first_imgThe Appalachian Mountains often get overlooked when people think about epic, hardcore adventures. In fact, the old, eroded Appalachians are so scrunched up with ripples and wrinkles that these micro features create some of the gnarliest, steepest trails and most technical, bullet-hard rock faces in the nation.Southwest Virginia, like the much of the Appalachian range, contains a lifetime’s worth of extremely tough outdoor adventures that are on par or surpass anything out west. Below you will find seven of the toughest challenges found in Southwest Virginia.After you push yourself to the limit, head back to Abingdon, Virginia for some well-deserved play time.  This artsy little town of 8,000 boasts great restaurants, live music, a brewery, and a variety of overnight options, from rustic cabins to the 4-star Martha Washington Inn & Spa. 1. Summiting Mount RogersStanding at 5,729 feet, Mount Rogers is the highest peak in Virginia and the fourth highest peak east of the Mississippi. Hikers follow the Rhododendron Trail and Appalachian Trail, passing through windswept plains with hearty alpine-esque shrubbery and large exposed rock formations, wild ponies, and possible erratic weather.2. Sport Climbing at Hidden Valley LakeHidden Valley is a sandstone crag located just north of Abingdon, Virginia. Although Hidden Valley has a storied past going back more than 30 years, it only recently was officially opened to the public. Expect about 200 established single-pitch routes that are mostly clip-ups, but there are a handful of high-quality trad lines as well. 5. Running the Entire Virginia Creeper TrailThe Virginia Creeper Trail is best known as a beginner-friendly rail trail popular with cyclists. However, for hardcore runners out there looking to rack up some serious miles, the 34-mile trail is the perfect challenge6. Rack Up a 100-Point Day Bouldering in Grayson Highlands State Park!Grayson Highlands State Park, located within the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, has a lifetime’s worth of established bouldering routes. In fact, there are more than a thousand problems there. No matter how you slice it, this power-endurance day is not an easy task. 3. Trail Running the Seven Sister TrailThe Seven Sisters Trail, located on Little Walker Mountain, is a hidden gem that packs a huge punch in a relatively short distance. The 4.8-mile ridge trail is aptly named for its seven peaks that it covers. Trail runners looking for a hard hill workout with a heavy dose of backcountry adventure should tackle the Seven Sisters Trail loop. 4. Mountain Biking the Iron Mountain 100kThe Iron Mountain 100k is organized by Shenandoah Mountain Touring, which also hosts the Shenandoah 100, one of the most popular ultra-distance mountain bike races in the nation. The Iron Mountain 100k, although not as big as the Shenandoah 100, is one of the best mountain bike races on the East Coast. center_img 7. Backpacking 20-miles through Grayson Highlands State Park!Grayson Highlands State Park will have you hiking through rhododendron tunnels, traversing windswept plains with wild ponies, crossing rocky creeks, and climbing high-elevation knobs. Plan for crazy weather swings and expect cold temperatures at night even in the summer. last_img read more

first_imgBlackburne sees it as paradoxical that the more he expressed his feelings, the more he laid bare his weaknesses, the stronger that he was perceived by others. This was in 2010. He became a personal trainer and studied nutrition but soon realised how best to help.“It is almost always a mindset problem,” he says.“The problem with footballers is that they go to see a therapist with the mentality that the therapist will not understand them. They are constantly judged by managers and by fans. The last thing they want to do is sit in a room with someone with a notepad judging them.“Because I played the game I suppose I am able to speak their language. I am just a normal bloke. They know me and they trust me so they open up. They start to confide in me.”Some of the problems are familiar ones. A romantic relationship that is going wrong or the inability to communicate with a coach. Blackburne finds the solutions are usually within.“They create stories. I had an agent ring me up asking to speak to one of his players because the player wanted to quit the game. Why did he want to quit? Because the assistant manager did not like him. But that was just the story they were telling themselves.“What if you drop that belief and go into training tomorrow with the mindset that the assistant manager does like you? Train properly instead. That is what he did and now he is back in the team and back scoring. It was all due to his belief. Perception is projection.“I do a whole month on language, on changing communication to handle confrontation skilfully. Agree with the manager and tell him you respect his opinion. Ask him what you need to do to get in his team and then go and do it. It is basically life skills. They should be taught in school.” – Advertisement – 2:03 There is the player at Norwich who has death anxiety. The veteran goalkeeper who was the life and soul of the dressing room but found himself dealing with suicidal thoughts on the commute home. The one at Hull who is so on edge that something as trivial as a dog owner not cleaning up their pet’s mess on his morning walk would ruin his entire day.