District 2: Hiking Event CANCELLED

April 22 @ 10:30 am 1:00 pm

Thanks for your interest, but this event, sponsored by your Community Advisory Board (CAB) of District 2, has been cancelled.


Pilot Mountain State Park | 1721 Pilot Knob Park Road | Pinnacle NC 27043

We will keep you informed on future planned outings for District 2!

(919) 834-4652

View Organizer Website

On the Trail

Winter Edition 2023/2024 | Living Power Magazine

george preiss

George Preiss hasn’t always been the outdoorsy type. When he began his career as a middle school language arts teacher, he befriended a colleague who kept inviting him to go camping, but he always declined. Finally, Preiss decided to accept the invitation and to his surprise, ended up loving the experience.

“Driving home from that first trip, we crossed the sign indicating the Appalachian Trail, and I was like, ‘What is the Appalachian Trail?’ I’d never heard of it,” Preiss says. “My friend explained that it was a 2,000-plus mile continuous trail through the Appalachian Mountains. And I told him, ‘We’ve got to do that.’”

Over the years, Preiss began to see hiking the Appalachian Trailnas a goal for retirement. And when he wrapped up his teaching career in December 2022, he set his sights on finally making the hike a reality. Though he maintained an active lifestyle of walking and biking around his home in Wilmington, NC, Preiss says he didn’t do much hiking prior to tackling the trail.

“I showed up cold turkey, and I’d say a quarter to a third of the people I met on trail had a similar story,” he says. “This was their first hike. So it’s not that uncommon for people to get this idea in their head and do it.”

Preiss did other prep work, though, purchasing all the equipment he’d need on the trail and planning his trek to maximize the best possible weather conditions. On March 11, he set out from the southern entrance of the trail, in
Springer Mountain, Georgia. From there he spent the next 201 days—minus some breaks to nurse injuries—traversing the Appalachian Trail through Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania,
New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Preiss says that one of the biggest misconceptions about hiking the Appalachian Trail is the belief that you’ll be alone in the forest the entire time. While he certainly enjoyed plenty of peaceful solitude hiking and camping through the wilderness, the journey also included stops in trail towns along the way where hikers can rest and replenish supplies.

After completing his trek in September, Preiss says he has gained a greater appreciation not only for hiking, but also his ability to face a challenge.

“I realized pretty early on that I’m a very determined person, and when I commit to something, I’m going to finish it,” he says. “But I’ll never do a six-month hike again with that magnitude. I did learn to love hiking, and I’ll love to go out for a week at a time and go see some new places in the United States—it’s going to be really fun.”

Diving In

Winter Issue 2023/2024, Living Power Magazine

cynthia ferebee

When Cynthia Ferebee retired after a more than 30-year career as a teacher and assistant principal, she knew she wanted to stay active.

“When I retired, I told myself I was not going to sit home and do nothing,” she recalls. Living in Durham, Ferebee says she found the Durham Center for Senior Life, where she encountered no shortage of pursuits from playing cards with friends to taking yoga classes. The latter led her to discover a new passion.

“I fell in love with yoga,” she says. “And after doing yoga a couple of years, I decided to get certified to teach and trained at Duke Integrative Medicine. I’ve been teaching a beginning yoga class at the Durham Center for Senior Life since 2010.”

But yoga isn’t Ferebee’s only athletic activity. Prior to retirement, she ran and competed in 5K races, and once she wrapped up her career, she added biking and swimming to the mix. Cycling and swimming led Ferebee to compete in local, state, and national Senior Games. Akin to the Olympics, the Senior Games hosts athletic competitions for those age 50 and older.

“When I heard about the Senior Games, I knew I wanted to participate,” she says. “I even went to the national event in Birmingham in 2017 and came in 7th place in cycling.” Ferebee says participating in athletics and other activities not only improves her physical health, but it also feeds her mentally and emotionally, too.

“I have a support network with my Scrabble buddies, my meditation buddies, my biking buddies, and my swimming buddies,” she says. “I have people I can talk to and have fun with, and that helps keep my mind sharp because I have an outlet.”

Getting Her Kicks

Winter 2023/2024 Living Power Magazine

julie lowery

Fitness has always been important to Julie Lowery. As a certified registered nurse anesthetist for more than 25 years at UNC Hospitals, Lowery saw fitness as an extension of her health—a way to keep her body strong and vibrant.

Prior to retirement, Lowery regularly attended a gym, taking BodyCombat mixed martial arts classes. Once COVID hit, she switched her routine to home workouts, streaming the Les Mills BodyCombat classes and setting up a gym in her basement. She discovered that she enjoyed home workouts more than in-person classes.

