Friday, January 13, 2012

Fun Fact Friday

I was sitting here wondering what in the world I could blog about today until I realized that it's nothing other than


Rwanda is a country that has had a lot of conflict throughout it's years. Honestly, the best thing you can do if you are interested in learning about the situation is to go here and read about the details. It's very complicated and there are many parties involved. I'm going to do the best I can to summarize the information into a short, informative but still interesting post. 
Rwanda was initially colonized by Belgium which led up until the mid 1900's. During that time, favoritism was shown to the Tutsi's because of their light skin. Ethnic tensions began to rise and were only exacerbated by the Belgians who had each ethnicity classified on ID cards. Once the Belgians left, to sum it up in an easy way, the divide continued to grow, power changed hands several times and a lot of killing took place. The Hutu's took over in 1973, many Tutsi's fled to Uganda and militia groups were formed on both sides. 

That was the cliff notes version of the history of Rwanda. Again, to learn more, visit Wikipedia.

The Genocide - this event is important in Rwanda's history because it is something that has continued to hurt the country today. Many of the orphans in the country were orphaned as a result of their parents being killed in this mass murder.

Again, to break this down in a very general way, there was a civil war that ended in 1993 that was started by Tutsi refugees, the President of Rwanda was killed, the Tutsi's were blamed which fueled a movement to eliminate the entire Tutsi tribe and any moderate Hutu's who supported them. Men and children were killed, women were raped and killed, neighbors were killing neighbors, people trying to escape the country were blocked and killed and somewhere between 500,000 to 1,000,000 million people were killed in a massive attempt at genocide. UN tried to give aid, but not enough to make a difference. Americans turned their heads, and only responded to rescue Americans living in Rwanda, and then fled without offering any help to the Tutsi's. The only end came when the Tutsi's rose up and regained control over the country. 

War has continued in the country even as late as 1996. 

Some of the orphans that live in the village I'm going to visit are orphans because of this genocide. This was the first time I ever took notice of Africa and the troubles it has endured over the years. It was interesting to study the effects of European colonization and how differently it ended in Africa vs the United States. I honestly believe this was the first seed that was planted in me to visit Africa and do something to help. I'm not sure that just pumping money into the continent is the answer, but just an easy band aid solution that gives us an out to stay in our own little bubble. I hope to learn a lot from this experience. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

And I raaaan, I ran so far away....

I wish I were creative enough to start each blog post with a song lyric. That makes it more fun, right??

Today's workout -

Repeats again!!!

1/2 mile warm up
4 x 30 second repeats
4 x 45 second repeats
4 x 60 second repeats
1/2 mile cool down

It was nice to get back out there with the group again. I really do enjoy running in the morning even though that actual getting up a 5 am kind of sucks.

Last night's workout

warm up -
3 rounds:

10 push ups
10 sit ups
10 jumping pull ups
10 squats

baseline test -

max reps:

sit ups in 2 minutes
push ups in 1 minute
burpees in 1 minute
50 SDHP with a 30 lb weight

I thought it would be kind of easy but I thought, hey let's ease back in anyway, and it ended up being a pretty good workout!

I also made some cookies the other day with my new mixer and they were very good, so I ate those last night. And my home made soup again!!

It's also about time to start on my living room curtains, so I'll be talking to my mother in law about that. This is the style I'm going to do -

I don't typically like curtains, but I got a really cute fabric, so I'm excited about making them. By this style, I mean, I like the simplicity of the style, not a lot of ruffley things at the top. I'll take a pic and show the fabric later. It's yellow, gray and lavender then I got yellow chevron style fabric for a pillow and another gray and lavender style for the other pillow!!! 

Thanks for reading Random Thursday! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

1. My Cuisinart!!!!

I talked about it before and it seems like it took forever to get here!! I made a pound cake, which was okay because what I am not loving today is my stupid oven. But anyways, it mixed very nicely! Last night, I made cookies and again, loved it!!

