family of three generations: mother, daughter and granddaughter, and the son-in-law joins us as well. Continuing on my quest, and having a desire to learn as much as I could about the environment and conservation, I became a community partner with REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.), and the Georgia Conservancy. I was able to expand my involvement. I participated in overnight camping, canoeing, service projects and other outdoor activities. Later, I started a Meetup group to bolster my outdoor activities. Now, I am an active participant in bicycle riding, kayaking, white water rafting, tree climbing, spelunking, zip lining, and more. For my 64th birthday, I led a group on an obstacle course at Treetop Quest at the Gwinnett Heritage Center, where I completed all nine levels of challenges. For my 65th birthday, a group joined me for a 5-day sailing experience
in Belize on a 46-foot catamaran. That same year, still celebrating my coming of age, I led a group to the Grand Canyon where among our adventures, we hiked the Bright Angel trail to more than 1,000 feet below the rim, which we were told, less than 10 percent of the 5 million annual visitors ever accomplish, and we were among the less that 1 percent of African Americans to do so…all of us were over age 50, with the oldest being a 75 year old great-grandmother. One of my groups, OPALs, the acronym for Older People with Active Lifestyles, was featured on the CNN AccentHealth Network, for the entire month of January 2015. I was selected by the Huffington Post/TODAY Show as one of their 50 Over 50 who reinvented themselves. Whoever says life doesn’t get better with age, needs to speak with me! ABOUT THE WRITER:
Carolyn Hartfield resides in Atlanta. As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach, she works with her clients to facilitate and empower them to achieve their self-determined health and wellness goals. Her WOW! (Wonderful Outings in the Wilderness!) programs help participants get on a path to improve their current level of health and wellness. She is the founder of Hartfield’s Hikers and OPALs, and the organizer for several Meetup groups; Atlanta African American Adventurers, Atlanta African American Baby Boomers, and OPALs – Older People with Active Lifestyles. Carolyn is a Healthy Lifestyle Coach through Emory University, the former owner of a small health food store chain, a certified outings leader, interpretive guide, professional voice over talent, speaker, trainer, writer and author. CarolynHartfield.com April 2015 | PerimeterNorthLifestyle.com
April 2015 Issue of Perimeter North Lifestyle.