For a number of years the company REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) has taken a polar opposite stand on Black Friday compared to all other retail companies. Instead of posting massive sales on their products and having employees work loooong hours (they get time and a half, so it’s not all bad), REI gives their employees the day off WITH pay. Not a bad business model to encourage loyalty with employees and a positive image with customers. Why? Because, we need to get outside!

The #OptOutside program was launched by REI a few years ago and has been growing in popularity. We are following suit. Instead of simply being closed this Friday, we are encouraging our staff and members to GET OUTSIDE! We may be in Atlanta but we are a “hop, skip, and a jump” away from gorgeous mountains, hiking trails, streams, and rivers to enjoy. Here’s a list for the closest trails near Atlanta:


  • Arabia Mountain Top Trail
  • Sweetwater Creek State Park
  • Sawnee Mountain Indian Seats Trail
  • Sope Creek Trail
  • East Palisades Trail at the Chattahoochee River
  • Kennesaw Mountain Trails
  • Pine Mountain Trail near Allatoona Lake
  • Vickery Creek Trail at Roswell Mill
  • Stone Mountain Cherokee and Walk-Up Trails
  • Iron Hill Loop Trail at Red Top Mountain
  • Powers Island Trail at the Chattahoochee River


Full list and description HERE. Have more time on your hands? There’s plenty of gorgeous scenery all over North Georgia!


Hey, after all the food we’re going to eat on Thanksgiving Day we’re going to need a little movement to help burn off that second….or 5th helping of pumpkin pie J



About Josh Jarmin

Originally from Washington, D.C. (NOVA) Josh moved to Atlanta to be a Middle School history teacher after graduating from James Madison University. He joined the Marine Corps infantry as a reservist and served in Iraq honorably. Josh then turned his attention to personal training after his tour in order to help others reach their health/fitness goals. At one point he was 275lbs and 28% body fat. Now he’s 195lbs and 13.5% body fat. Josh worked for several fitness facilities in Atlanta and developed a loyal following of trainees. He’s created a training program of his own personal design and has established himself as one of the top kettlebell and body movement experts in the Atlanta area. Josh is currently the Co-Owner and Director of Fitness at Blueprint Fitness.

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