It’s Time to Get Up and Move in Rowan County

by | Feb 21, 2022 | Attractions

Here in Rowan County, we are lucky to have a new tool to assist us in getting out and being more active.  It’s called Rowan Moves and they have a lot of ways for us to all become a little more active!  If you are wondering about this information then let’s dig a little deeper.

Courtney Meece is the Healthy Rowan Executive Director took some time to chat with me about the program and I jumped right on it myself!  I’m always up for a challenge and that is exactly what this can offer to you!

Meece has been with the county since June 1, 2021.  “We wanted to do something that would involve the entire community” Meece shared.    “Currently we have 8 schools that are involved and we are hoping to have more jump aboard”.  School kids participate in the “Daily Mile”.  There are walking trails at these schools which are maintained by David Freeze, President of Salisbury Rowan Runners.  (More about David later in the blog!)

Community Partners

We are lucky here to have so many in the community to be involved in helping citizens be healthier.  There are many business partners that are involved!  The Community Care Clinic, Rowan County Parks and Recreation, Healthy Rowan, The Hive, Horizons Unlimited, Meals on Wheels, Novant Health, Old Town Soap, The Pedal Factory, Rowan County Public Health, Rowan County Department of Social Services, Rowan Helping Ministries, Rufty-Holmes Senior Center, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Skinny Wheels Bike Shop, Soful Yoga & Wellness Railwalk, The Forum, The YMCA, The City of Salisbury, and Miller Davis.

When you sign up you can get a free week at either Soful Yoga, The Forum, or the J.F. Hurley YMCA with your confirmation email you receive when you sign up for Rowan Moves.  That’s a great incentive to try out some of our local places to get healthy which offer so many different classes!

Another great thing about Rowan Moves is that it is HIPPA compliant.  That means that your doctor, such as Dr. Wilson at the Community Care Clinic, can check on her patient’s activities.  It’s called “Lifestyle Medicine”!

Step It Up

According to Meece, they are trying to get “2 Billion” steps in by the end of 2022.  They already have over 10 million steps so I’m guessing the more that join the quicker we will be able to assist Rowan Moves into making that goal.

If you are interested in finding out more you can visit the website at www.rowanmoves.com or send an email to info@rowanmoves.com.   They would love to have more join and also have more partners in making Rowan healthier.

Speaking of Being Healthy

I was able to attend the Winter Flight 5K and 8K on January 30th.  There were so many people there I was sure I’d have a hard time finding David Freeze, President of the Rowan Salisbury Runners.  I just wandered over to the registration area and found him there busy as always.  Thankfully we were able to make plans to chat later in the week.  So, in the meantime, I decided to chat with people in the race and started asking them questions!  You just meet the nicest people at these events!

I was able to speak with Kathy Peterson of Salisbury who has been in the race for the last five years and her friend, Miranda Bare of Woodleaf, that was enjoying her second year in the race. They said, “We always enjoy coming to the race and met through work”!

Bob Nelson was running in the race and said this was his sixth time running it.  Now that may not sound like a big deal, but Bob is 70 years old.  He said he wasn’t as fast as the “youngsters that were in their 60’s, but I hope to win in my age group”.   Bob shared that his friend, Steve Staley age 67, of Charlotte, was running in the race and had recovered from COVID where he lost 30 pounds.  Bob said he’s running faster now than ever before!  Interestingly enough a retired doctor from Greensboro, Dick Rosen who is 91, finished in 53 minutes.  Quite an accomplishment… I think I’ll have what he’s having!

As I began moving around I ran into another group of friends!  Local attorney, Ryan Stowe and his wife, Nikki, who is a nurse!  This was their first time in the Winter Flight and they were walking it!  They were with their friend Sakinah Riley, an early college teacher that lives in Charlotte.  She shared with me that Ryan and Nikki are high school sweethearts and expecting a baby Stowe in 2022!

Catching David Freeze

If you know then you know! David is a busy person and has his hands in a lot of different things going on in Rowan. He writes for the Salisbury Post, is a running coach, a personal trainer, works with Healthy Rowan, takes care of the walking tracks at some elementary schools for the “Daily Mile” which is part of Rowan Moves, he has written 9 books and collaborated on 2 more, and rounding out the list he is a farmer!  I think we can all agree he is a busy man.

I asked what happens after the race. “Most of the time we take a nap after the event! Then the next week we jump right back in”!  The Winter Flight is the oldest 8K in our State and this year was the 39th Annual Race with all proceeds going to Rowan Helping Ministries. They even held the race during Covid in 2021 by moving the race to the Millbridge Community.

Next year will be the 40th year of the race and they are throwing around a retro theme!  I may have to attend just catch all the rad outfits that will be there that day!

Salisbury Rowan Runners

The Salisbury Rowan Runners started back in 1982 as the Greater Salisbury Track Club and after about 10 years they changed their name.  They have a board that consists of 8 people and according to Freeze “they all take a major responsibility”.  David Freeze is the President, Steve Clark with Parks and Recreation is the Vice President, and they work with the following board members.  Terri Shaw with Parks and Recreation, Lt. Patrick Smith with the Salisbury Police Department, Luanne Fesperman, Treasurer, Amanda Lewis who is a “tech wiz” according to Freeze, Karen Leonard, Secretary, Jasen Weber handles the social media, and Connie Hoffner.

In the beginning, the club raised money to just keep the club going, but as time went on they realized that they could do a lot more.  For 10-12 years now, they have donated race money to Rowan Helping Ministries.  The first year they raised around $4,000.00 and now they can raise as much as $10-14,000.00.

If you are interested in trying to host a run event David never charges for help!  Feel free to contact him at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org.

Running in When Nobody Else Would

Another really great thing this club does is give back to the community and not just monetarily. David shared with me that when Covid hit our community, Kyna Grubb, Executive Director with Rowan Helping Ministries, placed a call for help with the running club.  They couldn’t get any of their volunteers to come and help at the shelter to work in the kitchen and to help serve. David made some phone calls and immediately they ran in to assist when nobody else would.  According to David “We are really proud of something. In April 2020 Kyna asked if there were any way you guys can help serve lunch and I told her I’d let her know. We had 5 people during Covid that worked 3-4 days a week and 4 of the original 5 are still doing it. They have a mix of 20 other members that are also still involved”. Kyna Grubb told me “They were a divine appointment when volunteers fell off due to Covid.  They have served over 1,000 meals. Not only are they raising money for us, but they are putting their hands and feet in all the way”.

The runners stepped up when no one else would and they still are to this day. “It’s so good for us. We are able to help and continue to have community involvement.”

Rowan Helping Ministries is always looking for volunteers to help in the many things they do for the homeless community. If you or your organization would like to assist, get in contact with them at 704-637-6838 ext. 112 for more information on how you can help.

About The Author

Janet Ruffin

I’m an adventurous soul that loves to interact with people everywhere I go. You might say I’ve never met a stranger! I look forward to discovering and sharing all the things Rowan County has to offer because it’s Your Rowan!