Hiking

Trekking the trails in the American Great Outdoors

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

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

Excel in 2012…already Happening…less than 3 weeks into the Year!

Let me tell you…if these first couple of weeks in January are any indication of how my year is going to be…it will definitely be a wildly exciting, adventurous and successful year for me and all the people with whom I associate…join us!

Chicopee Woods Hike a Great Start for 2012

We had our first 2012 hike on the 5 mile easy to moderate trail at Chicopee Woods which is located in Gainesville, GA behind the Elachee Nature Science Center.  The weather was perfect.  We had a great group of 25 hikers, including first timers.  So, for 2012 we hiked our first collective 125 miles.  Afterwards, a few of  us went to one of our favorite places just a few miles north from where we were, Jaemor Farms on I-985, for fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables…and freshly made fried pies and ice cream…yeah, yeah, fried pies and ice cream, and now they have these great cake balls for only 99 cents.  They were so delicious!!! This was our treat as we stood around eating our treats laughing and talking about the fun we had just experienced on the hike and other fun times!  Although some had just met for the first time, it was like a group of old friends reminiscing and enjoying each others company.

Unexpected Meetup Promotion

I ordered new Hartfield’s Hikers promotional cards and a banner.  They were received in time for our first hike of the year.   In addition to posting the hike in the newsletter, I posted it on my Atlanta African American Adventurers Meetup as well as the Georgia Outdoor Stewards meetup, of which I am a co-organizer.  Well, to my pleasant surprise, on Thursday, January 12, 2012, our group photo (with my brand new banner) was featured on the Meetup Homepage!  Wow!!!  That was really an unexpected bonus!  Check this out…there are more than 92,000 local meetup groups, with 90,000 topics in 45,000 cities, holding 280,000 monthly meetings with 9.5 million members, and we were chosen!  I was so busy getting ready for my weekend trip to Cumberland Island, I was unable to let people know we were featured, however, we were found by many!

Cumberland Island National Seashore Martin Luther King Jr., Service Weekend

Off to Cumberland Island the following day on Friday the 13th, (a GOOD Friday I must add) leaving the house at 5:15a.  At the time, I was not sure how many Hartfield Hikers would be attending, once again, I was pleasantly surprised to see that of the total number of 60 for the weekend, 13 were through Hartfield’s Hikers, including Kristina who is a Special Education teacher and she brought 2 of her deaf students.  Accolades to Kristina for giving them such a memorable experience!  Some of us, including me, opted to camp out.  We stayed at Hunt Camp.  It is further north from where we met for meals and the cookouts. It was also quite a ways from where we camped last year, the campsite is located right across from Plum Hollow a Carnegie family member mansion which we were able to tour.  All I can say is ‘awesome.’  You can view the Plum Hollow tour photos here.  My camera battery needed to be re-charged near the end of the tour, that is why the last photo may seem a little odd.

Saturday morning, February 15th we split up into our service groups.  The group to which I was a leader had a pretty good trail route. We cleaned and trimmed the trail that ended at the beach.  We took a break there before we headed back for lunch, then over to the Dungeness ruins to cleanup.  Check out our photos here.  Included in these photos are when some of us went searching for shark’s teeth.  I don’t anyone found any, but last year we found some and some other fascinating artifacts, including shells.

WCLK 91.9FM Radio Interview

I was been invited to be a guest on Kiplyn Primus’ radio show ‘The Local Take’ on WCLK 91.9FM, which airs on Saturday mornings, twice a month at 7:30a.m..   Show host Kiplyn Primus went on her first hike with Hartfield’s Hikers in December 2011.  She told me as many times that she has hiked around Stone Mountain, she had never been on the Cherokee Trail which goes within the forest of Stone Mountain.  When I as at the station for the taping, almost three weeks later, she told me she had been back on the Cherokee trail 3 times since hiking with us.  On Friday evening after arriving at Cumberland Island, Stephen called to tell me he was listening to the show.  Another pleasant surprise for me.  I did not think it was going to air until Saturday morning.  Our conversation was short because the reception on the island is not that strong.  Then while we were out performing our service work and were near the shore where the reception is clear, I received several more calls from listeners inquiring about Hartfield’s Hikers.  I mention this because I think it is amazing that the calls came through as I was at the shore where I could receive them with good reception…this is all a part of the ‘divine order’ of things.  If I can get a copy of the interview, I will post it.