“Imagine how he reacted when he made a mistake,” says Blackburne.There are the former Brentford team-mates who were each facing their own personal demons, unbeknownst to the other. One of them was drinking vodka alone every night. The pair only found out they were both going through similar struggles after opening up to Blackburne. “They were best friends and only lived down the road from each other.”It is all part of a culture that discourages speaking out.“When it comes to the mental health side, nobody wants people to find out about what they are struggling with in case they are judged for it,” he explains.“What the players find is that the clubs do not support them enough. Some players have been dropped for admitting they had a problem. Football is the release for them.“They have the belief that nobody knows how they feel.”Blackburne’s secret is that he has genuine empathy. He has been on this journey himself. “I had my own meltdown,” he says. “I think that is why players can relate to me.”His mother developed breast cancer. A good friend was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. He took on the role of his carer. “People were asking if I was OK but I would just tell them that I was a warrior. Internally, I was crumbling,” he adds.“My world came crashing down in a big way.”The situation came to a head on a trip to Manchester with his then partner. Blackburne broke down in the hotel room. “She said something and I basically cried for four hours.”It proved to be a turning point.“I had never really cried. It had been building and building so this was a big release. I did not want to tell anyone I was struggling because I was a coach at the time and I did not want to be perceived as weak. Sometimes your biggest breakdown is your biggest breakthrough.” Other challenges facing the modern player are new.“Social media is a big thing. It is a good tool but it can be devastating.”Blackburne remembers receiving a frantic call from a player who was distressed because, in his words, everybody was abusing him on social media. “Listen to the language,” he says. “Everyone was abusing him? Was it everyone or was it just one or two people?“Rather than telling players what the problem is you try to help them by asking questions so they work it out for themselves. You are empowering them to make decisions.“The first thing I ask them is what they do when they get up in the morning. Are they reaching for the phone and scrolling through? Are they searching for their own name? If you want to be a top footballer you need to be proactive not reactive. I have known players who search Twitter as soon as they reach the dressing room. If it is an issue, get off your phone.”Curiously, many of the players now reaching out to Blackburne for support are those towards the back end of their careers, although he believes there is a certain logic to it.“Footballers live their life backwards,” he explains. “They start earning money at 18 and then they regress. You hit 35 and unless you have other skills you have nothing. A normal person is learning and learning and when they get to 35 they are at the top of their game. But footballers have not been taught to deal with the problems that life throws at them.”Blackburne has written a book Head in the Game that will tackle many of these issues – with contributions from the former Arsenal midfielder and World Cup winner Gilberto Silva and the ex-Manchester United and England goalkeeper Ben Foster among others.But in the meantime it is the Footballers Mindset podcast and the accompanying group meetings that are providing much-needed support for what is the game’s unseen epidemic.“Instead of keeping it one on one,” says Blackburne, “I had to open the whole thing up and the result is that I am now speaking to people about this every day. Players are listening to the podcast and that is inspiring them to get my number, come on and help others.“It has become a support network.”The signs are that football needs it now more than ever. Hayley Jarvis of the mental health charity MIND explains the impact of a lockdown UK Active chief executive Huw Edwards urges rethink on gym closures 0:21 Blackburne, a former youth-team goalkeeper at Chelsea, has come to appreciate the sheer scale of the problem since his sessions with players morphed into a podcast.“Football is a very internal game and I have been working with some players now in the Championship for eight years. I would get recommendations and work with them one-by-one but once we started the podcast it just snowballed. More and more people started ringing me. I started to realise there is this big problem that nobody is talking about.”This is football’s secret society. Zoom calls with a dozen players discussing their fears. Webinars of more than 40 professionals sharing their stories. Only by opening up with each other about these mental health issues is the depth of the issue coming to be understood.- Advertisement – Gyms are to be closed from xx until xx under a second national lockdown in England. “People say footballers have got it easy,” Rob Blackburne tells Sky Sports. “That they only work 10am to 2pm. But they stay in reading message after message telling them they hate them. If they want to go out for a release, maybe to the pub, they have people telling them they have ruined their weekend and want them to die.