Pleasantly Surprised By a Great Gym Bag

Apera sports bags are the best gym bags that truly live up to their hype. I had been casually looking for a new gym bag, as the one I was using was starting to wear out, and one night, when I had some free time, I started to do a little research online. It turns out gyms are breeding grounds for all types of germs and bacteria. All of that sweat and heat finds its way into your bag and turns your gym bag into a walking germ factory. After finding this out, I became serious about finally getting rid of my old bag and finding an antimicrobial gym bag replacement.

All of my searches kept leading me back to the same product, Apera sports bags. I have to admit, just finding antimicrobial gym bags had been my main goal but I wasn’t expecting to like the design and color of the bags as much as I did. I chose he performance duffel because I travel with a fair amount of stuff with me to the gym and I wanted to be sure I didn’t run into any space issues transitioning from my last bag to this new one. I’m happy to say that I didn’t have any issues. There was more than enough room to fit my shoes, clothes, and gear which was a relief.

I also noticed immediately how well made and thought out the design of the bag was. Thoughtful storage options and little attention to detail truly set’s this bag apart from the competition and makes them the best gym bags. I’ve had previous bags that didn’t allow for any separation of items and everything was kind of just thrown into he bag at the end of the day, causing me to have to wash the bag and everything in it each time from the odor. The separate storage areas allow me to keep my shoes or any wet articles of clothing completely separate.

I know that a gym bag isn’t the most important thing in the world. It’s more often than not an afterthought when you’re planning your trip to the gym. Just throw your things in the bag and go. My concerns when looking for a new bag were whether the bags were antimicrobial gym bags, whether they provided ample room to store my stuff and the design of the bag was probably a distant third, even though I’m more than happy with the way it looks. This bag just has everything I want.

Starting a Sporting Program in Your School

sportingSports are an excellent outlet for young people to highlight their talents and give them an activity that is productive and educational. Additionally, participating in sports can increase self-confidence, provide opportunities to create life-long friendships and stay physically active and fit. If your school is lacking a sporting program there are steps you can take to get one started. Of course each school may differ slightly; there are some basic steps to follow to get a sporting program up and running in your school.

Step 1: Create a plan. This can include things such as:

  • How you plan to fund the program
  • The teacher sponsors that are involved
  • What sports you plan to incorporate
  • Student interest

Step 2: Ensure you have at least two or three sponsors from the school in question that will provide guidance, coaching or support for the sports you choose to have. The fact is you will not be able to do everything in the beginning. Pick a few sports that receive the most interest and go from there.

Step 3: Pitch your idea to the person or committee who is responsible for approving or rejecting the program. This may be the principal, school board or other committee. Keep in mind, you may have to start at the bottom and work your way up to the deciding individuals. Ensure you have your plan specific to show exactly how the program will be established and managed, which will help ensure approval.

Step 4: Once the sporting program is approved you can begin purchasing supplies and having fundraisers. Some of the supplies you will need to acquire include:

  • Sporting equipment: This will be dependent on the sports you plan to incorporate in the new sports program.
  • Sports clothing: This may include items such as padding, custom jerseys, helmets and shoes.
  • Practice areas: You need designated areas for students who wish to participate to practice and have games.

Step 5: Find the right coaches and individuals to run the program. A great program will be successful if you can find the right people to work for it. Hiring a good coaching and referee staff will make a difference in the program’s success.

Implementing a sporting program at you school is a great way to get involved and make a difference. These programs can give students an outlet to participate in something they love and learn the benefits that come with playing on a team. There is no limit to the number of sports that can be included in your sporting program. In the beginning this number will likely be limited by the funds you have available. It is a good idea to get parents involved in fundraisers in order to continue adding new sports to your program and being able to reach out to even more students. The key to successfully creating a sporting program at your school is taking the proper steps and ensuring that every need of the program is adequately addressed.

adidas by Stella McCartney Tennis Clothing Line


Tennis is such a fun sport to play. It’s a sport that is loved by many. It also happens to have extremely fashionable clothing. Everyone wants to look good whether they are on the tennis court participating in an event, or on the sidelines cheering from the crowd. Designer tennis clothing gives you a certain look and feel.

Many designers have attempted to create stylish tennis clothing, but none do it as well as Stella McCartney. Stella is one of the most highly noted fashion designers in England. She has teamed up with adidas tennis to create the Stella McCartney tennis outfits line for women.

