Lamenting Authority

I’d heard a few months ago what was about to go down. I thought to myself haven’t they been there before? I didn’t Google it, didn’t want to know, didn’t want to confirm, didn’t want to believe but alas, ’tis true. I went by the spot and saw for my own eyes, Sports Authority is going out of business. I’m undone.


My love for the sporting goods store goes back over 30 years. My dad took me to our local spot, Dunham’s to buy my first pair of running shoes. I’ve been hooked ever since.

I’ve shopped specialty stores and even worked in one back in the late 80s but the all purpose sporting good store has always been best for me especially as my needs changed. I got hooked on Sports Authority  specifically because they:

  • Always had specials
  • Always had what I need
  • Weren’t so gigantic that you couldn’t get help
  • Staff was always cool
  • Locations were always convenient


I tried that huge chain that starts with D and found success all of three times. When I was looking for the super thick Thorlos, Sports Authority had them. Different thicknesses of yoga mats? Sports Authority. Reasonably priced gym bags, yeah they have those in spades. Stuff I didn’t even need but thought was cool, SA sold it to me.

Many of been shut down already, those that are not closed as yet? I won’t be going by for the “Going Out of Business Sale“, it’s just too much to bear. I have no plans of trying a big box substitute. If I need to go into a store, I’ll get that fix the next time go home. Going forward though, looks like that Prime membership is really going to get a workout.

How about you? Is there a spot in your town that you use to frequent, park, court, gym, store etc that broke your heart when it closed? Come let us grieve together in the comments, or here or here.

Until next time, see you online where I’ll be checking out my virtual cart of stuff I can’t touch until it’s delivered.

Photos: MsThorns

Welcome Back to Lion’s Club Park

When I first discovered it about four years ago, it was closed, blocked off and pretty much in shambles.  I kept passing by and in 2013 saw that it was being renovated and shaping up to be nothing like that first visit. The place had been gutted with signs of life appearing that looked very much like many of Gwinnett’s other great parks. This past weekend, on a quest for the next park to try, I found an article about a re-opening. Woo-hoo! Lion’s Club Park had re-opened so I had to go check it out.
Lion’s Club Park in Lilburn, Georgia received a $5.3 million overhaul and was re-opened in February 2014. By Memorial weekend 2014, residents were taking full advantage of its amenities which include: a baseball complex with five lighted ball fields, 1,800-square-foot concession/restroom building, plaza, batting cages, 60-foot pavilion area, maintenance building, more than 850 parking spaces, paved trail system with benches, adult swings and shelters. (Amenities listing courtesy of the Gwinnett Daily Post. The county’s website has not been updated as of this writing).
The Trail
The trail is paved, circles the park and is a short but challenging .77 miles.  From the parking area at the main entrance headed toward Rockbridge is all downhill. There’s a brief flat area on the back end near the furthest baseball field and then it’s back uphill to the starting point.  There are no mile markers, which is okay given the distance.  Additionally since this park is basically new, there are mostly new trees, meaning that shade is limited and located in the back of the park by the residential entrance and the front main entrance. Runners, walkers and other sportos should get there EARLY to avoid getting baked.
The Fork
Now if a quick 3 miles is all you want, circle the park 4 times for a near 5K or, at the bottom on Rockbridge stay left at the fork, pass under Rockbridge and enter the Camp Creek Greenway — Glorious!  Not available until this year, the Lion’s Club Park Trail now feeds into the Greenway.  A potential long route is to loop around Lion’s Club Park onto the Greenway, through Lilburn Park, onto the Greenway offshoots and back, which is some nice mileage with a mix of scenery, inclines and flats. I chose a “tweener” route by taking one loop around Lion’s Club Park over to the Greenway, circling Lilburn Park and coming back to Lion’s Club which was a bit over 4 miles.DSCN7855
The new Lion’s Club Park is a great neighborhood park for families, fitness enthusiasts and baseball/softball fans with the bonus of a feeder trail system. If you’re in the area or are from Lilburn and remember how the park was, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what the park has become.
Until next time, see you on the trail where I’ll be getting my running legs back. 🙂
Photos: MsThorns

Powered By Soul Spotlight: Ant Pruitt

Ant-Pruitt-Aug2012Common interests (fitness and photography) is how the first Spotlight individual entered my orbit.  A good guy, a smart guy, a fit guy and an unabashed supporter of a certain college football team, introducing Ant Pruitt in his own words.


Ant(hony) Pruitt from Charlotte, North Carolina.  30 something, I think 36, I quit counting. I’m an IT Support Manager.

Talk about your fitness routine including type, days per week, location, preferences etc.

