Week's end

Mar. 01, 2013 @ 09:03 PM

Remember the song from the old Rankin/Bass animated cartoon?

“Put one foot in front of the other

And soon you’ll be walking ‘cross the floor

Put one foot in front of the other

And soon you’ll be walking out the door.”

For a decade, UNC Health Care has hosted a free mall-walking program at the Streets at Southpoint, known as “Heels in Motion,” pushing pedestrians to put one foot in front of the other for better health and wellness.

Participants and organizers marked the anniversary on Wednesday. The Southpoint group is about 1,200 strong and one of the largest in the United States.

“It’s wonderful, and it’s done so much good,” said Paula Miller, a clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina. “It puts people with similar problems together, and people come up with all kinds of ideas about how to make things better.”

Vascular surgeon Jason Kim described walking as “the best exercise out there.”

It helps with blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol while burning calories, all of which contribute to a healthier lifestyle.

And Richard Agricola, a member of the program for eight years, told The Herald-Sun’s Keith Upchurch that he considers the mall “a good place to walk, because if it’s too hot, too cold or too rainy, you can walk here.”

Like the same song says:

“If you want to change your direction

If your time of life is at hand

Well, don’t be the rule, be the exception

A good way to start is to stand.”

The mall opens for walkers at 8 a.m., Monday to Saturday, and at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

***

Landen Gambill, an outspoken UNC sophomore who has become a champion for victims of sexual assault, gets our Grit Award this week: For taking a stand, for putting herself on the line as she defends her reputation and for challenging the university to find better ways to manage sexual assault complaints.

She continues to strive on behalf of victims, despite a charge from the university’s Honor Court that she was creating an “intimidating” environment for her alleged rapist, a former boyfriend. That act seemed only to further steel her resolve.

Her efforts have raised awareness about a distressing problem and prompted Chancellor Holden Thorp to hire Gina Smith, a nationally known consultant, to make sure the university is using best practices for its reporting policy.