There is a wide variety of items to choose from, everything from tennis performance dresses to swimsuits. The line is extremely casual, comfortable, and affordable. The line is created by an exceptional designer to allow just about anyone to feel rich and sophisticated while wearing it. Pair your casually chic outfit with a great accessory such as a carry-on bag, or surf bag. Each outfit is designed with the wearer in mind, to be a functional, everyday look. You could even board a plane and relax in style wearing one of her comfortable tops paired with some sweat pants.

Stella McCartney tennis clothing will add a touch of style to any wardrobe. There are a few key pieces everyone should own, such as a hoodie, or a pair of casual pants. You can also accessorize your adidas tennis outfit with a great pair of Stella McCartney ballerina flats, or running shoes. Prices range from $100 – $150 which makes this designer’s line extremely affordable for almost everyone.

When you wear Stella McCartney tennis clothing you will not only look great, but you will feel great too. For many, it’s important to make an impression not only on the court while you are playing, but while you are off the court as well. Just because you are wearing casual clothing doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish while doing so.

A great place to find Stella McCartney tennis outfits is online. You can go directly to the adidas website to find out all of the details such as prices, purchase locations, and such. The website also has many of her newer items for sale. You can sort each item by color, price, style, or even type in the name of that specific item you might be looking for.

The New Garmin Forerunner 10: Just What You Need

The first time I got a Garmin Forerunner, I learned to my horror that I had not been, as I had thought, running six ten-minute miles, but rather I had been running four fifteen-minute miles. Since that moment forward I have been a no holds barred Garmin junky.

I have owned five Garmin watches each slightly smaller than the last and each providing yet more and more amazing information for me to stare at, freak out about, and compile. In the past year Garmin has released the epitome of a stat-heavy GPS unit with the Garmin 910xt which will tell you everything you ever feared to know about your athletic prowess—or lack thereof.

But for those who have wanted a simple, easy small watch that just cut to the chase, Garmin now has something for you (and let’s face it, me too). The new Garmin Forerunner 10 is a scaled down, far less bulky option for GPS aficionados. The Garmin Forerunner 10 review isn’t in yet, because the watch has not yet been made available. But based on Garmin’s overall litany of success, I can only assume that once again this new GPS enabled watch will exceed my expectations.

The new Garmin Forerunner 10 still offers GPS statistics like speed and distance, maps and a virtual pacer (whom I shall someday beat). There is no heart rate information available on this new Garmin. For the first time ever I may actually use all of the bells and whistles on a Garmin watch. This watch is not over burdened with stats, it will not pick up the Powertap on your bike or count your swim strokes in the water. But what is available for the first time is a stylish array of colors and unlike other most other Garmin GPS watches it actually tells time and can be worn as a watch.

This product offers the Garmin Forerunner best price point of any GPS unit in the Garmin line. Though the watch is not yet available, early orders are being taken, so ensure that you look for Garmin Forerunner best price available at your local retailer or online.

I can’t wait to get my hands on this new watch. Garmin products have always been hardy and Garmin takes customer feedback seriously. The Garmin Forerunner 10 review will no doubt be shining.

For those who want a simple stripped down GPS watch that is stylish and easy to use, the new Garmin Forefunner 10 is a perfect fit. It can track your walks, get you out of the backcountry and tell you just how fast you ran those last few miles.

Grand Slam 2012

For many years now, I have watched major tennis Grand Slam events like the US Open with careful consideration. While I was growing up I had played tennis in high school, and hoped to someday make it a career option. While there are so few major professional tennis stars, unlike other professional sports, I realized early on that this was not going to be an easy thing to do.

I got a scholarship to play tennis at the collegiate level, and spent two seasons playing for the Mountaineers of West Virginia University. However, an off season knee injury in preparation for the athletic demands of the coming year would keep me from competing the rest of my time in Morgantown. At times, I could close my eyes and see myself up there competing at tennis Grand Slam events with the greats I grew up watching and idolizing like Agassi, Sampras and Federer.

So when I had to put these aspirations of mine on the shelf, the only comfort that I could really find was in watching the professional events throughout the year. The Grand Slam tennis competitions were a good example, offering a chance to experience severely competitive play throughout the year on four specific stages. Of course, my favorite was the US Open.

