“Whatever you feel like you should do…”

I’ve never been one to give something a half ass effort. I will jump in, head first, feet first, or belly flopping. While I may not having my mental competitive skills up to par yet (if anyone can teach me how to “visualize” hit me up, I’m starting to think it’s not really a thing), I love to train. In fact over the summer at the Iowa Diving Camps, I said it was my favorite part of the sport when asked. I love putting in the hours, seeing dives change and improve within the span of an hour or a year, love feeling like I really accomplished something by the time I head to bed that night. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not always happy about being tired, sore, and constantly busy, but overall I’m more than happy to go to the pool every day. I wouldn’t have it any other way- why else would I be doing it if I didn’t truly enjoy the work I put in.

When it comes to practices, and competitions, I put impossibly decently high expectations on myself. Outside of the pool no one would dare describe me as a perfectionist, but inside the pool, well…guilty. I want to fix problems and I want to fix them right now. So when it comes to a new dive I learned in the late fall, that still isn’t competition ready, old insecurities started echoing in my head. It wasn’t just going poorly, I swore it was getting worse. The little voice in my head was telling me that I might never achieve my goals if I don’t fix it TODAY, and that this ONE dive is going to hold me back from everything else I had learned. Not healthy thinking, I know. I felt the stress of this dive seeping out of me ever since I came back to training in January- obsessively brainstorming ways to “fix” it. I know I had done some in the fall that were high point scoring caliber, and I felt like it had become nearly out of reach to reproduce those performances.

Fast forward to practice this morning, working on the category on 1m.

Todd: “You look like you’re trying really hard”

Me: “Uhhhhh, yeah”

Todd: “Why? You’re strong enough to make it off a concrete stand.”

Me: “I feel like if I don’t give it everything I have, I’m not going to make it. I’m going to land on my back.”

Todd: “Whatever you feel like you should do, do half. However hard you want to try, do less. You get too tense- trying too hard and trying to force it. Let it happen. Relax. Everything you want to put into this dive, cut in half. Try half as hard. Give it half the effort.”

Me: *brows crease in confusion at the thought of doing less*

I’m sure anyone who has ever seen a Disney movie or read a book can predict what happened this afternoon when I attempted the dive for the first time since last week (where I balked 8 times and may have shed tears in the shower because I was sick of smacking). After approaching the 3m with the self talk running through my head filled with “do less,” “try less,” and “40% effort,” I kid you not the dive was easier to make than any other day in my life. The first once even went flying over, with the second and third easily making it around with no balking or feelings of anxiety. Every time I hit the water my thought process was “huh.” Todd got to look proud and say “I told you so.” I’m still slightly confused as to how that worked out, but I’m trying not to question a good thing!.

I feel like I broke the laws of physics. Putting in less effort=better results. Doubting this has a strong chance of success in any other area of life, but will report back if I find ways!

 

 

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Week One

The update, as promised in my last baking post. We’re only four days into the Spring 2014 semester and I felt slightly overwhelmed already. Midway through the week, and in fact every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I find myself going straight from weights, to class, to class, to practice, to class, and back to practice. Top that off on Wednesday with a class until 9pm. I was so proud of myself being able to menu plan the first week successfully, and I had so much great healthy food in backpack, and in reality ZERO time to eat any of it. Uh oh. I felt like every where I went on campus I was on the verge of running, in a massive rush from one obligation to the next, with a little voice in my head screaming “AHHHHHHHHH” all day. Even my practices felt frenzied, with my mind running constantly on how I was going to fit everything I had planned into the day.

I needed a game plan. I needed more than food in my backpack with no time to eat it, and more than the breathlessness of power walking all over campus. The first thing I did was I adjusted what I was packing for my healthy to go foods. I kid you not, everything I packed on Friday was something I could eat while walking. I abandoned the idea of packing nice little Greek yogurts with a plastic spoon, and embraced a banana with trail mix. All my sandwiches went into (reusable) plastic bags instead of Tupperware to be able to hold it and eat and walk at the same time. And I officially plan on taking the title of “girl who eats in every class” (better than “girl that smells like pool every day”- oh wait…).

