Couch potatoes, arise!
Stephen Priest sees his torn Achilles tendon as "good fortune." Without the injury (now years ago) he wouldn't have become an outdoor enthusiast nor written a book about it. When Priest's doctors told him that there was an even chance the tendon would tear again in the future, he set out to prove them wrong. He began an exercise program (starting with walking just the distance between two telephone poles) that led to a lifetime of hiking, biking, kayaking, cross-country skiing, marathon running, swimming and even shovel-sliding.
He wants others to enjoy the outdoors as much as he does. His 242-page book, "Outdoor Enthusiast" [www.outdoorsteve.com, $34.88] outlines a plan for getting started (yes, walking between telephone poles is part of it) and for how to continue living a healthy lifestyle by being outdoors. He uses his own experiences with his outdoor activities to discuss the challenges and cautions of each. He also writes extensively about avoiding injuries (first of all, stretch), being a guest in nature's habitat (watch out for bobcats) and where to go to "play" in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. If you're ready to leave your couch or to kick your current exercise routine up a notch, this book can tell you a thing or two about how to do it.
This article appears in the June 2009 issue of New Hampshire Magazine