Fat-is-Normal-CoverI’d like to suggest a new work for the English language: Ralking. Take the R in Run and the last half of Walk and, Walla! You have a new word: Ralk. It means to run a while, walk a while, run a while, and walk a while.

Walking is one of the best ways to get started exercising. It is free. It is available anywhere. Nearly anyone can do it. It is scalable.

I started with the commitment to get some exercise every day. The minimum, for me, was a walk around the block (about half a mile). Almost anyone can do that. But, if I had a little time and energy, I did a little more, and a little more, and a little more.

Running was torture. Every step sent a jarring vibration through my bones. I was so out of shape I could hardly run more than a few steps. I ran a few steps. And then a few more, and then a few more. Then I walked. Then I ran ten steps. Ralking was born.

I was talking to a friend at church this weekend about running. He said he ran twelve miles the other day. I asked him if he ran the whole time, or ralked. He said, in this case, he ran the whole time. The implied admission was that sometimes when he runs, he really ralks.

My son and daughter-in-law are preparing for a half-marathon. I asked them about the running they are doing in preparation. Turns out they call it running, but it is really ralking.

Ralking allows us to scale up from a casual stroll, to a brisk walk, to a ralk to a run. Let’s go ralking!