“Is that the kind of life you want?”- Advertisement – Blackburne has been holding therapy sessions with players for years now. Most earn a fraction of the game’s top stars but find themselves just as exposed to the macho culture that permeates the game, one that encourages competition and punishes weakness.Occasionally, that manifests itself in tragedy. A young man takes his own life, providing a reminder of the toxic environment that exists, the ugly truth about the beautiful game.But much more common are the stories never told by those who are struggling to cope with the scrutiny that comes their way and the demands that they place on themselves.- Advertisement –last_img read more

first_img Metro Sport ReporterSunday 12 Apr 2020 3:00 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.2kShares Paul Merson tells Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to snub summer transfer and stay at Arsenal Advertisement Commentcenter_img Paul Merson has urged Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to stay at Arsenal (Pictures: Getty)Paul Merson has urged Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to stay at Arsenal, telling the Gabon forward that the ‘grass is not always greener on the other side’.Aubameyang has developed into one of Arsenal’s most important players since signing from Borussia Dortmund in 2018, scoring 61 goals in 97 appearances for the Gunners.The 30-year-old was named Arsenal’s new captain at the end of last year and Mikel Arteta, who replaced Unai Emery as manager in December, is keen for Aubameyang to stay at the Emirates.Aubameyang has been strongly linked with a move ahead of the summer transfer window, however, and was recently urged to leave the Gunners by Gabon’s FA president.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTBut Gunners hero Merson told Sky Sports: ‘It’s easy saying move to another, more ambitious club and win stuff but there are not a lot of trophies to win, especially with the two phenomenal football clubs Liverpool and Manchester City.‘I was very fortunate to play for Arsenal for a long time and make no mistake about it, it’s a great club.‘The grass is not always greener on the other side, you have got to be careful. Aubameyang is at an age now where he will play every week for Arsenal.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘If he goes to, say, Manchester United or somewhere else, four or five bad games and you are out of the team.‘He’s going to play every week at Arsenal and when you are coming towards the end of your career, two or three years to go, you have got to enjoy your football and play.‘If I were Aubameyang’s agent I would be stressing that he is at one of the best clubs in the world, a phenomenal football club that has as much chance as anybody, bar Manchester City and Liverpool, winning something.‘For me, I would stay.’Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page.MORE: Former Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey hails ‘unbelievable’ Juventus teammate Cristiano RonaldoMORE: Kim Kallstrom reveals the Arsenal player that was better than Zlatan Ibrahimovic in training Advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgArsenal boss Mikel Arteta praises Ainsley Maitlaind-Niles for changing his mentality and mindest Metro Sport ReporterSunday 19 Jul 2020 12:48 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.6kShares Ainsley Maitland-Niles snuffed out the threat of Riyad Mahrez (Picture: Getty)‘He has everything, he has great qualities, I believe in him. I had to give him opportunities and today he took it with both arms. He had a really good performance.’The Gunners booked their place in the final thanks to two goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and will now face either Chelsea or Manchester United at Wembley next month when they will aim to win the trophy for the 14th time.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalOn his preferred opponents, Arteta said: ‘I’m going to watch the game tomorrow and use that game to get something out of it. I don’t know, it’s not our decision.‘We’ve done what we had to do today and now we need to prepare for the final against one of those opponents.’MORE: Kieran Tierney apologises for dressing room celebration after Arsenal beat Man CityMORE: Arsenal legend Ian Wright picks out six star performers after sensational Man City winFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Advertisement Comment Advertisement Mikel Arteta handed a rare start to Ainsley Maitland-Niles against Manchester City (Picture: Getty)Mikel Arteta heaped praise on Ainsley Maitland-Niles after the 22-year-old repaid his faith with a superb performance against Manchester City in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final victory. The academy graduate featured prominently during the early weeks of Arteta’s tenure but fell out of favour following a breach of discipline when he turned up late for training. Reports earlier this week claimed Maitland-Niles would seek a move this summer in the belief that his manager had lost faith in him. Arteta brought Maitland-Niles back in from the cold against City and deployed him at left wing-back where he largely negated the threat of Riyad Mahrez and offered a real threat going forwards. AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTAppraising the youngster’s performance, Arteta said: ‘Absolutely, [he was magnificent. And I was sure about that with the way he’s training, the way he’s changed his mentality and his mindset.last_img read more

