Alexandria’s ‘Fats Boys Strolling Membership’ places on the miles, shares smiles
And you’d be principally proper.
Besides these outdated guys aren’t simply going for slightly stroll. They stroll no less than an hour, if no more, and normally find yourself strolling greater than three miles every time. They prefer to get the miles in, even though a few them use strolling sticks for help and one even carries his oxygen with him.
Train is likely one of the key causes they stroll, however additionally it is in regards to the camaraderie and presumably the innocent heckling, joking and fascinating conversations. Or maybe it’s about having time away from their wives, though none of them would deny or verify that motive.
The group of principally retirees have fortunately dubbed themselves “The Fats Boys Strolling Membership.”
The membership has a complete of 9 members, though you’ll almost certainly by no means see all 9 strolling on the similar time. There may be two and there may be seven, however no less than one member will all the time present up six days every week.
At about 7:30 a.m. six days every week, a gaggle of men, who all dwell within the Alexandria Lakes Space, meet at Massive Ole and stroll the Central Lakes Path. Pictured, from left, are Tom Obert, Roger Johnson, Mike Bump, Wealthy Beltz, Harvey Kranzler and Bob Annen. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press)
Ranging in age from 68 to 82, with all of them residing within the Alexandria lakes space, The Fats Boys Strolling Membership contains:
Bob Annen, 82, labored as vice chairman at Honeywell.
Mike Bump, 81, labored in meat gross sales and in addition former proprietor of Bump’s Restaurant in Glencoe.
Paul Fieldhammer, 77, labored in medical provides.
Ken Howell, 75, labored in medical provides (however not with Fieldhammer).
Tom Obert, 73, labored for the Division of Labor in Washington, D.C.
Harvey Kranzler,72, labored as a social research/historical past trainer, retiring from Alexandria District 206.
Roger Johnson, 71, labored as a public faculty educator, retiring from Alexandria District 206.
Tom Mulder, 70, is an funding advisor.
Wealthy Beltz, 68, works in farm administration as a farm dealer.
Curiously, none of them go by their actual names. Every of them has been given a nickname.
Annen is called Weakie as a result of he as soon as stated his golf swing was weak. Bump is fittingly known as The Bumpster, whereas Kranzler is known as The Harvster. Johnson is called Coach, as a result of properly, he was a coach. Howell, who’s on the tall facet, is known as The Crane, whereas Mulder, who sings, goes by The Boy Tenor. Obert is Cub Reporter, Beltz goes by Sleepy Eye and Fieldhammer is called Rock.
Should you have been to tag together with the group, you’d hear conversations starting from meals to politics or sports activities to climate or well being and all the pieces in between. Whatever the subject, the one factor you’ll all the time hear is laughter.
So, simply how did this group get began strolling, Obert, the cub reporter, defined.
He stated his mother lived subsequent to Annen and that the 2 of them met again in 2001. At first, it was simply the 2 of them strolling. They might meet at Massive Ole and stroll for 2 or so hours at a time. Obert additional defined, nevertheless, that strolling exterior for that lengthy of time turned a problem as a result of they’re outdated males with weak bladders. And most frequently in the event that they needed to relieve themselves, it was all the time when a gaggle of “outdated girls on bikes” would go whizzing by.
A few the blokes standing round Obert tossed out some jokes about binoculars and magnifying glasses as the remaining erupted with laughter. Obert then defined that the YMCA opened in Alexandria and an indoor facility with restrooms gave the impression to be a greater match. He additionally talked about that mall strolling was the way in which to go as soon as the climate compelled them inside earlier than the Y opened.
Because the solar was rising over Lake Agnes close to Massive Ole Park, six of the 9 members of “The Fats Boys Strolling Membership” stroll alongside the Central Lakes Path. Some members of the group have been strolling collectively for greater than 15 years. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press)
Again in 2005, earlier than the total Fats Boys Strolling Membership, Obert and Annen have been impressed by a narrative a couple of girl who walked Minneapolis. They determined to stroll all of the streets throughout the metropolis limits of Alexandria. By the way in which, Obert quipped that Annen doesn’t actually match the “fats boy” title anymore as all of the strolling he’s executed paid off and he’s misplaced 60 kilos.
Throughout that stroll, they came upon that Alexandria, at the moment, had 94 miles of streets. They began their quest April 13, 2005, and completed on Could 5, 2005, by strolling for an hour and a half to a few hours every day. This equaled about 5 to 10 miles every day. They walked a complete of 19 days with a day or two off for what Obert stated was “good conduct.”
In all, they guesstimated that they really walked greater than 130 miles as by necessity, they typically needed to cowl the identical avenue greater than as soon as to get to the following unwalked avenue or for return journeys on lifeless finish streets.
As time went on and the 2 of them continued their strolling on the YMCA, different guys began becoming a member of in on their walks. Many instances, they might stroll no less than 30 laps and a few of them, Annen stated, would work out on the machines.
One of many guys began laughing and stated they most frequently would simply lean on the machines and sustain the chit-chat. After which finally, they would depart so they might go have espresso.
Obert, in addition to the opposite guys, continued laughing, when he shared a narrative about their time on the health facility. He stated the strolling monitor is on the second stage and components of it open up into the foyer the place everybody walks in. Effectively, with a number of the guys onerous of listening to, their voices weren’t all the time the quietest and so typically folks would word that they knew the “Fats Boys” have been there as quickly as they walked into the ability as a result of they might hear them chatting and laughing up a storm.
Though the group is made up of all guys, Obert shared that they do have one honorary member, who they in fact nicknamed. “The Professor,” in any other case often called Christine Hollermann, who teaches on the Alexandria Technical and Group School, used to stroll with them on the Y.
Obert stated, nevertheless, that on account of COVID-19 and the closing of the YMCA earlier this yr, the group not walks there. Despite the fact that the ability is reopened, the blokes have continued their day by day walks exterior on the Central Lakes Path.
As for when the climate will get too chilly, the blokes stated they’re leaning towards going again to being mall walkers. However added that they weren’t certain.
For now, they’re having fun with their time on the path – speaking, laughing and in the end, making an attempt to remain wholesome.
Six of the 9 members of “The Fats Boys Strolling Membership” head out on the Central Lakes Path close to Massive Ole round 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2. The group, though not all of the members, stroll six days every week. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press)