2. NBA

I like the Miami Heat and I've been watching them play every chance I get. I've even been watching other teams too!!! So, I have a feeling NBA basketball is going to be entertaining me for a while!!!

3. Eating lunch at home

This is my home made veggie soup, some toast, cookies a neighbor brought us and a yummy root beer!!! It was good, I love sitting and eating in silence and I just love being in our home!

4. Trees with Berries

This tree was in front of my car when I parked this morning. It looks so pretty!!

What I'm not loving

Active - I have so many issues with them and what really makes me mad is that I can NOT register for a race without them. If I had my way, I would NEVER use them for ANYTHING because they have so many issues with their stupid website and their customer support is not very helpful. 

I like their articles, but honestly, I can get that information somewhere else. Stupid Active

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Deep Thoughts by Wendi Matt

My morning meditation today said "My thoughts do not mean anything".

Then at lunch, I was thinking about it! (I crack myself up)

I was thinking today about the world and how we all think. The one thing that came to mind was our fascination with the black and white. I don't literally mean the colors, but in situations. Something I notice in all areas, fitness, nutrition, religion, politics, we, as humans, LOVE to put things into categories. We love to live in absolutes. And maybe I shouldn't say we, maybe I should just say I and the things I notice. I have spent an entire lifetime trying to define life by categories and then morphing myself (depending on who I'm around) to fit into that category.

Because I'm not sure if I'm making any sense, I'll try to use a concrete example.
A Runner - Ok, I've decided I want to take up running so what does that mean to me? that means I need to subscribe to Runner's World, I need to get up at 5 am and run, I need to buy some Saucony's, I need to get some running tights, I need to "look the part".
I'm not saying that those things aren't necessary to run, I'm saying that in order to participate in that activity, I have to do as the runners do.

Another example - a yogi
This is so perfect and it's also hilarious because it's poking fun at us yogis!

I may or may not have said at least 5 things in this video. 

Let me give yet another example - 

Religion - this may not happen in other areas, but in the South, it's like a battle on who's the better Christian. You can be a Christian, but you can't be Catholic, you have to be Baptist. Or you can't be Baptist, you MUST be Methodist, so on and so forth. 

I bring this up because as I get older, the more I realize a couple of things - 

1) Just because I say it, believe it, think it doesn't make it true. It's amazing what a little perspective brings. Our belief systems are developed through our life experiences and everyone's perception is going to be shaped differently. How can one determine which perspective is right? Who am I to say that I'm right and someone else is wrong just because they're different? 

2) It's not always black and white. There may be two apparent options in front of you, but does that necessarily mean they're the only two options. Just because you're not a democrat, does that automatically make you a republican? Just because you're not paleo, doesn't always make you a vegetarian. 

So how does that tie into my meditation? I am just realizing that what's in front of me isn't always what's real. And just because I believe it doesn't mean it's true. So when I'm getting ready to make a judgement on some person, some thing, some situation, can I pause and think, is there another side to this that would make my answer different? And if I don't know the answer, is it something I should even judge? 

I have this sign posted in my cubicle (I'm sure people think I am nutty) that I found on pinterest - 

Really, when I ask myself these questions before posting on Facebook, I almost always end up not posting :). I've found that most things in life just aren't super necessary to say :). I can't promise that I don't still post anyway, but at least I'm thinking of it. 

So what can I take from all of this retrospection - maybe some other New Years Resolutions - 

1 - balance is key. Nothing is absolute so somewhere in the middle is always the answer. there are two sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in between

2 - Silence is golden. Anyone that knows me knows that silence is not anywhere near my goal but that I should maybe just think a little more before speaking and hopefully, from that, my words will be kind, helpful and maybe loving. 

3 - For every answer I have, someone else thinks differently. 

Repeats, Daily Yoga Challenge, and getting up at 5:00 am

Morning workout - 30 second repeats

half mile warm up
1 mile run
20 minutes of 30 second repeats
10 minutes of doing something I can't really explain
half mile cool down


It was good getting back into some running and it was nice to not have to plan it or follow a plan. I do like running in the morning so much more because it doesn't really register what I'm doing and I can run a bit faster. Getting up at 4:55 am is tough. I can't do it on my own, I have to have a plan to meet someone because otherwise, I'll just be like, eh, I'll do it later. But then later sucks, so I wish I would just do it anyway. That is my dilemma. 

