adventure, fitness and nutrition

Taco Time

Let’s talk about tacos for a minute. I’m not a super huge taco fan girl but I do eat them when it’s Taco Tuesday night at home or when my pals want to eat some tacos for a get together. On these occasions I am pretty simple. ground beef or chicken and maybe a sprinkle of cheese and some simple adorns like avocado or onion. Rarely am I ever a shrimp, fish or steak taco girl.

This leads me to an interesting decision. I opted for tacos for lunch on a recent trip. It was a simple choice. Bartaco noted above or street tacos per Yelp were close, within budget and rated high. I opted for Bartaco just because it won on the number of high reviews.

Enter the posh indoor/outdoor venue. A unique set up to start and the flair was added upon seating. You scanned the menu and ordered at will. Meaning if you ordered a steak taco that came out to table. If you ordered a drink that arrived. If you ordered guacamole and chips that arrived. If you ordered off the kids menu that was okay, too. All hit the table in the order each order was placed. For us we had some street corn, some guacamole and chips, a kids taco and then a bowl loaded with all our favorites. I opted for chicken and shrimp. My partner opened for chicken, fish and mushrooms. All were flavored well and had a zesty zing.

All was served on metal trays for added flair. The bill was electronic just like the menu. No real waiting on the check or the service. You decided the speed of service. For us we were limited for time this we ordered a bunch to share and packed up a nice size to-go bag/box. I must also take a moment to explain the to-go setup as I favored it!

I received a bowl and plastic lid for the leftover rice bowl. I received a small box that had an insert to stand up a taco as well as hold a street corn in place. For the added special touch the young lady provided a sleeve of hard shell tacos. The crunch! She packed the crunch to go! For anyone who appreciates a crunch this is such a winning move to elevates one’s to-go image. The crunch is packed separately not to get soggy or lose its appeal. This was confirmation I picked the winning lunch spot.

Not to mention, I had over ordered so now I have an early dinner all ready to go which helps immensely when traveling. Not sure if this is a local spot or a chain but if you are ever in Chapel Hill, North Carolina I recommend Bartaco. The pic below shows that the guacamole bowl was basically licked clean. The crunch I mentioned is the oversized shell below, half eaten. The trays for style points. The corn is obviously flavored well. Need I say more?

adventure, family, fitness and nutrition

Blue With a Hint of White

I see an abundance of blue. A sea of Carolina Blue near and far. Maybe some white but far more blue. University of North Carolina blue. That soft powdery-colored blue that is easily recognizable as the UNC symbolic color. Nestled deep in the heart of Tar Heel territory on the UNC campus, it’s hard to miss the waves of blue everywhere.

I am here for an event which involves the wearing of the university colors and uniforms. Trying to find a needle in a haystack is a good reference for finding my kid in the sea of blue jerseys. My child is one of of 400-500 immersed in an elite field experience for the sport of lacrosse, which she loves. Last college event was big but not this big.

Hundreds of highly skilled athletes looking to standout while improving their individual and teaming skills on such a big stage. Such an experience to live through as both an athlete and a spectator.

My lens is clearly the spectator but obviously I couldn’t be more proud of my athlete. Spending hours on the field for days with new faces and personalities. Determining if a college athlete life is for her or not. Learning how to adapt and overcome while avoiding injury as well. Training on and off the field. Fueling the body for competition. Resting the mind amidst finals and semester-end deadlines. Challenging herself to be a better version of her. It’s all relative. It’s a process. It takes dedication, determination and a bit of badassery.

I’m a copilot of sorts. The errand girl. The roadie. The fan girl. It’s still a hard job. Navigating maps, finding fields, lugging gear, packing sustainable food for energy, being prepared for any weather, traveling to unknown places, finding accommodations and so much more. I’m in the muck of it all. I’ll wipe tears if they are shed. I’ll pull out the bandaids when needed. I will snap the all the photos allowed to capture the memories as well. I even deal with the nasty attitude when fatigue sets in and nobody is watching but me. No shame in my game/role.

It’s also funny to wade through the cemetery of bags, sticks, jackets, coats, sweats and so on. Where else could you experience the awkward smell of stinky feet and body odor in the cool crisp air? These are the memories I will cherish no matter how gross they sound in my writings.

Our crazy schedule is not for the weak at heart. We spend many days on the road. We spend time away from family and friends. We wake up early. We get into bed late. We battle rain, snow, wind, cold and heat. All to chase a dream. Her dream at the moment. A dream many may not ever achieve and many may never attempt. This is our journey or path right now. Our time together. Wherever she ends up she will know I supported her dream.

