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winter 2009-10 free! inspiring active women

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the of Think Globally, Shop Locally

Drink + Be Merry Hydrating H2O Alternatives

Transformational Travel The Voluntourism Experience

Ice Queen Misadventures in Snowboarding

hitting the southeast slopes | intuitive eating | handling holiday stress


© 2009 Columbia Sportswear Company. All rights reserved.

MEET RACHAEL SCDORIS, PIONEER OF MUSHING. SHE’S FINISHED THE IDITAROD TWICE. SHE’S ALSO LEGALLY BLIND. RACHAEL RELIES ON HER DOGS AND THE COMFORT OF HER COLUMBIA PARKA. OMNI-TECH ADDS WATERPROOF BREATHABILITY, AND MAKES HER AS WARM AS A BASKET OF PUPPIES. SO ELEMENTS DON’T GET IN, BUT SWEAT FROM MUSHING ACROSS 1,161 MILES OF ICE AND SNOW, OR FROM SHOVELING 10 FEET OF IT, GETS OUT. WE’RE PROUD TO HONOR RACHAEL WITH THE GERT BOYLE MEDAL OF MERIT. LEARN MORE ABOUT RACHAEL AND HER GEAR AT COLUMBIA.COM.

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contents

readbreathe.com

Winter 2009 • Joy

15

Drink and Be Merry

editor in chief Lindsey Grossman lindsey@readbreathe.com

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Holiday Gift Guide

contributors Aleigh Acerni Molly Gold Kinsey Labberton Colleen Oakley Jayme Otto Laura Purcell Farah Qureshi Cristina Santiestevan Kelly Turner Kath Younger

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Transformational Travel

30

Ice Queen

magazine

breathe magazine

Suffering from H20verload? Check out these healthy water alternatives to keep you hydrated.

The joy of giving: think globally, shop locally.

The voluntourism experience.

Kinsey recaps her misadventures in snowboarding.

copy editor Brooke Edge art director Megan Murphy senior designer Amanda Powers associate designer / contributing photographer Christa Albano IT director Craig Snodgrass publisher Martha Evans martha@readbreathe.com president Blake DeMaso blake@readbreathe.com account executives Tom Daly tom@readbreathe.com Charles Leonard charles@readbreathe.com

NUTRITION 5 Healthy holiday eating. GREEN LIVING 6 Making eco-friendly choices for the holidays. FITNESS 7 Conditioning your body for ski season.

business manager Melissa Gessler

FAMILY 8 Getting your kids to give back.

contact us 107 West Market Street Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.817.2755

HEALTH 11 Dealing with holiday stress.

56 College Street, Suite 303 Asheville, NC 28801 828.225.0868 © 2009 Summit Publishing, LLC.

BREATHE OUT 13 Hitting the slopes without breaking your budget. BREATHE IN 22 The best in gear, beauty and style for winter.

To carry Breathe in your store call 434.817.2755.

cover

© Chev Wilkinson, Getty Images.

BREATHEABILITY 29 Q+A with rock climbing instructor Lindsay Fixmer. winter 2009

3


nutr ition

intuitive eating

mindful holidays

Get more great tips from Kath on her Breathe blog at readbreathe.com

By Kath Younger

Eating habits during the holiday season seem to be split into two groups: those who eat whatever they please, party after party, and gain the yearly five pounds, and those who do their very best to diet throughout the season and end up deprived or guilty. This year, make the commitment to find a balance between enjoying yourself and maintaining your weight with some practice in intuitive eating. Holiday food is still just food. While it is intertwined with parties, socializing and comfort, its primary purpose is still nourishment. You may be tempted to try everything on the buffet, but remember that your body is still your body regardless of the occasion. It doesn’t go on vacation during the holiday season. It expects the same respect you give it throughout the rest of the year. Many folks ignore the connection between mind and body during the holidays. They eat for every reason other than hunger and fullness. As you graze through your festivities, remember that everything you put in your mouth is going to affect how you feel. Focus on feeling great at the end of the night and you might end up leaving the party a little lighter. Visualize your options. Often it helps to visualize how you want to feel when you leave or when you wake up the next morning. Perhaps scheduling a yoga class or run with a friend the morning after the neighborhood potluck will keep you from accepting a third rum-laced egg nog. When tempted to have a second type of pie, visualize how you will feel when you leave the party if you choose the pie and if you do not. Let both options sink in before you act. If you choose to go for the pie, accept it and don’t feel guilty… ‘tis the holiday season! Just be mindful of the choices you make. Enjoy your favorites, leave the rest. If you absolutely love your grandmother’s pineapple cake, make that your big splurge. Don’t care for bourbon balls? Skip them. Chances are you won’t like them any more than you did last year. Make a point to enjoy every bite of your favorite holiday treats. After all, you waited all year for their return, so why should you feel deprived? But to balance the treats, you must give up something to lighten the load. Choose between the lesser of dessert or wine. Or have just a tiny amount of both. Pass on the foods you can eat year round—like dinner rolls—and fill up on your favorites. Kath Younger writes the popular healthy food blog, Kath Eats Real Food, which you’ll find at katheats.com. Having lost over 30 pounds since graduating from college, Kath is now studying to become a registered dietitian and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.

getting into the spirits. -Lindsey Grossman

Peppermint Egg Nog Oatmeal If you love egg nog, this bowl of egg nog and peppermint oatmeal is a lighter way to enjoy your favorite holiday beverage. It calls for lightened versions of nog, but use the real deal sparingly if you please. Ingredients • 1/2 cup rolled oats • 3/4 cup water • 1/4 cup egg nog, either Silk Nog or light egg nog • 1 small banana or half of a large one, sliced thin • Pinch salt • Pinch nutmeg • 1 tsp vanilla extract Toppings • 1 heaping tbsp walnuts • 2 tsp crushed candy cane or peppermint candy • 2 tsp coconut

Mix it Up British brand Fever-Tree believes premium liquors deserve premium mixers… and we whole-heartedly agree. Their luxury line of mixers uses natural, fresh ingredients and features the world’s first all natural low-calorie tonic water. Don’t do alcohol? These drinks taste just as great on their own. fever-tree.com

Directions 1. Crush candy cane in a zip-top bag with a heavy pot, mallet or rolling pin. 2. Combine oats, water and nog in a nonstick pot and set heat to medium. 3. When oatmeal starts to thicken, begin to whip vigorously with a spatula, allowing the starch to be released. 4. Continue whipping oats until reaching desired thickness, about five minutes. 5. Stir in nutmeg. 6. Pour oatmeal into bowl and top with crushed candy cane and walnuts.

Vitamin V Lotus enhances their “White” gourmet vodka with vitamins B3, B5, B6, B12 and C, so you can have a couple of cocktails and wake up the next morning minus that holiday party hangover. lotusvodka.com

winter 2009

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green living

ECO-FRIENDLY FESTIVITIES

turkey talk

green your holidays By Cristina Santiestevan

Add a little green to your holiday plans. It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s a little like reaching a New Year’s resolution before the new year even begins. deck the halls No matter the season or the holiday, natural decorations are always better than their plastic alternatives. Not only is plastic non-renewable and often non-recyclable, many plastics also leach toxic chemicals into your home. Avoid these risks with natural decorations—real pumpkins, live Christmas trees—or choose artificial decorations made from long-lasting glass or metal.

light it up Strings of holiday lights bring instant cheer, but they wreak havoc on electricity bills. Save energy—and money—with LED lights. These lights cost a bit more than standard holiday lights, but they use up to 90 percent less energy, can last 20 years and produce almost no heat, eliminating fire risk. If candles are your choice, look for all-natural beeswax, vegetable oil or soy candles. Avoid paraffin candles, which are made from a petroleum byproduct, and can release harmful chemicals in the air. And be careful with scented candles—most use petroleumbased scents. Instead, choose scented candles infused with natural plant oils.