first_imgNew Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has this week opened various wharf and ramp structures built by Sunshine Coast dredging and civil construction company Hall Contracting in the remote territory of Tokelau, a dependent territory of New Zealand in the southern Pacific Ocean.The wharves – funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade – take into account the expected impacts of climate change in the area over the next 50 years and will enable more reliable ship-to-shore operations.Hall Contracting CEO Cameron Hall said that he was honored to have Ms Ardern officially launch the important pieces of infrastructure on the Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo atolls.“The New Zealand Government provides significant support to developing countries, particularly those in the Pacific Islands, and we’re delighted to be playing a role in delivering these important aid projects,” Mr Hall said.“In addition to constructing the wharves, we’re also widening and deepening the reef passage leading into each atoll, enabling fishing boats and inter-island vessels to navigate these areas more easily and safely.“Works began in Atafu in mid-2018, with the project expected to conclude in Fakaofo later this year.”Hall Contracting specializes in climate change adaptation and infrastructure delivery in remote locations and has offices in Australia, the Pacific Islands and Asia.last_img read more

first_imgGCT New York filed suit against Maersk on April 20th, 2020 in connection with the termination, saying it was being announced twenty months prior to the date on which the agreement could be terminated.  GCT has been fighting Maersk’s decision amid fears that it would push it into the red and cost the port operator over 100 jobs. “While the federal court in New York determined that a preliminary injunction should not be issued, meaning that the damages suffered by GCT are compensable in monetary damages, GCT is continuing legal proceedings for full damages against Maersk in order to protect our business and the integrity of the contractual commitments by our customers,” GCT said in a statement. Source: Maersk The port operator explained in a statement to our publication that it sought an extraordinary remedy from the court in the form of a preliminary injunction on an expedited basis to avoid disruptions to labor, operations, and other consequences from the termination. Maersk announced the move in early April, explaining that the shift was aimed at achieving better operational efficiency in APM Terminals Elizabeth after its recent $200 million upgrades and expansion. The decision comes after GCT tried to stop the premature termination of the contract with the shipping line which was set to expire in 2021.center_img A New York District Court has ruled against the Global Container Terminals’ (GCT) request for a restraining order against Maersk’s plans to transfer three services from GCT’s New York container terminal over to APM Terminals Elizabeth, New Jersey. The deal between the duo was first established in 2015 and extended several times since then. The court dismissed the restraining order on Friday, April 24th, 2020, allowing Maersk to terminate the agreement from May 1, a company spokesperson confirmed to Offshore Energy. “GCT is pursuing and will pursue all legal avenues to protect its interests relating to this wrongful action — a breach of agreement that Maersk has admitted in court documents. ” In order to move forward with the transition, Maersk committed to pay $ 5 million of compensation.last_img read more

first_imgBose Ikard bids for a fourth win on the bounce as he lines up in the feature Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Captain Christy Rated Novice Chase at Clonmel. Noel Meade’s charge was a winner over fences at Roscommon in August and has since struck gold twice over hurdles, most recently when running out a six-and-a-half-length victor at Down Royal last month. He looks a leading light in this three-mile affair, although Presenting Beara was also a winner last time out for Colm Murphy. Dedoctorsdaughter tops the weights in a five-runner affair that also features Shamiran and Behemoth. Aidan O’Brien’s Egyptian Warrior is sure to have plenty of supporters in the opening Novice Hurdle after registering a clear-cut success at Listowel recently. War Of The Pennies was only just touched off last time while Supreme Doc boasts a healthy rating of 119. A Decent Excuse leads the way in the Nire Valley Handicap Hurdle following a string of placed efforts and a couple of wins in 2014. Collen Beag was a bumper winner at Limerick in July but fell short on his next two outings, finishing third in a hurdle before filling the same position back in a National Hunt Flat event. He contests the Laganore Maiden Hurdle along with the likes of Stynes and Vote Of Confidence. Alileo is Willie Mullins’ runner in the Kilmore Maiden Hurdle with the ex-French runner aiming to break his duck for his new connections at the eighth attempt. Captain Carleton and Aussie Guest are others of note in the extended two-mile affair. Henry De Bromhead’s Old Laxey has been making steady progress ahead of the Killenaule Handicap Chase while Rolihlahla is Mullins’ representative in the closing Killahora Flat Race. He has yet to make his mark in three starts with Drumacoo and Table Tips two rivals who have been in better form. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

