What I've Been Thinking About...
For as long as Marisa and I have been together, we have been frequent visitors of the Easton Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. Over the years we have gotten to know some of the vendors and have become quite friendly with a handful of them. This year we have met the owners of De Novo Creamery who sell great tasting non-dairy ice cream. I highly recommend!
During a conversation yesterday one of the owners was sharing a story of how she realized her interest in the culinary world. While in high school, she signed up for Home Ec but only three kids were registered. The school decided not to offer the class but instead offered a Culinary program. On Mondays they made the menu, on Wednesdays the students placed an order, and on Fridays the food was prepared and delivered. In was during this class that she realized what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. How awesome is that?
When you hear stories about different programs getting cut from high schools or not being a requirement to graduate, it leads me to think about all the kids who may have missed out on an opportunity to be exposed to something that may have been their calling. I think about the kids who never learn how to play an instrument, the kids who never complete an art project or learn the importance of health & fitness in physical education. These missed opportunities carry over into the rest of their life. This culinary class lit a fire in a young girl that led her down the path that she is on now.
Fitness Tip of the Week
Do hard things. As I write this, my hands hurt from the new program I started. My grip is depleted. I am tired. I also have an inkling that there may be some sore muscles coming in a day or two, but yet, I feel accomplished. Before I move on, let me make something clear: I am no masochist. I don't enjoy discomfort and I don't enjoy sore muscles. I actually whine about it but whining doesn't get you anywhere. Neither does being comfortable. If progress is the name of the game, we have to get a little uncomfortable. As we age and move through life, you either build or decay. Father Time is a cruel master.
In addition to the health benefits, facing challenges in the physical domain, and overcoming them will prepare you for challenges in the non-physical world. If we do hard things in the gym, in the pool or on the trail, we can use that success to carry us through obstacles outside of the gym. If you fight through a workout when it gets tough, or continue running when you have nothing left in the tank, you can push through some paperword or get up early on a Sunday to finish a newsletter that gets sent in less than an hour.
What I've Been Reading
How the Weak Win Wars by Ivan Arreguin-Toft
This book was referenced in Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath where he discusses how percevied advantages may not actually be advantages. I bought this book at a time where there was no major conflict going on in the world. I remember talking to a Marine in February about how I just don't see how two countries can fight a conventional war. We talked about the style of fighting that went on in places like Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and how that style of fighting has taken over in recent decades. Since that conversation, Russia invades Ukraine and I now realize how wrong I was!
My expectation for reading this book is to understand how David's beat Goliath on the world stage and if any of these lessons apply to everday challenges. MLK once said that "there is a war going on" inside of all of us. Everyone's battle looks a little different and sometimes, you are going to be outmatched. In these instances, are we going to be able to channel our inner "David" and find a way to conquer our inner "Goliath"?
Lessons from Pre-school
Our daughters pre-school teacher uses the phrase, "calm your body" when the youngsters get worked up. Marisa and I both liked this phrase and began using it at times with our daughter and for the most part, it has been very useful. Early in the week, Emilia and I were leaving the gym and she took a tumble. After scraping her knee on some rocks, she was ready to have a moment. I could see the tears were on their way so I tried to center her attention on something else. I got down on her level and told her to take a deep breathe, that I understood the pain she might be feeling and the sooner she can calm her body, the sooner it will heal up and feel better. I told her to calm her body and then we can talk. She listened, took a few breaths and was able to avoid getting really worked up. I thought to myself, "wow, that worked surprisingly well!"
Having the ability to self regulate and go from a moment of panic to a moment of calmness is an incredible tool to have in your toolbox. I try to remember this myself when frustration sets in. In moments of high stress or anxiety, saying a phrase like "calm your body", or any other mantra, to yourself over and over again may allow you to pause for a moment, to breathe, gain your composure, recenter your attention and perform whatever task it may be that needs to be done. If a four year old could do it, a grown man should be able to as well!
Quote of the Week
"Do not press a desperate enemy" -- Sun Tzu
I hope you all have an awesome week!