If you walk or run along the Indian Bend Wash, you could thank Bev Clarke for your clean shoes.
Each morning around 5 a.m., the Scottsdale resident embarks on a nearly 2-mile walk along a stretch of the canal between Chaparral Road and McDonald Drive.
Aside from improving her physical fitness, she also clears pet droppings off the trail. Simply put, it got in the way of Clarke having a nice walk.
"I take this little scooper along and flip the poop every time I see it,’’ she said. "It takes minimal effort on my part.’’
Clarke started this community contribution about six months ago, annoyed that owners didn’t clean up after their pets. Since her efforts, she said several have expressed their appreciation for a cleaner path.
In fact, she sees a lot fewer messes during her walks these days. Looks like some have felt the ripples from her good deed.
"It just makes life more pleasant for me," she said.
Living with pain
Each day, Penny Rickhoff deals with chronic back pain that began almost 20 years ago.
Although her ailment may never disappear, Rickhoff has learned to manage it. Daily exercise factors into a plan that has actually cut her medication intake. "Doctors can only do so much,’’ the Scottsdale resident said.
Rickhoff serves as Arizona regional director of the American Chronic Pain Association. She started the association’s Scottsdale chapter about 10 years ago.
Each meeting provides tips on minimizing daily struggles associated with chronic pain. Participants learn about nutrition, breathing techniques, emotion management, alternative medicine, exercise and improving communication with physicians, among other things.
Attendees also share things they’ve learned along the way, such as a new treatment or medication.
"We’re almost like a life coach,’’ she said, adding that East Valley residents of all ages and conditions attend the meetings. "Even though I’m in pain every day, and some days are worse than others, I don’t let it keep me from enjoying life.’’
The chapter meets 6:30 to 8 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays each month at the Via Linda Senior Center, 10440 E. Via Linda, Scottsdale.
To learn more, call (480) 314-2330.