Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Deciding to Coach Myself

I had to write a pretty difficult email today turning down a really wonderful opportunity to coach Cross Country at one of our local high schools. You see - a big part of the reason I became a teacher was so I could coach. In my life, no one affected me more than my parents and my coaches.

Currently, I coach middle school track and cross-country. I LOVE IT. My kids are awesome. They are just learning about running, so my job is extremely rewarding. I get to show them all the great parts about something I already love! 

Recently, I was approached about coaching high school XC. I hemmed. I hawed. I thought I would try it - because - why not? But somewhere in my heart it didn't sit quite right. I couldn't picture myself in the setting. I felt I might be abandoning "my babies" as I often refer to my naughty 13 year olds at the middle school. I also felt like I would have to set a lot of my own competitive goals aside - and I still have pretty lofty goals as a 31 year old. (I am afraid to write them down, but I have some serious expectations of myself for the next year. More on that later!) 

Today - with the help of a glass of wine and an unexpected opportunity - I decided I am not done coaching myself. I'm not old! I have goals! I have a small window of opportunity to really focus on myself and I am going to do just that - all while keeping my current coaching job with the babies that see me every day in science class. Those are my kids and they need someone to give a shit when they're just starting out. THAT is my role. 

Maybe I'll coach high school when I'm done coaching me. Coaching others is important - but I can't quit on this girl that I've been coaching all along.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Race Entry Giveaway: Girls on the Run - Greater Milwaukee

Thanks for your support participation! The giveaway winner is @WillowFitness! 

Girls on the Run is a beautiful organization. They provide opportunities to young girls - hopefully inspiring and offering support to young women as they pursue a fulfilling life. I am so honored to be able to offer you a chance to win one free race entry into the Milwaukee Girls on the Run 5K on June 9th, 2013. 

As a teacher in Wisconsin, I love opportunities to let our children shine through new experiences. GOTR helps young women find out who they are, to see what they are capable of and what they can be.

To enter, please leave a comment below or retweet. The winner will randomly be chosen next week (May 31st) and notified via email. We would love to have you join us for such a wonderful cause! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

To Compete Well, Eat Well: Morel Mushrooms

I am very fortunate to live in a part of the world where the elusive Morel Mushroom grows in the month of May. If you've never had these guys before, have them! Now! Even if you are a mushroom hater. Yes, they look like a brain. Get over it, because they are YUMMY.

My family has a property in Richland Center, WI where we go Morel hunting every spring. They are a fussy, tricky thing to locate, because they only grow in really specific conditions: south facing slopes on spongy ground, under dead elm trees, in May when the soil reaches 55 degrees. Since they are so rare and hard to see, they are a blast to find! I have gone a few times this year with my mom - the first time out we found 180 of them! 

Wahoo!! Fresh morels from the forest floor.
Finding morels is a big part of the fun, but they are also delicious. They are not gross and slimy like many typical varieties of grocery store mushrooms - but firm, earthy and rich.

First and foremost: You have to soak these guys for about an hour before you prepare them. Lots (like a billion) of little weird creatures live inside one morel, so soak them in a bath of salted water. You will be amazed by what emerges! When I prepare them, I lightly saute them with asparagus, freshly chopped garlic and shallots, a little salt and pepper - TO DIE FOR. You don't have to do much; they are wonderful on their own.