Roast a local, free-range, all-natural or organic turkey this year—your guests and your taste buds will thank you. Here’s why: Natural turkeys (and other animals) are fed a diet free of artificial ingredients, while hormone-free and antibioticfree meats are raised with hormones or antibiotics. Organic goes even further—these animals are fed an organic diet, and are never given hormones, chemicals or genetically modified food. But freerange, pastured or grass-fed is the best of all. These animals are given access to grass and sunlight, which adds nutrients and improves taste.

wrap it up Get creative with your gift wrap. Choose fabric scraps, scarves, colorful magazine ads, old maps or calendars to wrap your gifts. If you do buy paper, look for recycled and non-bleached paper. And skip those shiny plastic bows and ribbon. Instead, dress your packages in natural ribbon (fabric, hemp, rattan) and add creative accents, such as dried flowers, pine cones or leaves.

give smart Reduce waste and win points with friends and family by giving quality gifts that the recipient really wants or needs. When possible, focus on gifts that are made of natural or reused materials and are built to last. For example, wooden children’s toys are made from a renewable resource, often contain fewer chemicals than their plastic alternatives and almost always last longer.

eat your vegetables Serve the greenest and healthiest possible holiday meal by focusing on vegetables and fruits. For extra green points, choose local or organic produce. Even better, buy local and organic at your community farmers market.

Cristina Santiestevan writes about environmental issues and conservation solutions from her desk in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Find her online at redbugmedia.com. 6

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resolve to make a difference It really is true. Every little thing you do makes a big difference for our planet. This year, reserve one of your resolutions for the eco-issue of your choice, and make a difference that matters to you and your world.

Check out these online resources to learn more: Find local fruits, vegetables and meats at localharvest.org. Shop for green gifts at gaiam.com, bluehouselife.com or ourgreenhouse.com. Brainstorm your green New Year’s resolution at simplesteps.org, coopamerica.org or nwf.org.


fitness

conditioning

it's all downhill A training guide to your best ski season ever. By Kelly Turner

An important step to performing your best on the slopes and preventing injury is getting into shape before the season starts. Great skiing is all about leg strength, endurance, a strong core and great balance. “Sports-specific” training is key, as skiing very much depends on skill. So training your muscles to perform the movements skiing demands of them is the quickest and most effective way to get results. Do these exercises twice through, three times a week, and get the lower body of a Ski Queen.

Get the Gear: BOSU® Balance Trainer

The BOSU, which stands for “Both Sides Up” or “Both Sides Utilized,” is the latest product to take the fitness industry by storm. The BOSU’s function is to provide a constantly unstable surface, so all your muscles must work over time to keep you balanced. This not only works more muscle groups at a time for faster results, but builds better balance, core strength and coordination. $99.99 • bosufitness.com

the moves:

Get more training tips from Kelly on Fitness Fridays at readbreathe.com Wall-Sit: Sitting against the wall builds up the lower-body isometric strength and endurance needed for skiing and snowboarding.  Position yourself standing with your back pressed against the wall and your feet out in front of you. Slide down so your knees are at a 90 degree angle, with your knees aligned directly above your toes (like you’re sitting in an invisible chair). Make sure you keep your weight on your heels, and hold your arms out in front of you so you aren’t tempted to use them as support. Hold for 30 seconds or up to one minute, depending on your fitness level.

Jump Lunges: Plyometrics is a type of exercise that can train your body to withstand and absorb impact associated with skiing. It’s very important in developing muscle power and strength as well as improving agility.  Start in a regular lunge, right foot forward with your hands on your hips. Immediately jump to a left leg lunge once you’re lunging with your right. Jump back and forth between legs, always keeping your back straight and your gluts low. Perform 15 jump lunges on each leg.

BOSU Squats: For core strength, leg strength and balance, perform your squats on an unstable surface to engage the stabilizing muscles in your legs.  Place your BOSU so the black side is facing up. Carefully step onto the BOSU and position your feet shoulder width apart. Keeping your chest up, slowly lower down into a squat and hold for three counts. Your legs may wiggle, but try and stay relaxed—this is how your muscles are going to learn to stabilize you. Keeping your weight on your heels, slowly come back to starting position. Repeat with holds, 15 times. Too easy? Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell under your chin for extra resistance.

Photo credit: Christa Albano

Planks: This is arguably the best exercise to train your core.  Lie face down on a mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows. Make sure to keep your back flat, your breathing steady and your belly button pulled in (you should create a straight line from your shoulders down to your heels). Hold this position for 30-60 seconds, depending on your fitness level.

Kelly Turner is an ACE-certified personal trainer and freelance writer from Seattle, WA. To read more from Kelly, visit her personal training blog at everygymsnightmare.com

Don’t forget your cardio! Skiing is an anaerobic activity, which means it requires short bursts of energy as opposed to long, prolonged endurance. To avoid fatigue and be able to ski all day long, keep your cardio routine quick and intense, like completing two-minute sprints with one minute of jogging to recover. winter 2009

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family

volunteering

helping hands

Turning your kids' "what will I get" perspective into a "how can I give" call to action. By Molly Gold

A family is part of a larger community and the holidays are the perfect time to open your children’s eyes to how we interact with and affect one another. Without realizing it, we depend on our community to offer resources and solutions that are often supported by charities. And with the current state of the economy, non-profits are suffering drastic shortfalls not only financially, but also with volunteers. Now more than ever, it’s important to instill a sense of community in our children. So where do you start?

get your child psyched to serve by asking these questions: What does she love to do? Gauge her personal interests. Does she love school, the outdoors, animals, sports, music, or doing service projects like those held by Girl Scouts or youth groups? When is the best time for her to volunteer? Does she have time during the week or is this better served each weekend? Or perhaps her interests are held for special events, like serving food on Thanksgiving morning? Who does she wish to serve alongside? With tweens or older, the answer will likely be friends rather than family. Plenty of options offer supervision that can also accommodate her “no parent” preference.

Once you have a better understanding of interests, time available and partners involved, enlist your kid’s help as you start researching opportunities and events right in your backyard. First, make a list of any well-known local organizations that welcome volunteers, such as your children’s schools, parks and recreation department cleanup and beautification days, or nursing homes. Then, get in touch with the volunteer coordinator to see how your child can best serve their organization. Whether you volunteer together or not, don’t underestimate the power of leading by example. Seeing you out there making a difference can make all the difference in how your child feels about giving back. Molly Gold is a family time management and home organization expert and the founder of GO MOM! Inc. Visit her website, gomominc.com for more information on her newest service, the GO MOM! Time Management Boot Camp series. 8

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warm fuzzies served family style. TheVolunteerFamily.org A great site founded by a Mom hoping to continue her passion as a volunteer and share it with her family. You’ll find group activities to accommodate any age, which can be the hardest part. VolunteerSpot.com Another fabulous mom-founded site, here you can actually coordinate your efforts. If you find yourself leading the pack, this site will quickly become your best friend, making it possible for sign-ups, creating schedules and sending reminders. CharityGuide.org Designed to promote environmental education for children, this site offers opportunities by area of interest and great suggestions for how to volunteer in 15 minutes, a few hours or on vacation. CareCalendar.org Know someone in the community who could use a little help? This site makes it more than easy to organize meals and other help for families in your community. Think new baby, time of illness or other life changing events and you get the picture. A great example for a family opportunity easily done from home, all ages welcome.


CLIEN uvahlt

JOB N 00215

DESCR Heart

MATE 10.09.

How strong is the pulse of collaboration?

PUB(S Breath

INSER 11.01.

