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I'm a self-professed adventure writer and former exercise junkie seeking a long-term relationship with my higher self, healthy workout habits, and a balanced, adventurous lifestyle in San Luis Obispo. Join me as I discover the healthy activities of SLO County, from land to sea.
Showing posts with label slo County. Show all posts
Showing posts with label slo County. Show all posts

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Asbestos Awareness Week 2014

Writing my blogs is a labor of love. I enjoy sharing my SLO County adventures with a widespread audience and hope that at least a few of you will feel inspired to get out and explore your surroundings, and live a full, adventuresome life. Equally important is the opportunity for me to hear from my readers and learn from you. 

Recently, Heather Von St. James, a cancer victor who lives in Roseville, Minnesota, reached out to me with a request to share something on my blog that is very near and dear to her: Asbestos Awareness Week 2014 (April 1 - 7). Once I read about her incredible story I was delighted to help.

In 2005, at the age of 36 and just months after giving birth to her daughter Lily Rose, Heather was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, a rare and deadly cancer caused by her second-hand asbestos exposure when she was growing up. Given just 15 months to live, she and her husband Cameron faced some tough choices: Heather underwent a life-saving surgical procedure that included removal of her left lung. 

Heather has made it her life's mission to help educate people about this deadly disease and its cause, and eight years after her diagnosis, she's spreading optimism and hope. Here is what Heather wrote to me about staying active...quite an inspiration to keep moving!

"After surgery, I was encouraged to get up and walk two times a day for 20 minutes.. when I started, I lugged around oxygen and IV's on a cart, by the end of my stay...(18 days!!) I was walking a mile a day around the halls of the hospital...with no oxygen or IV's. It absolutely helped with healing…I was released from the hospital in mid February so my walking sort of waned off during those cold months,...but once the weather warmed up, I started walking out doors again. I would take my daughter to the mall in the stroller and walk around with her. It was pretty much all I was capable of that first year…as the years have gone on,  I have tried different things, Yoga, biking, swimming...but I always go back to simply walking,... I don't do it as often as I would like, especially this last winter which was so terribly cold…I kept saying I would join a gym for the cold weather months, but never did...I loathe treadmills...I'm very much looking forward to warmer weather and just being outside.  I stay active...I garden and love doing yard work in the summer and do a lot of fun things with my daughter…but I don't hold tight to any regimen…I think attitude and just staying active help me in everyday life."

Throughout her life, Heather's been accused of wearing rose colored glasses and seeing life very optimistically. She has no plans of ever taking them off. You can find out more about her amazing journey by clicking here.

"Don't give up. Don't take a death sentence as a diagnosis. There is hope." ~Heather Von St. James

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Cayucos State Beach

A piece of emerald green sea glass I found on Cayucos State Beach.
Cayucos is a gem of a town. Tucked away on Highway One in San Luis Obispo County, just five miles north of Morro Bay, this cool, funky destination is worth a visit. Rich in history, small town spirit and unspoiled coastline, its state beach is the perfect place to get some exercise. 

Yesterday, as sultry clouds hovered over SLO County, I headed to Cayucos in search of giant waves typical during this time of year. Walking along the beach I found a few colorful pieces of sea glass, felt the roar of the ocean and wondered...why aren't more people here?

I started my walk from Cayucos Pier, which is now only partially open due to a severely needed rebuild. Click here for more information about the pier's history and the current efforts to save it at savecayucospier.com.

I trekked south down Cayucos State Beach and saw a few others out for some exhilaration.
This paddle boarder braved the churning sea.

This surfer charged straight into the high waves.

Just another day in exercise paradise.

Monday, January 6, 2014

San Luis Obispo County 2014 Races

2014 hit the ground with a running start. As we enter the second week of January, commercials and magazine covers are staring us in the face: Lose weight. Get fit. Stick to your goals. 

For those of you who desire to go down a fitness track, training to run, walk or run-walk a race might help you get there. Throughout the year, many parts of San Luis Obispo County—from the sandy beaches to the rolling vineyards—play host to organized 5Ks, 10Ks, half and full marathons. 

If you've ever participated in a race, you know how much fun they can be. Lining up with hundreds of other athletes (yes, you ARE an athlete!) and sharing in their collective spirited energy, then passing through the start line and going the distance while the local community cheers you on is an adrenalin rush all in itself. Finally comes the finish line. Even if your feet are dragging, your legs are on fire and you feel like you can't go another stepwhat a rush when you reach the end.

Following is a list of a few upcoming races to consider in SLO County this year. You can find a more comprehensive list on the San Luis Distance Club's website and Active is another useful site.

Even if you've never participated in a race, maybe this is your year!