‘Just Get Serious’ Online Interview

We also had another interview for this month.  Donna Satchell creator of the ‘Just Get Serious’ series and author of Just Get Serious About Success interviewed me for her online newsletter, 2012 New Year’s edition entitled Make This The Year You Find Your Passion!  We talk about the fact that I was a girly city girl who had never really experienced the true enjoyment of the great outdoors as I did when I moved to Atlanta, and how my first and second hikes were the catalyst to me discovering a passion a did not know I had.  As a result, I started Hartfield’s Hikers and have provided the opportunity for many others to discover their passion and dreams as a result of their eye-opening and mental clarity derived from hiking.  The full interview is posted in Donna’s newsletter which can be found on her Just Get Serious web site.

On Track for a Year of Optimum Health and Wellness!

Some of you may know that I owned a small health food store chain when I lived in Detroit.  It consisted of 3 stores and a cafe.  I sold and/or closed them in 1991.  Well, I was given an opportunity to start an online health and wellness store, Hartfield’s Healthy Haven.  The products are superior.  I know this because I have research the company and the quality of the products are second to none.  I am being mentored in this endeavor by health and wellness icon, the legendary Dr. Shirley Carmack.  And, I must say, as I am able to help people, which was my primary goal with the brick and mortar store, to help people attain and/or maintain optimal natural health and to be an OPALs role model at age 63, being very active and in optimal health with no chronic diseases and taking no pharmaceuticals nor over-the-counter drugs. Oh yeah, and I am feeling pretty good about taking finals for my first class for endeavor to become a Natural Health and Holistic Nutrition Practitioner.

I must say…no, I must shout I am truly “Living my Life to the Fullest!!!”

Categories: Camping, Hiking, Lifestyle Management, Nutrition and Wellness, Other Outdoor Adventures, Outdoor Adventures | 1 Comment

Enjoying the American Great Outdoors on the Chicopee Woods Trail

Click Here for the slideshow!

Wow!  Did we have a great January hike!  We hiked the West Lake and East Lake Chicopee Woods Trails at the Elachee Nature Science Center in Gainesville, GA.  The weather was perfect, in the high to low 60’s with some sun.

We had 25 hikers, including men and women first-timers to regulars.  As a matter of fact, I have implemented a registration process so we can better manage the number of people on the hikes with us.  As always, during introductions before our volunteer carpool and caravan to the trail head, during the introductions, hikers were given background info on the Chicopee Woods trails, expected weather conditions, the Leave No Trace principles and were encouraged to talk with someone they did not know. And, after everyone was introduced to Paulette our sweep, the person at the back of the hike to ensure no line is left behind, everyone was reminded that ‘We are as fast as the slowest person’ because we strive to make hiking a pleasurable experience for all participants as each person takes in and enjoys Mother Nature up close and personal, at her best!  As I am, Paulette is a certified Outings Leader and also certified in Wilderness First Aid.

After arriving at the trail head, we took our traditional group photo, with the brand new Hartfield’s Hikers banner!  After some of us made a pit stop at the Nature Center, we gathered and off we went onto the trail, starting the loop on the West Lake trail.  Well, everyone had a great time!  There were many conversations going on, new friendships flourishing, laughter, camaraderie, all mixed with food and fun…a good time was being had by all.

A few of things I want to highlight include, the runners we had.  Three of the hikers, one a first-time, had run half marathons, 5k & 10k races, they coalesced.  We had a writer connect with an editor.  And, to my pleasant surprise, two people, Julie and Jonathan, who had met on a previous hike, are now a couple!  Several hikers who made New Year resolutions to improve their health were on the trail.

One of the newcomers, Joanne had previously told me she was shy.  During the  lunch break, as I checked on various hikers to ensure things were going good, I stood in the area where she was sitting and talking, she was so engaged that there was no need to ask if she was having a good time!  I learned that Kristina, one of our young teachers was taking three of her students with us to the Martin Luther King Jr., Service weekend on Cumberland Island.  (This is an annual weekend of service where we join with the Georgia Conservancy to help clean up the island.) Others had wandered over by the lake and as everyone else was enjoying their lunch and conversations with each other.  Ian and Camear were taking candid photos.

We continued the hike on the East Lake side of the loop trail back to the trail head.  Some of us, including me, hiked over to the Nature Center for a final pit stop since the restroom facilities at the lunch stop were closed.  After we all reconvened in the parking lot, there were scattered chats among hikers describing their great adventure before our departure.

