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Continued: Golden Valley woman walks neighborhood every day for 20 years

  • Article by: JEFF STRICKLER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 5, 2014 - 2:58 PM

“When she cooks, she cooks from scratch. She decides one day that she isn’t going to drink coffee, and she hasn’t had a single cup since. She does everything to perfection. And she’s always been that way.”

When Monson walks alone, she listens to the news on the radio. But she prefers to walk with friends, and as she does so, she talks — almost as fast as she walks.

“It’s a chance to catch up,” she said. “I’d rather talk to someone while walking than talk to them on the phone.”

Monson has taken what she describes as “two bad falls.” One injured a wrist, the other broke a bone in her arm.

“I’m lucky that neither of them hurt my legs,” she said. A woman driving by witnessed one of the falls and jumped out to help. “She offered me a ride home, but, of course, I couldn’t take it. I told her, ‘Thanks, but that just isn’t going to happen.’ ”

Another regular walking partner, Alice Tangney, was with her when she took the other fall. A retired school nurse, Tangney knew that Monson likely had broken an arm, but she also knew her friend better than to suggest turning back.

“At that point of the walk, we were closer to her home than we were to finishing the walk,” Tangney said. “I said, ‘Let’s go home.’ But she said, ‘We haven’t done the 3 miles yet.’ So we went the long way home. And I don’t think she slowed down, either. She walked at her usual pace.

“Once she gets her mind set on something, she always does it.”


Jeff Strickler • 612-673-7392


  • related content

  • Joan Monson gestured while out on her daily walk in Golden Valley.

  • Monson began walking in July 1994 and has kept it up every day since. Below, some of her “retired” walking shoes.

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