BUILT 100%

TRIM 7.375”

BLEED NA

MECH 7.375”

COLOR 4C

LINE Inform

LASER 100%

PROOF 100%

SPECI Inform

QUES Courtn 251.47

Our hearts move us in many ways. Empowering our bodies to dance, think, create. Sustaining our memory and growth. The task is remarkable. And so is the method—the heart’s chambers, valves and signals continuously collaborating to achieve the extraordinary. Much like the people of UVA Heart Center. Here, an entire team of professionals, employing the most advanced technology, is dedicated to cardiac care. Driven specialists work across disciplines, acquiring and exchanging knowledge to expand your options for treatment. And physicians are committed to being accessible to you, every step of the way. The synergy of our expertise is taking your health further. heartbeyondmeasure.com

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15 slopes • 7,000 sF ice skating rink • 2 terrain parks • 5,506 ft Elevation

BEECH MOUNTAIN RESORT SkiBeech.com • 800-438-2093 • 828-387-2011 Check out our website for our weekly specials, and unbeatable lift ticket rates.

We look forward to seeing you here and helping you make the most of your winter!

Sign up for a chance to win Breathe’s

Women’s Winter Weekend at Beech Mountain Resort! You and a friend will spend a weekend in January or February, hitting the slopes and enjoying the scenery. The winner will also receive the following great prizes: • $20 gift certificate to Fred’s General Mercantile • $50 gift certificate to Sorrento’s World Famous Bistro • Two night stay at Archers Mountain Inn

• Four lift tickets (or 2 days) at Ski Beech • Ski or snowboard rentals for 2 at Alpine Ski Center • Lunch from Ski Beech

Enter to win at ReadBreathe.com • Contest ends December 31st, 2009.


health

stress busters

have a stress-free holiday (seriously!) By Colleen Oakley

say yes to: • A family meeting. “The first week or November sit down with your husband and kids (if you have them) and map out your priorities for the season,” says Hall. Are you going to make cookies? Have a party? Who are you buying gifts for? Sending cards to? Where are you going to spend the holidays? “Write down the plan and put it up on the wall. If everyone’s on the same page, then no one can complain.”

• Collaborating with neighbors. “You don’t have to throw a party by yourself,” says Hall. “Share the burden of responsibility by asking a few neighbors to pitch in. Who knows? You might forge a relationship on other activities like carpooling and childcare.”

• Volunteering. “People who help others get what I call a ‘helper’s high,’ ” says Hall. It’s free and you’ll feel better about yourself and the meaning of the season. We know. Every time you hear that song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” as you’re walking through a department store in December, you cringe. Bah-humbug. The most stressful time of the year, you think to yourself. Stress not only makes the season miserable, it also can take its toll on your health. According to recent studies, unmanaged stress can cause high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, insomnia and depression. Plus, overanxious people are more likely to catch the common cold when exposed to the virus—not fun over the holidays. The point isn’t to eliminate stress completely from your life (researchers haven’t found that magic pill yet), but to learn how to manage it. “At the end of October, it begins,” says Dr. Kathleen Hall, founder and CEO of the Stress Institute in Atlanta. “We all say to ourselves, ‘This holiday will be different. I’ll bake cookies, and lose 10 pounds to get into my New Year’s dress and I’ll buy the perfect gifts for everyone.’ It all boils down to learning to say yes and no—and when to say each.” Here’s a cheat sheet to help put the “wonderful” back in this time of the year.

Eat up! Food packed with omega-3s and B6 vitamins combat stress, according to recent studies. Fill your fridge (and your belly) with fatty fish like salmon and tuna and leafy green vegetables like turnip greens and spinach to help keep you cool as a cucumber all season long.

Colleen Oakley is a freelance writer and avid traveler based in Atlanta, GA. Her work has appeared in Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Fitness, Shape and Redbook. She is currently penning her first novel.

say no to: • Things you don’t have the time or energy to do. “When people ask you to do things over the holiday, refer back to your family list,” says Hall. “Did you agree to only go to three holiday parties this year? When you get the fourth invite, turn it down. “

• Losing weight. “Women particularly stress out about holiday weight gain,” says Hall. “The holidays are all about sharing food with friends and family. Don’t deprive yourself and don’t make yourself feel guilty for having an extra cookie.”

• Spending too much money. Seventy-five percent of Americans overspend during the holidays and end up paying for it in January. “Set a budget in your family meeting and stick to it,” says Hall. “Don’t buy presents on a whim if they’re not on your list.” winter 2009

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Come choose and cut your family’s perfect Christmas tree in Boone, North Carolina.

Fill your home with the aroma of a real Fraser fir. Support sustainable agriculture while starting your own family tradition. Visit ChooseAndCutFestival.com, or call 1-888-251-9867 for more information on Christmas tree farms and lodging in the area.

All Situations, Always Prepared A revolutionary concept in preparedness

asapsurvivalgear.com

ASAP Survival Gear line is an integrated customizable collection of proven products that can make a difference when a disaster or emergency strikes. ASAP starter packs cover the basics for any emergency; food, water, shelter, medical supplies & communication. Then customize your ASAP pack with our pre-packaged, situation-specific kits to suit your needs or add single items to bolster your supplies. Whether you’re on the go, bracing for an impending natural disaster, or simply making sure your family is prepared to handle day-to-day emergencies, ASAP Survival Gear provides you the peace of mind knowing you have what you need to survive when you absolutely need it.

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breatheout

escape

hitting the slopes

Snowboarding at Sugar.

By Colleen Oakley

Wisp Resort, McHenry, MD Just three hours from D.C., Wisp and its 132 acres of ski terrain is a family fun zone. If you’re not catching enough air on the slopes, grab a $10 pass for the Mountain Coaster, a hybrid between a roller coaster and a big slide. When to go: Grab your girlfriends and sign up for a Ladies Snowboard Camp (Jan. 5-7, Feb. 2-4, Mar. 2-4). Beginners and experienced shredders will both have something to learn at the two-day camp that offers daily clinics, yoga, board tune-ups and lots of slope time ($299). for more info: wispresort.com, 301.387.4911 Snowshoe Mountain, Snowshoe, WV With some of the best snow conditions in the region, Snowshoe has something for everyone including guided snowmobile tours, plenty of shopping and The Tuscan Sun Spa (you’ll need a massage after a day of falling…er skiing). But whatever you do, don’t miss the Backcountry Hut for a one-of-a-kind dining experience. This restaurant only seats 18 hungry skiers, so make your reservations early. You’ll get snow transportation to and from the hut and a Hutmaster will wait on you hand and foot. When to go: In March for the Burton Women’s Camp. This two-day event has a max capacity of 30 women, so get your spot now. For more info: snowshoemtn.com

Photo by NC Dept of Tourism - Bill Russ

Can’t afford Aspen? Join the club. You don’t have to head west for a great ski vacation. Take a look at a mountain near you for the best snow adventures this winter. The Homestead, Hot Springs, VA One of America’s most historic resorts, The Homestead has been entertaining guests since 1766. If the nine ski trails aren’t enough to keep you busy, you can take a few laps on the Olympic-size skating rink. If you want things to get steamy on your vacation, take your sweetie to the resort’s on-site natural hot springs. Remember—what happens in the hot springs, stays in the hot springs. When to go: All winter season, the resort offers a recession-proof Ski Free package. Just book your rooms for $199 per night, per room and hit the slopes for nada. For more info: thehomestead.com, 540.839.1766 Wintergreen Resort, Wintergreen, VA Located on the Eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Wintergreen is 11,000 acres of bustling activity. Want to get away from it all? Head to the top of the range to the resort’s Wintergarden spa and take a dip in their heated indoor pool, or detoxify in a steam room. When to go: February 19-21 for the Women’s Head Ski/Ride clinic—a weekend workshop directed by world champion big mountain freeskier Alison Gannett. For more info: wintergreenresort.com, 800.266.2444

Sugar Mountain Resort, Avery County, NC North Carolina’s largest ski resort, Sugar boasts 115 skiable acres and a vertical drop of 1,200 ft. Consider yourself a ski professional? Don’t miss a run down Whoopdedoo, North Carolina’s only double black diamond slope. When to go: During SugarFest (Dec. 12 & 13), replete with a snowball-eating contest, ice skating lessons and fireworks. For more info: skisugar.com, 828.898.4521 Beech Mountain Resort, Beech Mountain, NC Considered the highest ski area on the East Coast with a peak elevation of 5,506 feet, Beech Mountain is a tiny picturesque resort town full of charm and, of course, snowcapped slopes. After a day of skiing, head to nearby Boone for a full southern-style meal at the Daniel Boone Inn and stop by the Mast General Store, an old-fashioned general store with barrels of nostalgic candy to boost your energy for day two on the slopes. When to go: Thursdays are Ladies’ Days, where women can cop Day or Twilight ski passes for just $20. For more info: skibeech.com, 800.438.2093

winter 2009

13


breatheout

escape

ski tips

New to skiing? Yvonne Kidd, creator of skilikeawoman.com, offers up some solid advice.