A few of us met up at Jaemor Farms for fresh fruits, vegetables and, pies and ice cream…oops!  Yeah, we had some, including me.  Umm they were delicious! 

As we gathered in front of the cozy old fashioned heater inside the Jaemor Farms Market laughing, enjoying our trail stories and eating the delicious treats. We reminisced about some our childhood and young adult experiences and how we all felt so connected, comfortable with each other and supportive of healthy lifestyles. I talked about the great line of all natural supplements I, and others of us hikers use to sustain our health, weight and flexibility. We all vowed this was the beginning and/or continuation of a mindset that we all will strive to Live Our Life to the Fullest!!!

Categories: Hiking, Lifestyle Management, Outdoor Adventures | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Living Life to the Fullest!!!

We are Living Our Lives to the Fullest!!! We are a group of people that get together to have fun, meet new friends, explore new and exciting adventures,  participate in various outdoor activities that give us an opportunity to enjoy life while getting and/or staying healthy, fit and being the best person we be!

This is my first blog.  I hope you will find it interesting and inspiring.  I became so inclined to start this blog as I reflected upon 2011 and all the great things that are happening in my life!  I conducted a ‘Living Life to the Fullest!!! seminar in October and it was awesome.  However, there were those  who contacted me with great regret that they were unable to make it for various reasons and were inquiring when I would hold the next one.  I got such good response from it and continue to get great response from those who join me on my hikes, I vowed that I wanted to find some way to share all the great experiences they were and are having…not so much in my words, but in their words…thus this blog.

I actually started Hartfield’s Hikers in 2010 for selfish reasons…I wanted to hike and did not want to do it alone.  I was introduced to hiking by the Black Newcomers Network when I went on my first hike, ever in life to celebrate by 56th birthday in 2004.  It was so exhilarating!  I was hooked!! At the end of the hike, hike leader Clarence Wilson told me it was the hardest hike that the group does.  He was  smart enough to tell me that at the end of the hike and not before.  I did not know it was supposed to be hard and even lead the group at various points.  It was a great way to celebrate my birthday…on top of the mountain.  The hiking trail was to Blood Mountain, the highest point on the Appalachian Trail in the state of Georgia.  Clarence’s work schedule changed and he was not longer available to lead the hikes and asked me if I was interested…this was several years later in 2009.  I saw it as a great opportunity, as he had taught me a lot about the trails.  However, with him gone, I was not as confident as I thought I would be, so I signed up for the training class and became an Outings Leader with the Sierra Club.  Later, after establishing a partnership with REI, I became certified in Wilderness First Aid.  I must say that my good friend Paulette Scott who was as green as I was about hiking agreed to ‘have my back.’  Although she used to complain most of the time, she has continued to hang in there with me.  I appreciate her support very much!

We also join with other groups and as a result have gone horseback riding, zip lining, caving, bicycle riding, skiing and more!

Then, being a true Baby Boomer, once again for selfish reasons, I started OPALs, which stands for Older People with Active Lifestyles.  This group brings together other Baby Boomers who want to enjoy fun activities with people in their own age range.  I was actually introduced to this concept when I reached the age of 50 and lived in Detroit.  I joined the Masters Sports program, lead by Cal ‘Captain D’ Dilworth and started paying organized basketball for the first time since middle school and loved it!  This was also a great time in my life.  I met a lot of great people, got my exercise in while having fun and I really believe it saved my sanity seeing that I was going through menopause at the time.  I traveled around the country with the team and we won gold and silver medals in various state, national and world senior competitions and Olympics.  I earned MVP during one of our games!

I must add here that I am having the best time of my life right now, I am truly Living my Life to the Fullest!!!  Others have joined me and I want to share the things we are doing that are really sensational, yet simple!  It never fails, every time we are out, someone shares with me how the experience has changed not only their perspective on trekking trails in the mountains, but how the experience has actually changed their life.  It is their stories that invigorate me and keep me doing this month after month.  As long as I know what I do is helping others and in the process enjoying every moment of it myself, I am fulfilling my purpose.  There are other things I do also that I will discuss later that include my online health and wellness store, my Adventurers Meetup group and my online newsletters.

What are you doing to Live Your Life to the Fullest?  Tell us about it.

Categories: Hiking, Outdoor Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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