Outdoor Adventures

All activities that occur outside in the fresh air

Making Healthy Living a Lifestyle!

What a great year already … just a week into the New Year and it is awesome!
Healthy Lifestyle ... mproving Helth, Improcing LivesI  expect this to be an indication of the rest of the year.  My healthy lifestyle continues to pay great dividends for me in a BIG way.  I ended 2016 on a very positive note, and couldn’t imagine how wonderful 2017 is kicking off!

A brief recap of my 2016 end of the year, and a view of some of my scheduled January 2017 healthy lifestyle activities:  

In November 2016 I represented AARP and was awarded a Positive Aging Image Award by the Georgia Institute on Aging / Leading Age program, simply because of the way I live my life!  Can you even imagine?!  I was in great company, with Ambassador Andrew Young receiving the Icon in Positive Aging Award. November was also the month I completed the Atlanta Track Club Triple Peach Road Races.  I finished the last of the races, the Half-Marathon on Thanksgiving Day. My first time ever doing a half-marathon.  The other two races in the Triple Peach were the 10k Road Race on July 4th, and the 10-Miler on October 23rd.

In December 2016 participated in the Florida State Senior Games in Race Walking and the Cycling Time Trials.  My goal was to qualify for each of those events so I could participate in the 2017 National Senior Games to be held in Birmingham, AL in June.  Florida was the last qualifying location for the year. I received a Bronze medal in each event. This was my first time competing in either of these sports.

On January 1st – New Year’s Day I did the Atlanta Track Club Resolution Run/Walk … in the rain, no doubt!  There were more than 2,500 participants.  It was mostly wet, a light drizzle, and the temperature was in the 40’s. But, I was determined!

On January 2, 2017 this wonderful article, written by Laura Berrios,  How City Girl Became All About Urging Seniors to Have Fun Outdoors was published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper, the only major daily newspaper in metro Atlanta.

On January 4th, as a result of the article, I was interviewed by Lin Tatum, host of the hour-long show radio Better Living, which airs in metro Atlanta GA, New Orleans LA, and Phoenix AZ on Saturdays and Sundays.

On January 7th, I checked my steps, to see how many I had logged since I had my Garmin Multisport Smartwatch.  This was the one year anniversary of having the watch.  I had clocked more than 3.5 million steps, equivalent to more than 1,500 miles … whew!  I had no idea!  I was just enjoying my walks and how great they made me feel. Plus, on my walks at the park in my neighborhood, I made new friends who walked the trail regularly.

On January 16th, I was summoned to have a team for the Martin Luther King, Jr., 5k Drum Run/Walk, at Piedmont Park in Atlanta.  Click here to join the team.  Yay!  People are signing up! BTW, I walk … I am not a runner!

On January 21st, I plan to participate in the Atlanta Track Club Peachtree City 8k/15k.  I plan to do the 8k which is approximately 5 miles.  This event is a part of the 2017 Grand Prix Series presented by Piedmont Healthcare, which includes 11 different run/walks around metro Atlanta. I will do as many as I can.

On January 22nd, I am scheduled to participate in the Hot Chocolate 15k Run/Walk. At the time I signed up last year it was before I knew about the Grand Prix, and definitely did not realize they had events just a day apart.  The plan is to do them both.

On January 28th, I have signed up to attend the Southern Snow Seekers One-Day Cataloochee Ski trip.  It is for beginners (that’s me!) and families.  I will probably just be an observer to see it I want to try this ski think again.  Many, many years ago I was a member of the Jim Dandy Ski Club in Detroit.  I went on a ski trip with them, but could not make it off the bunny hill.  I will observe on this trip and see if I will be ready for next year.

I say that to say … we will see how this Healthy Lifestyle thing is working for this 68 year old!  Quite frankly, I expect it is working well.  However, I do know my limitations. I am very happy with my quest to meet my personal mind, body, spiritual and emotional wellbeing needs. I am on track (pun intended) with my own self-directed Healthy Lifestyle Coaching.

Mindful Meditation is one of the things I practice to help keep me focused and boy has it worked for me.  When I reviewed my list of projected goals at the beginning of 2016 and compared them to my 2016 accomplishments, I was right on target.  Actually I surpassed many of my goals as a result of being able to stay focused throughout the year.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying I did not venture off track, but, I was able to get back on track a lot more easily my practicing mindful meditation.