1

Find a resort that matches your ABILITY.

Look for a resort with a beginner area that’s separate from intermediate and expert terrain. Also, wide beginner slopes are great for giving you confidence and the “feel” of skiing.

2 3

Get fit for skiing. If you’re not exercising regularly, try to start six weeks before you ski. This will help you to improve your stamina and avoid suffering from aches and pains.

Dress for the weather. It can be very cold but you need to be comfortable. Wear several thin layers instead of one thick layer. Only wear one pair of socks!

Wear sunscreen.

4

There’s lots to remember when you’re on the slopes so put sunscreen (factor 30+) on your face and lips before you go out in the morning. It’s possible to get sunburnt even on a cloudy day.

5

You may fall over.

Try to relax and accept that falling is part of learning a new skill.

6

Rent your equipment. Borrow clothing if you can, but never borrow someone else’s boots! Try to visit the rental store the day before you start skiing—there’s more time to find the right equipment for you. Boots must fit properly and you may need to try on several pairs.

7 8

Take a lesson from a professional. Ski school is the best way to start. You’ll learn good habits from someone who is professionally trained to teach skiing.

Drink plenty of water. You’ll be using lots of energy so remember to keep hydrated. Take water with you and drink more at high altitude resorts.

9

Enjoy the experience.

It’s not all about being active—take time to breathe in the mountain air and enjoy the view!

Massanutten Resort Presents

Ladies

helping

Ladies Don’t get left behind Brush up on those skills. Let our certified female instructors take you to the next level. This two-hour ski clinic is held Thursdays from 10am to noon. facebook.com/massanutten massresort.com/ski 800.207.MASS

Breathe wants to know...

How Jet Lagged Are YOU? Visit ReadBreathe.com and tell us your funniest jet lag joke or your worst jet lag horror story for a chance to win a free bottle of RevitaJet! RevitaJet is the world’s first triple action jet lag recovery solution. It targets the source of fatigue and insomnia, revitalizes your body and mind - and it even fits in your handbag. It helps you return to your natural rhythm, and enhances physical well being, all with safe, natural ingredients. For more info about RevitaJet, visit RevitaJet.com, or call 877-285-5584 and ask about our 30 day free trial for Breathe readers! Value: $48.95 • Contest Ends 1/15/2010

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drink

and Be Merry.

Suffering from H20verload? Stay hydrated with these healthy water alternatives. BY LINDSEY GROSSMAN

Be sure to drink plenty of water. Doctors, nutritionists, trainers and moms have been doling out this advice for ages. Some say eight glasses per day while others use thirst as their beverage barometer. Any way you pour it, water makes up roughly 60 percent of our bodies, and it’s important to get our fair share of fluids in order to stay healthy and hydrated. But refilling your BPA-free bottle at the office cooler over and over again can get as stale as eating the same breakfast cereal. So we’ve searched the store aisles (and the Internet) to find refreshing options for those times when you’re feeling waterlogged.

high energy It’s hard enough to keep up the regular recommended daily liquid intake, but add in factors such as sports, altitude or pregnancy and the amount of fluids your body needs may be hard to swallow. While sports drinks such as Gatorade do the trick, they’re also loaded with sugar. And unless you’re training for something hardcore like a marathon or the Olympics, you probably don’t need (or want) all of those extra calories.

infused owater

[ oWATER.com ]

Why we like it: At only 35 calories per serving, it’s chock full of antioxidants and replenishing electrolytes with no artificial coloring or flavors. Great for… refueling after a 5-mile run or Bikram yoga sweat session. Favorite Flavor: Peach Mango.

actiVwater

[ activwater.com ]

Why we like it: They use all natural ingredients infused with essential vitamins such as B12 and C to boost your energy and immunity levels. Great for… preventing and alleviating jetlag. Favorite Flavor: Blueberry Pomegranate.

on the lighter side

relief pitcher. If you want to avoid the cost and plastic of packaged infused waters, it’s easy to make your own at home. Take a glass pitcher, fill it with water, slice up your favorite fruit or veggie (lemons, limes, oranges and cucumbers are all refreshing choices) and let it chill in the fridge. Just like they serve at the spa!

If you’re jonesing for a little extra flavor without the enhancements of an energy drink, the following refreshments jazz it up with everything from fruit to herbs. And with low (and in some cases no) calories or sugar, it’s pretty much an even swap for your Sigg and a huge healthy step up from that diet soda.

Hint

chew on this. Liquids aren’t the only way to maintain fluid levels. The following fruits and veggies are filled to the rind with water. FRUITS • melons (cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew) 89-93% • papaya 91% • grapefruit 90% VEGGIES • cucumber 96%

[ DRINKhint.com ]

Why we like it: As the name implies, a slight touch of natural flavor is subtle without boring your taste buds. Plus, no calories or sweeteners means no guilt!

• red pepper 91% • tomato 97% Source: Rebecca Scritchfield, Registered Dietitian, Washington, D.C.

winter 2009

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Great for… midday water rescue. Keep a couple of these in the office fridge to feed your thirst without feeding the vending machine. Favorite Flavor: Watermelon.

Twist Organics [ DRINKTWIST.com ]

Why we like it: Available in five unique USDA-certified organic flavor options that are so palatable, you’ll forget it’s good for you. Great for… hydrating on-the-go in between work and working out. Favorite Flavor: West Indies Lime.

Ayala’s Herbal Water [ HERBALWATER.com ]

Why we like it: Zero calories, all organic and all natural, these herbal waters aren’t just doctor recommended, they’re doctor created. Great for… destressing. Try it as a Chardonnay substitute with your next bubble bath. Favorite Flavor: It’s a tie between Ginger Lemon Peel and Lavender Mint.•

Call Now for a Free 30-day Trial Or visit our website for more information REVITAJET.com

Fights stress and insomnia Reduces the visual effects of fatigue Increases Mental Acuity and Memory Retention Enables you to get the most out of your trip Improves performance both home and away

This product is not intended to diagnose, mitigate, treat, cure or prevent any disease. REVITAJET is a dietary supplement designed to support normal body function. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

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Š 2009 Columbia Sportswear Company. All rights reserved.

