With Fantastic Fest coming to a close, and all those rabid Austin movie fans crawling out of the dark Alamo theaters and into the harsh, unrelenting sunlight, it's a good time for us all to once again consider our relationship with wellness. HAAM Benefit Day is right around the corner, so health and happiness are high on our lists of things to do this weekend. Here are our top picks of how to celebrate the start of October in Texas.
If you're up the challenge, the Kerrville Triathlon Festival welcomes you to take on their yearly test of endurance through the Hill Country. Run, bike and swim through beautiful Texas territory with thousands of your closest fitness friends. A multi-sport expo and plenty of family-friendly events surround this weekend-long High Five event held in and around the Kerrville Inn of the Hills.
For a more kid-specific event, MarathonKids holds their 2011 Kick-Off for kids and parents at UT's Mike A. Myers track stadium on Saturday. Sign up for a year-long program of exercising and eating right that will check off 26.2 miles in increments of 1/4 miles at a time. At the end of the year, kids will have completed a marathon! The Kick-Off Celebration will allow families to complete the first mile of their goal together.
Meanwhile, at Lady Bird Lake, moms and kids are invited to take part in the Be Well Walk, held Saturday on the shores of Lady Bird Lake. Susan Dell began the walk as a way to encourage Austin families to set up easy systems of wellness as a part of their daily routine. Moms, dads and kids of all ages will be walking, jogging, rolling and strollering around the Lake after meeting at Longhorn Shores, across the street from Krieg Field on Pleasant Valley.
October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and there are plenty of fun and easy ways to celebrate it starting this weekend. The Mamma Jamma Ride to Leave Breast Cancer Behind combines physical wellness while raising awareness and funds for Central Texans affected by breast cancer. Participants raise sponsorships before the ride in order to donate significant amounts of money to go directly to 11 different local nonprofits.
Another cleverly titled event for women's health happening this Sunday is the Young Professionals for the Cure's Boobie Bash. This annual party is being held at The Hangar Lounge downtown, and features live music, a raffle for a trip to Las Vegas on Southwest Airlines, and plenty of food and drinks from local sponsors. This is definitely a fun night of partying where your donations will absolutely last much longer than your potential hangover.
For another awesome celebration, the Mohawk is featuring an amazing lineup of bands and parties to commemorate their 5th Anniversary Celebration. Running Thursday to Sunday, every night is guaranteed to be filled with the best live music you've come to expect from this Red River institution. (Has it really only been five years?) Lucero, Grupo Fantasma, Mike & The Moonpies, My Education and Canoe are just some of the 20 bands you'll hear over the four nights of awesome music. Happy bday, guys!
Combining art, music and film together into a one-night celebration of what makes Austin so unique, Austin Pictures is the combined effort of ACL Live and the Austin Classical Guitar Society. The Moody Theater will be filled Saturday night with a thrilling combination of work by young Austin artists, 100 guitar masters from around the world and a film about the combined power of art and music to inspire. This evening-long concert will blow you away with the added talents of the Miro Quartet, Jorge Caballero and Austin Symphony Maestro Peter Bey.
Another incredible synergy of talent takes place all this weekend at Ballet Austin with the new collaborative piece called The Mozart Project. Director Stephen Mills provides a visual appreciation of Mozart, with new musical interpretations of the master's work by pianist Michelle Schumann, local composer Graham Reynolds and world renowned spin master, DJ Spooky. The three versions of Mozart will be presented with contemporary movement styles that will bring the music to a new level of expression.
For a more low-key appreciation of visual art, the award-winning and nationally recognized AIA Austin Homes Tour runs this weekend as well. Local architects show off some of their favorite masterpieces of design on this self-guided tour of 15 homes around Austin that you won't believe until you see. Because these are people's actual homes, you'll need to sign up and buy tickets for the tour by visiting one of their sponsors. But once you see these homes in the magical Fall sunlight, you'll most likely be inspired to make a few changes at your own home.
Of course, if you're not ready to face the sunlight yet, the Drafthouse provides the perfect escape on Sunday in the form of Ti West's Fantastic Fest Hangover. The Alamo and the Austin Film Society are teaming up to show you nouveau horror master Ti West's entire film lineup of recent classics, including The Innkeepers, which just debuted this week at Fantastic Fest. The wonderful and hysterical director will be in attendance as well to answer questions and dialogue with fans afterward.
For most of you, the cooling temperatures and the opportunities for wellness will prompt you to get out and get moving. But whatever you do, remember to stay active, stay smart and play it safe. Be well, y'all.