Sports (71)

To Skate or Watch Them Skate: That Is the Question

National Book award-nominated American poet Gail Mazur wrote these words about ice skating, describing a girl on a frozen river with her father: “... they glide arm in arm onto the blurred surface together, braced like dancers. She thinks she’ll never be so happy, for who else will find her graceful, find her perfect, skate with her in circles outside the emptied rink forever?” In the poem, “Ice,” the girl and her dad are the…

Exercise your awareness with PAC's mother/daughter self-defense class

It’s hard to process events like what happened in Las Vegas a few days ago. Words like ‘atrocity’ and ‘travesty’ have lost their power. The religious might use the word ‘aberration.’ But how can aberrations be happening so frequently? It’s enough to make you wonder, is the cosmic balance shifting, jarringly, to the wrong side?   An athlete’s solution is to move, hard and fast, to let the body tell the mind to take a…

End of Summer Warm-Down

Last week we told you about the Freeport Trails Challenge, an easy way to get out into nature and get moving for low-impact athletes of all sizes. As it happened, Phoenix reader Jeff F. emailed to say that the prospect of winning a prize just for walking made it a snap to get his fourth-grader involved. Jeff writes, “... and he got really excited by the blue heron that lifted off as soon as we…

Time to Get Moving

An object at rest will tend to remain at rest, and an object in motion will tend to remain in motion. The law of inertia. It’s physics, but also an apt metaphor for physical fitness. As in, “Hey, we’ve been talking about getting exercise. Wanna go for a walk?” “Nah. Too much inertia.” And it’s easy to tell ourselves that acknowledging our lack of motivation absolves us of the obligation we feel to get out…

Acknowledge Your Inner Cowboy

How prone to injury are you in your chosen athletic pursuit? A runner might sprain an ankle. A football player might get a concussion. Those old enough to remember Greg Louganis know that even platform divers are not exempt. What if, in your sport, there was a certain chance at every meet that a 1,500-pound bull would stomp his hoof on the base of your spine from above? Professional bull riders may ride 200 times…

Who will be the top Pumpkinheads?

The scent of woodsmoke on your clothes. The hush of an evening breeze in the treetops above. The glow of your friends’ faces in the warm light that only a campfire can throw. Even a maddening mosquito in your tent, whining in your ear, eluding every attempt you make to destroy it. Oh, and being awake, blood invigorated by fresh air, for the first notes of birdsong that gradually build to a chorus of thousands.…

Do You Have a SAFE Plan?

If we’re not going to fool ourselves and each other, it is clear that there are some dangers in our society that we may have to face, through no fault of our own. Have you ever thought about some specific ones, and made a plan? Many Portlanders carry a spray, a mini-taser, or even a firearm. Others figure that, should a situation arise, their wits and resourcefulness will be what they depend upon. Between the…

You'd Better Run

Most Portland runners, walkers, and joggers are familiar with the soft crunch, crunch, crunch their athletic shoes make on the fine gravel of the Back Cove Trail as they take in some exercise, salty air, and the cityscape view we all love. Some of those athletes, in previous years, have competed in one of Portland’s best 10Ks, the Trail to Ale, which courses around the Back Cove, in part. A few do it for the…

A Birding Beginning?

One of our readers, Leska F., moved to the West End in 2014, into a Victorian that had seen better days and had a family of brown finches living in the eaves, a few feet away from where she sat with her coffee each morning. She had never had an interest in birds, but began to notice the finches’ behaviors, from flying into the eaves-nest with bits of fluff and twigs for building, to the…

Get On Board: Tall Ships Training Teaches Teamwork

A sailboat is like a human body in motion. Think of a runner's lungs, musculature, skeleton, and other organs functioning together in tandem, in one body, to move forward. Like a part of the body performing a specific function for the whole, sailors on a boat can be thought of as organs in a locomoting system. Take away a single sailor, the vessel does not function at top capacity. On the other hand, with all team…
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