AVAILABLE AT:

GreatOutdoorProvision.com


Think Globally, shop locally the Breathe holiday gift guide BY LINDSEY GROSSMAN, LAUR A PURCELL + FAR AH QURESHI

Overwhelmed by your holiday shopping list? In the hustle and bustle to get everything done, you might not think as much about where you shop as what to get. Give an extra gift this year—to your community—by shopping with locally owned stores and companies. According to The 3/50 Project, for every $100 spent at independent stores, $68 returns to your community, providing jobs and supporting public services, schools and charities. It’s also eco-friendly. Local businesses have smaller infrastructures and source many of their products and services nearby. So this year, we’re getting in the spending spirit with our favorite gift ideas from locally owned stores in six different yet equally fabulous cities. Unique, thoughtful gifts that support the community and the environment? Shopping doesn’t get better than that!

washington, dc 1 This chic meditation cushion, found at Tranquil Space Yoga’s Tranquility Boutique, is a perfect gift for those seeking to deepen their practice. For an extra touch of serenity, pair the cushion with one of the boutique’s 100-hour burning candles. A portion of the boutique’s proceeds benefit My Sister’s Place, a local non-profit supporting victims of domestic violence. Meditation Cushion, $80; 100-Hour Candle, $32 TRANQUILITY BOUTIQUE AT TRANQUIL SPACE YOGA 1632 17th st. nw, washington, d.c. 20009 202.328.YOGA tranquilspace.com

2 If you plan to give your favorite fashionista the gift of style this year, then head over to Pink November for this unique handbag. Designer Ilanit Neutra handcrafts each one out of recycled tire inner tubes. Neutra Tire Bag, $272 PINK NOVEMBER 1534 U st. nw, suite 100, washington, d.c. 20009 202.333.1121

3 Looking for an educational and safe Christmas toy? Surprise a budding green thumb with Green Toys’ indoor gardening kit. Available at Greater Goods, the kit is made from recycled milk jugs and contains soil pods and organic seed packets to jump-start a child’s first gardening activity. Grown-ups also can get in on the educational fun by attending one of Greater Goods’ free Green Living classes (registration is required and accessible through their website). Indoor Gardening Kit by Green Toys, $19.50 GREATER GOODS 1626 U st. nw, washington, d.c. 20009 202.449.6070 greatergoods.com

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richmond, va

charlottesville, va 4 Thank those who’ve been generous to you by sending a note on one of these beautiful cards, printed with non-toxic paint on recycled paper by Charlottesville artist Lotta Helleberg. They’re also a thoughtful gesture for the paper junkie on your list (some of us can never have enough stationery). Note Cards (set of 4), $14 THE BARN SWALLOW 796 GILLUMS RIDGE RD., charlottesville, va 22903 434.979.4884 THEbarnswallow.com / inleafdesign.com

7 Perfect for the gym, a weekend jaunt or as a stylish diaper bag, the Puddle Jumper has compartments for everything you need, from small accessories to running shoes and laptops. Available at LaDiff, who promotes other local businesses on their website and shares local, eco-friendly exploits (including their own) on the “green screen” in their store. Puddle Jumper Bag, $75 LaDIFFERENCE 125 S. 14th st., RICHMOND, VA 23219 866.4.ladiff ladiff.com

5 Have a big or little bear in your life? Made from recycled Polartec fleece in nearby Earlysville, these hats keep heads warm and make everyone who sees them smile.

8 Completely waterproof up to 15 feet, your adventurer won’t miss another moment, underwater or on the slopes. Retailer Blue Ridge Mountain Sports is dedicated to local charities; in May, they hosted the Run Like a Girl 8K at Pocahontas State Park and raised over $9,000 for the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation.

Fleece Bear Hat, $23 freestyle 475 westfield RD., charlottesville, va 22901 434.978.4091 freestyleonline.com / themouseworks.com

Aquapac Compact Camera Case, $39.99 BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAIN SPORTS 11500 midlothian tpKE., RICHMOND, VA 23235 804.794.2004 FIND ADDITIONAL LOCATIONS AT BRMSSTORE.com

6 Artist Diana Branscome scours Charlottesville landfills and recycling bins for interesting bottles and fires them twice in her thousand-degree kiln. Makes a stunning centerpiece for a greenminded hostess.

9 Encourage your favorite type-A personality to stop and smell the suds with these handmade organic soaps. The Flower Peddler will donate $1 to the Central Virginia Food Bank for each festive set sold.

Recycled Glass Bowl, $45 c'ville arts 118 e. main st., charlottesville, va 22902 434.972.9500 charlottesvillearts.com / branscomeglass.com

Holiday Soap Duo, $15 THE FLOWER PEDDLER 11138 AIR PARK RD., SUITE H, ASHLAND, VA 23005 888.569.soap flower-peddler.com winter 2009

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charlotte, nc

atlanta, ga

10 The yogi in your life will love this stylish option for getting her gear to and from the studio. Charlottean Avi Woolman put a lot of thought into her eco-friendly design that’s made in the USA from pre-consumer T-shirt scraps.

13 Have a dog lover on your list? Look no further than these canine-inspired cards from Fire Hydrant Press. This pet project of InkSpot Workshop specializes in handcrafted, custom orders for that rare breed in your life (and her dog). Owner Stacy Altiery designs, prints and ships each order from her Atlanta home. Available exclusively online through Etsy, a portion of each sale goes to Last Chance For Animals.

Yogoco Yoga Mat Bag in Nirvana Pink, $87 ASANA ACTIVEWEAR 3920 Sharon rd., charlotte, NC 28211 704.366.8020 asanaactivewear.com / yogoco.com

11 This woman-owned online store based in Charlotte offers “affordable eco-luxury” items for everyone on your list. We went ga-ga over their organic ginger cookies, which are baked fresh in small batches of sugary goodness. Their green shipping and packaging practices make for guilt-free gift giving across the country. Organica shows their local love by contributing to causes such as the Autism Foundation of the Carolinas.

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Design Your Own Dog Silhouette Stationery, Set of 20, $30 fire hydrant press firehydrantpress@gmail.com firehydrantpress.etsy.com

14 Artist Thomas Burns’ vintage travel prints are popping up in homes all over Atlanta. His nostalgic illustrations showcase historical sites and landmarks in Atlanta and its surrounding areas—perfect for those who have Georgia on their minds.

Organica Ginger Cookies, $20 organiCa deluxe 800.272.0546 organicadeluxe.com

Stone Mountain Print (available in three sizes), $15-$150 YOUNG BLOOD GALLERY + BOUTIQUE 636 n. highland ave., atlanta, gA 30306 404.254.4127 youngbloodgallery.com / atlantavintagetravel.com

12 EcoCuff creator Susan Hilger (aka GreenMarket Girl) utilizes the “wood waste” from her design firm by turning it into wearable works of art. In addition to EcoCuffs, Lark & Key in Charlotte’s NoDa district features works by a number of local designers and artists including the whimsically wonderful paintings of owner Duy Huynh and a jewelry line by co-owner Sandy Snead.

15 These 99 percent natural sticks make the perfect coworker gift or stocking stuffer for the gal on-the-go. Handmade in Woodstock, GA, you can moisturize anywhere without worrying about a lotion explosion in your purse, gym bag or carry-on. The new Fresh Fig scent really got under our skin. Sold at the Beehive Co-op in Buckhead, a store that supports emerging local designers and artists.