I actually have no idea how far I ran, but I listed 3 mile on daily mile because I think that's probably about right. I ran 523 miles last year!!! I don't think I'll run that much this year, but I'd like to just get faster. I'm focusing on short distances, 10k is the longest race I will do, and I'm focusing on getting faster. That is my goal. I do not know how much faster, but that's what I'm doing. I'm also focusing on just liking running again and not necessarily following a regimented plan. 


Yoga Journal is doing a 21 day yoga challenge. They send an email every day and it has a yoga video, usually about 15 minutes, a meditation and a recipe for a vegetarian meal. I have not done today's video yet, I'll do that at lunch. 

If you want to sign up, go to 21 day challenge
Yesterday's video was pretty basic but it was nice just to focus on breath with movement 

I'll report back on how it goes each day

Monday, January 9, 2012

Crossfit Endurance Training Day #1

First my base - many crossfit workouts have a percentage of your 1 rep max effort in them, so what did I do? I found my max effort in the 4 major olympic lifts. This is how it looks - 

Bench - 120#
Deadlift - 205#
Back Squat - 145# (with good form, I got more with poor form) 
Standing press - 95# (I actually got 100 with poor form) 

So!! I'm only counting good form because I would like to make sure I am keeping exact form and build on that strength than get more weight with poor form, and build no poor form. It really bothers me when I see someone lifting heavy weight with poor form. It's like, that does you no good because you're going to get injured. And if were are in a lifting competition, they will judge you on your form, so that weight wouldn't count anyway. 

So - the WOD is - 

AMRAP 8 minutes - 
7 back squats 200/150
7 pull ups

First issue - My pull up bar is at the same spot as my back squat rack. That kind of sucks but I have to make do with what I have so to mimic the activity and get the proper substitution, I have to think - what are pull ups? Well, they're a pull activity and they have a cardiovascular component since they are kipping and it's an AMRAP. What's a good substitution? In this case, I'm going go Sumo Deadlift High Pulls with a 35 lb kettle bell. Really, I would typically do that with a heavier KB but I don't have one so this is what we're doing. I might also double the reps so it's 7 back squats (modified weight, probably 125) and 14 SMDH. 

Then the strength workout is back squats, so I'll work on that as well. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tortilla Maria - Yummmmmmia....

Ok, that might have been a stretch but whatevs.

I accidentally found a new place in Greenville called Tortilla Maria. It is a locally owned, state funded, Mexican Restaurant with organic, fresh ingredients.

The owner is a half German, half Parisian man who moved to Greenville with his half Mexican, half American wife. He had a career as an engineer, but decided to start this business in South Carolina. He is working on a lot of things, and even has a deal with the hospital and school system to sell his tortillas. They are made right there in his store!!

I have been twice this week because after eating there once, I just HAD to go back. The food is so good. The corn tortillas were soft and you can get them with all kinds of things. On my first visit, I had the chicken tacos, the second, I went with the special, the pork rib tacos. 

They were sooooo good. Each time, the taco had home made soft corn tortillas, some type of organic meat (the ribs were cooked in an oven until the pork fell off the bone), fresh onions and cilantro. You had the choice of different types of salsa and then a sour cream type sauce. 

Each dish comes with a side of black beans and spanish rice. You can get a green ice tea which has no sugar added, mexican coke (not made with high fructose corn syrup), etc. 

I loved that the ingredients were fresh and healthy. What I will say is if you are not used to eating healthy, this might taste a bit bland (ask my husband) because they don't use salt, and things like that. 

What I did not get was the soup, but I tasted it and it was delicious. I think he used some type of cumin, potatoes, tomatoes, etc. 

I HIGHLY recommend tortilla maria because it's a healthy option and a local business!!!