Walk this way – Meltdown team takes to the ditches to get exercise | TheUnion.com

Walk this way – Meltdown team takes to the ditches to get exercise

You do not have to get down in the ditch to be a member of Katie Walsh’s Meltdown team. You just have to walk next to it.

Walsh, Heather Urban, and Stephen and Marianna Greenberg make up “Ditchin’ It,” their Nevada County Meltdown weight loss team.

“It’s twofold,” Walsh said of the team’s name this week, “to ditch the weight and because we walk the ditches.”

Those are Nevada Irrigation District ditches, specifically the Cascade Canal and the D-S Canal that wind through the homes and forest southwest of Nevada City. Walsh has been walking the ditches since last September, but the Greenbergs having been doing it for 10 years.

“We used to come up here every day because of our dog,” Marianna said. “You don’t have to worry about cars and breathing exhaust.”

“I’m an obsessive dog walker,” Stephen said. But when their dog died on Sept. 11, 2001, they decided to keep walking the canals.

“It’s the only time we get to talk without the kids around,” Marianna said.

Walsh and Urban were walking the canals late last fall and wondered what they were going to do when the weather changed. The Meltdown came in handy and now they and the Greenbergs go to the South Yuba Club and Curves to work out when the canal paths are too muddy.

“I thinks it’s a blast,” Walsh said of the Meltdown. “It’s really fun. The best part of it is the community, it’s such a stitch, it’s so Nevada County.”

“It’s like a revival meeting,” Stephen said of the Tuesday night Meltdown gatherings of 1,000 fitness fans.

“It has energized me again,” Marianna said. “A few years ago, I had a stroke. Over the years, you start eating wrong because you’re busy and you’re stressed. The Meltdown has made us conscious of it again.”

The timing of the Meltdown could not have come at a better time for Marianna. In November, she returned to her native Germany to be with family after her mother died.

During her time of grief, sweets and all the high calorie foods of her upbringing were constantly thrust in front of her. “I loaded up on all the things I was deprived of” for so many years, she said.

The result was excess weight and the Meltdown beckoned.

“I lost seven pounds the first week,” Marianna said. “But it was OK because those were pounds I wasn’t bonded to yet.”

The key now for her and the other team members is getting into the clubs to work out between storms as the canal paths dry out.

“The club is more for my psyche than anything else,” Marianna said. “It’s changed my happiness level. I’ve never felt like this in my life before.”

“I can’t thank the clubs enough and I think it will pay off for them,” Stephen said of the free time area health clubs have given for Meltdown workouts. “We’ve never belonged to a club before and now we’re trying to figure out how to pay for it in the future because we like it so much.”

“There’s something about exercising habitually that changes the brain chemistry,” Walsh said. “We’re doing this for the exercise, because it feels good and it’s beautiful on the ditch.”

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