EcoCuffs, $35-$40 LARK + KEY GALLERY and Boutique 453-B E. 36th st., charlotte, NC 28205 704.379.1826 larkandkey.com / greenmarketgirl.etsy.com

Rinse Skin Stick, $8 beEhive co-op 1831-A peachtree rd., atlanta, gA 30309 404.351.1166 beEhiveco-op.com / rinsesoap.com

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asheville, nc 16 Chocolate fiends will flip over the selection of handmade chocolates and pastries found at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. While cacao can’t grow in this climate, these chocolatiers get as many of their ingredients as possible from local sources. Their Buddha Collection, an incendiary assortment of vegan truffles, makes a great gift for those who don’t do dairy. 5-piece Buddha Truffle Collection, $10 french broad luscious chocolates 10 south lexington ave., asheville, NC 28801 828.252.4181 frenchbroadchocolates.com

17 For that funky friend who thrives on unique thrift store-inspired finds, Buncombe Buckles provides the conversation piece to complete her look. Artist Celia Gray carefully crafts each belt buckle using scrap metal and repurposed vintage parts. Available at Wink, where they proudly showcase several talented regional designers. Fence Line Belt Buckle, $64 wink heads + Threads 18 brook st., asheville, NC 28803 828.277.4070 ilovewink.com / buncombebuckles.com

local shopping resources The 3/50 Project – a website supporting our nation’s independently-owned brick and mortars. the350project.net Etsy – features a “shop local” search to find handmade and vintage goods in your area. etsy.com eat.shop guides – a series of guidebooks ($14.95 each) that recommends out-ofthe-way, independently owned stores and restaurants in several cities including Atlanta and D.C. eatshopguides.com Think. Shop. Buy. Local – a program created by the Retail Merchants Association to support local shopping in Richmond and surrounding cities. thinkshopbuylocal.com

Shop Charlottesville – a comprehensive online guide to stores in Charlottesville, VA. shopcharlottesville.org

18 Festivarians, picnickers and beach bums will all love the Launch Pad from Eagles Nest Outfitters. You might not even be aware that ENO, known nationwide for their nylon hammocks, calls Asheville home. This blanket, one of the latest additions to their line of “hanging out” gear, boasts a durable, waterproof bottom and soft polar fleece top. Plus it folds away nicely into its own pocket-pouch, complete with a padded shoulder strap for the ultimate in concert-going convenience. Launch Pad Festival Blanket , $64.95 diamond brand outdoors 2623 hendersonville rd., arden, NC 28704 828.684.6262 diamondbrand.com / eaglesnestoutfittersinc.com winter 2009

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breathein

gear • style • beauty

from fingerless gloves to fingernail polish, we give you our best bets in gear, beauty and style for the season

By Jayme Otto, Aleigh Acerni and Lindsey Grossman

Valle Crucis, NC Boone, NC Waynesville, NC Asheville, NC Hendersonville, NC Greenville, SC Knoxville, TN MastGeneralStore.com 1-866-FOR-MAST

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breathein

gear

gear Five more reasons to look forward to snow days.

 skate on

 take it all-terrain Atlas developed its Elektra line of women’s specific snowshoes after a two-year study in biomechanics. New for 2009, the Elektra 10 series bridges the gap between an all-mountain snowshoe and a trail-only snowshoe, with the features you need for tromping the trail, as well Spring-Loaded Suspension that makes powder possible by pivoting the snowshoe into a forward motion as you walk. $200; atlassnowshoe.com

Called the best cardio workout on skis, skateskiing is the off-season workout for runners and cyclists. Nordic-ski powerhouse Madshus may have been founded in 1906, but they’re cutting edge when it comes to skating, using the latest materials from the aviation and other high-tech industries. Their women’s specific Metis Skate works well for those new to skiing, as well as experienced crossovers from tele or downhill, with 4mm of side cut for stability and a light and responsive Polycell core. $375; madshus.com

sock it to ‘em  Point6’s quest to create the perfect ski sock, one that keeps the foot warm without creating fit issues with your boot, panned the Ski Light Cushion sock. Made of fine-spun merino wool, this silky sock packs a light cushion on the shin and under foot for added comfort. A stitched-in achilles brace steps up the support, and a reinforced heel and toe boost durability. $19; point6.com

 the cadillac of coats After ripping it on the slopes all day, don this diva of an aroundtown coat from Orage to celebrate the nightlife. Insulated with 100% goose down and reaching all the way to the knees, the Kim coat is pure indulgence. Made of mini check 1000mm waterproof fabric with a full cinch hood, the Kim proves to be more than just a pretty face. $350; orage.com

 rip and ride Burton’s sweetest ride just got smarter. With this season’s addition of Lightning Bolts, energy transfer lines that extend from the channel to the edge, the Feelgood practically reads your mind. The trusted Super Fly II Core offers an incredible strength-to-weight ration and a snappy feel that makes you want to go all day and all night. Freestyle foreplay never felt so good. $560; burtonboards.com winter 2009

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breathein

style

style We're warming up to winter's jewel and berry tones. knit wit  Cardigans are key this winter, and the Julia sweater from prAna hugs and hangs in all the right places. Horizontal stripes contrast with the length for a stunning yet subtle effect that makes this sweater a seasonal standout. And it’s not just another pretty face… this duster does its job, wrapping you in wool-blended warmth and comfort. $90; prana.com

 hat trick Turn a bad hair day into a good hat day with Pistil’s Cabbie Cap. Brimming with style, this flattering fit made with a wool/acrylic blend beats a beanie when you’re looking to top off your look with something more polished. $30; pistildesigns.com

 handy Indigenous Designs incorporates fair trade practices, organic fabrics and lowimpact dyes to make handmade, high-quality duds. Their mixed knit gloves, available in fun, striped seasonal hues, offer function and fashion right at your fingertips. $18; indigenousdesigns.com

 necking

 re-boot The Pestoe, new this year from Simple, features a beeswax-coated hemp upper and recycled car tire outsole for a stunning boot that will keep your feet warm and looking good. Made with several sustainable materials, they’re also made to sustain the elements—wear these with your favorite jeans all winter long. $100; simpleshoes.com 24

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Already known as a favorite go-to for socks and layering staples, Smartwool has come up with some very eye-catching “lifestyle” pieces this winter. Add some flare to your wardrobe with their funky mixed-print Flecker Scarf. Extra length and a goes-with-everything pattern give you the latitude to wear it any way (and anywhere) you want. $50; smartwool.com


breathein

beauty

beauty We've got the scoop on six great natural, organic products to try, so you can feel good about looking good. lips  Green Beauty expert and author Sara Snow partnered with The Mentholatum Company to create a budget-friendly line of Softlips Pure lip conditioners, and the resulting USDAcertified organic lip balms are paraben- and gluten-free, and with an SPF 20 rating, perfect for everyday wear. With a moisturizing feel, the balm glides onto lips without feeling heavy or waxy, and comes in six flavors: peppermint, acai berry, papaya, chai tea, pomegranate and honeydew. $2.99; visit softlips.com for stores

cheeks  North Carolina-based Afterglow Cosmetics offers a great line of bio-active mineral makeup with certified organic ingredients. We’re fans of the line’s Organic Mineral Blush for its feather-light coverage, which makes it easy to get the look you’re striving for, whether you want a light, subtle flush or full-on drama. Available in eight shades, the minerals are triple-milled with organic antioxidants like grape seed, pomegranate seed and rose petal. $23; afterglowcosmetics.com

nails 

 hair There’s no reason why your skin should have all the fun when it comes to natural products—organic shampoos and conditioners are gentle on hair, and won’t strip the moisture out like synthetic ones. Alba Botanica’s new Acai Antioxidant Shampoo and Conditioner help protect against the damaging effects of free radicals on your tresses, and nourish with passion fruit and jojoba oils. $9.95 (each); albabotanica.com and Whole Foods stores