I workout a minimum of two days per week, but shoot for four either at the office fitness facility or Gold’s Gym. Heavy weeks and light weeks are mixed throughout the month with all muscle groups worked each week. A typical month may go something like: week 1 light, week 2 heavier, week 3 super heavy, week 4 light.  I also have some “musts” in the routine. “Upper body musts” = bench press, pull ups, bicep curls, lat pulls or rows. “Lower body musts” = Squats, dead lifts, calf raises. I also incorporate yoga once a week if possible.

Do you follow a particular nutrition plan?

It depends on how I feel and goals. Currently I’m on a higher protein diet with minimal carbs. If I’m dragging, I increase carbs. I also do periodic 48 hour fasts and fasts from particular foods, for example no beef all week or only fish all week. I fast to clear my mind and cleanse the GI tract.

How long have you been active/following your nutrition plan/playing sports etc.?

I’ve been exercising in some form 20+ years. My father used to FORCE ME to do push-ups every night as a kid. I’m also a former 3 -sport athlete. Only got conscious about higher protein since October 2012, but I used to just eat whatever and burn it. No less than 4000 calories a day.

Do you have a success story/testimony relating to fitness, nutrition or your overall health?

At my current age, I’m pushing more weight in the gym now than when I was in my “prime” in college almost 15 years ago. I can’t run as fast due to a replaced hip, but I’m just a hair above my “playing weight” by 10 lbs.

What motivates you to do what you do in terms of fitness and nutrition?

Endorphins. I don’t have a real reason to be stronger or more flexible, but I feel better mentally and emotionally by doing so. Plus I don’t want to look like my classmates. I’m always told I don’t look any different or I look better. I’m proud of that.

Do you have a personal motto/philosophy you’d wish to share?

Burn more than what you eat. Stop looking for people to always be your motivation. Help yourself. THEN others may help you.

Powered by Soul thanks Ant Pruitt for sharing his story with the readers.  To find out more about Ant be sure to check him out here.

Photos: Ant Pruitt

Sweetwater Park

I’d just completed a run at my favorite spot, Bethesda Park on a weekday morning.  In order to avoid traffic which was backed up I stayed on Bethesda Church road until it turned into Bethesda School Rd and lucky me, another park was in sight, Sweetwater Park.  Having the day off and no schedule to follow I pulled into the lot to check it out.

Sweetwater Park is a small but well maintained park in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Features include a playground, pavilion, tennis courts, half-court basketball, and sand volleyball lot, something I’ve not seen at other Gwinnett Parks thus far.  Having arrive around 10:00 am there were not a lot of people around including one staff guy on hand to clean up after a holiday weekend.

The trail was easily accessible, .75 miles long and not hilly.  However, coming up on the volleyball side is an incline that will leave you slightly winded once you actually reach the sand.  Beginning at the park entrance and going right, the trail is shaded for the better part of .5 miles, which is a nice reprieve when needed.

Since the initial visit I’ve run at Sweetwater twice.  The first time around 7:00 am which was really nice.  There were only walkers and runners there and the .75 mile loop is perfect for a 3 mile run, four times around and you’re done.  The Pavilion area is a nice for your cool-down, stretch, meditation and for watching personal trainers put clients through their paces. I went back a few weeks later around 7:00 pm and it was CROWDED.  Walkers, runners, bikers, skaters, dogs and all of the courts including the sandlot volleyball were full, there was a girls basketball team doing drills and a boxing class at the pavilion.  To top all that off, it was STILL 88 degrees.

For runners and walkers Sweetwater Park is perfect for short distances, in the morning.  For families and other sport enthusiasts the evenings are on and poppin!

For more information on Sweetwater Park and others, go to the Gwinnett County Parks website.  Hope to see you on the trail!

Time to Face the Fear – West Gwinnett Park Aquatic Center

Some people have absolutely glorious, exciting things on their bucket list.  One of mine probably isn’t in the mind of many but it is for me and that is to learn how to swim.

We had mandatory swimming in high school.  To pass a beginner’s class all you had to do was swim across the shallow end, hold your breath and float. I passed but never got over my fear of “the deep end.” Especially after jumping in a friends pool one time and nearly drowning (or at least it felt like it). Now that I’m in a season of overcoming fear and on the recommendation of my orthopedist, who thinks I should incorporate something else into my routine besides running, I’ve decided to give it a shot again.

Today, accompanied by my new “swim coach” I toured the West Gwinnett Park Aquatic Center.  Located in Norcross the facility includes an indoor instructional pool and completion lap pools and an outdoor water slide and water play area.  There’s also a spectator area above the competition pool.   The facility is immaculate and the front desk staff was very friendly and helpful.

All aquatic centers in Gwinnett have the same pricing per day and for season passes.  Non-Gwinnett residents pay double and proof of residency is required.

I’m looking forward to taking the dive and learning something new.  Who knows, some day you might read about me doing a triathlon? Maybe I’ll add that to the bucket list.