I always knew the Charles was a haven for the runners and bikers of the Boston area. But little did I know that on a warm day, its banks become the site of the Charles River Olympics. The competition began with the inaugural “maniacal fathers pushing their infant children in baby carriages – while rollerblading” event, and finished with tamer activities such as slacklining (like walking on a tightrope), yoga and bocce. Traditional outside sports like baseball, wiffleball, softball, soccer, touch football, crew, kayaking, and Frisbee were also well represented.
There are no age, sex or race restrictions on the Charles. While a typical gym may have a certain type of clientele, the Charles attracts people from all walks of life. From little kids, to college kids, to the elderly; marathoners doing maintenance work to beer belly delegates making the annual hajj; and more races and nationalities than a U.N. meeting, the Charles River is an all-welcome, anti-discriminatory, free of charge outdoor fitness coliseum. It is a cultural magnet that brings everyone together with the mutual goal of improving health.
The views aren’t too bad either.
In the following clips you’ll see the range of people who enjoy this all-natural wonderland, including a university instructor stretching on a dock, Hispanic teams playing an intense game of futbol, and an rambling and eccentric, yet absolutely hilarious, middle-aged fitness fanatic who will explain why people who go to gyms are “stupid.”
To see some fitness in action, check out this video:
Charles River -
Monday, March 16, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
On Saturday night I attended the "Dancing with the Realtors" event at the Four Points Hotel in my hometown of Leominster, Mass. The event was supposed to be an imitation of the popular realty television show, Dancing with the Stars, only with central Massachusetts Real Estate Agents instead of stars. A cheesy concept, perhaps, but all the proceeds for this event went toward a good cause: helping low income families build homes through Habitat for Humanity. It was a pretty swanky event; a lot of tuxedos, evening gowns, cash bars in the hotel lobby and mingling amongst some of the community's big players.
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For a group of people who don't dance for a living, the quality was actually good. The dance instructors managed to teach the realtors all the basic moves, and they looked semi-professional. However, towards the end of the night some of the REAL professionals put on a sensational performance dancing with each other, which looked like something you would see on television.
The event managed to raise $6,000 for Habitat. I was shocked by people's generosity considering the current economic climate; many were willing to bid up to $300 at a time on events in the live auction. However, after speaking with the event organizer, Sandra DeRienzo, this total was significantly lower than last year's amount of $18,000. Nevertheless, for someone like myself who's been eating exclusively from McDonald's Dollar Menu for the past few months to save money, a $6,000 dollar contribution is remarkable.