Welcome to another 358 blog! This will be the second in this series, and you can read the first one and what they’re all about here.
I want to talk to you about who uses walking sticks. I can imagine you’re thinking that this is a sales pitch, to get you to buy one of our handmade 358 ones. Now, don’t get me wrong, it would be lovely to think that might happen as a result of these mere mortal words. However, this blog was not started with the intention to make money; just to increase understanding while sharing a few stories – so that is my genuine continued intention.
The thing is, I SO often get the comment of ‘I’m not old enough/I’m too young to use a walking stick’. And every time I let out a silent sigh. I’m 34 years of age and since meeting Tom two years ago, I started using one and now it’s rare I go out without my trusted aide. Here is a list of the ways I use mine, from most to least often:
- As an accessory – which is why we feel it’s important that 358 walking sticks look fantastic.
- For tapping the dogs either to get them out the way or encouraging them to heel, as they’re mostly off leads along the towpaths we live on.
- Moving growing things out of the way and, if needed, beating them back.
- When it’s muddy or if the surface is particularly uneven – this has stopped me falling over a number of times!
- Most of the time when my migraine and headache disease is really bad, I don’t make it out of the narrowboat. But when I do, the stick helps me stay upright and this is when I lean on it the most; to combat the total zombie state I’m in.
- And lastly -as this is a recent one- for opening gates to save touching them and getting the lurgy (otherwise known as COVID19).
This is quite a comprehensive list! And that’s just for what I find useful. Any number of health conditions or disabilities could mean a stick is helpful, so why not have a good looking one I say? I realise that some folk need ergonomically specific ones, or others like a friend of mine’s folds up neatly and tucks into his wheelchair. These we may never be able to create but for all other reasons – more than I’ve listed here – consider! For the next time you say you’re not old enough, you may be talking to a young person who really needs one or already uses one. Or perhaps that person is you. Just know that there are options. We have done a couple of videos on uses for sticks and choosing the right height for you, which you might find helpful:
Thanks for stopping by. I’ll aim to write a 358 themed blog about once a month, with others about living on a narrowboat with chronic migraine in between.