While I have yet to be able to afford to go to any Grand Slam tennis event in person, I have not missed the US Open coverage in several years now. While the other slams of the year have come and gone, my other favorite Wimbledon being one of them, this is the final major tennis event to look forward to in 2012.

I remember last year watching all of the tennis Grand Slam winners like Novak Djokovic take the Men’s singles title. He was only one of a few tennis Grand Slam winners last year as Sam Stosur took home the title for the singles competition for the women. I am actually delighted to see which players have what it takes to beat out the competition this time around.

I would have to say that the person with the best chance of walking away the winner this year in New York is Roger Federer. For some time his primary competition for the title was last year’s victor Djokovic. With his recent defeat of Djokovic in the Cincinnati Masters tournament, sources are all but guaranteeing Federer is able to take the title when they both head to New York. I myself, and many others following tennis closely, feel that the singles competition will narrow down to these two men again.

In fact, Roy Burton of has been quoted as saying “With Rafael Nadal on the shelf indefinitely due to tendinitis in his left knee, a Federer-Djokovic U.S. Open final almost seems like a foregone conclusion. And if that happens, expect Federer to emerge with his 18th career Grand Slam title.”


My First Experience with a Tennis Ball Machine

I remember the first time was introduced to the game of tennis. My mother set up a date for me to take tennis lessons from a tennis instructor that was part of the recreation department in our town. I was only eight years old at the time. Mom took me shopping for my very own tennis racket and outfit. My tennis instructor was a younger woman. My first lesson was a group lesson where the instructor tried to teach six to ten year olds how to control the racket and ball. To do this she began the lesson by having us jump over our racket. Using both feet, we jumped from side to side. We spent an hour doing this exercise repeatedly. Later in the day, she showed us how to hold our racket and how to toss the ball up in the air. This was the conclusion of our first tennis lesson.

On the next weeks lesson the tennis instructor introduced us to the portable tennis ball machines. She gave us a brief history of the ball machine stating that Rene LaCoste first created it in 1920. The first ball machine was made to crank out balls. Lacoste felt that this could help him improve his game. The machine was successful in helping La Coste to improve the game with the help of someone cranking out the balls for him. It was not until 1970 that the first motorize ball machine came on the market. After I looked into the invention, I discovered the interesting fact that the first motorize ball machine actually used a vacuum motor in reverse. This made the pressure to shoot the balls out for Bob McClure the inventor. This improvement on a ball machine invention gave tennis practice the upper hand and gave future companies the ability to create the best tennis ball machines available today.

Today the best tennis ball machines work on batteries or motors that are stronger. I like the portable tennis ball machines because I can practice alone. The ball machine shoots the balls out at a generous speed so that I hit them back over the net. It has been many years since my first tennis lesson and first experience with a ball machine. I would like to say that the portable tennis ball machine has helped improve my performance against a partner. I believe if someone would come out with a machine that helped my swing that I may improve substantially in the game of tennis.

My Favorite Pair of Running Shoes!

I started running for fun and exercise about 5 years ago. It took me a while to get into the mode of feeling comfortable running long distances. I soon realized that maybe a new pair if running shoes would help with my daily running. I knew at the point I needed to go shoe shopping!

I went through several pairs of shoes trying to find the one that was a perfect match for me and running. It started to seem like I was never going to find that perfect pair of running shoes. One day I was at the outlet mall and saw an adidas outlet. There were hundreds of adidas shoes to choose from. I had previously heard that adidas was a very reputable company so I figured I would give it a whirl. I first checked out the adidas adipure running shoes. I was told that they were one of the most natural running shoes out on the market right then. I then had the sales man go get me a pair of the adidas adipure running shoes to try on and see if they felt right. I put them on and started to walk around in my soon to be favorite adidas shoes. I knew at that moment I had to have them if I wanted a pair of natural running shoes. I also ended of purchasing them for a better than average price. When I got home I immediately wanted to go for a run. When I went on my run I started to think about how glad I was that I made the investment in the shoes that I did. It honestly felt like a whole new me when I was doing my daily 3 mile run.

I have had a great overall experience when it comes to adidas shoes. I would never purchase another brand of running shoes after how well I have learned they hold up. I had my first pair of running shoes for over a year and they are still in a condition that I could wear them. If anybody were to ask me what a great brand of running shoes is, I would have to tell them that adidas is the only brand of running shoes in my eyes!