first_imgFlorida Governor Ron DeSantis says due to the impending landfall of Hurricane Dorian as a potential category 3 or 4 hurrican, Saturday’s college football game between Florida State and Boise State will be moved from Jacksonville to Tallahassee.The governor says he spoke with the FSU president John Thrasher earlier on Thursday about moving the game and he agreed.DeSantis said that at this point it’s too early to know exactly where the storm will make landfall. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis noted the Florida State-Boise State game may be moved from TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville to Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee and broadcast on ESPNU; an FSU source tells the Tallahassee newspaper the move is happening:— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) August 29, 2019 Still, they felt is was prudent to move the game from the Atlantic coast city further inland to the school’s home stadium.The game is scheduled to be played at 7:00 p.m. Saturday.Best estimates now have Dorian reaching Florida sometime Sunday.last_img read more

first_imgBudapest: G. Sathiyan was the lone Indian survivor at the ITTF World Championships as he edged past Christian Pletea of Romania 11-5, 11-9, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6 in a Tuesday night R64 match. The world No. 28 will meet Hugo Calderano of Brazil, ranked 7, in round of 32 later on Wednesday.Sathiyan, who beat Belgian Robin Devos in the first round 4-0, had little difficulty against Pletea and defeated him in 35 minutes. Sathiyan, leading 2-0, lost the third game as the Romanian won six consecutive points to cause a minor ripple. But the Indian sew it up and won the next two games.Sharath Kamal, on the other hand, was woefully out of sorts against Tomislav Pucar of Croatia when he went down 9-11, 10-12, 11-8, 4-11, 9-11 in round 64. The Indian, ranked 36, failed to come to grips against the world No. 58, who had a better control over the match and Sharath. The Indian, however, registered a 4-0 win over Uzbekistan’s Zokhid Kenjaev in the first round. Manav Thakkar, who had made the main draw cut, failed to go past Austrian Robert Gardos despite a good fight. The young Indian paddler lost 13-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-3, 2-11, 10-12, 6-11 in the round of 128.Both Manika Batra and Suthirta Mukherjee ended their world championships campaign, bowing out in round of 64 on Tuesday evening. Taipei’s Szu-Yu Chen beat Manika 11-2, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9. The world No. 24 needed mere 34 minutes against the world No. 56 Indian. In contrast, Suthirta managed to take two games of Puerto Rican Adriana Diaz before losing 11-4, 8-11, 11-7, 5-11, 3-11, 9-11.Earlier on Tuesday evening, the Japanese duo of Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato defeated Manika and Archana Kamath 11-3, 11-7, 11-7, 11-4 in women doubles round of 32. In the Day 4 action, Sathiyan and Archana failed to cope with the higher-ranked Lee Sangsu and Jihee Jion in mixed doubles and the Korean pair moved into the quarterfinals with a 11-6, 11-4, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8 scoreline. (IANS)Also Read: SPORTS NEWSlast_img read more

first_imgSAN DIEGO, California (CMC) – Second-half goals from Romario Williams and Darren Mattocks propelled Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz to a comfortable 2-0 victory over fellow Caribbean side Curacao, to make a winning start to their CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign here Sunday night.Playing at the Qualcomm Stadium, the 2015 Gold Cup finalists overcame a goalless first half to find the target in the 58th minute through Williams and in the 73rd courtesy Darren Mattocks.Jamaica lie second in Group C on three points behind leaders and defending champions Mexico who brushed aside El Salvador 3-1 in the other game.With the game going nowhere at the half-time whistle, Jamaica asserted their dominance on resumption resulting in Williams’ strike approaching the hour mark.Je-Vaughn Watson, who plays for New England Revolution in the MLS, produced some good work down the right to set up Williams whose volley from a sharp angle gave goalkeeper Eloy Room little chance.Custodian Andre Blake then preserved the Reggae Boyz’ lead, saving well from Gevaro Nepomuceno long range bombshell.The save proved vital as Jamaica doubled their lead 10 minutes later through Mattocks, who collected Kemar Lawrence’s cross in the box before firing a left-footed drive past Room.Jamaica will take on Mexico in their second fixture on Thursday at the Sports Authority Field in Denver, in a re-match of the 2015 Gold Cup final.last_img read more