Walking was my primary physical activity for the year. Being gifted with a Garmin Multi-sport Smartwatch, which prior to receiving the gift, had convinced myself I didn’t really need one, ended up being the best gift ever.  It really kept me on track!  I had it set to regulate itself as I met, or fell short of my daily steps goals. I was able to track my heart rate and my sleeping patterns.  It was very eye-opening to track my activities without having to think about what I was doing and then to see the results.

dsc_2574My spiritual and emotional wellbeing are strengthened with my hikes in the woods, my positive thoughts, conversations with, and support  from friends, and my feelings of oneness with God.  I am able to see the bright side of most things.  Practicing ‘positivity’ helped remove or, at the very least, limit my relationships with people who have negative energy.

As I have moved forward into 2017, I can clearly see how my actions have become healthy habits which are now incorporated into my lifestyle. I had to determine my true level of self-commitment and how I saw myself in the big picture … my dreams.  It is never too late to have big dreams and to follow them.  One of the best benefits of following my dreams led me to discover my passion and my life purpose.   As a result, I have  surpassed many of my goals and had accomplishments far beyond my dreams.  Guess I wasn’t dreaming big enough!  I have discovered when you actually believe and walk your talk, you really can achieve your dreams.  I absolutely love my Healthy Lifestyle Coaching.  Not only is it self-fulfilling, it is so gratifying to see how I am able to help others live their best life.

I have been encouraged to share my Healthy Lifestyle Blueprint on a larger scale because many more people can benefit from them.  Because I so love the coaching I do, the results that I see, and the reassurance I get from others,  I will have a FREE online video conference to cover the basics of making healthy living a lifestyle to help those who are ready to change their routine 2017 and live their best life ever! This has been brewing for some time now and is the primary reason I am currently in the process of writing my first book, The Joy of Aging.  I have started The Joy of Aging Community group.  Feel free o visit it and post your joys of aging. We can have joy, no matter the age. Being in good health makes it all that much easier to have a quality of life that automatically results in a life filled with happiness.  We can learn how to fine tune our lives and orchestrate it to have harmony as any great symphony orchestra when all the instruments are in place.  I am here to be your conductor and help you create the best music for you to love, laugh and dance to like no one is watching!

If you are interested in joining this FREE online video conference coaching session, please RSVP here.  The space is limited.

Please feel free to visit my website at anytime to signup for my monthly online newsletters or any of the groups for fun activities, including the upcoming Spring into Life Retreat April 21 – 23, 2017.

Categories: Health Coach, Lifestyle Management, Nutrition and Wellness, Other Outdoor Adventures, The Basics | 1 Comment

My Metamorphosis…

METAMORPHOSIS{Project Self Discovery}Metamorphosis-Butterfly

I have been on hiatus from my blog, going through a real self-discovery.  I am now much more focused on my mission in life, who I am, and what I was put on this earth to do.  As great as life continues to be for me, I knew it was time to readjust.  What is so absolutely amazing, is that as I have been in, and quite frankly, continue to be in the process…just when I was thinking life couldn’t get much better…it did!

Since becoming an official senior citizen in 2013 when I turned 65 and had a phenomenal year, 2014 was quite different, but even better.  Then here is 2015, and just in the month of January, if this is any indication of the rest of the year, all I can do is be in the moment and savor in the splendor!!!

In actuality, as I review the past 14 years since I relocated to Atlanta, relentlessly determined to follow my dreams, going places and doing things where many people over the age of 50 would never consider, I broke traditions to pursue my almost lost dream, but would soon discover a passion I did not know was in me. With the formation of my Lifestyle Management LLC company, the development of my online newsletter, my Hartfield’s Hikers, and my Meetup groups, people have come to join me in my quest for a healthier mind, body and spirit.  Little did I know, at the time, how this pursuit would literally change my life, and the lives of others.

What is so amazing, with all the changes that have already occurred, the transformation process continues as I attend Emory University to become a Healthy Lifestyle Coach so I can expand key areas in my life and be in a better position to help others.  2015 is leading me to reach out to my original target audience, baby boomers…those men and women over the age of 50, and although I wrote and spoke it, I had not aggressively moved in the direction of inter-generational activities.  Well, it has pretty much been dropped in my lap. Some new programs that I will be exploring by Spring of this year.  More on those later.

In the meantime, all in the month of January 2015, I have been featured on CNN’s AccentHealth Network, WATC-TV Atlanta Live, That’s My Biz-TV Internet show, launched my redesigned web site, which I actually did myself, received an invitation to join the board of the American Hiking Society, invited to start senior hiking groups at local recreation centers, and spearheading hiking expeditions for teenage girls, and I have started my Voice Over Talent lessons. Mind you…all this among my regular stuff…in January!

The moral of my story…it is never too late to discover your passion and pursue your dreams!  Expect to hear from me more regularly.

