Escondido residents will soon have a number of new options for getting in shape, thanks to a series of planned new fitness facilities.
On Nov. 18, the city unveiled the first of five planned “fitness courts,” which are described as free outdoor gyms available for public use. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the site of the first fitness court, which was built at Mountain View Park.
The city plans to install two more of the fitness courts in the spring, at Kit Carson Park and next to the city’s main library on South Kalmia Street. The two final courts will be built in the near future, said city officials.
Another outdoor recreation project is planned for Jesmond Dene Park, where a bike park will be built and named for City Councilman John Masson, who died in March. Masson was a strong advocate for youth recreation opportunities, and he enjoyed such activities as skateboarding, motocross and mountain biking, according to a city staff report.
The Escondido City Council, at a meeting on Nov. 18, gave a green light to the project and authorized the city to accept a $271,000 state grant to pay for the new bike park.
Also at the Nov. 18 meeting, the council received an update on a plan to build a “skate spot” at Washington Park. The city has set aside funds for design and construction of the new facility for skateboarders. A staff report said design of the skate spot and an adjacent parking lot will cost $143,574, and construction of the skate spot is estimated at $382,000.
Construction is expected to begin in January, weather permitting, with completion by summer, said Deputy City Manager Joanna Axelrod.
The first fitness court, located at Mountain View Park, 1160 S. Citrus Ave., was completed in February, said Axelrod, but the opening was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re so excited to be finally able to open it,” she said.
The city worked with the National Fitness Campaign, a for-profit consulting firm based in San Francisco, to design and build the outdoor workout facility for ages 14 and up.
National Fitness provided $30,000 in seed money for the project, and the city’s utility department provided an additional $165,000, which the department provided in exchange for park land it needed to construct a water pumping station, Axelrod said.
The fitness courts are about 1,000 square feet and utilize a design developed by the National Fitness Campaign. They include seven workout zones, each of which focuses on a different type of movement. Together, the seven zones provide a full-body workout. The zones include core, squat, push, lunge, pull, agility and bend.
Fitness court users can
A Welsh athlete has successfully carried a full-sized piano up Garth mountain in Wales. Extreme adventurer and fitness coach Max Glover hauled the 400-pound musical instrument up the 2-mile ascent on Sunday to raise money for the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital Charity.
The 33-year-old former Marine is no stranger to intense challenges, running a marathon in 2019 with a 1.7 ton car attached to his back. Having completed such a grueling test of endurance, he decided to take on another unconventional feat this year. “I have always been a bit different, I guess,” Glover told Runner’s World UK.
Determined to pursue his goal and to raise money for the hospital that supported his close friend, he began a strength training program last year. The strict plan entailed “squats, Romanian deadlifts, farmers walks, weighted step-ups and other similar compound exercises.” When lockdown restricted access to gyms, Glover relocated his training to outdoor spaces.
“I just carried heavy things in a backpack and just kept increasing the weight and walking up hills,” he reveals. “I bought a bergen (infantry rucksack) as I know they can handle a lot of weight and put dumbbells in there to take to the field or park.”
Glover was faced with a series of obstacles throughout this training period, including injury and illness. His preparation was thwarted by Achilles pain in July and a sudden onset of poor health in the two weeks prior to the event.
Rather than demotivating him, these adversities only pushed him harder to accomplish his goal. “I think being in the Marines was the foundation for having the strength of mind and determination to complete something like this,” he says.
Accompanied by a small group of supporters called “Team Lungs,” he reached the summit in 3 hours and 45 minutes. After removing the weight from his back and gulping down a well-earned coffee, the victorious athlete and his crew were treated to a beautiful piano performance from a little girl.
“It was one of those magic moments,’ Glover says. ‘How many kids can say they played a real piano on the top of a mountain?!” To support Glover’s cause, you can donate here.
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In mid-July, Montana was far from the fast-moving Covid-19 outbreaks that were overwhelming other states, reporting about 150 new cases a day. It is now a national hot spot.
The coronavirus is triggering more than 900 cases a day in Montana, health officials say, driven in large part by people fed up with face masks, as well as a resurgence of weddings, parties and other social gatherings. The state, which has one of the highest rates of infection in the U.S., has surpassed 25,000 cases and 275 deaths.
“I think a lot of it is people got tired of not having their regular life,” said John Felton, the health officer in Yellowstone County, where officials say the number of hospital patients requiring intensive care now exceeds the county’s 41 ICU beds.
Montana and other Rocky Mountain states are the latest region to get swept up by a surge in Covid-19 cases, which are nearing or at peak levels in Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. New patients have left hospital beds in short supply, and state officials have renewed efforts to slow the spread.
So far, deaths from Covid-19 haven’t risen significantly across the region, but the wave of cases likely foreshadows an uptick similar to other outbreaks across the U.S., public-health officials said.
From September to October, there has been a big rise in new Covid-19 cases in several states, as well as a rise in hospitalizations resulting from the virus.
New cases vs. hospitalizations per 100,000
Note: Values are an average of the entire month.
Source: COVID Tracking
In New Mexico, where new cases have shot up to more than 800 a day from 108 on Sept. 1, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, said Tuesday that restaurants, bars and other businesses where people gather would have to close for two weeks if four or more of their workers test positive over 14 days.
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, a Republican, has directed the National Guard to help with contact tracing. New daily Covid-19 cases on Wednesday grew to 322 from 24 on Sept. 1.
More than 600 Idaho teachers called in sick Monday and Tuesday in the West Ada School District over what they say are unsafe working conditions, citing little room for social distancing in classrooms and some students ignoring mask-wearing rules in the Boise-area district. Over the past month, daily cases in Idaho have reached more than 900 a day from about 200.
“At the end of the day, we are just screaming the conditions they are having to work in are intolerable,” said Eric Thies, president of the West Ada Education Association, a teachers union.
In Utah, where new cases rose from 300 a day at the start of September to more than 1,300, a hospital in Salt Lake City