By Sarah Sekula, special for USA TODAY
Santa Cruz, Argentina — When we arrive at Aguas Arriba Lodge, a cozy hideaway in the heart of the Patagonian Andes, we don’t waste any time. Our cheerful guide, Julie, spreads out a map of the surrounding land—packed with glaciers, thick forests and aquamarine rivers—and talks about the dozens of hiking trails. Her enthusiasm […]
Rachelle Simpson makes her way to the end of the platform as it sways ever so slightly. She doesn’t focus on the thousands of screaming fans below, or the waves slamming against the rock face or the wind roaring past her ears. Instead, she has tunnel vision. Her heartbeat rises. She gives the OK to the safety divers 60 feet below. Her hands raise overhead. The familiar grip tape is rough beneath her toes.
Rock climber Paige Claassen scales her way up sheer rock faces four to five days a week. After her legs have had enough and her hand calluses are burning, there’s nothing she loves more than whipping up a meal in the great outdoors. Tortilla Pizza comes together pretty quickly, so I can jumpstart my tank. But I’ll likely need to make more than one to feed everyone in the group, which means I’ll be assembling and cooking pizzas for a while.
There’s nothing quite like skimming across the water on a stand-up paddleboard. Especially when that paddleboard is floating on a picturesque pond surrounded by wildflowers, a yurt and the snow-covered Rockies. My location is Devil’s Thumb Ranch, a whimsical retreat near Winter Park, Colo., that keeps its guests pretty active. Post archery lesson, I make my way over to the pond (with my eyes peeled for moose, fox and hummingbirds) and spend an hour with an instructor mastering SUP yoga moves.
When you think of Colorado, giant sand dunes don’t immediately come to mind. Unless you’re Raleigh Burt, with Kristi Mountain Sports, that is. The 23-year-old regularly heads to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve near Alamosa, about a 4-hour drive from Denver, to slide down the wind-polished pyramids of sand.
When it comes to getting kids to eat their veggies, Lea Howe knows the trick: teach them to grow and harvest it themselves. They will become more connected to the radishes and carrots and kale are more likely to give it a taste. Better yet, teach them to cook an entire nutritious meal. Or, have them sell their delicious produce at a farmers market.
The sun just came up in Forsyth Park, and it’s prime time for a run through historic Savannah. To my left, an intense game of Ultimate Frisbee. To my right, a labradoodle trotting alongside its owner. Straight ahead: A fountain attracts a photo-happy tourist. Don’t be fooled, though. This is no ordinary outing. It’s a sightrunning tour — part guided excursion, part social activity and part exercise.
By Sarah Sekula, published in Orlando Magazine
Looking for a simple, effective way to relieve physical stress and tension? Who isn’t? Here’s some good news for your weary, aching muscles: Using a cylindrical foam roller a few times a week can provide significant relief, promote flexibility and help prevent future injuries. By rolling parts of your body over the cylinder, you […]
Imagine what it’s like to be the fastest man on the planet. To know that anyone who challenges you to a race is bound to lose. To know you are the most extraordinary sprinter in track-and-field history. A freak of nature. A once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.
That’s a pretty extraordinary gift. One that could land Usain Bolt with an ego twice the size of Jamaica.
By Sarah Sekula, published in Breathe Magazine
Back in the 1960s, famous beach boys on the coast of Waikiki used long outrigger canoeing paddles to help control their surfboards. That way, they could keep an eye on tourists during their surf lessons and even snap photos. Turns out, it was also a blast. So, it didn’t take long for it to […]
Where did Dennis Eckart get those abs of steel? Perhaps nine years of practicing the sweeping kicks, spontaneous jumps and agile cartwheels of capoeira has something to do with it. The unique martial art — marrying fluid dance movements with cunning self-defence techniques — is a fast-growing sport the 26-year-old alpha athlete has mastered through intense training in Brazil.
It’s 8 o’clock on a Monday morning as I trot into the Human Performance Institute, a stone’s throw from Orlando’s Lake Nona Golf & Country Club. As quickly as I say hello, I’m whisked away — outfitted in a pastel purple swimsuit and black Speedo cap, and wrapped in a plush terry cloth robe.