Travel-VariosLiving Life to the Fullest!!!

 

Categories: Fitness, Health Coach, Hiking, Lifestyle Management, Nutrition and Wellness, Other Outdoor Adventures, Outdoor Adventures | 2 Comments

Celebrating Life as a Baby Boomer-Senior Citizen

GroupPhotos7This year, 2013 has proven to be one of the best years of my entire life! 

As a ‘Forever Young’ Baby Boomer, I officially became a ‘senior citizen’ this year, and I have been celebrating all year…with old friends, new friends and anyone who wants to celebrate with me!

This is truly the year my motto has fully manifested, “Living Life to the Fullest!!!” I am so grateful for all the things in which I have been able to participate this year, and all those who help make it possible.

Here are a few of the activities in which I have participated;

  1. My first trip to Belize, Central America
  2. My first experience sailing the high seas in a Catamaran yacht
  3. Snorkeling for the first time
  4. Riding my bicycle more than 40 miles, in one ride
  5. Seeing the New York Broadway Show, Motown the Musical…seeing that I am a Detroit Motown girl!
  6. Touring the Grand Canyon, hiking the Bright Angel Trail, biking the canyon rim, and walking the Sky Walk
  7. Seeing a Moonbow at Cumberland Falls in Kentucky, one of only 5 places it is visible in the Western Hemisphere
  8. Reconnecting with old friends, including friends from my teenage years, and my first boyfriend
  9. Being featured in a local Atlanta area Lifestyle magazine
  10. Being featured in a Life Plus, Informed & Inspired Senior Living TV segment.          And last, but the most significant…
  11. Having my first doctor’s appointment as a ‘senior citizen‘ and being told there was no code for me in the computer system because I was ‘so healthy.’  My vital statistics (blood pressure, weight, BMI, etc.) were great, all without any medications.

I am so happy and content with my life.  I am really inspired by those with whom I share my lifestyle and activities, and they tell me I am their inspiration.  That, I will say is one of the most rewarding and heart-warming accolades I can ever receive.  Most times, I get choked up when I am told how much of an inspiration I am.  To know that I am making a difference in the lives of others while pursuing my passion, and living my life with defined purpose, is what it’s all about  It doesn’t get much better than that.  But, I do expect the best is yet to come!

So, off I am to the next adventure…see ya soon!

Visit my websites to see some of the activities:

Categories: Bicycling, Fitness, Hiking, Lifestyle Management, Nutrition and Wellness, Outdoor Adventures, Water Adventures | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

What a Life!!!

Life couldn’t be better…but I do expect that it will continue to get better!  So very much is going on…just within the last week the following exciting events happened for me:

1) On Friday, I had an interview with the Cuisine Noir magazine, out of California.  Sheree, the publisher said she found me on the Internet and liked  what I was doing, in reference to leading African American on hikes and other outdoor activities.  My story will be in an upcoming issue…will keep you posted;

2) Friday afternoon, I get a call from a producer at Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters (AIB), they too, found my on the Internet and want to shoot my hike with my OPALs groups (the original and meetup group), in celebrations of Older Americans Months in May.  That hike is scheduled for Saturday, May 11 at Red Top Mountain;

3) Saturday afternoon I was the keynote speaker for the 25th Anniversary of the Black Newcomers Network (BNN), of which I am a past president.  It was good to see members and friends I had not seen in a while.  The gist of my presentation, was how BNN literally changed my life, that resulted in all my present outdoor activities.

4) Saturday evening, I ushered at the Fabulous Fox in Atlanta, for the Mike Tyson, one man show.  He was actually very good.  I must say, much better than I expected.  Anyway, when I walked in, one of the Fox staff personnel commented on my photo in the Perimeter North Lifestyle Magazine.  I was one of the ushers featured in the magazine highlighting the Fox and it’s volunteers.  I am the in the lead photo for the story. Check it out, page 26…

5) Sunday afternoon after worship service, I was delighted to treat a few friends to tickets and great seats at the Fox Theater fort he Jillian Michaels’ (Trainer on Biggest Loser TV Show) Maximize Your Life tour. I was ushering, but it was good to have them there as my guests.

6) Tuesday evening, I was the moderator for the Family Wellness Network conference call.  It was an honor to stand in for Dr. Shirley Carmack.

7) Wednesday, I met with one of the outreach managers at REI and we had a great discussion about our partnership and how we will both strengthen it with collaborations, which have already started, but will be enhanced forthcoming.  Great!