Being able to exercise on her own schedule became even more important as she transitioned into retirement in 2022. Going from a fairly high-energy, high pressure field such as hospital medicine, Lowery knew she would have to figure out a way to stay occupied and fulfilled once she retired.

“I was a little concerned when the actual retirement came,” she says. “You get excited about making a decision such as retiring, but you don’t really know how it’s going to go once it’s actually here, and you hear a lot of stories of people being bored or declining.”

One of the first post-retirement decisions Lowery made was to continue to adhere to her regular workout routine. Lowery says mixed martial arts gives her a total-body workout that not only burns calories, but also builds strength and flexibility that help her stay as healthy as possible as she ages.

“[Exercise] gives me a lot of energy and momentum, and it’s improving or helping me to maintain cardiovascular fitness, as well as flexibility,” she says. “When you get older, you’re really at risk for falling and becoming weak, and muscle innervation gets reduced. So all of the benefits of my workouts combined has helped me to stay in the best shape possible.”

Reaching the Summit

Winter 2023/2024 Living Power Magazine

alan foster

Alan Foster isn’t the type of person to just sit around. Foster retired in 2009 from a career that included four years in the Air Force and more than two decades as a paramedic with Wake County EMS. After retirement, he took on a part-time role with Rex Hospital, where he currently serves as the director of emergency preparedness management.

While that work kept him busy, the desk job didn’t give Foster the same active lifestyle he enjoyed as a paramedic. So he began hiking and camping, eventually traversing part of the Appalachian Trail. As he got deeper into hiking, he looked for a new challenge and found it on Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and the highest freestanding peak in the world.

“I had a high school friend who had done it a couple years prior, which sort of sparked my interest,” Foster says.”I started doing research and finally decided to do it.”

Foster’s oldest daughter and her boyfriend joined him on the journey to Tanzania, where Kilimanjaro is located, in September. Their trek up the mountain took seven days, hiking and then camping in segments to allow their bodies to acclimate to the altitude—Kilimanjaro towers 19,341 feet above sea level.

“That was sort of a life lesson, too,” Foster says. “Taking shortcuts and trying to do things too fast often leads to failure.”

Though they took their time, Foster’s daughter experienced altitude sickness that rendered her unable to complete the climb. Her boyfriend accompanied her back down the mountain, and Foster trudged on. By the time they’d reached the peak from base camp, several other hikers from their group also bowed out, leaving Foster with just two others reaching the top.

“[Summiting Kilimanjaro] was easily the hardest physical and mental challenge I’ve ever put myself through, and that includes military basic training that I did as a teenager in a much better physical condition,” he says.

While Foster says he won’t climb any other mountains soon, he believes the active lifestyle he’s kept up since—regular walks, swimming, and other activities—have helped him maintain the conditioning that allowed him to reach the mountaintop. As he prepares for his daughter’s nuptials—her boyfriend proposed on Kilimanjaro that day—he knows that healthy lifestyle will allow him to enjoy more of life’s big moments ahead.

“She’s got a wedding coming up, and I’ll be around hopefully to participate and be physically able to travel if I need to,” he says. “There are so many benefits of staying active and healthy and finding a challenge like a Kilimanjaro or an Appalachian Trail hike that will make you prepare and stay focused on your health and well-being.”

Fun for Forsyth County members!

Do you know how to play pool or would like to learn the game,
all for FREE?

Break Time logo

Well, we have a great deal for you! Shepherd’s Center of Winston-Salem has collaborated with Break Time Billiards and Sports Bar to offer this opportunity. This is a great way to get out of the house and socialize a bit. And, food is there for purchase at Break Time!

In order to participate, you only need to meet the following requirements:

1. Must be at least 65 years of age.
2. Live in Forsyth County.
3. Must get free tickets from Break Time Billiards or Shepherd’s Center.
4. Must take ticket to Break Time Billiard’s counter to receive your free lessons and to play pool. Sign in sheet is at the counter.

Once you have your ticket, you can play during program hours:

Monday–Thursday from 4–6:00pm
Friday from 12–6:00pm

NCRGEA member and District 3 Community Advisory Board (CAB) member, Robin Kelly, is a certified pool instructor and he is there to greet you. To schedule lessons, call Robin at: 336-466-0683. He instructs during program times and is excited to work with you and teach a sport he loves.

For additional information regarding the program, please contact Shepherd’s Center at 336-748-0217.

No doubt, this is a great opportunity to stay active and engaged! We are hoping that you will take advantage and enjoy mingling with others around this sport! NCRGEA membership is not required, so please include your retired friends. Robin may ask you to pose for a picture for our newsletter.

The info flyer is available here, and as always, if you have any questions, please email deryl@NCRGEA.com or phone 919.834.4652 or 1.800.356.1190.

Deryl Davis Fulmer
NCRGEA Community Liaison