Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Teko Socks Blog - Check it out:)

Just wanted to highlight a blog of one my sponsors - Teko Socks - that I'll get to contribute to as a Teko Ambassador:

On this blog you'll find posts about other organizations and companies with like-minded sustainability goals and colorful stories from Teko employees and contributors and their efforts to seize the day, be it outside testing socks, or raising awareness about car-less travel. The most recent post is "Green Organizations: The league to save Lake Tahoe" and I thought this earlier one, The Story of Stuff Project, was quite interesting too.

To read more about this company that is committed to "producing the highest quality performance socks while minimizing [their] impact on the environment" check out their website. And it you'd like to get a pair yourself, High Peaks Cyclery in Lake Placid and The Mountaineer in Keene Valley, NY both carry a selection of skiing, biking and running socks.

My sock drawer.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Let's Move Outside article of note

Let's Move Outside!

Posted May 17, 2010

By Dan Wenk, National Park Service Deputy Director

The newly released Task Force Report highlights the importance of regular physical activity in the fight against childhood obesity. One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to incorporate activity into your family’s daily routine is to get moving outside!

Children today are spending half as much time outdoors as their parents did – and on average, more than six hours per day in front of electronic media. Research cited in the report attributes the poor health of many of today’s children in part to a “generational decline in the level of outdoor recreation in natural environments.” It states that children are “healthier, happier, and have better social skills if they have frequent opportunities for free and unstructured play outdoors.”

The report acknowledges that federal lands, such as National Parks, Forests and Wildlife Refuges, provide ideal venues for a range of activities that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. As the manager of one-fifth of the nation’s landmass, the U.S. Department of the Interior oversees some 2,400 sites across the country, from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, to Nevada’s Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, to Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge in Maine. Meanwhile, our friends at the U.S. Forest Service manage some 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands at more than 170 locations across the country.

Many of these places are located in or near urban centers, allowing children and parents to experience the benefits of outdoor recreation within their own communities. Still, there is much work to be done to extend these opportunities to all American families. The report recommends a comprehensive approach to “increase the number of safe and accessible parks and playgrounds, particularly in underserved and low income communities.”

Last week, I witnessed firsthand how a community park can boost the health and well being of local residents. Along with Tom Tidwell, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, and Robert Stanton, Senior Advisor to Secretary Salazar, I helped lead an outdoor activity event at Fort Dupont Park in Southeast D.C. Part of Washington’s former network of Civil War Defenses, the park is a rare example of protected space within a maze of development, boasting 375 acres of rolling fields and wooded hills just yards away from a major highway.

Nearly 100 kids from nearby Kimball Elementary School participated in fun, energetic activities such as mountain biking, hiking, and a relay game called, “Race to the Sun.” One group of kids trekked up to the park’s community garden, where they planted the first rows of vegetable seeds and learned about growing and eating organic produce. At the end of the afternoon, the kids walked back to school with huge grins on their faces – sweaty, thirsty, and invigorated from an afternoon of healthy recreation.

National Park Service Deputy Director Dan Wenk speaks to students from Kimball Elementary school about the importance of getting outside every day, May 14, 2010. (Rick Lewis, National Park Service)


Spring training: plyos before a ski walking session up Whiteface Mtn.'s ski trails.

Friday, May 14, 2010

What did you have for breakfast?

The new training season has gotten off to a good start and our first training camp is right around the corner. It was nice to have some some down time this spring and a relaxed start to the season.

In continuation of the post about Michelle Obama's Let's Move program I wanted to share an interesting article about a matter that I am increasingly interested in. Rachel Ray and New York's US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined forces to lobby for more nutritional school lunches as Congress prepares to reauthorize the Federal Child Nutrition Act. The government reimbursement amount for public school meals is established under this bill [according to the Times article it is currently $2.68 per child] and this monetary force is one of the factors which determine what kinds of foods ultimately end up served in the cafeteria. This morning I started the day with a hefty bowl of honey dew, grapes and grapefruit, a piece of whole wheat toast, some butter and a hard-boiled egg, (okay and coffee too because I tried to get an earlier start); I put a lot of stock into breakfast because I know it gets me through the day. I am lucky and privileged (thank you OTC) but I could not imagine starting the day without such a nutritional opportunity for my mind and body to function at its best.

The Nutritional Act is only up for revision every 5 years, and the summer of 2010 is its planned reauthorization. That's why Ray and Senator Gillibrand are working to update this bill so that it can begin to meet the nutritional demands in our current childhood obesity epidemic. Improving Childhood Nutrition is a part of Senator Gillibrand's agenda and you can hear her speak on this issue HERE. She sent me a nice email and letter after the Olympics, perhaps I will send her one back encouraging her to keep at this issue.

Efforts like Gillibrand and Ray's stoke a greater national effort to begin to seriously contend with the conditions that cause obesity, namely nutrition and physical activity. Michelle Obama's Let's Move program just released its action plan for ending childhood obesity in one generation and is worth the read.

There are numerous sites to read and learn about this current issue, and I'll be sure to post and interesting articles or links as I come across them. Hope you had a good dinner, too.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Flat Stanley Does Biathlon

Flat Stanley blowing in the cool spring wind up on Whiteface Mtn.

One of my spring projects: Billinsport Elementary in Paulsboro, NJ did a unit on the Winter Olympics and are using Flat Stanley to learn more about Olympic athletes and sports. I just got mine in the mail and over the course of the next few weeks I'll be able to report back to the Elementary School about the neat adventures Stanley has been on while in Lake Placid.