SLO Color Blast Fun Run 
January 25
Proceeds benefit the Alex Maier Memorial Fund & Scholarship and the race takes place at San Luis Obispo High School. Prepare to get covered in "a multicolored array of special dust made of corn starch." 

Wine Country 1/2 Marathon & 5K Run
March 23
Kids Half Mile "Grape Stomp," 5K, Half Marathon
I've participated in their half marathon twice. The venue is located in the heart of wine country in Paso Robles and offers a scenic hilly course along neighboring vineyards. Last year when I crossed the finish line I received a commemorative wine glass (yeah!). First place winners receive their weight in wine.

SLO Marathon
April 25 - 27
5K, Half & Full Marathon
I ran-walk the half marathon last year and ran the 5k the previous year. This race event is well organized and the courses are scenic and hilly. Make sure you train for hills as the marathons take you from the charming streets of downtown San Luis Obispo out to the rolling Edna Valley vineyards. This year race organizers are offering Jeff Galloway Training. Mr. Galloway is the inventor of the Galloway RUN - WALK - RUN method which is my preferred running program, as it takes the pressure off of feeling like I have to run the whole race (nice!). 

Brian Waterbury Memorial Rock to Pier Fun Run 
July 12
10K, Half Marathon
I've done this race before and I'd do it again. Running on the beach from Morro Rock to the Cayucos Pier at low tide is just plain fun.

City to the Sea
October 12
5K, Half Marathon
The half marathon starts in downtown San Luis Obispo and finishes in Pismo Beach. I've never participated in this race, but I've heard that it's a fairly flat, fast course. And...it finishes at the beach!

Harvest Marathon
October 26
5K, Half & Full Marathon
I ran the 5K a few years ago and won an award in my age category (might be the only running prize I ever receive at this stage of my life and that's ok—I run for the fun!). This scenic Paso Robles vineyard course celebrates the wine harvest season.

If you have a preferred SLO County race that you'd like to share with us, please feel free to post in the comments section below. Happy racing!

Friendly Disclaimer: Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy New Year!

Morro Rock Beach
From land to sea, San Luis Obispo County is jam-packed with activities and locales that allow you to get some exercise. Whether you live in SLO County, visit here occasionally or plan to travel to this Central Coast mecca, the year-round temperate weather, along with the alluring coastline, Santa Lucia mountain range and agricultural influence, provide a healthy climate.

Since launching this blog in 2012, I started hitting the local beaches and hiking trails for exercise. Along the way a remarkable thing happened: I developed a healthy obsession for capturing the beauty I saw all around me. I especially grew to love sunset chasing; walking, kneeling and running along the sand to catch the perfect light reflecting on the water and shore have consumed my new-found photography hobby. 

Now that 2013 is gone and 2014 is staring us in the face, why not make this a banner year for your fitness goals and discover something new along the way? 

I've updated this site to include a partial list of SLO County organizations and business that might appeal to your sense of adventure. I believe one of the most important aspects of exercise is doing something that you personally find enjoyable—an activity that not only gets your blood pumping, but also nourishes your soul. The list I've compiled is by no means exhaustive and I welcome your input.

Whether you enjoy working out at the gym, paddle boarding, horseback riding, swimming, surfing, sailing, diving, kayaking, kite boarding, golfing, running, mountain biking, cycling, hiking, dancing, practicing yoga or the martial arts, I believe SLO County's got you covered. 

When it comes to fitness, everyone's sense of adventure is different. I hope you find and enjoy yours. 

Today I headed to Morro Rock Beach in Morro Bay. After a very long walk on the beach breathing the fresh, salt-scented air and listening to the soft crashing waves, I found my place of enlightenment.
 I'm always amazed at the bevy of activity on this quiet stretch of beach. Today I saw everything from fisherman and paddle boarders, to walkers and joggers, to horseback riders and surfers. Morro Rock Beach is quite a place to get the exercise of your choice. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bishop's Peak

The wise contend that the journey is the reward. But I find the opposite is true for me whenever I hike Bishop's Peak in San Luis Obispo City. Don't get me wrong—I get the Chinese proverb for what it's worth—but honestly, whenever I hike the tallest of SLO County's "Nine Sisters,"  I find my reward waiting for me at the top. 

The stunning views of the city, the surrounding agricultural land and the mountains, coupled with a nice breeze after the slow, steady, winding path ends at the top, is the ultimate payoff for me. Sitting on one of the benches at the crown of this volcanic plug while sipping water and relishing the quiet that one finds at an elevation of 1,559 feet...brings a little Zen to my day. 

Some might argue that the elation I feel at the top of this 4-mile round-trip hike is all part of the journey, and depending on perspective, maybe it is. But regardless of how we label our experiences, I can't argue with the benefits of a good hike. Fresh air. Great exercise. Sound mind.

The journey.
The reward.