Time to Walk is one of Apple’s great creations, and today another brilliant guest has joined the repertoire. Malala Yousafzai, the advocate for girls’ right to education and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner, invites you to walk with her.
It’s the first Time to Walk in celebration of Women’s History Month, in a female-focused month for the workout.
Time to Walk, in case you don’t know, is a session available to Apple Fitness+ subscribers and is exclusive to Apple Watch. All you need is the Watch and a pair of Bluetooth headphones, to enjoy it. New editions launch on a Monday and automatically arrive on subscribers’ Watches, ready to be played.
The format is the same each time: a guest talks to you as they take a walk. It feels intimate because you’re walking along wiht them, as you listen. At just the right moment, images appear on the Watch screen to illustrate the guest’s story, followed by three songs with a special meaning to the guest. The stories vary hugely from guest to guest, but are usually uplifting and inspiring, which is the case here with Malala Yousafzai’s walk though Tuna Canyon Park in Los Angeles.
She talks about growing up. Although she very briefly mentions the moment in 2012 when she was attacked by the Taliban, her stories are positive and moving, relating how she made her first friend at school (in Birmingham, in the U.K.) in 2014.
Then, she talks about a visit to a mosque in Trinidad and Tobago, where she was not permitted to speak because she was a woman, because a religious scholar explained that in Islam a woman cannot speak in public. And she reveals how, just after she had been given an award by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, a chance encounter with a girl revealed how much work still needed to be done. The seven-year-old girl was selling oranges with her father and was playing, but her play was mimicking being in school, an opportunity which had been denied to her.
I met Malala, as everyone calls her, in Beirut in January 2018, when she and Tim Cook made a whistlestop visit to launch a joint initiative between Apple and the women’s rights campaigner that will see funding and resources offered to Malala’s fund to help deliver her goal of getting 100,000 girls into education in places including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Turkey and Nigeria.
She was passionate about helping young girls find this education, and not just primary education. “There has been a focus on education, but only on primary education. And there are many countries and leaders who are supporting university level education as well through scholarships. But there’s a huge gap in secondary education. So, allowing girls to have primary education is important but if the secondary education is missing, girls don’t have access to university level education. But, yes, once you give them 12 years of quality education, you allow them to explore ways in which they want to work. You allow them to explore what they’re passionate about and what dreams they have and what they want to do in life.”
Her star power in Beirut was undeniable. At the Lebanese Alternative Learning Center in Beirut, a dozen girls were waiting to talk to two guests. On learning that one was Tim Cook, they were excited. When they learnt the other was Malala, the atmosphere became electric, with one sobbing in disbelief, prompting a hug and encouraging words from Malala.
As the session went on, the girls found their voices, in one case even breaking into song.
At the end, the girls asked for photographs. I’d seen Cook in this situation before, mobbed by adoring fans. Here, it was Malala they wanted for their selfies. And Cook’s reaction? He stood back, beaming at Malala, more than content to bask in her reflected glory.
This new Time to Walk captures Malala’s passion and sincerity. She is a wonderful listen, and walking companion, and this session offers some of the inspiration the Lebanese girls found in Malala that day in Beirut.