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.
I also really enjoy Scuba diving. In recent years, I've had wonderful experiences diving from a live-aboard in the Similian Islands in Thailand, in a hooded 7mm wetsuit in New Zealand's Bay of Islands, and earned my AOW certification in May of 2018 in Hawaii.
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 a bike commuter and 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 501(c)(4) that advocates for cycling infrastructure, awareness and safety.
I've been running with some regularity since I moved to Nashville. In addition to having a number of trails and public spaces for running, the running community in the city is great. Voted by Nashville Scene as the city's best running club, "East Nasty" had hosted a group run every Wednesday for 10 years and counting (Pre-COVID) in one of the city's most exciting neighborhoods.
I ran my first marathon in November 2013 and have since finished 8 (broke my foot in Chicago in 2014 and DNF'd). Highlights include the Paris Marathon in 2014, the Safaricom Marathon in Lewa, Kenya in June 2018, Matthew Inman's Beat the Blerch marathon outside of Seattle in September 2018, and the Mount Desert Island Marathon in Maine in October 2019.
I train with "Renegades Worldwide," a digital training group coached by Chris McClung and James Dodds of Rogue Running (Austin, TX). The Rogue podcast has transformed the way I think about running and how approach physical and mental challenges and growth.
I cook in my down time. I'm a long time user of Cooks Illustrated, a cooking magazine with a rigorous, "academic" approach towards recipes. I'm a recent convert to Chris Kimball's new project "Milk Street," which offers recipes that are often as good but 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 and I don't want them to sue me (looking at you, Chris Kimball).
Pearl Couscous and Zucchini Salad
Shrimp Fra Diavolo
Thai Stir-Fried Spinach
Southeast Asian Chicken Salad
Single Dad Ninja (aka Benjamin Smith)'s Quinoa Risotto
Hoison-Glazed Babyback Ribs
Also, this is a (no longer updated) cooking blog of a Tanzanian chef that features both East African and 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. When in Zanzibar for fieldwork, I play for the Wazee (in Swahili, "old people/elders") team.