bottom line is this: although we may reach a time in our lives when we think we need to give something up that is very important to us, there are ways we can still accomplish our goals. Better yet, let’s keep up with a fitness regimen to keep us sturdy, strong and healthy. There is no doubt that it takes being intentional—and disciplined—about exercise. There are plenty of ways to keep on moving strong, and walking with the GVWC every Saturday can be a part of it. I know many of our members have overcome obstacles and made adjustments to lead lives of fitness. You are proof that, if you have the will and the passion, there is definitely a way.

Winans Chocolates and Coffee (& Wine!)  

Congratulations to Monica and Miles on the opening of their new Winans store located at the northeast corner of Rich and High Streets in downtown Columbus.  I peeked in the windows before we left for vacation, and it looks really cool inside.  Perhaps the GVWC will mix it up to include the downtown location in our post-walk socializing.

On a Personal Note: She Said Yes!

Congratulations to my son (and co-president of the North Carolina Chapter of the GVWC), Drew Smith. She said yes! Drew, who is not one to do anything understated, plotted an elaborate scheme to propose to his longtime girlfriend, Kelsey VanDemark. Despite the many moving parts and the countless opportunities for the beans to be spilled, everything worked perfectly on the surprise proposal: beautiful day, beautiful ring, beautiful fiancée. We couldn’t be happier to welcome Kelsey to our family. Mazel tov!!

Drew and Kelsey3

New Albany Walking Club’s Bagel  Boogie 5 Miler

The New Albany Walking Club is going to be hosting a fun walk on Sunday, July 30 at 7:30 am at The Philip Heit Center for Healthy New Albany.  The New Albany Walking Club will be providing bagels, and a variety of spreads, coffee, tea and water post-walk.  Registration is required by July 2.  Please email Linda Romanoff for more details and registration.

Route of the Week

This week’s route can be found here.

Motivation of the Week

train the quit

Finishing Line

I hope to catch you all Saturday morning. Until then, as always, whatever you do finish strong!


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GVWC Weekly Newsletter | June 6, 2017


The weather-people were wrong – what a great weekend!  And, lots of folks took advantage of the weather with bike rides, graduations, and commercial photo shoots!

In the newsletter this week:

  • Loss of our sweet friend Gloria
  • Thanks to all who participated in the commercial shoot Saturday. It’s gone live!
  • GVWC discount for the Emerald City Half/Quarter Marathon August 27
  • Burpees and Pull-ups (my favorites!)
  • The GVWC newsletter is on vacation till June 27

With Great Sadness

It is with great sadness we share the passing of GVWC Founding Member Gloria Lotz. Gloria died Sunday evening after a long illness. If you had the pleasure to know Gloria, I’m sure you would agree she was one of the sweetest people on this earth. Even during illness and treatments, she would walk with us when she could, all the while still projecting that sweet disposition of hers. Gloria was a source of inspiration and joy to all of us. She will be sorely missed. Our deepest sympathies to Gloria’s husband Steve, her daughter Gina and grandson Wayne (both GVWC members), and Gloria’s entire family and friends.

No funeral information has been announced yet. We will do something special in Gloria’s memory on Saturday at our walk. We will miss her dearly.

winnie the pooh

AAMWWI Commercial Shoot

Thanks to everyone who participated in the commercial shoot at Schiller Park on Saturday to promote the August 12 African American Male Wellness Walk Initiative (AAMWWI). A terrific version has already been posted on their Facebook Page. As you can see, they captured some “B-roll” of us walking around the pond and a few of our members (Otto and Christie, Maureen, and David) say a few words about what walking means to them. This may launch the modeling career of the youngest member of the GVWC, Emmy Smith (no relation), who stole the show in her GVWC onesie. Look for more spots on NBC4, the media sponsor of the event, over the summer.

Baby Em

Emerald City Half/Quarter Marathon GVWC Discount

M3SSports, the promoter of the August 27 Emerald City Half/Quarter Marathon, is offering the GVWC a group discount of $5 off the races. After registering, enter the discount code 17ECGVWC.  This race could be a tune-up race or long slow day (LSD) as part of your fall racing schedule.

Perfect Form for those Burpees and Pullups!

From the MyFitnessPal blog, here are two articles to help you with your form when doing burpees and pull-ups. Anyone can get in pretty damn good shape doing these two exercises.  The burpee is a total body workout and the pull-up/chin-up is terrific upper body exercise. Toss in some squats or lunges and you have covered every major muscle group. After my 3-mile walks on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I do a set of chin-ups, pull-ups, and burpees. It’s a nice and challenging way to finish off a walk. The only equipment needed is a chin-up bar, like the one I use (Iron Gym workout bar), which temporarily hangs in any doorway. Thank you, Dr. Steph, for submitting these articles. Seems like some type of challenge is in order?

The GVWC Weekly Newsletter is on Hiatis for 2 Weeks

While Andrea and I are on vacation, the newsletter will also take a break. Catch you all back on June 27.

First Place in Her Age Group

Speaking of Andrea, congratulations to her for coming in first place in her age group at the Jack Roth 5K in Bexley on Sunday with a speedy time of 24:29. Moving into a new age group category sometimes has its privileges.


Route of the Week

This week’s route can be found here.

In Loving Memory


Finishing Line

I hope to catch you all Saturday morning. Until then, as always, whatever you do finish strong!


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