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CC's Outdoor Journal; Setting goals
This is me (Cherri Crockett) on my first hike up Tablerock in Grafton Notch. All I have to say is, set a goal, educate yourself and become the person you want to be.
Regardless of what the weather looks like right now, spring is on the way. A month from now we're all going to be wondering where the snow went and complaining that our grass is growing way too fast.
I am here to help you all welcome spring with open arms and to maybe help motivate one another in trying something new this year. Setting personal goals is something that has helped me get active, lose weight and gain more control over my health.
Two years ago I was on multiple medications for Crohns disease, was 35 pounds heavier and made frequent visits to the hospital. With all of this came some pretty hefty medical bills and stress; neither of which contribute to a healthy state of mind.
Since then, with the help of friends, my doctors and a lot of education I have been able to remove the weight, gain better control of my disease and become a healthier person.
My hope in telling you this? I know we can help motivate one another to start asking more questions, moving more, eating less junk and paying attention to what is going to make us feel better.
With less pain in my body I have found a new desire to be active year round. I had such an enjoyable and active winter of hiking, snowshoeing and ice fishing I almost hate to see the winter go, but am looking forward to the bright sun, the warmth of the green grass and brook fishing and picking fiddleheads with my husband.
With any luck, we'll be able to get back to Greenville for some fishing on Lower Wilson Lake and enjoy some more outdoor adventure with friends and family. It really has turned into our home away from home.
If you remember, I have been learning how to run for the last couple of years and can't tell you how excited I am to continue to increase my success.
Looking back at the races I participated in during 2010, my best time was in June while running in Auburn with a time of 28:38:10. Already being signed up for a few 5Ks, my first being the 1st Annual Healthy Hearts Run/Walk right here in Rumford, I'm looking forward to the exercise with local community members.
If you haven't already started an exercise journal, I want to tell you that this is one of my most valuable tools. I record the exercise, my time and the weather to better gauge what affects the way I feel when I am out and moving. You can even record your nutrition if you prefer. If you're not quite sure of what you should be eating prior to running or exercising to get the most benefit, I've found that www.active.com is a valuable resource of information.
For anyone interested, I have also started the River Valley Running Club that meets every Tuesday and Thursday beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Rumford Information Center. We run/walk the Healthy Hearts planned course for practice. While members Joe Sirois, Jim White and Greg Trundy of the former running group find it easier to run at 4, I just love that people are getting out there. As long as we're all moving, that's all that matters.
For more information on the River Valley Running group, email me at ccrockett@rumfordfallstimes or call me at 364-7893. If you would like to register for the Healthy Hearts 5K Run/Walk, visit www.rvhcc.org.
Starting their annual schedule this month will be the Peak-a-Week Club and I hope to join them on more hikes this year. I truly enjoyed getting out on all those mountain tops with that group. Hikers range in age from 10 to 80 years old and of all experience levels. I can honestly say there's great reward being amongst all those different people, climbing to the top of one of our many peaks and viewing the landscape. Everyone has a different reason for joining the hikes and it's fascinating getting to hear their stories. I hope you decide to join us for a few of the amazing hikes scheduled.
Whether you decide to do a couple of short hikes like Woodsmen's Peak in Hanover or Step Falls in Newry to see how you like it or if you want to venture out for greater distances and challenge yourself on East Baldpate or even Eyebrow Loop in Grafton; you are always welcome.
The schedule is due out any day and will be posted with the River Valley Chamber of Commerce and in this paper.
All this talk about spring, getting healthy and active reminds me about the garden that I hope to be successful with this year. While our bodies need a little heart-pounding exercise to keep us in shape, we all need some time to reflect and appreciate the things in or lives with a more relaxing way of exercise.
What better way than to have a garden to grow your own vegetables, herbs or even flowers to brighten your landscape.
I took a two-part class recently with Region 9 that was taught by Sandy Witas of River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition and Barbara Murphy of University of Maine Cooperative Extension. What a great resource these two ladies provided our class. I cannot wait to get started in planting my own vegetables and planting a few extra plants to assist in the donations to help feed local people who are food insecure.
These two ladies really enlightened me as to just how many people in our state are not able to feed their families. Did you know that our state has roughly 197,000 individuals who are not able to provide adequate nutrition for their families? I hope to do my part and invite you to do the same in helping those in need.
For more information on how you can help a hungry family, contact Sandra Witas at River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition at 364-7408.
Oh, I almost forgot~ I did tell you that I'm looking forward to trying something new this year. Yes, the gardening will be an addition to my daily routine, but at the end of this month I will be taking my motorcycle safety course in Auburn. How exciting is that!
At the end of my two-day course I should have my license and be ready to ride with the wind. My primary motivation is to save gas through the warmer months, as I live quite a distance from town and have several stories to cover throughout our River Valley communities. It will be my way of helping save money and the environment by driving a vehicle that has less of an impact.
I am also looking forward to enjoying riding in the open air with my husband and many of our friends that ride.
With all the plans we make for our days ahead, we need to also remember to live in each moment and appreciate what and where we are. I appreciate and am very thankful for everyone who has emailed me in support of my writing.
I want to invite you to share your stories of outdoor adventure. I would be delighted to join you in the outdoors and highlight your family, organization or school class enjoying the bounty of opportunity we have in the River Valley.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 364-7893 to share your story idea or adventure.