As I wrap up this post I take a deep sigh. Reflecting on how grateful I am to be able to take this walk with her. To support her. To praise her efforts. It’s a one of a kind opportunity for both of us. I share this post to provide a glimpse to others who may not have the opportunity to see this lens of life. 

Fourteen states she has played competitive lacrosse in. The sport of lacrosse has allowed her to meet people and see new places while mastering her performance as a woman in sports. I’m not sure how many more states will be visited as she narrows down her college wish list. 

celebrations, fitness and nutrition

The Experience

Not too long ago I wrote about my upcoming CrossFit competition and my lack of preparedness. Today is the follow up which will summarize the experience because that’s what I decided it was. An experience that I will cherish for many years to come.

Let’s start with being fortunate. I am fortunate that at just shy of 50 I can compete at a high level and put myself out there in front of many. I am also happy that I get to share that experience with not only my friends but my youngest daughter. That in itself makes the experience more powerful and memorable. We did the same moves. We struggled together. We cheered together. We were a team although not on a team together. Just a day with my mini. 

Although this isn’t our first time competing together, it is always an adventure. New location. New moves. New competitors. New everything. I get to see her work through fears. I get to see her reach new heights. Sometimes I even see her coaching others who could be older than her. It’s a fun sight to see. I can truly say she grows with each event.

The day didn’t always go as planned. I started out workout one with strength but ripped my hands pretty good about 4 minutes into the 10-minute workout. I’m never good at working on the bar with my grip but when my hands ripped everything moved in slow motion except the pain. That was front and center. The suffering was over quick enough but how would the rest of the day go since I needed my hands. Luckily I pushed through. Of course I was the only one who ripped. Just my luck.

The day was long but so many giggles and milestones. My partner and I killed our box over and snatch workout. It’s the one I’d say we were most prepared for. This little bit of success helped us push through the afternoon. This workout was also the one my daughter and her partner did amazing at. Maybe even the fastest time of the day. Two little teens moving like they had fire on their feet. It was so exciting to witness. Team bonding. Team unity. True partnership. I was right there front and center to experience all of it.

Lunch break was fun, too. Chairs in the parking lot. Food trucks. Snacks galore. Chats with friends. Wardrobe changes. Selfie time for many. Just good clean fun. About this time a few non-participants showed up to cheer everyone on. That was just very cool. People took a long drive on a Saturday to cheer on friends and gym pals. This was amazing but this is CrossFit. Community. Like minded people coming together to unite around fitness. I will remember this because it was as a connection of people that went beyond the walls of a home base or gym.

The next workout was harsh. 12 minutes of repetitive moves requiring teamwork, communication and true grit. No real rest time. Pure adrenaline pumping in the body. Fatigue like you didn’t think was possible. You glance at the clock. It’s five minutes into 12 minutes. Will the workout ever end? Can I continue? So much runs through your mind. Are you contributing equal work as a partner? Is this a test? I survived my 12 minutes that felt like they would never end, but now it’s my daughter’s turn. I led by example. I gave hints for success. Will she listen? I mean she is a bullheaded teen. Will her age and inexperience hinder her? The day after post online noted below shows the confirmation of others thinking that 12 minutes was brutal!

The clock began. The battle with self ensued. Her partner was showing signs of weakness early on. She saw it. She didn’t want to accommodate her needs but she had no choice. Both were competing. They battled hard. They leaned on each other when they wanted to scream at each other. What a sight to see. In the end they persevered. It was such a sight to see. The after math was not so fun. The fatigue and anger showed their nasty side. This is part of the process.

The competition was nearing an end. A five minute workout remained. A simple one but so hard at the end of the day after all the athletes had endured. The power went out. The struggle with self continued on many levels for many athletes. You can’t quit now. The roar of the crowd gets you over the finish line. We did it. We came. We battled. We conquered ourselves. We left a little stronger. We gained a little respect for others. We enjoyed the experience from a-z.

This is CrossFit. Many say why do you do it? I do it for the fitness first and foremost. I do it for the friendships and community. I do it for the experiences. Competing takes all of that to a whole different level. It teaches you how to adapt. How to overcome. How to face adversity. How to smile. How to push through. These lessons crossover in life daily.

Our collective group of athletes hit the jackpot today. We all medaled. Not because of a low turnout but because we worked hard and did the best we could that day. There was a soon to be married couple in the mix. The doctor and the mid-twenties guy. Two sets of aged athletes in the masters category. Two teens. A wife and young adult combo. Such a diverse group.

This was a great experience. One to be shared. It is my hope that somebody reading this feels inspired to to try something new. Maybe it’s a new fitness routine. Maybe it’s just stepping outside their comfort zone to see what life can offer.

Enjoy today. I know I will. For tomorrow I will be sore. A sore like no other.

fitness and nutrition

The Countdown

I am less than ten days from my next CrossFit competition and I may be the least prepared of any comps, even my very first Comp years ago. Surprise!

