Wednesday, July 2, 2008
I heard a frightening statistic on NPR the other day. The number one campaign issue in America today is gas prices. Not the war(s), economy, education, or health care but the price of gas is the number one issue on American's minds. I think this is frightening for two reasons. The first is that is shows how collectively selfish we all are. Our fellow country men are dying, and our number one concern is how much more money we are spending on gas? Other important issues face our country such as the recession and educational issues, but it is the immediate impact gas prices have on our disposable income that warrant the most attention. That is too bad. The second reason this statistic worries me is that the there is no presumption to limit usage. If the price of water tickets doubled, would you shower or water your lawn as much? I know, we need our cars to get to work and accomplish most of our daily chores. And, if we keep doing things they way we always have, we'll be stuck in this fossil fuel rut we have dug for ourselves. The bottom line problem is to stop viewing cars as the only alternative.
What about public transport and bicycles as an alternative to cars? Yes, you can move yourself around by other means than your automobile. Is it as convenient or easy as your car, no. Will it save you money and improve your health, yes. Even if you took the bus or drove to a light rail station a few days a month, you would put $100's of dollars in your pocket by the end of the year. Go to http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/CATS/Home.htm to learn more about how you can get around town via public transport.
Bikes. Yes, I am heavily biased towards using bikes. However, let me blunt. If you put panniers on an operational bike, you can accomplish 50%-70% of your transportation needs. The problem is that we all (me included) are just too damn lazy to make a change in our lifestyle to do so. In Europe gas has been near $10/gallon for a decades. Guess what. People don't drive as much. And, quite frankly, neither should Americans. We can make changes, if we wanted to. So, here is the punch line. John McCain nor Barak Obama can NOT change the price the gas. By the way, call me a cynic, but when either candidate says they can impact the price of gas, it is a unfulfillable campaign promise. Stop whining about it and looking towards our political leaders. Like any other product or service, if it is too expensive, consume less.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
June 17th saw the start of what is sure to become a Charlotte tradition. The Summer Trail Series kicked off it's second year at Reedy Creek park. Almost 200 active Charlotteans came out to enjoy the scenic and challenging trails. Due to some course debris, the race start a few minutes after 7:00. From the runners charged (well some people jogged and plodded) into the woods. The surprise and joy of most, this course included some hills, stairs, twists and even a picturesque pond to run by. In all, this intrepid crew covered 3.6 miles of deep back country landscape. Actually, that is a complete exaggeration. The trails were well marked and there were several places participants could have cut the course short if they so desired.
After the run through the woods, the runners were treated to a great post event spread of refreshments. Thanks to Central Piedmont Community College, Anheuser Busch, Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation Department, On the Border, and Run For Your Life, Charlotte Health & Fitness magazine was able to offer On the Border tacos, Diamond Springs water, and of course some ice cold Bud Light. The perfect way to replenish the carbs burned during the event.
The next event is scheduled for July 22 at Francis Beatty Park near the Siskey YMCA in Matthews. Be sure to register at http://www.chfmag.com/EventRegistration/SummerSeries08.html.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I think this comment from one of our parents says it all.
I wanted to take the time to thank you for letting my son participate in the Kids Triathlon. In addition to that, I also want to thank you for allowing me to be with him during the bike and the last ½ mile run. I wanted him to finish and me being with him allowed him to finish. He learned so much from that event, I want to share it with you.
He thanked me for taking him, “thanks for taking me to the kids triathlon, I would have been at home watching TV” This gave him a sense of accomplishment.
Though his face did not show it at the end of the race or at the awards portion, he wants to compete in the next two. He enjoyed himself.
This event has instilled a sense of confidence.
Yesterday I asked him what he wanted to do over the summer; one of the items was run and ride his bike to practice for the next race. He is setting goals.
Today he is wearing the award and his t-shirt to school and he is going to tell his class what he did. That shows a lot of pride.
We look forward to participating in the next event.
Matthew S. K
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
This blog is published with permission from Tom Ottman - one of the 150 participants of the Captain Jack's Bike Ride Sponsored by the May 20th Society.
I finished the entire 22 mile loop at my own pace, but I did complete it! There were some brutal hills, but for the most part, it was nice rolling terrain. That was the longest I have ridden in one session. The countryside was absolutely beautiful! Did you plot the course?
CHF mag thanks Tom for his submission. Also, CHF mag would like to thank all of the participants for coming out and riding. Finally, please visit www.may20thsociety.org for more information about this great organization. Thanks for your support.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Chocolate for Active People?
Chocolate for active people? You bet! Of course chocolate is viewed as a junk food, which, in excess, it is. In moderation and with the right kind of chocolates, there are some real health benefits associated with the beans of the cacao tree (Latin, Theobroma cacao, “food of the gods”).
Studies have shown a substantial decrease in blood pressure, and has a high level of antioxidants. Don’t just run out to the corner gas station and grab a Reeces Cup (yum), because the dark chocolates contain the goodies that are healthy.
The difference is that dark chocolate is rich in a class of compounds called polyphenols, which includes a subset of water-soluble plant pigments known as flavenoids. Other studies on flavenoid-rich foods have shown similar beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. A reduction is excess blood clotting, which causes a number of adverse events (e.g., pulmonary embolism, heart attacks), has been seen with other flavenoid-rich foods like red wine, tea (green and black), and dark grape juice. Green and black tea contain the richest amount of beneficial flavenoids; next (in decreasing order) are dark chocolate, black grapes, milk chocolate, red wine, apples, strawberries and raisins.
Chocolate milk has been shown to be one of the best recovery drinks for endurance athletes. I’ve tried this and found it to be true, not to mention it taste so good after exerting yourself to the limit. Chocolate also stimulates the secretion of endorphins, producing a sensation similar to the "runner's high" a runner feels after several miles.
Again, moderation is key. 100 grams of a chocolate bar has over 500 calories, so don’t over do it.