Wednesday, April 2, 2014

When Do You Replace Your Shoes?

According to "The Walking Site" (  

"Keep track of how many miles you have put on your shoes, and replace them every 300 to 600 miles. (If you are wearing very light weight shoes, are overweight, or you are hard on your shoes stay toward the low end on mileage.) To extend the life of your shoes be sure to only wear them only for your walks. Also rotating two pair of shoes will give them time to 'bounce back' between walks."

What recommendations have you heard?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

He's Such a Ham

In case you missed it, Bernie Hengels was featured in the March edition of the Wisconsin Chapter's Volunteer e-Newsletter. Bernie is one of the fabulous ham radio operators who act as the eyes and ears of Challenge Walk MS to keep participants safe while they're on the routes. He was asked to share why he is involved in the event. Here's his answer:

Being an amateur (ham) radio operator and providing communication service for Challenge Walk MS for the past 5 years has been personally rewarding in that I have met many people that I now call friends. Being part of a team, which includes the SAG drivers and the medical trainers, allow us to work as a cohesive unit and not as individuals. Each team member adds to the success of the event.

Our preparation is year-round as we typically meet 6 weeks prior to the event, immediately after the event for a recap, and throughout the year planning for improvements and securing additional equipment to augment our efforts. As we speak, some of us have already acquired new equipment to use at Challenge Walk MS 2014 and are working on an interactive mapping program that will show the whereabouts of each team member vehicle any time. 

I continue to participate and serve as I have co-workers and personal friends with the disease. Together we can win this.


Bernie de N9YMC
Bernie (third from left) with other ham radio operators for Challenge Walk MS

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Challenge Walker Hires New Training Coach

by Jackie Piper

How many of you out there are logging miles this winter in anticipation of Challenge Walk 2014? If you are like me, you are using this ridiculous weather as an excuse to postpone training. I mean, really, walk when there's 18 inches of snow on the ground and it's -39 wind chill?? While this excuse has been working really well for me, I finally decided I needed to do something to get moving in spite of winter. So, I went out and found a Training Coach to get me motivated. 

When I first approached Goofy and explained the purpose of Challenge Walk MS and how much I needed him to motivate me, he said: "Garsh"!  

Then, he tried to put on my T-shirt to show how excited he was to help.

We couldn't get it over his nose.

He was super enthusiastic about holding up the Challenge Walk MS T-shirt for a photo, though, against the wishes of his handlers. And, he gave me a big thumbs up about being my Training Coach to get me in shape to walk 50 miles. All I could say was, "Garsh, thanks Goofy!"

If you think you would like a "Training Coach" to help you get moving, there is an entire cast of characters hanging out with Goofy ready to sign on. I would be happy to return to Orlando and make the arrangements for you!

On a more serious note, the arrival of my T-shirt in the mail gave me a push to start walking now and not wait for the snow to melt. I don't have a treadmill or belong to a gym, but our local mall is open early every day for walkers. Time to tie up my shoes and get walkin'! 
Jackie Piper with her celebrity Challenge Walk MS Training Coach.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Training T-shirts Are On the Way

This year's training T-shirts are packaged, posted and waiting for the mail carrier to pick them up today. If you've already registered for the 2014 Challenge Walk MS (Sept. 19-21 in Door County), watch for your shirt to arrive next week.

Just how many have registered? As of this week -- 90; and 21 of those are new participants! (By comparison, there were 50 people registered at this time last year.) That means you're doing a great job of telling others about the event and encouraging them to give it a try or return for another year.

Haven't registered yet? Sign up during the month of February and receive a certificate for a free massage during Challenge Walk MS weekend. We'll also send you your very own T-shirt to wear while you're training.

How have you been training?
Share your best practices and fun ideas for training. Those tips are especially helpful for rookie participants who have never prepared for Challenge Walk MS before. Email your suggestions and advice to Include a photo of you in your training T-shirt, too!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Fun Way to Warm Up and Fundraise

Challenge Walk MS team Multiple Screwballs is holding a Zumbathon fundraiser in January.

Looking for ways to increase your fundraising total? Visit the fundraising page on the Challenge Walk MS website for ideas and resources.

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Shout Out to Challenge Walk MS Volunteers

In case you didn't see it, Challenge Walk MS volunteers Pat Heller and Sloth I were featured in the December and January editions of the Wisconsin Chapter's Volunteer e-newsletter.

Here's part of what Pat had to say about volunteering: 

“Six years ago, in the MS connection magazine, I read about the first Challenge Walk that was to be held in Door County. I thought this was something I could do to help raise money for research and programs for those living with MS in Wisconsin. I recruited my husband, sister, and aunt and uncle. The five of us raised $6,000 that first year and provided five rest stops that weekend. We were hooked. Over the past six years our team, the Multiple Screwballs, has grown and we have raised over $200,000.

“Our team enjoys coming together every year for the walk. It is a time for celebration and renewal in our commitment to make the world a better place for those living with MS."

And here is part of what Sloth said:

"I’ve been involved with special events for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for about 15 years now. As you probably know, the Society organizes numerous sporting events to raise money for the battle against MS: Bike MS, Walk MS and many others. Without those cyclists and walkers out there raising money and creating the momentum, we wouldn't have much of a fundraiser. But you know what really makes these events tick? The volunteers!

"Volunteering is of course a bit of work. But it can also be incredibly fun and – especially for the uninitiated – an inspiring job. ...When you see what some folks are capable of – even in the face of major obstacles – it makes setting up a rest stop pretty easy. Or assisting with check-in. Or simply cheering on our athletes as they approach the finish line. Whatever your job may be, know that it has a real, visceral effect on the fight against multiple sclerosis … and brings us one step closer to a cure."

For those who don't know, Sloth volunteers as a Support and Gear (SAG) bike rider for Challenge Walk MS as part of his volunteer team, Team N3kk1d, which has raised $10,000 for MS.

Crew and super crew members are important to the success of each year's event. Thanks to everyone who volunteers -- in whatever way, shape or form -- to support Challenge Walk MS walkers!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Ways to Say Thanks

Thanking those who donated to your Challenge Walk MS fundraising goal is important, especially if you plan to ask them for their support again next year. Sending thank you cards that incorporate photos from the weekend is one way a number of Challenge Walk MS participants choose to show their gratitude, and websites such as Shutterfly, Snapfish, Walgreens and Walmart offer easy ways to create cards along with a variety of design options. Here are three samples from this year:

Message: Thank you for supporting me in the MS Challenge Walk 2013!

Message: With your help, our team raised $50,000. 

Message: Thank you for your donation to the National MS Society! This year, Team Marty & Clyde & Nancy raised $7,108! That money will help fund research and brings us one step closer to a world free of multiple sclerosis.

What is your favorite way to thank those who made a donation?