Like most of my family, I am nuts about kayaking. I'm mostly a flat-water paddler but have used downtime on field research trips to explore some really exhilarating water, including the Zambezi and (White) Nile Rivers. My favorite place to paddle in my current home of Nashville is Percy Priest Lake, a 14,000 acre reservoir with dozens of launch sites across three counties and several islands suitable for kayak-camping, Below, I'm paddling one of my boats (the "Green Mamba") in Newnans lake in Gainesville, FL.
My newest hobby (if you can call it that) is running. In addition to having a number of trails and public spaces for running, the running community in Nashville is great. Voted by Nashville Scene as the city's best running club, "East Nasty" hosts a 6 AM & PM group run every Wednesday year-round in one of the city's most exciting (and hilly!) neighborhoods.
I ran my first marathon in November 2013 and my second in Paris, France in April 2014. After some time away from running because of injuries, I'm back at it again! In February 2018, I returned to where I earned my PhD (Gainesville, FL)
to run the 2018 Five Points of Life Marathon. I have three marathons on the calendar for the remainder of 2018: Nashville's Country Music/Rock N' Roll (April 29), the Safaricom Marathon in Kenya in June, and Matthew Inman's "Beat the Blerch" Marathon near Seattle in September.
Tennessee is an incredible state for biking, including the start of the Natchez Trace (which connects to AL & MS), Memphis's Big River Crossing (The longest ped/bike bridge across the Mississippi River), and the annual Bike Ride Across Tennessee. I'm not a very serious bike rider myself, but I do take very seriously making Nashville and other Tennessee cities bike and walk friendly (so do the majority to Tennesseans). I am the chairman of Bike Walk Tennessee in Action, a non-profit that advocates for cycling infrastructure, awareness and safety.
I cook in my down time. I'm a long time user of Cooks Illustrated, a cooking magazine with a decidedly "academic" approach towards recipes. I'm a recent convert to Chris Kimball's new project "Milk Street," which offers recipes that are often simpler than Cook's. Here are a few recipes I've been elated with recently. Cooks Illustrated recipes are linked to reprints since Cooks is gated.
Tavern's Kale and Parmesan Salad
"Our Favorite Chili"
Single Dad Ninja (aka Benjamin Smith)'s Quinoa Risotto
Poule au Pot
Peruvian Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Lime
Cuban Black Beans and Rice
Also, this is a great cooking blog with "fancy" versions many Tanzanian and East African dishes and also many western dishes and techniques. The page is in Swahili, so it's good practice for language-learners who like to cook!
I am a huge supporter of my hometown NBA Memphis Grizzlies and I play basketball as much as possible. When in Zanzibar for field visits, I play for the Wazee (in Swahili, "old people/elders") team.