This week I plan on going the same route. Even menu planning and grocery shopping this week, I swung by my deli and picked pitas for easy carrying, and the Hy-Vee natural health food section where they always have 10-for-$10 on protein and energy bars (that aren’t just Quaker Oats packed with sugar bars). While I wasn’t able to make dinners tonight for the week, I have all the fresh ingredients in my fridge and no plans tomorrow evening. I might start posting some of my meal plans and lunch ideas- for feedback and to hold myself accountable!

In the grand scheme of things, I also know I’ll adjust to the new schedule. I’ll find the time to eat, and chill out on the morning struggles of power walking. I’d love to hear from you guys what you do to that works when your days are so packed you think there’s not possibly time to do anything but survive! Anyways, enough evening ramblings. That 5am alarm isn’t going to hit snooze by itself. Night!

Apricot Pecan Cinnamon Sweet Rolls

Sorry for the hiatus folks! Classes started, I took two days outta town, and minorly freaked out over my predicted stress levels for this semester. I’ll write a more in depth update after this post! There has been a lot to write about, both publicly and privately, and taking some time to post a recipe for these to-die-for rolls will to just the trick to reset me after some homework.

Not going to lie- these are not easy. These are not healthy. And they are not fast. BUT if you have the time to make yourself a perfect weekend treat then these I would definitely recommend! Best of course right out of the oven, I’ve enjoyed them both at room temperature and reheated since!

They came from this book, a Christmas gift from David’s parents (hopefully you’ll hear about this book again!):

This is what you need:

  • package frozen biscuits
  • package dried apricots (about a cup)
  • all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly pressed packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Place your frozen biscuits on a floured surface, with all the sides touching. I had to leave mine here for about an hour until they were thawed enough to mold with my hands! During this time I boiled water, and poured enough over top of the apricots to cover them. Let stand about ten minutes, and then drain and chop up the apricots (I did mine in little strips!) Also at this time mix together your cinnamon and brown sugar!

the cinnamon brown sugar mixture, apricots, and measured out pecans!

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle flour on the biscuits and press the edges together till they make a rectangle, about 10 by 12 inches. Spread the butter over top of your dough, then sprinkle on the cinnamon and brown sugar. Sprinkle on your apricots and pecans after that, trying to make it as even as possible! It looks like a surprisingly amount of fillings- aka a lot!

OKAY NOW THESE NEXT FEW STEPS- THEY SUCK. CONSIDERED YOURSELF WARNED! Starting at the long end of the rectangle, roll up the whole thing. You may have to use both hands, your elbow, a spatula, a massive knife, your neighbor…

I’d recommend a tighter roll than what I ended up with

Once you have your roll, cut it into slices (about 12, could do less or more depending on the size of your pan) and place them in a greased 9 inch round cake pan. YOU GUYS, THIS IS WHY THERE IS SO MUCH CRAP IN THEM. IT ALL. FALLS. OUT. You can smush some fillings back in, and may need to smush a few of them together to get them to all fit!

the aftermath

Place in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, although baking times may vary. Do dishes and clean the counters the ENTIRE time these babies are in the oven. If you have a second, whip together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract for the icing! I found it made quite a bit, and if I made these again I would probably cut the icing proportions in half.

Once they come out of the oven, your entire kitchen will smell heavenly. You will almost forget the torture of trying to put them together. Drizzle the icing over top when they are warm if you want it to melt and spread (what I did, and would do again!) or what until they have cooled and drizzle in a nice neat line.

From this…

To this!

Jamaica Bobsled given $120,000 over 2 days, shuts down crowd funding

OlympicTalk

Jamaica Bobsled pleaded for $80,000. It received more than $120,000 in two days, enough to move forward with its plans not only to compete in the Sochi Olympics, but also grow the sport on the island nation.

Financial goals were met, and crowd funding was stopped Tuesday, officials said.

The Jamaica Olympic Association and Sochi Olympic Organizing Committee will cover their costs to, from and during the Games in February.

The $120,000-plus will go to pay outstanding expenses from the current bobsled season, cover costs associated with a pre-Olympic training camp in the U.S. and to purchase better equipment for Sochi.

“On behalf of the team we are very happy with the contributions, donations that companies and fans out there contributed to us,” Jamaica bobsled driver Winston Watts said. “This helps us to exceed and get the equipment that we really need over in Sochi so that we can be…

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