North Carolina, the 9th biggest state in the country with 9.2 million residents, is unusual because even if you live in one of its urban centers — Charlotte, the Triad, the Triangle, Asheville, Wilmington — there’s likely a wooded area within walking distance. Maybe not a national forest or a state park, but at least a corridor of wild that for any number of reasons has eluded development. For instance, we live in the heart of Cary (we call it Historic Cary because the houses date all the way back to the 1970s) between two malls (Cary Town Centre and Crossroads Plaza), yet we can walk out the end of our cul-de-sac along a storm drainage easement and within minutes be at the headwaters of Walnut Creek. This proximity to the wild comes in handy when you have a houseful of kids on winter break.
I was hiking Thursday afternoon on the Rim Trail at Fires Creek when I was struck by a twinge of melancholy. Odd, because I was in my element: hiking in the Southern Appalachians on a crisp winterlike day, the sun just active enough to cast faint shadows across the forest floor. Perfect hiking conditions, in my book. So what was wrong?
Sometimes, to keep a challenge from becoming an ordeal you have to try and balance the bad with a good. Take my ordeal – rather, “challenge” today on a 15-mile hike in the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness. It was a day of challenges that teetered on being an ordeal. I found myself continually trying to strike a balance.
I was looking for a Chinese restaurant. I found a half hour workout instead.
I was thumbing through Guest Services Directory in my room here at the Microtel in Robbinsville hoping to find a place to score some hot & sour soup and kung pao chicken. I’m in the mountains on the eve of a week of hiking and backpacking. Fuel being essential to such an undertaking, I was hoping to find my favorite in the three-ring-binder found in just about every hotel room in America, a binder that lays out everything from what cable stations you get, to what to do in case of fire, to where to eat when I stumbled across a first: “Exercises for the Guest Room.”
You know you want to be healthier in 2010. But do you know why you want to be healthier?
It’s human nature that as one year draws to a close we wonder how we might make more out of the year ahead. In our neck of the self-improvement universe here at GetGoingNC.com, that translates to how we can improve our physical lot in 2010. You may know that you want to weigh less and be more energetic. You may know that you want to drop two dress sizes, or pare your waistline down to a 34. You may even know what exercise regimen you plan to pursue and how you plan to eat better. But have you stopped to think about why you want to to do all this? Is it because the doctor told you to lose 15 pounds? Do you want to show up for next year’s high school reunion looking like you did 25 years ago? Are you tired of having to fly business class so you can fit into the seat? Those may be perfectly good reasons to shape up, but are they the reason?