Olympic Tennis Wrap-up

For a tennis fan, nothing beats the Olympics.

American Andy Roddick won his first-round match over Slovakia’s Martin Klizan at Wimbledon. Roddick goes on to face Djokovic. Djokovic is the 2011 Wimbledon Champ.

Roddick didn’t play in Beijing in 2008, in the 2004 Olympics he lost in the third round.

The Williams sisters won their double match and both Serena and Venus won their first round single match. If Venus can win the gold she’ll be the new record holder with four gold medals in Olympic tennis. She’s won two gold medals playing doubles with her sister, Serena, and she won her single gold medal in Sydney in 2000. Thirty-two year old Venus was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease known to cause fatigue, watching her on the court, you’d never know it.

Roger Federer also won his first match.

The U.S. team is doing well, with John Isner and Varvara Lepchenko also advancing.

Host country Great Britain’s favorite tennis star, Andy Murray, beat Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka in his first singles match.

The rain has caused scheduling difficulties, causing the biggest names of tennis to find most of them playing at the same time.

So far Kim Clijsters is the biggest name to win a second round victory for her home country of Belgium.

Artificial Football Field Turf vs. Natural Grass for avoiding Cranial Injuries

In many football fields throughout the world, particularly professional fields, field turf has been used to replace the natural soil grown grass that used to be common everywhere. Since it first came into use during the 1960’s, field turf has been a common choice in settings where constant heavy use has made maintenance of natural grass too much of an effort to bother with. Field turf is also popular (and the only practical option) in covered or partially covered professional fields where there isn’t enough sunlight available to let natural grass grow thickly enough, or where the constant watering that natural turf needs would be too expensive


However, aside from its obvious maintenance benefits, another important question is how safe field turf is for the athletes who have to use it during some of the roughest moments of a football or soccer game. The biggest safety question relates to concussion safety, since this can be one of the main causes of lasting injuries or even fatalities during a sports match. So, is field turf safer than natural grass, or vice versa?


Head injuries aside, one of the most common issues with field turf has been its resistance to letting a fast moving player slip and slide along if he or she falls during a game. While this may seem like a good thing at first glance, surveys conducted by the National Football League Players Association in 1996 and other years found that as many as 83% of players disliked playing on artificial turf exactly because they thought it caused them to suffer more injuries than with grass. Players complained of friction burn caused by the turfs resistance to sliding and of even worse problems caused by what they call “foot-lock”, when the joints lock up and get hurt because the field stops the legs from sliding with a hard uncontrolled motion.


If these complaints can be considered as valid, then there is a good argument for field turf being more dangerous for concussive head injuries, since less sliding freedom leads to more bumpy rolling and the possibility of a player banging their had hard enough to suffer a concussion.


The complaints of not enough slipperiness were considered serious enough to prompt industry efforts at developing a new type of artificial grass that feels and acts much more like natural turf. One recent replacement for the original and more slide resistant Astroturf has been a new brand called FieldTurf.


However, laying a few criticisms down against natural grass fields, the fact that they’re grown over soil can lead to some tricky and dangerous problems as well. During rain or heavy moisture, large patches of the field can become muddy, form small sinkholes and in turn cause players to suddenly fall hard enough to cause traumatic head injuries. Furthermore, when natural grass dries out again during rainless periods, hard spots in the former muddy areas can lead to some serious cranial injuries if a player hits them with his head. Artificial turf doesn’t suffer this problem since its surface is uniformly soft-padded and mud free.


In conclusion, it seems that while older brands of field turf were indeed more disliked and even dangerous to players’ cranial safety, newer developments in artificial turf have dramatically lowered safety concerns by making the grass softer and much less resistive to sliding movement. Some of these developments are backed by industry studies, several of which have indicated that the latest modern artificial turf surfaces actually reduce cranial injuries slightly. One study in particular, conducted by the Human Performance Research Center at West Texas A&M University showed that modern turfs can reduce cranial and cervical injuries by as much as 47%.


The debate still rages over whether natural grass of field turf is safer for players’ heads, but it does seem that the tide is turning slightly in favor of technology instead of nature.

About the author: When Earl Reidlen isn’t covering football field safety equipment, he’s busy spending time with his family and working on his sailboat that he’s building from scratch.