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Read this: PE in a school district that gets it

A story from the Seattle Times reprinted in today’s News & Observer shows how at least one school district is taking physical education seriously. “Stretching the curriculum: Seattle schools standardize PE” describes how the Seattle Public Schools have tossed the laissez faire/lazy fare approach to gym class currently in vogue in America in favor of a more structured fitness program intended to instill a lifelong sense of the importance of…

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Drink up and avoid leg cramps

Yesterday, I mentioned that my bid to avoid last place in Saturday’s Cry Me A River six-hour mountain bike race was thwarted — in part — by leg cramps early on my fifth lap (a little over 3 hours and 25 miles into the race, to put it in better perspective). I was pit-bound for 45 minutes before finally taking two electrolyte tablets, which gave my muscles a needed salt…

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Andy Etters, race volunteer extraordinaire

Our award for volunteer of the day at Saturday’s Cry Me A River 6-hour mountain bike race at Little River Regional Park goes to … Andy Etters! And not just because of the little white pills Andy gave me after my debilitating fifth lap. More about those pills in a moment. Volunteers are the folks who make our runs and rides happen. From stuffing registration packets to handling check-in to…

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It’s fall, take a hike

I hate to nag, so let’s call this something else. Prodding? Pushing? Pestering? They all seem so … controlling, which is crazy considering I’ll I’m trying to do is prod/pester/push you out the door to take a hike. And there’s no better time and place to take a hike than  the fall in North Carolina. Temperatures in in the 70s, low humidity, brilliant, crisp blue skies, changing color — what…

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Active Destination: Smithfield

Few things get me as excited as stumbling across an area marked off with yellow tape. Not “Crime Scene” tape, but “Construction: Do Not Cross” tape, the kind that marks a greenway under construction. The kind Marcy and I found while exploring downtown Smithfield last month. “The tape!” Marcy reminded as I pretended I didn’t see it and tried to sneak onto an in-progress pedestrian bridge spanning Buffalo Creek just…

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Recommended reading: A good yarn about sticking with it

If you’re just beginning a exercise program — be it walking, swimming, cycling, whatever — and are having doubts, take a few minutes to read about the Yarn Harlot’s foray into running. She assures you you are not alone. If you’ve ever made anything out of two needles and a very long piece of string, you probably know about the Yarn Harlot. If you buy all your sweaters, socks and…

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Walk, don’t run

“Squeeze your butt and take full steps,” Kpop (a k a Karley Poplestein), 02 Fitness trainer by day/walking coach by early evening instructed as we began walking from The Athlete’s Foot in Cameron Village to the nearby Rose Garden. That’s a … curious request, I thought. Fortunately, before I could reach behind and grab my buns while taking full steps I noticed my cowalkers were clinching their gluteus maximus, not…

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Hamstrung: The recovery

Finally, the exciting conclusion to our hamstring injury! (Guilty of hyperbole. Let’s proceed.) OK, a hamstring injury isn’t glamorous. It doesn’t have the cache of, say, an ACL injury. But it’s common among weekend warriors. Don’t warm up, go out too fast — ping! — there’s a debilitating snap in the back of your leg. A muscle snap that if you ignore can hobble you for weeks. First, a look…

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Have a ball? Have a ball!

When I’d reached my self-imposed word limit yesterday I said I’d return today with recommendations for working through a hamstring injury and ways to prevent it from happening again. Which I’ll get to. But first I need to tell you about an orphaned ball. It was a good hour until dinner, the early evening was warm and sunny, the rush of kids coming home from school and parents from work…

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Hamstrung by a hamstring

It was the second inning and we were only down by two, but already I could feel the game slipping away. There was a short fly to the first base side, I started to sprint over and — Aiieee! — I felt a hamstring go. The semitendinosus, if my reading of the Full Body Anatomy chart was right. I one-hopped the fly, another run scored and I suddenly had visions…

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