8) Thursday evening, a very good friend Donna Satchell, who is an Achievement Speaker, Author and Passion & Purpose Expert and Coach, held a very informative seminar.  We are Mastermind partners.  I have the utmost respect for her and the growth and accomplishments I have seen her make over the years!  Well, last evening, she highlighted my story…finding my passion for the outdoors, and hiking the Grand Canyon for the upcoming 65th birthday…in her presentation.  I was most honored!

9) I have to throw this in…my Grand Canyon Birthday Adventure Tour is all set.  It feels so very good.  I am so looking forward to sharing this special birthday with this handful of friends.

10) And finally, the Belize Sailing trip is coming along really, really good!  It is such a joy to work with Thomas in planning this adventure.  Thomas is the author if the ‘Life is Good’ series (check out his posts) of this blog. We only have a few spots left and expect those to be sold soon.  Check out the information about it here.

So, for now…I am off to scout the trails for the upcoming hikes!  I encourage you to laugh often, love unconditionally, live harmoniously, and dance like no one is watching!

Categories: Fitness, Lifestyle Management, Outdoor Adventures | 3 Comments

Life is Good! My New Life in Belize

Welcome to Belize Notes!

I’m Thomas Thompson. I moved to Punta Gorda, Belize in January of this year (2013).  My original plan was to move to Belize, build a little house, and just live a very quiet life.  Well, once here, I have found Belize to be a very exciting place for an adventurer, like myself.Thomas Standing on Beach

To name a few places, the Mayan Temple, the Rainforests, the Marketplace, the beaches, the island cayes, the Bladen River Nature Reserve, which covers 97,000 acres of probably Belize’s most pristine protected rainforest…and much, much more, of which I am still exploring and will be blogging about in the future. Yes, I have found Belize to be the adventurer’s paradise.  I love it!

I will be sharing my experiences living here, along with photos so  you can not only read about my new life in Belize, but also see what I am talking about.  But, I have to say, while the pictures may be nice, they simply do not replace the real life experience of being here…so I do invite you to visit.  I will also share tips on traveling in this beautiful country.  It is my hope that after reading and seeing the photos, you will want to visit, in the very near future.

Check out our new Sundance Tours web site,  or go directly to the Belize Sail information and registration page for the trip we have planned for this July (2013).  It is going to be an awesome adventure!

Please leave your comments and questions below, or feel free to email me, either way, I will respond to you.

Categories: Lifestyle Management, Other Outdoor Adventures, Outdoor Adventures, Water Adventures | Leave a comment

Change Your Routine in 2013!

Wow! This year is off to an exhilarating fast start!  My intentions were get to my blog out before January ends, then before  before February ended…and now before March ends!

Life is soooo very good, I am living my dreams, and definitely, living my life to the fullest!!!  Henceforth, I will make time to keep my posts updated on a regular basis.  And, as a bonus, I now have a Guest Blogger…Thomas Thompson.  He recently relocated to Belize.  We have created a partnership for our Wonderful Outings in the Wilderness (WOW!).  He is focusing on the Sailing and Jungle Adventures in Belize.  Yep, that’s right…I have expanded my horizons, literally!   So, between the two of us, posts will be more frequent!  As a matter of fact, I invite you to visit our new web site, Sundance Tours to see what we are up to, and I encourage you to join us, as many others have, from around the country.

Now, for the unfinished business, this blog post I stated in January…so here it is, finally:

Recently I reviewed my January 2012 Blog Post…it was right on!  The year 2012 proved to be one of my best, and this year is already on its way to be even better!!  If it was not  happening to me, I might be skeptical…but hey…it’s all real!  When you change your mindset and expect the best, it comes to you.  It is what each of us is promised.  We just have to believe it and move forward.  With that said, my new original mantra for 2013 (which will last through 2019, with a little modification, maybe) is:

“In 2013 I shall change my routine,

I will make a conscious effort to live more green, and

I will strengthen my faith and belief in the unseen.”

This year my January hike was awesome!  We had more than 50 men and women join us at Red Top Mountain for our Resolution Fun & Fitness Hike.  It was a beautiful day, excellent for being in the great outdoors. At least half of the hikers were first-timers.  People have become more health conscious and looking for the benefits that being in the outdoors and hiking brings.

ThomasThompson-Sailing

I did my annual Cumberland Island Service Project for the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday, with the Georgia Conservancy, already ushered several great shows, including Alvin Ailey and Fela, at the Fox Theater, one of the featured Fox Ushers in Lifestyle Magazine, recorded by first Lifestyle CD, sold out my Grand Canyon Birthday Celebration Adventure Tour, and finalized the Belize Sailing Adventure, on catamaran yachts, for which I held the first information meeting at the Atlanta REI store.  Thomas was able to join us through Facetime…we beamed him in, and he was able to speak directly with those in attendance, and answer their questions.  It was awesome!!!

