Friday, May 31, 2013

Thanks Adrenaline

It's the eve of the second attempt this spring at a "competition" for me...this one is much more for fun than the last one but being the type-A girl that I am the words sticking in the back of my head are "competition" and "crossfit" not "fun." Last time around I was so excited I couldn't help but be a little nervous.   In my past life nerves was a good thing for me, it usually fueled the competitor within and pushed me, what I learned at the last competition I entered is that those nerves fueled adrenaline and the adrenaline ran out real quick.  The last competition I did had three separate workouts, during the first one I very clearly remember hearing my boyfriend and my coach each screaming "slow down" over and over as I (apparently) flew through my first 21 deadlifts and burpees, somewhere around the next 15 deadlifts I felt like I'd lost the willpower to even pick my feet up, much less continue rolling through the remainder of that one workout (or two more!).   Let's just say Event 1 wasn't that great for me, not because I wasn't capable or ready for it but because I burned out faster than I even knew possible, thanks adrenaline.

This time I decided that I need to approach the whole thing differently, partly because I don't want to burn out quick this time around (I only get one workout to prove myself tomorrow) and partly because it's a partner workout and my partner is a grade-A badass who I would hate to disappoint.  So instead of spending most of my day today thinking about competition, considering what I need to do in the morning to be ready or even going to bed ridiculously early I decided I will treat tomorrow as a normal workout...none of this crazy build up to something that my nerves get in the way of, nothing to stress about, just another Saturday morning workout with friends.  No idea whether this will pay off or if I'll be knocked to smithereens by some burpees and wall balls tomorrow but I figure it can't be worse than burning out in the first five minutes either.     I don't know what I made for dinner before the last competition but it certainly wasn't this, so that's good too right?

Paleo Thai Shrimp Salad

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1 large bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 seedless English cucumber (or 2 regular large cucumbers), sliced with a spiral veggie slicer or a julienne slicer
1-2 cups cooked shrimp
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
1-2 tbsp Asian chili garlic sauce or dried chili flakes
1 big clove garlic
A handful of cilantro leaves
Sliced lime, extra cilantro and crushed cashews for garnish
1 small Thai chili and lettuce – optional

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, chili garlic sauce and chopped cilantro leaves, set it aside to blend flavors. The dressing should be the balance combination of salty, sweet, tart, and spicy, however, you can adjust it to your own preferred taste
2. In a large bowl, add cucumber, chopped celery, red onion, shredded carrot, and cooked shrimp - Pour the dressing over and mix well. Let stand to mingle the flavors for about 3 minutes before serving on chopped lettuce/cup with a sprinkle of toasted cashews and/or more Thai chili if you like it hot.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Two years and counting...

Five years ago I started writing about what I was cooking, regularly I searched out new and interesting things to cook and increasingly difficult methods of cooking.  I subscribed to many cooking magazines, blogs and read cookbooks for fun.   Two years ago my sister talked me into coming to Milestone Crossfit with her...somewhere among the wallballs, pushups, squats, burpees, pullups and olympic lifting my life shifted gears. I still love to cook, I still look for interesting and innovative ways to prepare the stuff I eat but my respite from the daily grind of the office is no longer cooking, its working hard to push myself beyond my comfort zone every night at Milestone.

June marks two years for me, in that time I have found myself cutting out grain (not 100% of the time, but a lot of the time), switching from cooking from the likes of Gourmet and Bon Appetit to PaleOMG, Health-Bent, NomNomPaleo, and Well Fed, drinking club soda at work happy hours, re-arranging my schedule to fit in workouts and spending more money on workout shoes than I do on heels.  What do I have to show for all this?  I can push 165#'s over my head, deadlift 325#s, do pull-ups, run a faster mile than I could as a kid, I don't have pain or aches where old injuries used to exist (other than the soreness that let's me know I did good work the day before) and I've made some amazing friends along the way.   No, I'm not always thrilled to drag myself out the door but getting there I feel happy and at home.  Yes, I do occasionally miss the simplicity of getting a sandwich for lunch when they are ordered in for the office, but when I decide to eat that sandwich I remember just how much I didn't love sandwiches to begin with.  On the whole, I have found that I am capable of so much more than I ever knew before June 2011 and I look forward to what two more years will bring.  
My sister conned us all, she got me and her fiancee and her soon to be brother-in-law and our mom involved.  It's become a family affair with us.  It is funny how the simple act of my sister asking me (ok, repeatedly asking) to go with her snowballed into so many of us doing it.  As I sat with her at the South Central Crossfit Regionals on Saturday watching some of the fittest people in this country do amazing things I realized just how much I owe her a major thanks.  Without her I'm very certain I'd be sitting on the sidelines thinking about how crazy all these "crossfit" people instead I'm one of them.  Not quite sure that's something I would ever have even wanted but I love what I have proven to myself thus far in this journey.

I still get all the random cooking magazines because I enjoy reading them, I obsessively watch Anthony Bourdain (both his new and old shows), read Chef biographies for fun and  I enjoy cooking way more than most normal people but on a day like today where I am frustrated and worn out after work there is nothing that leaves me feeling more accomplished than walking out of the gym after my workout. It doesn't matter that I still hate burpees (really, who likes them) or that I am a million miles from being what I would deem "good" at Crossfit, what does matter is that I feel satisfied leaving the gym knowing I accomplished more today than I did yesterday.