Outdoor Afro. Cool name right? That’s what I thought when I saw the t-shirt on a lady in a coffee shop in Seattle. I was like,”I need to know what this shirt is all about.” So, me being me, popped the question. “Your shirt, what is it all about?” Of course I had to build up my courage and consult with Beulah first. But you get the point. I did it. I asked. And… she, and the dood she was sitting with answered. It turned out that he had just gotten back in town. And that he had been tasked, volunteered, to get a chapter of Outdoor Afro going in the great Pacific Northwest. My adopted home.
Now, you may be wondering after all of that, “Just what is this Outdoor Afro?” Well, I’m gonna tell you. When you go hiking, sailing, biking, snowboarding, cross country skiing, mountain climbing, dog sledding, bouldering, white water rafting… and a whole slew of other outdoor sports do you recall seeing a statistically proportionate number of African Americans out there? Do you remember seeing any? If you did, were you surprised? Yeah, me too.
Outdoor Afro is here to change that. And this is a good thing. I mean, the physical and mental health benefits are great and I also feel like it’s time to don some new stereotypes. Instead of being described as mean, scary, angry, stupid, lazy or thuggish (okay, who of you is not one or more of these things sometimes? But not ALL the time!!!), it would be cool to be seen as adventurous, daring, creative, impressive, intense, exciting and generally bad ass in a really positive attractive kind of way. Or at least as a normalish nice guy who not surprisingly likes to go out in nature and do cool fun stuff with my friends and family (…okay, breathe now).
For last Saturday’s power walk, Beulah, the boy and I went to an Outdoor Afro sponsored event. It was a hike at Wilderness Creek Trail in Issaquah. The hike is listed as a moderate level hike. Add 30+ pounds of baby backpack and I would definitely kick the difficulty up a bit. It is a winding mostly uphill trek that ends at a cool log bench and guestbook. The trail continues from there in a loop that takes you back down to the parking area. After the hike we went to an REI sponsored function where I won two t-shirts and a cool Rogue Farms mug. Sweet, right? Here’s the stats…
- Distance – 3.54 miles
- Duration – 1:46:42
- Pace per mile – 30:09
- Calories – 650 (not adjusted for baby backpack)
- Stride rate – 54 steps/min
- Elevation change – 1331 ft