I am more than happy to announce that out of 31 invitations to the Grand Canyon meeting, 3 notified me that they could not make it, 24 showed up, and by the following Monday, 3 spots were taken.  The trip was sold out within 2 weeks!  I am sooo very happy, I can’t contain myself.  We are going to have the best time ever.  You can check out the trip information here…it is a very adventurous, full schedule!

Now we are getting such great response to the exciting Belize Sailing Adventure in July 2013.  Check out the new web site for our upcoming adventures.  FYI… Thomas, is a Certified Sailing Captain and a very adventurous person.  Check him out at the Sundance Tours web site. Thomas relocated to Belize in January…he is awesome to work with!

Also, want to express my heartfelt gratitude to those who have emailed me to express their support for what I do. When I hear how my words and actions inspire people, their response inspires me.  It is those words of encouragement that keep me going and confirms for me that I have found my purpose in life…as some have told me, my ministry, my passion to help others attain/maintain optimum health and wellness, and live their life to the fullest!!! Be well and live long and strong…

Categories: Lifestyle Management, Other Outdoor Adventures, Water Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrating Life!

I recently celebrated reaching the age of 64!  As a matter of fact, my birthday was on the 5th of September, and I actually started celebrating about 2 weeks prior and continue to celebrate.  I feel I am entitled to celebrate at lTree Climbing at Panola State Parkeast one day for each year, if  I so choose…and I so choose.  That means I will be celebrating at least until November 9th!

Life is so good, I just can’t stop celebrating and being grateful for every day!  Here is what I have been doing so far…beginning about 2-weeks prior to the 5th….Bicycle Riding; Tree Climbing, Hiking Tallulah Gorge, Finishing the Treetop Quest Obstacle Course where I Zip Lined, swung on Tarzan style ropes and crossed on various suspended ‘monkey’ bridges.

While bike riding, we got caught in the rain, it was fun!  It was warm so no big deal.  Right after bike riding, we went over for the tree climbing adventure.  When I was challenged to hang upside down while pretty high in the tree, I thought for sure as I did it, ‘I have lost my mind!’  I have to admit, although I did hang upside down, I held on with one hand, as opposed to no hands.

Leading my Hartfield’s Hikers group at Tallulah Gorge where we crossed the suspension bridge and took the stairs, a total of 1,120, down into the gorge, and back up.  Tallulah Gorge is where, in 1970 Karl Wallenda walked a tightrope 750 feet up, across the gorge.  Well, as I walked tightropes and swinging cable bridges and the like from tree to tree, I thought about the Wallenda’s and could not even begin to imagine how they were able to walk those tightropes, with no support!  It was fun envisioning myself as a Wallenda…hahaha…as I crossed through the treetops.

I am proud to say, I received my certificate of accomplishment from Treetop Quest for completing Level 5…the most difficult obstacle course there.

In the meantime, I continue to work out regularly, and eat fairly healthy.  I am getting back into my 90% organic food choices, and at least 50% raw fruits and vegetables.  I continue to take my all natural, dietary supplements.  Since my birthday, I have stepped up my regular workouts.  Now I am completing 45 minutes as opposed to 30 minutes on the treadmill at 4.5/13:20 minute mile, at a 10.0 incline.  I fluctuate my strength weight routine between 35lbs. and 45lbs.  And, of course my stretches.

I plan to treat myself to a BIG birthday gift…it will obviously be late, but within my 64 day window. Won’t say what it is until I actually have it! Also, been in touch with childhood friends, reconnecting with them is really good.  I plan to travel more in 2013 and visit some of them.

Well, getting back to my birthday celebrations, I vowed that I would meet my challenges head-on and stretch myself to go for feats that I felt were a stimulating test of my abilities.  I would also try many things that I previously knew nothing about…like all this tree climbing I have been doing.  There is absolutely no way i would have ever thought I would be climbing and swinging, high up in trees!

Something else I did as a first for me…I went kayaking and felt comfortable on my first time out, after being shown what to do.  It was one of the most relaxing times ever, being out on the river, which was very calm.   And, I am already getting excited about my 65th celebration, as I plan to take a group to experience the Grand Canyon.  We will hike the Canyon, ride the Canyon railroad train, and explore other adventures while there.  I am sill planing, so more on that later.

Let me not forget to mention my professional speaking engagements.  I have been receiving invitations to speak about health and wellness from a different perspective, they way I do things…having fun, while getting healthier.  My activities are well rounded.  I was at the theatre yesterday to see ‘The King and I’ remembering the late great Yul Brynner as I enjoyed it.

