Today is Global Running Day. Who comes up with these names for things? No idea–probably a shoe company–but who cares, running is an activity and a community to be celebrated. (Read my invitation to running here. Yes, you.)
I celebrated Global Running Day this morning at the track with a bunch of other fierce mama runners (including a 38-week pregnant mama who walked!). I had a pyramid workout on the plan, which involves running progressively longer intervals, then backing down again, and repeating. On my final interval I decided to go all out. I felt a bit like the Millennium Falcon–a bucket of bolts that’s a liiiiiiiiiittle too old for hyperdrive–but I actually hit a 5:45 pace… for a short time 😉
I made everyone these no-bake “energy bites,” which my friends dubbed “Schweddy Balls” in honor of the Alec Baldwin skit on SNL. (Full of innuendo–you’ve been warned.) Despite the unsavory name, they’re really tasty, easy to make, and satisfy one’s sweet tooth with wholesome ingredients.
Here’s my proud improv moment: we were out of chocolate chips, which really make the cookie what it is. I found a bag of Hershey’s Miniatures, which we put in the kids’ lunch. Mr. Goodbar is the least favorite of the four flavors, so AHA!
I unwrapped a bunch and chopped away. They ended up going well with the crunchy peanut butter.
SCHWEDDY BALLS (aka energy bites)
There are many versions of these, some with chia seeds, flax seed, coconut (ew), etc. This version is simple and you might even have the ingredients on hand.
Makes a couple dozen, depending on how large you make them.
1 1/2 cup dry old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
I also threw in a tablespoon or so of wheat germ
Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like.
Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
I’m back from a week in Texas, keynoting the Women’s Conference at Mo-Ranch. I’ll be writing up a reflection on the event, themed “A Durable Fabric: Frayed but not Afraid.” If you’d like to have that reflection delivered fresh to your email box, click here to subscribe to my email newsletter.
Asha Deliverance, left, the mother of Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, leans in and embraces a woman who approached her at the vigil. A vigil was held Saturday in Portland at the MAX station where two men, Rick John Best, 53, of Happy Valley and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, of Southeast Portland, were murdered and a third man, Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, was wounded in an attack Friday. May 27, 2017 Beth Nakamura/Staff
Both anecdotal evidence (see this article on Cracked.com) and research on social media (see this study) indicate that sometimes bystanders, or those who observe arguments, can have their minds changed. There has been plenty of research on the factors that actually lead someone to change their mind (see this article from the Washington Post and this one from Psychology Today.)
But I contend that the point of arguing is not always to change minds. Sometimes arguing has more important goals.
“Spies have been known to work code messages into knitting, embroidery, hooked rugs, etc,” according to the 1942 book A Guide to Codes and Signals. During wartime, where there were knitters, there were often spies; a pair of eyes, watching between the click of two needles.
OK folks, I’m doing this one lightning-fast, because I’m in training all week and am about to climb onto the Beltway for all that mess. (More on the training in a later post.) So I apologize for any typos.
And… Ten for Tuesday only has seven things today. OH WELL!
This week features some light fun as well as thought-provoking stuff–just because.
“Every year a mother duck lays her eggs in the courtyard of Bozeman High School. When the ducklings are ready, she taps on the door with her bill until someone opens the door. Then she leads them through the school to Mandeville Creek.”
Thank you to Arianne Lehn for sending this my way this morning. Poem by Ada Limón
More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.
Read about Twin Falls, Idaho (home of Chobani!), and how they seek to be a “neighborly city” toward refugees. Heartwarming and fierce.
The actions were in response to more than a year of controversy and negative stories in right-wing media and assorted comments sections, a trying time for a city that’s accepted refugees for decades but found its image sullied and citizens threatened. It’s an example of how the worst elements on the Internet can bleed into everyday life, and a cautionary tale of how the charged politics of immigration can play out in a community that believed it was doing the right thing by welcoming families displaced by conflicts in distant countries. After three Muslim refugees — all children — were charged in a sexual assault on a 5-year-old girl, right-wing media conjured up a lurid crime wave among the Muslim immigrants in the community. Breitbart embedded a reporter in Twin Falls to look for stories that “[don’t] fit the narrative about the benefits of diversity that the media and politicians try to spin.”
Twin Falls weathered sensationalized charges, grotesque threats and a militia group’s anti-immigrant demonstration. And the community has become the venue for a defamation lawsuit by yogurt maker Chobani, one of the area’s largest employers, against conspiracy monger Alex Jones, for stories with headlines such as “Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Importing Migrant Rapists.”
After a long two years, Twin Falls residents didn’t recognize the city that was being portrayed in the media — so they decided to do something about it.
The first time you came to my poetry reading. After, while the room stood and clapped, I walked back to my seat beside you. You clutched my hand, your eyes red and wet, and said, I never thought I’d live to see so many old white people clapping for my son.