Nail polish is notoriously chock-full of smelly chemicals, but not Priti Polishes—their nail polish, in a variety of classic and trendy colors, is completely non-toxic and safe, even for moms-to-be and their daughters. $12.50; visit pritinyc.com for locations

 body The delicious scent of this Egyptian Basil & Mint Hand & Body Lotion by Pangea Organics makes us feel like we’re feeding our skin with good, healthy stuff. We’re in good company—green-minded A-list celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Christy Turlington are hooked on Pangea Organics’ line of 100 percent vegetarian, organic products, too. Where else can you find amazing, vegetarian products that come beautifully packaged in plant-able, recycled packaging (seriously), and are free of parabens, petroleum products, paraffin and synthetics? $16; beautorium.com

face  The Freedom Glow Beauty Balm by Revolution Organics is sure to secure its place in your everyday beauty routine—its ultra-hydrating formula gives a delicate hint of color to lips, cheeks, eyes, décolletage and anywhere else you want a little extra glow. It’s great for a polished look on-the-go, and since it’s 85 percent certified organic and cruelty-free, with moisturizing cold-pressed organic olive oil and coconut oil, it’ll keep you looking good through the blustery winter months and beyond. $34; bigelowchemists.com

winter 2009

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the voluntourism experience

BY JAYME OT TO Photographs by Jayme Otto

S

even of us pedal mountain bikes along a bumpy dirt road trying not to spill paint from the cans balanced on our handlebars. Children look up, calling out “Jambo!” as we pass. Some run from their homes to greet us, their sunny smiles reaching us before they do. I’ve exclaimed the Swahili version of hello no less than 30 times already this morning in reply. By the time we reach our destination—the high school on the far end of the African village—I’m exhausted. Maybe it’s the sweaty bike ride dodging chunks of coral and rock, goats and chickens. Maybe it’s the mosquitoes. Maybe it’s the thought of spending two unshaded hours painting the school’s shabby exterior walls. I ponder my drained state as I stand before what seems like an endless wall, blue paint in one hand, a tired brush in the other. Where is my do-gooder high? The concept of being a voluntourist had really resonated with me back when

I planned the trip. Who doesn’t dream of a meaningful vacation to some far-flung land where you have the opportunity to make a difference? To make people’s lives better? A Cleveland Catholic-schooler, I grew up under the influence of missionaries like Sister Dorothy Kazel, and icons like Mother Teresa, who brought hope and inspiration by their mere presence in a foreign land. Plus, I was well-traveled. And eventually, well-traveled people start jonesing for something more authentic than your typical tourist vacation. We want a travel experience that gets under our skin. We want total immersion. Leave no trace? No thanks. We want to leave our hearts and souls. We want to make a lasting impression. I chose Zanzibar because it’s an exotic cacophony of African, Arab and Indian culture. And it’s 99 percent Muslim, which both unnerved and intrigued me. And I’ll admit, I sort of pictured Zanzibar like the scenes in the Disney cartoon Aladdin. Judge me if

you must, but I had this idea of dirt pathways through lively open-air markets, a hodgepodge of animals, fruits, vegetables and spices, and perhaps even a flying carpet. I imagined handsome people in colorful clothing and modest, but clean, little homes built of stone. I dreamed of making lifelong bonds, Facebook friends and, if we get right down to it, someone swearing to name their first born after me. When I arrived in Jambiani, I shrunk back. The distance itself was daunting. It took me two days and five flights to reach my destination, with twelve hours worth of layovers spent lolling around in rinkydink airports. Traveling to far-off lands was perhaps better in theory than in practice. There were no dirt road pathways to openair markets. There were no markets. Just one dirt road that ran along one end of (Pictured above) Jayme with her six-year-old students at Millat Ibrahim Nursery School. winter 2009

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A student practices writing the word “mountain.”

town, then a bunch of crude homes lacking the civility of windows and doors, then the ocean. We traveled the dirt road by bike (no cars existed in Jambiani besides the one that dropped me off). We navigated the sand by foot, as it was too deep to ride through. The voluntourist coordinator advised me to keep my shoes on due to parasitic worms that enter your body through the soles of your feet. And there was, of course, malaria. I got there just in time to join the existing team for lunch. Volunteers live together in a group home, just off the beach. Meals were provided, as well as housekeeping and laundry. I wasn’t exactly bowled over by their enthusiasm at lunch. They were friendly, but quiet; tired, I’d learn later, due to demanding schedules with little downtime. A typical day looked like this: 8-10 a.m. teach english to adults at the jambiani travel and tourism institute 10 A.m. - 12 p.m. teach english to preschoolers at local school

Slapping blue paint on the wall two days after my arrival, I sort of feel like I’ve enlisted. There is a distinct lack of freedom here. You eat whatever they put in front of you, adhere to a dress and conduct code, and are slave to a regimented schedule. I cross-examine my cohorts in between paint strokes. Is this trip what they’d expected? “It’s hard for everyone in the beginning,” says Sarah, an ex-Girl Scout from a small town in Nebraska. “But after awhile, you start to have these ‘Aha!’ moments where everything falls into place and it all becomes worth it.” She joined up for six weeks, and was halfway through her tour of duty. I am only down for one. I wonder if my measly week is long enough to deal with my doubts. I look for my “Aha!” moment the next morning when I teach English at preschool for the first time. This has to be a place where I can make a difference, a place to see some change. Three of us have the six-

1 - 2 p.m. LUNCH 3 - 5 p.m. community service (painting schools, planting treEs, building fences)

getting there

6:30 p.m. take swahili lessons

My voluntourism experience was through

7 p.m. dinner

And there was a dress code. Apparently Islam is not a spectator religion. On the beach (which we seldom had time to indulge in) we could dress as we chose. But off the beach, we had to wear modest clothing that covered our shoulders and knees at the bare minimum. I got a lot of mileage out of the yoga knickers I’d brought on a whim, wearing them under my way-too-short sundresses. 28

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The Planeterra Foundation (planeterra.org). The Planeterra Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports sustainable community development through travel and voluntourism. With about 30 projects worldwide, ranging from providing water tanks to families in Kenya to supporting a women’s weaving co-operative in Peru, Planeterra offers travelers the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people and communities around the world.

year-olds, and they certainly deliver. They love us, unabashedly. They want to touch us, sit next to us, repeat our English phrases as best they can for us. When we start off class with a rousing rendition of the itsybitsy-spider song, I feel my heart will burst with blissful gratification. But it’s not the “Aha!” moment. Because secretly I wonder how this impacts their lives. Will they remember? Are they learning anything, or are we just a welcome distraction from their regular lessons, a recess? Will these songs give them the skills to rise above the poverty line of Jambiani? Will they ever leave this place? These thoughts stay with me all night, right through to the morning. As I lay in bed just after sunrise, in the safety of my mosquito net, I hear shuffling outside. Some of the other volunteers and I get up to investigate. A small crowd of children has gathered on the other side of the wall separating our house from the rest of the village. They must be standing on tiptoe, their fingers and heads are all we can see. Peeking over the wall, they sing to us: “Jambo, Jambo Bwana, Habari gani, Mzuri sana.” They sing in playful voices, oh-sopleased-with-themselves voices, inviting voices. I recognize some words from our Swahili lessons—basic words meaning “hello” and “how are you?” It’s a song you would sing to someone brand new at the language. And it’s catchy. I start to sing along. We all do. And I nearly choke on the “Aha!” moment as it gets caught up in my throat: our students had gotten up early on a Saturday morning to teach us a language lesson. And I didn’t have to wonder anymore whether or not our songs stuck with them. Because they etched their song so deep into my heart that my mind will never forget. I realized then that voluntourism begins with a will to create positive change in the places you visit, and ends with the realization that you’re the one who changes. • Jayme Otto lives and writes in the playground known as Boulder, CO. She manages to tear herself away from her computer long enough to go on trail runs with her Labrador, and bike rides with the Title Nine Cycling Club. More at JaymeOtto.com


breatheability

q&a: Lindsay Fixmer By Lindsey Grossman

PITCH PERFECT: Lindsay is in her element a few pitches up a climb in Red Rocks outside of Las Vegas.

The Fox Mountain Guides instructor talks to us about climbing and how she turned her passion for the sport into a career. When did you start climbing? A friend in college asked me to check out the wall at one of our campus gyms. This wall consisted of five ropes and was barely 20 feet high, but it was enough to recognize my immediate draw to the sport! Following a climbing trip out west that summer, I was hooked. How did you get into climbing instruction? I wanted to make a profession out of my love of climbing and sharing it with others. My instruction began at climbing gyms from 101 classes to lead climbing to coaching youth climbing teams and then into the outdoor arena. What do you love the most about teaching others? There is great joy in sharing your passion and imparting your knowledge with others who crave adventure. Life is all about learning, growing and challenging yourself and others. You specialize in climbing instruction for women. What makes climbing different for women? In all-women groups I have found there is a different dynamic and support base women often don’t have in a male-dominated sport where there can be more pressure. Also, I think women and men learn movement differently— due to body types, weight distribution, balance and certain tendencies.