Why? I have been battling a nagging foot injury for weeks limiting my movements. I have missed a few days of training due to life being lifey. And finally my eating hasn’t been fine tuned for a few months meaning I have extra fluff I’m toting around each day. Big sigh.

Not enough time to fix a, b and c. However, I can put my best “good” foot forward and perform as best I can in the shape I’m in today. Good thing I’m in the Masters division this time around. “Old” or Masters Division means lighter weights and scaled movements which equates to easier in some aspects. Thank goodness for that positive note.

I’ll be working on my endurance the next several days to condition my body for the shock of the competition day stress it will endure. What’s fun about this competition is a the diverse group of workout buddies who will huddle up at this event. Many of us have changed up training locations, partners and coaches over the past few months and this will be a reunion of sorts.

Although we will compete, we will also be cheering for each and every one of our workout buddies despite where or how they train. That’s what I love about CrossFit. The bonds you build with people live outside the box. The strong bonds continue beyond the four walls of the CrossFit box. 

Coffee meet ups. Dinner dates. Text updates. Phone calls. Porch drops. Note cards. Group hikes. Long weekend getaways. Competitions. There isn’t much a group of crazy CrossFitters won’t do together if it might even remotely sound fun or adventurous.

Some may even say it’s a bad idea, but follow up with when do we leave?! I have the best group of fitness pals out there. From teens to 20 somethings to maturing in their 30’s all the way up there to the 50’s and 60’s. That’s some range of age but we all get along. We all sweat the same. In a competition we all do the same movements in each division. We all have our own crazy gym attire as well. And we all love to take pictures to document our crazy life.

Some fall into the bougie category. Some fall into the fancy sock category. Some are shoe fanatics. Some like revealing booty shorts. Other prefer to be topless. The list goes on. All different but all sync together because of fitness. Everyone needs a fit family like mine.

What a beautiful life I live. What a great group of people I am lucky enough to engage with. Surround yourself with greatness. You will rise to your own level of greatness.

Wish me luck in the coming days. I’m sure I’ll write about my event day at some point.

fitness and nutrition

Leather or Lace

What a title, right? Leather or lace what? Are we talking panties or tennis? Could it ever be both? 

Let’s start with tennis. I picked up a racquet a couple of times as a kid. Maybe at a summer recreation spot to try a new sport. It was meh at best as I never pursued it at that point.

I picked up a racquet again around the age of 20. Played a little. Learned a little but moved on after a very short stint for whatever reason. I maybe picked up a racquet with a friend 8-10 years ago and played a couple of rounds of tennis. Fun. Exercise. Time with a few pals. Nothing fancy but I might have learned to keep score.

Fast forward to sometime this year. I was invited to play pickup tennis on a weeknight. I dusted off the racquet and headed to the court with low expectations. I’m old. I’m rusty. To my surprise I had fun. I was into it. How could that be? I opted to play a short season of tennis with one of my gym competition partners. We weren’t great but we won more than 50% of our games. In the process we got some cute skirts. I bought some new tennis shoes so the fancy tennis ladies were not bugging me about my CrossFit shoes on the court. I was set to play again.

This time it was a team. A whole new element. More to learn. New partners to adjust to. Outfit matching, it is a thing?  More games to fit in the schedule. A new fitness routine that makes me take a day off regular training for tennis. A big mindset shift for me. New racquet this season to be all fancy and a friend got me an accessory for it. The butt sticker! Oh boy did I love the butt sticker gift.

Of course it couldn’t be an ordinary butt sticker. It had to have flair. She found the best one for me. Leather or lace. Now as match begins and the racquet is spun for court decisions, I ask leather or lace. What an ice breaker. A personally intrusive question for the ladies on the other side of the court. Giggles. Eye rolls. Game on ladies. So much fun to set the tone early for the crazy of the matches ahead. Now I haven’t had to spin the racquet for a guy yet but I can’t wait for that response as well. 

Each response is unscripted and so fun to watch. Just like tennis. Unpredictable. Unscripted. Maybe this is what I like most about tennis right now. It’s just a go with the flow game. Sure there is a format and scoring but the court play is dynamic. It’s ever changing. It’s unpredictable. You have to be thinking on your toes. I win. I lose. I sometimes play a tie breaker or go into overtime. It’s all a fun experience for now.

Competition is good for me. Trying new partners is good for me. Making room for tennis in my schedule is good for me now. The real question is am I leather or am I lace? Or maybe nothing as the last lady responded. Absolutely nothing. I’ll let the mic drop there and just say I can’t wait to get the guys responses on my butt sticker.

Just a tennis tidbit for you today.