I didn’t quite understand until, weeks later, I visited you at the nail salon and watched as you knelt, head bent, washing the feet of one old white woman after another.
9. Imposter Syndrome
Don’t know where this originated, or even which of my social media friends initially posted it.
If I were writing a clickbait headline for this graphic, I’d say “You’ll never believe who struggles with imposter syndrome!” But really…
I also think “I just went where I was sent” will preach somehow.
Already posted to Facebook, but in case you missed it. I plugged in all of my favorite “drop of a hat” movies (i.e. films I’m always in the mood for), and only one comes close to a 50/50 split in dialogue: Stranger Than Fiction.
Lesley Stahl: Did you meet a lot of people who perpetrated war crimes who would otherwise in your opinion have been just a normal, upstanding citizen?
Benjamin Ferencz: Of course, is my answer. These men would never have been murderers had it not been for the war. These were people who could quote Goethe, who loved Wagner, who were polite–
Lesley Stahl: What turns a man into a savage beast like that?
Benjamin Ferencz: He’s not a savage. He’s an intelligent, patriotic human being.
Lesley Stahl: He’s a savage when he does the murder though.
Benjamin Ferencz: No. He’s a patriotic human being acting in the interest of his country, in his mind.
Lesley Stahl: You don’t think they turn into savages even for the act?
Benjamin Ferencz: Do you think the man who dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima was a savage? Now I will tell you something very profound, which I have learned after many years. War makes murderers out of otherwise decent people. All wars, and all decent people.
You’ve heard it said, “Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.” We know people’s Facebook personas aren’t completely authentic, but it’s easy to forget that when we’re tangled up in our own insecurities.
A fascinating exercise, to compare what gets shared publicly on Facebook with what people search for in the relative privacy and obscurity of Google:
The Las Vegas budget hotel Circus Circus and the luxurious hotel Bellagio each holds about the same number of people. But the Bellagio gets about three times as many check-ins on Facebook.
Churchy friends–I had the sad privilege of attending a memorial service on Saturday for Jeff Krehbiel, a friend and minister colleague here in the DC area. It was a wonderful celebration of his life. Jeff was a community organizer as well as a pastor, working with the Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) on all kinds of initiatives with the people of Washington DC. He also wrote a short book connecting scripture with organizing. Here is an excerpt. Beautiful and wise. He will be missed.
I got to see Fun Home at the National Theater in DC a couple of weeks ago. What a fantastic show–about coming of age, coming out, and coming to terms with a family secret. Here’s a little taste from the Tonys a few years ago. (Sydney Lucas. WHOA.)
OK, this is a running link, but I promise it relates to “real life” as well. The author, Greg MacMillan, argues that we get stronger by stressing the body. The body adapts to this stress, and we improve. But we have to stress it the right way:
The optimal rate of adaptation occurs when the body is stressed to a tolerable level, allowing it time to adapt without having to draw on every ounce of its physical and mental reserves. It gradually adapts and is at far less risk for injury or burnout. At the end of a training run you feel pleasantly fatigued but also know that you could have done a little more.
Thus, the challenge during speed work is not to give the old 110 percent, or even 100 percent — it’s to train at around 90 percent. Great coaches such as Arthur Lydiard, David Martin, Bob Larsen and Bill Squires advocate this method of “controlled” training. You’ll find that your body is never overstressed and adapts gradually but progressively, always leaving you hungry for more. A little control will make training more enjoyable and lead to greater overall improvement and, most importantly, better race performance. I call it finding your sweet spot in training. Once you do, you’ll never have so much fun with your running.
See what I mean? How many of us work right up against the red line, pushing through exhaustion, and crowing “Eh, I’ll sleep when I’m dead”? We need to calibrate our activity level better. I heard a different coach say last week, “It’s better to be 10% undertrained for a race than even 1% overtrained.” Good advice for running and life.
I love the Improvised Life blog–they feature all kinds of creative, inspiring artists and thinkers there. This week they were singing the praises of the Cool Tools catalog, which we have and have enjoyed as well.
I am on a big Athena kick lately (I’ll explain why in a future blog post), and I loved Badass of the Week’s romp into Greek mythology. (Rated PG-13 for language; you’ve been warned, so don’t send me letters.)
OK, I’ve been sitting here trying to excerpt just one piece of this blog post, and I can’t. I can’t. It’s all awesome and badass and again, PG-13 so REALLY don’t send me letters, but go read it.
10. Wonder Woman!!
Speaking of strong goddess-women, I am so stoked for this movie. (Also worried they’ll mess it up–like the Pop Culture Happy Hour team, I’m feeling some “antici-ppointment”).
I’ve also added the song “Warriors” by Imagine Dragons to my running playlist. RAWR!!