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Boone County commissioners test out new mile walk workout

Friday, May 3, 2013 | 4:24 p.m. CDT; updated 6:29 p.m. CDT, Friday, May 3, 2013
Boone County Commissioners Janet Thompson, left, and Karen Miller take a mile walk around downtown Columbia to promote wellness on Friday.

COLUMBIA — The three Boone County commissioners braved the chilly morning air and rampant rain puddles to walk a mile around downtown Friday.

Southern District Commissioner Karen Miller laced up her tennis shoes and ventured into the 36-degree weather with Northern District Commissioner Janet Thompson and Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill.

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Miller took the lead. All three clutched their windbreakers close to their bodies and chatted while they power strolled.

The walk was a test-run for the new workout, which the commissioners hope to do once a week. Miller timed the walk and plans to check her pace each week to check for improvement.

Thompson first broached the idea and suggested getting other Boone County government employees involved, as well as any residents who want to join the wellness kick.

"All three of us are a part of it," Miller said.

Thompson wants to lead by example. She hopes the three of them walking once a week will encourage others to use their breaks in a way that is good for both mind and body.

About half way through the walk, Atwill wondered why the pace was so fast.

"Are we in a real hurry?" he asked his colleagues.

"Make sure that you write that I have a five-artery bypass, and they're trying to kill me," Atwill told a reporter, while chuckling his way east on Broadway.

Atwill was a trooper but spied a way out of the misery when he saw Bill Dall, his lunch buddy and an employee at Alarm Communications Center.

"Billy, save me!" Atwill said, then took off walking quickly toward the Dall's white pickup. He yelled goodbye to his fellow commissioners but didn't look back.

At the end of their mile-long walk, Miller stopped the clock to see how she and Thompson had done: 16:37.

Not bad, considering they stopped for a few minutes.

"My goal would be that we continue and that the employees join us during their break," Miller said.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.


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