Wednesday, May 29, 2013


With many things in life, you will reach a point where the word “can’t” is a wall that you hit. You will feel like you truly CAN’T keep going – that you can’t do it mentally, physically, or any other kind of –ally. It is in those moments you learn a lot about yourself. What is your reaction to that seemingly solid, impenetrable wall of what you can’t do?

On a canyoneering trip this last weekend, things didn’t exactly go as planned. We got out of the canyon and into the Narrows much later than planned, so our 3 hour hike through the water (ranging from ankle-deep to waist-deep) was done in the dark. This meant being cold, unable to see the bottom of the river and the rocks we were navigating over, and unsure of our exact location. After about two hours of this – and multiple falls into the cold water, lots of banged toes, and the mental strain of not knowing how much longer this all would last – we finally hit a landmark we recognized… and this land mark was an hour from the end.

I was crushed. I had been getting by this whole time by telling myself that the end was just around the next corner… then the next one… just a little further… we’ll be done any minute now.. and so on. So while my companions were glad to finally know where we were, I was ready to just fall down and die at the thought of doing this for another hour. My toes were bruised and bloody, I was soaked and freezing, and my headlamp was dying so my visibility was awful. Several times over the course of a few minutes I could feel tears come on, prayers of pleading escape my lips, and temper tantrums form just under the surface. I thought of helicopters rescuing us, of being carried out, of any other option than having to keep going. “I can’t” was the predominant thought. “I truly can’t keep going.”

But of course that wasn’t an option. And neither was bawling, or screaming, or dying, or anything but continuing to stumble down the river. And eventually we reached the end.

Now I didn’t have a major epiphany at the end where I was so glad that I had gone through this trial and I had such a feeling of accomplishment and I wished I could do it again. I was still cold and miserable and I will never willingly do that to myself again. But I learned a lot about what I was able to do when “can’t” wasn’t an option. And it made me think a lot about the times where I surrender to “can’t” because it IS an option… and what I could do if I stopped letting “can’t” get in my way.

I also learned a lot about the people whose company I was in – their reactions to those same circumstances really humbled me. It was inspiring to see people being so strong, to see positive attitudes emerge and hear words of encouragement being uttered. Rather than seeing people giving into the wave of negative reactions that I know I was on the brink of, I witnessed amazing strength and positivity.

What do you do when “can’t” overwhelms you? Do you let yourself stop? When you are on that long run, do you slow down and start walking? Or do you push through and deal with the pain? Chris McCormack, an amazing athlete, talks about it as managing pain – do you embrace it for what it is, or do you let it ruin you and the experience you might gain?

Which kind of person are you? And more importantly, which kind of person do you WANT to be?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Honey/Lime Fruit Salad with Quinoa

Ok, let’s talk about this to-die-for fruit salad. Think delicious summer fruit and a honey/lime/mint sauce. Yes. It’s a real thing. And it’s divine.

I got the inspiration on Pinterest and modified it a little to suit my own tastes. And now I’m sharing it with you.

I basically took some delicious fruit (mangoes, blackberries, and strawberries), threw in some (already cooked) quinoa, and tossed it in the sauce (mix equal parts honey and lime juice and throw in a couple of chopped up fresh mint leaves)… and won over everyone who ever tasted it.

If only everything so heavenly was so simple.

So in review:
-Chop up mangoes, slice strawberries, don’t do anything to blackberries
-Cook probably 1/3 cup quinoa in 2/3 cup water, let it cool
-Whisk about 3T honey and 3T lime juice, add in chopped up mint leaves
-Toss all ingredients together and die of happiness

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


I love the feeling of a good workout. The bone-tired, completely satisfied feeling that comes after working yourself past what you thought you were capable of doing.

However, I don't love the soreness and tightness that can come in the few days AFTER that glorious workout.

Fortunately, there are ways to minimize that delayed-onset muscle soreness, and they aren't even that hard.

First, stretching. I love to take a few minutes post-workout to stretch out the muscles that I worked that day (I also try to hit my other major muscle groups just for good measure). It leaves me feeling so relaxed, and it makes me feel much less tight later on.

Second, rolling. Dang I love me some foam rollers. Being able to roll-out after a hard workout helps me so much as far as the level of soreness that I'll feel later on. I also bought a roller for home so I can hit it up any time I feel like I need it.

Third, protein. Getting some protein in me within an hour of finishing my workout and again 4-6 hours later does wonders for my recovery process.

Fourth, hydration. I try to hydrate all the time, but the days where I'm less diligent, my recovery suffers for it.

Not only does a good recovery help prevent DOMS, but it will show in how much progress you are making in your workouts. The recovery process is just as important as the workout process - without it, your body can't adapt to the changes you are trying to make, and you will wear yourself out and not be as productive.

Besides... it just feels so good! :)