Octogenarian continues tradition of walking “for the health benefit”

Walking has been a passion for a Pelly resident since the 1960’s and she has no desire to give it up.

On October 17, Margaret Waselenko who is “85 years young,” made another walk from Pelly to Arran, this time accompanied by her friend Laura Dahl of Norquay, age 71.

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The friends started the walk at 10 a.m. and arrived at their destination, 16.5 kms away, by 1:30 p.m.

“This would be the 14th time I have made the walk to Arran,” Waselenko said recently. “Walking is my passion. “I enjoy it very much and try to walk at least four miles a day, when weather permits,” she said.

Margaret’s brother, John Lange of Pelly, accompanies Margaret and her friends by car when they go on a longer walk. “He feeds us goodies along the route, and then drives us back,” Margaret said.

Waselenko thinks back to when she first started walking.

“My late husband, Sam, who passed away in 2013, and I moved off the farm to Pelly in the late 1950s. Near the end of the 1960s, I started going for walks, as a way to keep physically active for the sake of my health. Sometimes my husband would walk with me.

“I have convinced friends to walk with me. Some were a bit skeptical that my only motivation was to walk for my own health, not for any other purpose or to support a cause, but I believe I would stiffen up if I quit walking.”

Waselenko makes the Pelly to Arran walk twice a year now, in spring and fall, and sometimes it’s a solo trip.

“I was a bit disappointed with the time of three-and-a-half hours this fall. I’ve done better,” she said.

Other friends who have walked with Waselenko in the past are Darlene Miller of Miller Agencies in Norquay, Violet Off of Pelly and Jean Zychkowski, formerly of Pelly and now of Kamsack.

“I have also walked from Pelly to Norquay, a distance of 12 kilometres,” she said.