— What we’re about

Welcome to your new, fit life! We’re glad you’re here.

Whether you’ve been redirected here from GetOut! GetFit! or, or are a total newcomer to, here’s some background about what we’re up to.

I’m Joe Miller. My job here is to help you find a way of moving that makes you happy. Fitness and good health will follow. Think of me as a kind of personal coach – except I won’t make you weigh in. (Fitness programs pay too much attention to weight and not enough to how they make you feel.)

I have written about health, fitness and the outdoors for about 18 years. At The News & Observer of Raleigh, I wrote about outdoor adventure — hiking, cycling, paddling, climbing, diving and various other adrenaline-inducing pursuits. My writing first appeared in the Travel section.  After a few years, I stepped up the coverage with a weekly outdoor adventure column, Take It Outside. Then I added health and fitness coverage in the GetOut! GetFit! column and blog.

A bit more about my evolution. Take It Outside allowed me to share my passion for outdoor adventure with others. Some of those “others” were already active. The magic occurred with those who were not, who were spurred into action by reading about a terrific place to hike, or about someone who hadn’t ridden a bike in 25 years and suddenly decided to do the MS 150 (a pair of 75-mile bike rides on consecutive days), or a 55-year-old who took up whitewater kayaking. And I was hooked by the notion of exposing people to something that could positively influence their lives. That feeling intensified when I began writing GetOut! GetFit!, which was aimed at getting more sedentary types off the couch.

I know what it’s like to be lethargic, to have zero energy, to feel like a slug. Two days without significant movement and I’m a grouchy wreck, disconnected from who I am, who I like to be. I know what it’s like to be active, to have energy, to keep up with the kids on bikes, at the playground, on the basketball court — then to sleep really well at night. I know what a difference being active can make.

When I took a voluntary buyout from The News & Observer in April, my plan was to create a web site about all the fun ways to get fit and and stay that way. Because there’s no family trust or inheritance in the wings, I needed a sponsor. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina seemed a good fit. To me, riding a bike, going for a hike, cavorting on the playground with the kids keeps me sane. To Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, fit and healthy folks are less likely to need a doctor, less likely to go to the hospital, less likely to file insurance claims. Pretty simple.

If only staying in shape were that simple, you say? In fact, it is. You just need to find a way of staying fit that you enjoy. Yes, enjoy. You say you’ve never found a form of sweating that makes you happy? I say you just haven’t found what pushes your adrenal button. And that’s my goal here at — to expose you to as many athletic endeavors as possible until we hit the one that makes you stop and say, “Huh. That sounds like fun.” And fun is key, because if you don’t enjoy whatever it is you’re putting your body through, if it doesn’t trip something inside you that makes your spirit want to go another five minutes when the rest of your body is crying No mas, then you won’t keep at it. Nor should you. Life is too busy to waste a portion of it suffering from painful exercise. Likewise, life is too short to waste a portion of it suffering the ill effects of not moving.

Now come on, let’s see what we can find to help you Get Going.

15 thoughts on “ — What we’re about”

  1. Joe,
    High five buddy! Can’t wait to read more. I hiked three trails in the Mount Jefferson State Natural Area in Ashe County last week. While there were a few warnings about sheer drops and such, I found it to be a very manageable trek of a little more than an hour – even with my golden retriever. My knee was begging for relief as I came down the south side of the mountain from Luther’s Rock – climbing is easier!

    Here’s a link if you’re interested.


    1. One of my all-time favorite mountain views of a WalMart is the one from Luther Rock looking down on the WM in Jefferson (or is it West Jefferson, I get the two confused). That’s a great trail for mountain-top views, and the best part is that your car does all the climbing.

      1. I know the overlook you’re talking about. You’re right – you can look down on the WalMart and the Lowes! And Greenfields where they have mountain music on Friday nights.

  2. I’m with you! Just returned from Zion National Monument and took a hike to the head of the Virgin River and a side trip to Hoover Dam. Wow! It was fun and so inspirational. I’m trying to keep my chair from sticking to my body!!

    1. Sounds like you’re having little trouble motivating yourself to keep that chair from sticking. Speaking of chairs and wild places, last fall we were at an arts fair in Charlotte and spent some time with Wilmington photographer Curtis Krueger and his, um, traveling companion, Mrs. Davis. Check that out what he and the Mrs. have been up to here:

    1. Absolutely, but two quick questions first: 1. What town do you live in and how far are you willing to travel. 2. How active is your son? One of the great things about hiking with little kids is that they can make a day out of a half-mile-long trail.

  3. Joe,
    I’m so glad I found you here. I’ve MISSED reading you at the News-Observer. I’m glad you found a home from which to pursue your passion and to help us all along the way. I’m a frequent Umstead rider…several times a week, often in the early morning darkness. Please keep us informed about group events in the area.

  4. Hi Norman,
    And I’m glad you found me as well. I’ll continue to do what I can to keep you updated. And if you’re riding at Umstead early Wednesday, I’ll be there as well, on a maroon Trek mountain bike.

  5. Francine, next time out Zion way stop by Bryce Canyon N.P. Instead of seeing the sights from the top try and hike it. Awesome and it is worth hiking. Also, hiking up in Arches N.P. to the Delicate Arch is also a good hike. Not a real easy hike but worth it once you are to the Delicate Arch.

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