So it balances out, right?! There was a day this past week where I looked at the workout and my first thought was profane. There are exercises that are hard but still doable… the ones that kick my ass and slow me down and make me want to curse and then there are things that are just on the edge of my physical abilities…. like rope climbs. Last time I tried them, I made it all the way up once and then proceeded to just struggle and struggle. I was so frustrated I was on the verge of tears.
I hate learning new things because I want to be good at them RIGHT NOW. I have very little patience for the learning process. I am learning that the struggle makes things sweet – the more it costs you, the sweeter the reward. And sometimes being brave just looks like showing up and getting your ass kicked by rope climbs. The more I physically challenge myself, the more humbled I am. The more I realize what I can’t do, where I have room to improve, and the more I realize that my ego needs to keep itself in the car. And that the struggle won’t be forever. With time and practice, things will get easier. Just because today is hard doesn’t mean tomorrow will be. This mile is hard, but that doesn’t mean the next one will be. It doesn’t mean it won’t be hard, but the struggle isn’t forever. It only feels like it. And my struggle looks different than your struggle. I am where I am in my journey and that is okay. I can’t do a pullup to save my life but I have run marathons. I know people who could kick my ass at pullups and muscle-ups, but can’t run a mile at what I consider an easy pace. And that’s okay.
Anyway, I met a guy once who owned a martial arts studio. He talked about how he coached his students. Instead of criticizing them when they made an error, he would ask them, “what’s RIGHT with you?” (as opposed to, “what’s wrong with you?”) and the student would say something like “my attitude” or “my effort” or whatever. I thought it was an awesome approach. Most people already know where they are falling short. He was approaching it in a way that built his students’ confidence and made it a totally positive learning environment. There is a lot of failing involved in learning and people don’t need to dwell on that.
So in the spirit of positive learning environments, what’s RIGHT with me?? I am getting faster at running – I set a 10 minute half marathon PR on a hilly course. I deadlifted over 200 pounds for the first time in who knows how long. And I did 8 complete rope climbs, which is way more than I did before! I am surviving my marathon training…. it doesn’t feel like I’m getting any faster, but I ran 20 freaking miles on Sunday, which is something I haven’t done in almost two years.
Aaaaaaaand I make good food. Sometimes it’s fancier, and sometimes it’s super simple. But simple is good. Especially on long run days when it hurts to think. Plus, sometimes a girl just needs some salad. I have been craving salad lately… maybe because it’s hot. At any rate, this is delicious and takes minimal effort.
Strawberry Spinach Salad
4-6 cups of greens (I used a mix of spinach and arugula)
1/2 pint strawberries
1/2 cup of pecans
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (or feta, if you prefer)
1/2 pint strawberries, chopped into quarters
1 small white onion, diced
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp sage
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp honey (optional)
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
Add 1 TBSP olive oil to a small saucepan and saute the onions until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add your balsamic vinger and strawberries and cook over medium-low heat until they are soft (even mushy). Add all your seasonings, the honey, and the mustard and mix well. Simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes.
Carefully transfer dressing mixture to a blender or food processor, add 1 TBSP of olive oil and puree until smooth. Cool before serving.
This dressing is pretty thick – you can thin it to your liking with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, or water.
For the salad –
Add your greens to a big bowl. Slice up your strawberries, chop your pecans, and throw them both in the bowl. Add cheese and mix well!
Add a grilled protein if you like – chicken, ahi tuna, or steak would be delicious!
Top with dressing and consume!