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Burpies trump bridge in new neighborhood order

(I wrote the following story for The News & Observer and Charlotte Observer; it appeared in both papers on January 31, 2012. It appears here, with links.) Used to be that neighborhood moms got together for lunch or a game of bridge. Today, they’re increasingly likely to gather for burpies, squats and to work up a good sweat. The boot camp workout, born a decade ago and initially targeted to…

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90 Second Escape: A summer sweat in the doldrums of winter

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb. Today’s…

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Got a plan for 2012?

Got a plan for this year? If you don’t, you need one. If you vowed to be better this year, you need to start planning. You need goals to move you along. You need a carrot to get you out of bed and ride on a morning when it’s 25 degrees out. You need incentive to lace up your Asics and do your weekly track workout when your body is…

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This weekend hike into the past

Hiking into the past: It’s all the rage in North Carolina this weekend … . Coast Feeling competitive? Have three friends, at least one of whom is the opposite sex? And are all of you 16 or older? If you answered yes to all of the above, consider about heading down to Emerald Isle Saturday for the Emerald Isle Parks & Rec 4 x 4 Volleyball Tournament. Entry fee is…

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Predator! (Or pussy cat?)

Alan stopped dead in his tracks. I nearly ran into him. “What is that?” he whispered. His headlamp was fixed 30 feet up the trail and maybe 10 feet to the right. There, two bright green eyes starred from the brush. We were on the Falls Lake section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail on a seven-mile night hike, and I thought of the two things it could reasonably be: a fox…

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90 Second Escape: Blue Skies

I grew up in Colorado, where the sun shines, on average, 642 days a year. It’s now been four days since I’ve seen the sun here in the Triangle and the weather people say we shouldn’t count on seeing it today. Well I can’t wait. Get out your cocoa butter, folks. Here’s 90 seconds of ol’ sol to tide us over.

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The Earl of sensible transit: It’s up to us

For a guy who’s dedicated his life to public service and is perhaps the politician most closely associated with forward-thinking transportation policy, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR, says it’s not elected officials who drive progressive thinking when it comes to creating livable communities. And Blumenauer knows livable communities, having lived his life in one of the nation’s most living-friendly — Portland. He went to Portland’s Lewis & Clark College, served in…

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Options considered for coastal Mountains-to-Sea Trail

My idea of a good time when I can’t be outdoors? Sitting around a big conference table with the head of the state’s largest trail system and a newly minted map. Wednesday, Kate Dixon, executive director of the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail attended a meeting in New Bern about the path the MST would take from New Bern to the Outer Banks. Thursday, she took a few minutes to…

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This weekend: Save a turtle, celebrate a squirrel (or eat one)

We’re going with an animal theme this week. Turtles at the coast, bears and other hearty survivors in the mountains … and would you believe we’re celebrating the squirrel in the Piedmont? Coast Ever been walking along the coast and come across an area marked off with yellow tape? Holy crustacean killing! you think. Actually, the area has probably been roped off to protect a sea turtle nest. Sea turtles…

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The family that plays together stays in shape together

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, sponsored by the American Heart Association and William J. Clinton Foundation and dedicated to battling childhood obesity, has issued eight ways families can get fit together. We list those eight ways below and go one step further, suggesting specific ways you can make this happen NOW! Meaning this week now. Take a walk. Stroll together after a family meal or walk around the mall…

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