What do you do to train for a climb? This is very situational. In general, my training for climbing is running, climbing with a pack and combining anaerobic activity in an aerobic setting. Cross-fit and Mountain Athlete have excellent programs and ergonomically smart and effective exercises. What’s in your haul bag? My shoes are the Evolv Rockstars. Ever since they first came out, I’ve been a fan and have gone through I don’t know how many pairs! I’m a big fan of Black Diamond cams—those are my choice placements for trad climbing. For ropes, Mammut and Sterling (9.8mm thickness) are great—thick enough to last but thin enough not to hurt the elbows on top managed belays and multi-pitch climbs. And if it’s new... oooh, gotta love the slickness… just flows through your fingers. And I love my Arc’teryx harness! It’s so comfy and light. Do you have any climbing heroines? There are a multitude of phenomenal women climbers and pioneers of the sport. Most climbers will agree Lynn Hill’s extensive resume and impressive climbing ability will always put her in the forefront of leading women climbers. Angela Hawse, a phenomenal and incredibly well-versed guide whom I was fortunate to have as an instructor in my American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) Rock Instructor course should also be honored in a heroine role. Steph Davis and Lisa Rands are remarkable for their pursuit of something greater than themselves, continually pushing the bar: Steph for her grace and mind control and Lisa for her power and perseverance. The impact these climbers

have for women in professional climbing is extraordinary and unique. What’s the most challenging climb you’ve attempted? Tough question. But considering I’ve just begun venturing into alpine climbing, I’ll recall a recent endeavor… Spiral Route on Notch Top in sub-optimal conditions: bad ice, avalanches and a lot of snow. End result: we bailed! I’m also occasionally working on The Glass Menagerie on the North Side of Looking Glass. That one is pretty intense. What’s your favorite climb in North Carolina? I don’t think I could pick just one. Fathom Direct on Laurel Knob is absolutely beautiful—pitch after pitch of bliss. Waste Not, Want Not on the North Side of Looking Glass is fantastic for its stout, technical and thin movement, keeping you on your toes! What words do you live by? I usually live off movie quotes, mostly from Caddyshack or The Big Lebowski, “The Dude abides.” I also like what a good friend reiterates to me once a week: If you’re not learning, it’s time to do something else. What gets you going in the morning? A great workout gets me pumped but if that’s not an option, a vanilla iced coffee. How do you unwind at the end of the day? Climbing or hanging out with my favorite climbing partner. Are you doing any ice climbing this winter? Yes, and I’m psyched! Ice comes in on the Blue Ridge Parkway and Fox Mountain Guides take clients on day trips there. We also run a New Hampshire trip every February to get in all the fantastic northeast ice! It’s pretty sweet, especially with the chalet we rent. There may be a winter trip to Colorado before the NH trip to get in some ice as well. Any advice for women who are interested in getting into climbing? The best advice I have is to keep any adventure safe, fun and conducive to learning. In the outdoor arena, hire an AMGAcertified guide for an intro day out on the rock. If starting at a climbing gym, take a beginner’s course on the technical basics and movement. Most importantly, have fun and challenge yourself!

There’s more! Read Lindsay’s full interview online at readbreathe.com winter 2009

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Ice Queen

BY KINSEY LABBER TON

“Ma’am. Ma’am! Please move out of the way of the oncoming skiers,” an intercom voice boomed. Flat on my face in thick powder, I knew it was talking to me. Not a good sign. Suffice it to say, being announced via loudspeaker was not the way I’d intended to make my snowboarding debut at Sugarbush Ski Resort. No, the original plan had been to coast off the chairlift a la Peekaboo Street. Instead I’d been ejected sunnyside up, immobile and inches away from a crushing parade of fellow passengers literally leaping over my contorted body to the snowy slopes beyond. Legs akimbo, I cried out, “I’m stuck, damnit!” “Kins, you gotta get out of the way,” I could just make out the shouts from my fiancé Daniel and our fellow skiers. “I’m trying!” I squealed. Frozen and fuming, this experience was quickly climbing the charts of humiliation to rate only second to the time I wet my pants in front of the neighborhood boys in first grade. “Help me!” I bawled, as a father grabbed his child Heisman trophy-style to avoid a collision. The lift came to a screeching halt. Using herculean force, I heaved myself toward my bindings. “Damn these gloves,” I muttered, batting madly at the irritating contraption. “Come on!” Brute force suddenly snapped me free, I kicked off the board and belly crawled to safety. Staring at me as if I were an arctic leper, Daniel looked on in horror. “You okay?” he asked. Okay? Okay? The question was inconceivable, so I said the first thing that came to mind, “I hate snowboarding!” And that was hour one. I still had to get down the godforsaken mountain. The world of snowsports is rife with hot doggers, extremists and gorgeous Gisele Bunchen look-a-likes. In short, not my people. I come from the clan of the movie watching, musical theater appreciating, wine tasting, cheese loving folk. You know, the indoor kids. Sure I played sports growing up. Basketball, a little volleyball and what I like to refer to as the “never to be discussed again” shot put and discus years. But that collective resume of physical activities prepared me in no way to strap a five-foot fiberglass sled to my feet. Sure, while living as an exchange student in Finland I’d tried snowboarding when my class had gone on a skiing field trip, but I was 18, 10 pounds lighter and too lost in translation to say no. Plus, a brief middle school experience with skis had ended in a tangled mess of braces, red frizzy hair and ski poles—the adolescent trifecta of shame. So I followed 30

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my Finnish friends down the mountain no questions asked. Now, age 25, speaking English and highly aware of my recent fitness lethargy, the thought of torpedoing my lanky frame down a mountainside didn’t seem like such a good idea. Daniel would not be dissuaded, however. He’d been anticipating the first few flakes for the past three months, counting down the hours until he could unpack his new skis, which he’d only had a chance to wear twice, and hit the slopes. I could hardly deny him the chance to engage in snowsports together. And therein lies the rub—love. That stinking emotion that had gotten me into all kinds of trouble since meeting this man four years prior. There was the time on our first date that we stole an antique desk from an unlocked architecture firm (theft). Then there was the St. Patrick’s Day antics that ended with a kid totaling my car (common negligence). And most recently an attempt to cross back over the Canadian border with a bottle of Havana Rum (Daniel’s favorite) which resulted in a kind of Bonnie and Clyde meets Homeland Security episode (smuggling). And now this… suicide. I’d spent the better part of four trips to the ski resort so far on the bunny hill. It was time, as Daniel and his cronies kept reminding me, to face the mountain for real. This, frankly, was a pretty legit idea. Toddlers in skis the size of chopsticks were whizzing past me. Pride and passion to prove to the man I loved that I wasn’t a pathetic wuss urged me on. So up that fateful chairlift we went. A solid hourand-a-half later I arrived on my butt at the base of the hill, shimmying inch by inch to the bottom of the run. I’d only fallen five times, my knees were swollen, I was convinced a concussion was looming, and the tears for all my pain stuck frozen to my face. Daniel upright and glowing sailed toward me. “You did it! I’m so proud of you! You made it all the way down the mountain!” he cheered scooping me up into a big hug. I sniffled and looked and him with a weak smile. Then with complete earnestness, he grabbed my hand and said, “Now let’s go inside, get warm and post your board on Ebay.” And that’s exactly what we did. • Kinsey Labberton decided a long time ago that fireside reading with a dirty martini in hand was her kind of winter sport. She currently lives in Burlington, VT, with her dog and husband and is awaiting the thaw. More at kinseylabberton.com.


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Breathe Magazine  

Winter 2009-10

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