Well, I think I need to come to a close for now.  I hope I have inspired you to try something new and different that may be a stimulating test of your abilities. I am not suggesting you climb trees as I did, but simply try something that will help you get over any fears you may have, or something that challenges your physical abilities.  And, it can even be eating some of those foods that you know are healthier for you but may not taste as ‘good’ as you are accustomed.  Believe me, your taste buds will  change, especially as you start feeling better and becoming more healthy!

Enjoy life and celebrate it everyday…live your life to the fullest!!!

P.S.:  This is September 11th, let us remember those who lost their lives on 9/11/01.  Pray for their families, as I pray for you and your family for lives fulfilled, on purpose. Today reminds me of one of the reasons why I celebrate everyday, because tomorrow is not guaranteed!  Peace…

Categories: Bicycling, Hiking, Lifestyle Management, Nutrition and Wellness, Other Outdoor Adventures, Outdoor Adventures, Water Adventures | Leave a comment

Living A Life Rewarded…

I was told by a friend and mentor, “When you help others get what they want, you are helping yourself get what you want.”  With that said, I tell you how my life has truly been rewarded!

First, as a point of clarity, by no means am I advocating helping someone solely for the purpose of reciprocation, but rather, helping from a moral, sincere heart, and you will be rewarded, if only by knowing that you have made a difference in someone’s life.

Now, let me move on with my story…

Here I am, at the time, a 52 year-old city girl who had recently relocated to Atlanta, simply because I was ready for a change in my life.  The short of the long is, I had never been to Atlanta, only knew one person living in Atlanta,  and she was someone with whom I had worked many years before.  We had renewed our friendship to the tune of regular telephone conversations.  During one of our conversations, she said to me, “Carolyn, there is a lot going on in Atlanta, you should be here.” I am sure she really did not expect my response when I said, “okay”.  Within forty-five days, I had packed my belongings, shipped them to her place, and prepared for my first trip to Atlanta, to visit her, 10 days after my things arrived…was I ready for the move or what?!

I had, for many years told myself that I wanted to relocate to a warm weather city.  I had no idea where, when or how, it was just a dream of mine. This apparently was my time and I took advantage of it.  Believing it was truly my time…my opportunity to walk in my faith and take the leap.  I started sending her money before I arrived to help her with some personal issues she was having at the time.  So, when I arrived, my initial reward was not having to pay rent for several months, as I lived out the comparable money I had sent ahead.  I helped her in a time of need, because I could, and she helped me realize a latent dream of moving from my home city and exploring the possibilities of new adventures in a new ‘warm weather’ location.  I loved it!

The day I arrived in my new home city, which was within 30 days following my visit, she had arranged for us to attend Evander Holyfield’s ‘Real Deal’ weekend event at his estate.  That event, and others I was privy to attend with her,  led to my meeting others with whom I networked, and started building my foundation of new acquaintances.  This includes being the Managing Director for a breast cancer organization, which afforded me the opportunity to be caregiver to a couple of ladies, one of whom stayed with me for a while.   Both times were very rewarding experiences, especially knowing that I was able to personally make a difference in their lives during a time of despondency.

Having owned a small health food store chain, I was very much into natural health and wellness.  As a result, I was able to bring a different perspective to the Health Ministry service where I volunteered at the church I had joined. I became certified as a ‘teacher’ and helped coordinate several classes and projects, including one where I produced a journal to help people along in their pursuit, with applicable scripture.  As a result, I was able to touch the lives of hundreds of people in their quest for optimal health and wellness…how rewarding, and it continues as I run into some of them from time to time, and they express the impact it continues to have on their life.

Imagine, doing what I loved…helping people improve their state of health and wellness, and bringing balance to my own, in the areas of mind, body and soul/spirit.  It was an awesome reward!

Then, I was invited to an event featuring renown motivational speaker, Les Brown.  I had put on one of Les’ first speaking engagements in my hometown area many years prior, and was able to renew my friendship with him.  As a result, I became director of his speakers training program and coordinated one of his ‘best ever’, as he said, training conferences. That was a time of growth for me, and I met speakers from around the country.  Here in Atlanta, we hosted his most successful, sellout, Motivational Monday speaker’s showcase event, and produced a CD.

That led me to the introduction, by one of the speakers, to an organization for newcomers to the Atlanta area.  This is the group that introduced me to hiking.  Here I was, about to celebrate my 56th birthday, and as a tradition, I try to do something challenging that I have never done before, so I went on my first hike.  We hiked Blood Mountain in the North Georgia Mountains.   It was one of the most exhilarating things I had ever done in my life…I was hooked…experiencing nature, in the raw, the fresh air, blue skies, it was awesome!

