Tuesday Trotters take on Nottingham Lake | VailDaily.com

Tuesday Trotters take on Nottingham Lake

NWS Tuesday Trotters BH 3-21

AVON Nine year olds Jennifer Vasquez and Stephanie Rivera whispered conspiratorially as they paced around Nottingham Lake in Avon. After a long day at school, the walk gave the girls a chance to relax, they said.”We get to see all the trees,” Vasquez said. “Sometimes we walk three or four miles. We get our hearts healthy, and it’s fun.”Rivera nodded her agreement. Behind and ahead of the girls, 17 other students and teachers from Avon Elementary School made their way around the lake last week. Some sprinted or jogged in intervals, some trotted along while others strolled and were eventually asked to pick up the pace. Avon Elementary physical education teacher Mark Blickenstaff, also known as Mr. Blick, helped establish the Tuesday Trotters group to encourage third- and forth-graders to develop exercising habits.

“Walking is a lifetime activity that we can do for the rest of our lives,” he told the children gathered in the gym for some stretching before the walk. “All it requires is a sturdy pair of shoes and a friend or two to go with, and you can walk for the rest of your life. It’s a lifetime healthy activity.”Since the beginning of the year, Tuesday Trotters has drawn more than 30 Avon Elementary students every week to tromp around the lake. Hand in hand with ingraining an exercise routine into the kids’ consciousness, Tuesday Trotters aims to combat an increasingly sedentary way of life for children, said Kathy Hall, a library/media specialist at Avon Elementary. “A lot of our kids are going home and watching TV,” she said. “This gets them out of the house. So many of our kids live so close (to the lake), and the hope is that they’ll get out of the house and do this on their own.” Hall also said physical activity can stimulate academic work.

“Healthy bodies make smart minds,” nine-year-old Lupita Martinez chirped. Edgar Chavez, 10, said his busy schedule doesn’t allow for time to walk, so joining Tuesday Trotters makes sure he’ll some exercise in. Commiserating with Chavez’ lack of time, Vanessa Siriwalothakui wanted to bring a book on the walk to multitask the hour spent circling Nottingham Lake, but Mr. Blick dissuaded her. For Trexler Hirn, 10, the walk is the least of the exercise he gets.”I do lots of hard contact sports, so when I get to go walking, it’s a lot easier,” he said. The weekly walk is also meant to get forth-graders ready for their upcoming trip to Colorado National Monument. The weeklong excursion will involve lots of walking and hiking, and teachers want to make sure the kids are ready Tuesday Trotters is just one way of doing that.

Clad head to toe in black velvet Sydney Hintermeister, 9, pumped her arms as she paced. “It gets us in shape and gets up pumped up, so when we go on our trip we’ll be ready,” she said. Staff Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14621, or nfrey@vaildaily.com. Vail, Colorado

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