Maybe Everything: Returning to Passion with My HOOS

This has been a pretty exciting year of athletics for everyone in Charlottesville, or anyone who has ever been connected to UVa.  There were moments in the middle of the numbingly long winter where the only thing cheering our hearts and warming our blood was the basketball team that went on to win the ACC Championship and make waves in the NCAA tournament for the first time in far, far too long.

Now, here we are, just a few months later, staying up nights to watch the baseball team win their way to the College World Series finals.  Yes, it’s a great year to be a Wahoo (though, isn’t is always?) and while I’ve lost hours of sleep ( and years off my life)  anxiously staying up to watch the extra innings, I couldn’t be more aware of how proud I am to be a Wahoo.

Virginia_Cavaliers

More than winning, the real value of the excitement comes from how it brings us together; it reminds us of our first adult roots and the collective identity that drove our passion in our early twenties.  At this point in life the only thing that is ironically predictable are change and insecurity.  Relationships, jobs, cities – they are constantly changing – and suddenly it becomes apparent that the most stable years of our adult lives may truly have been the four-ish years we spent as undergrads, bleeding orange and blue and enjoying the steady bubble within Mr. Jefferson’s university.   Game day brings back our security, it reminds us we are a part of something bigger than just ourselves and this single moment in our own lives.  It reinforces that we are a part of this family that continues to grow;  a growing legacy of hearts beating for the same thing — and you know what? It feels damn good.

I have zero idea how tonight’s game is going to turn out, or if we’ll become the National Champions or not, because on some level it [almost] doesn’t matter.  These teams have already inspired us to dig down, remember where we came from, and hopefully feel a little more inspired tomorrow as we plug away wherever we are in our lives and the world.

That was a little bit of a soap box moment, but that’s just where I am.  I am inspired; I’m reminded of everything I love (and loved) about Virginia, what I poured my heart into while I was in school, and what I wanted to accomplish with my life and that passion when I walked down the lawn and carried myself into my future.  Which all begs the question of the moment –  when this passion is remembered and the energy is raw, what’s the plan?  I’ve leveraged that strong foundation to get to this place, to get to right now…. so what’s next?  Maybe everything.

 

 

 

 

 

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Starting the Week with Sunday

Sundays are the days that I look forward to most – not just because it’s part of the weekend, but because it’s usually the re-grouping day.  It’s the day when my errands happen, groceries are stocked, and the chaos of the last week gets settled so life can be organized.  It’s also the day that I spend the most time in the kitchen, and is arguably the most involved dinner of the week.

Last night’s dinner included a grilled flank steak, grilled chicken thighs, roasted cauliflower (seasoned with sea salt and light olive oil), and a salad with kale (marinated for an hour in lemon juice), cucumbers, slivered roasted almonds, and avocado drizzled with olive oil and sea salt.

fuel sweat grow: sunday dinner

While I like the therapeutic process of Sunday meal prep, the absolute best part about Sunday dinner is Monday lunch.

fuel sweat grow: monday leftovers lunch

I am such a huge kale fan in the summer because I’m on the go so much, and when I’m packing lunch for work it is the ABSOLUTE best and easiest salad to have.  I can make a huge salad on sunday, and leave the lemon juice (or lime juice) and olive oil dressing on it, and it just makes the greens softer and more flavorful.  Other greens just get soggy and slimy with dressing, or wilt when prepared dry in advance.

Today I threw all the leftovers in together to make a sweet combo lunch for work and it was even better than last night.  There’s nothing better than heading into a busy work week prepared with meals and snacks to sustain you, and nothing worse than walking in unprepared and hangry even before the case of the Mondays has sunk in.

This week I’m back in Charlotte after an extended stay back in Charlottesville, and while I’ve got a lot of great things going on this week, it’s hard to watch the HOOS in the College World Series and not miss the homeland.  I took this picture walking over to Friday’s after Five last week, and just love the little piece of the city and the huge part of our community culture that it captures, so please, indulge me for a second with this extra boost of Cville love.

fuel sweat grow: Fridays after five

In other news, I want to send a big congratulations to my dear friend Tracie Chan on opening MADabolic LKN, in the Huntersville/Lake Norman area north of Charlotte.  I absolutely can’t wait to come up an get in on the MADness with her this week, and I hope all of my Lake-living co-workers and friends will check it out too.  Better yet, let’s go together, and then get coffee.  Maybe on Sunday, my favorite day of the week.

 

Durable Weekend: Moving, Brunch + Wahoowa

The weekend was an exercise in durability for me, all around, but was sweetly padded with these stems on Friday night from Robin, the lovely owner of Tru Pilates here in Charlottesville.

fuel sweat grow: friday flowers

Little did she know that we were testing her most durable nature Saturday morning at MADabolic (sorry!) with a killer combination of movements packed into our Twice As Nice interval.  [Disclaimer: the ‘Nice’ part of the name is slightly deceptive — just ask Throck (pictured below).]

fuel sweat grow: MADabolic Durability

Immediately following my test of will in the interval, it was time to move yet another 16′ container of all my earthly belongings into the new house.  ON a normal day this would have been tasking, but after my early morning abuse it was absolutely brutal.  By the end of the night I was ready to collapse, and I’m assuming that’s what happened since in retrospect I have zero idea what I even did.

Sunday morning included a stop in at MAD to get a few items in order, and then brunch at Beer Run.  My short review of brunch: it’s possible to eat clean, but the presentation and amount of food is underwhelming at best.

fuel sweat grow: beer run brunch

 

It was well past my normal morning eating time when we got the food, so I ate the whole thing in about two seconds.  I had the snow white omleette [basil, purple onion, cherry tomatoes, spinach, and whole eggs] which really was good — but I could have eaten two for sure.

After brunch I actually made a follow up smoothie with ice, coconut milk, cold brew coffee from Stock, a spoonful of almond butter, banana, a tiny bit of vanilla extract, and a touch of raw cocoa powder for a little kick of flavor.  It was good – SO good.

The rest of the day flew by with some pool time and last, but certainly not least, the UVa v. Ole Miss game in the College World Series – and a crazy walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth.  Seriously, I’m not a fan of the high-anxiety, right-up-to-the-last-out, kind of games, but I agree that it truly adds to the excitement – as long as we win in the end.

Late night stress aside, it was a damn good night for UVa and a great way to kick off another 5-day haul.