As it turned out, a few years later, the hike leader was unable to continue due to a change in his work schedule.  Sensing my love for hiking, he asked me to take over leading the hikes…wow, what an opportunity!  As I prepared myself for this new venture, I became certified as an Outings Leader through the Sierra Club so I could really understand what was entailed, behind the scenes, as I took on the responsibility of leading people on wilderness trails.  This is where I kicked in my marketing background and grew the attendance to the hikes through my online newsletters…my first official hike included 30 people!  All previous hikes were considered good if 8 to 10 people attended. Henceforth, never having missed a monthly hike for the last three years, plus, every month we have people being introduced to hiking and experiencing the same joy and exhilaration I felt on my first hike.  It is so very rewarding when my hikers tell me how the experience has changed their life, particularly as it relates to their health and peace of mind.  It is comments like that, that are so rewarding to the work I do that motivates me to continue, knowing I am helping men, women and young people to open up to the possibilities of new adventures and experiences in their life.

A couple of the most profound rewards was when  one of the hikers who had been stationed in Afghanistan, returned home and came to one of the hikes, and told everyone how much he appreciated the newsletters and photos, and how they made him feel so connected to us, and inspired.  Another was a public school teacher of 17 years, who was so inspired to explore life’s possibilities after going on several hikes with us that she did not renew her upcoming contract, took a job teaching in Dubai and went zip lining there, that she had been to afraid to do when we went zip lining and horseback riding together, before she left.  She is now enjoying teaching again and living her life to the fullest!!!  I am both honored and humbled to know the work I am doing is having that kind of impact on others.  The feedback is the best reward ever!

There are many other stories that I may share from time to time…but the purpose here is to let you know, when you help others, you are truly helping yourself.  My life is so rich now, I look forward to finding a way to help someone every day, even if it is as simple as finding someone without a smile, and giving them one of mine…I always get it back…a big reward for a small gesture!

Categories: Fitness, Lifestyle Management, Nutrition and Wellness, Outdoor Adventures, Triple-A Plans | 1 Comment

The Perfect Balance for a Life Fulfilled!

The last few weeks have been really, really  busy…but through it all, my life just keeps getting better and better!  Without realizing what was going on, when I stopped to reflect on my events of recent weeks, I uncovered one of life’s most rewarding and explicit discoveries to a life fulfilled…perfect balance.  If you are like me, you seek balance in your life…I discovered, if you pursue your passions, perfect balance will be accomplished.

I attended a weekend session to strengthen my business acumen, spent a weekend camping, took a day of hike in the woods, and enjoyed a day at a history museum.  Each event was experienced with a totally different group of people.  As I was basking in the pleasurable experiences and the interesting people whose company I shared, I thought WOW!  Life is great…what can I do to continue to feel so fulfilled…um…that’s when I make the following discovery…perfect balance leads to a life fulfilled!

1.  The weekend SuccessQuest Boot Camp and the people with whom I spent time to hone my business skills, provided mental stimulation, development of solid action steps, and plans for my next moves, resulted in an immediate  implementation process for me.  There were also others with whom I connected, and formed viable business relationships.

2.  The hikes at Raven Cliff and Dukes Creek Falls, and pioneer camping at the Roosevelt State Park experiences were both inter-generational, family friendly events.  They allowed me to get my exercise in a fun and enjoyable environment, take in the great outdoors while engaging in great socialization activities that transcended all generation and gender gaps…grandparents, parents and grandchildren, men, women, boys and girls.  There were father  – son(s), mother – daughter(s), mother – son(s), professionals, unemployed, students, friends and relatives.  These events allowed be to commune with nature, enjoy the tantalizing, yet soothing sounds of nature as I chose to be silent, or in meditation. These events easily accommodated light conversation, as well as conversations that led to a sense of freedom, self-discovery, stress relief, for me and those with home I conversed,  and ultimately resulted in a true sense of unrestrained happiness, peace and harmony.  These were real Wonderful Outings in the Wilderness (WOW!) events.

3.  The visit to the Atlanta History Museum fulfilled a need for cultural events.  I learned a lot about the foundation on which the Atlanta culture was built.  There were displays, artifacts, tours, short films and live performances that depicted real historical figures.  I was with a friend with whom I was able to share my insights and relative connections of the past, to the present.  We ended our time together with a healthy, ethnic meal and stimulating conversation…what a great day!

In the past few weeks, God has shown me that in my quest for a life fulfilled, I just needed to be quite, reflect and realize that I had attained the balance of which I was seeking.  Balance that allows me to share my God given talents with others, as they share theirs with me, and to realize that there is always room for improvement when you have an open mind, and willing to be a student, as well as the teacher, when appropriate; to include family and friends and time in nature to better appreciate and marvel in His creations which brings a renewed peace, love and harmony; and to delve deeper to gain a deeper understanding of those things around me, not to judge, but embrace the differences and learn and grow from them.  With balance in these three (3) areas MIND – BODY – SPIRIT…they are truly all encompassing in many different ways, and are guaranteed to result in perfect balance for a life fulfilled!

I say to you…seek perfect balance in your life…pursue peace, joy and harmony…happiness, unconditional love, and optimal health.  Awaken to new discoveries about your natural talents, your passions, your curiosities.  When was the last time you tried something new, as I did when I went on my first ever hike in the woods at age 56 and discovered I absolutely love being in the outdoors basking in God’s wonders.  Now I help others discover the great outdoors by doing what I love…leading them on regular hikes, camping trips, and other outdoor activities while having fun and staying healthy. Now it is to the tune of  exposing thousands, regularly just through my online Atlanta African American Adventurers, OPALs meetup groups, online newsletters and this blog. I no longer have to look for people with whom to invest my time, rather than just spending time with those who would pull me out of balance, they find me.   This way everyone benefits and gets a good return on their investment!

 

I am looking forward to my upcoming ‘Seasoned and Savoring in the Spices of Life’ fall tour.  I will engage, excite and encourage, men and women age 50 and older to find the perfect balance in their life, and how they too can have a sensational, yet simple life on a limited budget.  East region cities to include; Atlanta, Raleigh, Charlotte and Washington D.C.; West coast cities to include; Los Angeles, Riverside, Las Vegas and Denver.  To include your city to the tour contact Jahi at BAPS – 301.842.7452, or Carolyn at 678.231.4973.  For Carolyn’s bio and more information on her program, go to Speaker Match.

Categories: Fitness, Lifestyle Management, Nutrition and Wellness, Outdoor Adventures | Leave a comment

Freedom, Fun & Friendships…what a Fantastic Life!

Loving Unconditionally, Laughing Often & Living Life to the Fullest!!!

Can you believe it…in June 2012 Hartfield’s Hikers celebrates 3 years.  Did you know that June is National Great Outdoors Month. Getting out in the Great Outdoors is so much fun and therapeutic! I get out as much as I can!

My Hartfield’s Hikers May hike was great at Hemlock Creek Falls.  This month (June) the first Saturday is National Trails Day.  As in the past few years, we partner with REI and take on a Service Project before we hike.  This year it is at Powers Island in the Chattahoochee National Recreational Area.

We joined my Atlanta African American Adventurers (A4) Meetup group for a Pioneer Camp Out at Hard Labor Creek State Park, which I must add, JB did an excellent job coordinating! What is Pioneer Camping you ask…how about, no running water, no electrical power, tents, sleeping bags, campfire and, we did have an ‘Out House’!  Sleeping in the outdoors, I felt so refreshed when I woke up the next morning. We had a great time!  JB grilled fish, chicken breast, cooked a full breakfast, oh…and we roasted marshmallows, played horseshoes and enjoyed everyone’s company.

The A4 Meetup celebrated its one-year anniversary with a membership of 500!  The group was acknowledged by MEETUP informing me that this was a major accomplishment, in that less than 10% of Meetup groups hit 500 members…WOW!

Then, I also started a new Meetup group – OPALs for my older friends (age 50+).  It reached 50 members in a week of being established, and it too was acknowledged by MEETUP as a great accomplishment.  I love this stuff!!

I planted my first ever, Organic Garden, that I am referring to as Hartfield’s Horticulture Experience.  It has grown so fast and full, to my amazement the tomato plants have gone wild, all within 30 days.  I have already picked some Arugula and Basil.

I also participated as a presenter at the Women’s Health Fair coordinated by Event Planner extraordinaire, Brenda Jackson.  The overall program was very informational, the lunch was healthy and the entire event was wonderful!  Made new friends, ran into old friends and had a ball!  I was honored that not only was I invited to be a presenter, I was asked to give the inspiration and prayer before lunch.  Thanks Brenda…it was truly an honor.

I think I just figured out how to keep my Blog current and up to date…let’s see if it works! Rather than write a long introduction in my newsletter, I will  write it here and link to in in the newsletter…why didn’t I think of that months ago…oh well…better late than never!

If you should see someone without a smile, give them one of yours!

Until next time…

Categories: Lifestyle Management, Outdoor Adventures, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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