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Last week we hit you with our first ever lifestyle post… whew, that was fun! This week we’re shaking it up again and moving towards a more inclusive dive into how we’re living here at H2o Dreams, and we’re calling it your Friday Round Up! Here, we’ll be keeping you in the loop not just about what we’re doing on the water, but how we’re staying healthy and happy off the river, too.
ON THE WATER So, I thought this part of the post was going to be about how I reluctantly started getting back in my playboat last week and punished myself for staying away from it for so long… and actually had a little bit of fun. Seriously though… playboating is like learning how to walk all over again. More on that later.
However, this week I got to paddle Wilson Creek for the first time so I think we’ll save my adventures as an infantile playboater for next week. The last time I was up at Wilson we were going to paddle just the entry slides above Ten Foot Falls a few times and call it a day… but I ended up flipping against a rock, freaking out, and swimming so that was short lived. It’s amazing how quickly stigma about a particular run or part of a run builds up once you have expectations for yourself that may or may not be achieved, good or bad. It was a pretty manageable level and I had a great day discovering my sea legs on this run… it is honestly one of the most beautiful rivers I’ve ever paddled. I liked how much you have to think about what you’re doing and where you’re going; you can’t just point your boat downstream and go.
We went back for Wilson Creek 2.0 yesterday and I had a bit of a different experience. I walked off the river. Here’s where I want to give you a little brain food: this has never happened to me before but I am thankful for a moment of complete clarity when I knew my head and my mental capacity did not match up with the skills requirement for a positive day. We made it down to just above Ten Foot and I had already rolled three of four times; I felt completely out of control and my emotions were all over the place and far from focused. I flipped coming into the eddy and as I rolled up I knew I was done for the day; I thought briefly about what was downstream: Boat Buster, Bitchslap, Razorback… rapids that had made my eyes pop out of my head on Tuesday when I was having a great day made my skin crawl just thinking about it. The fact was that I had gotten to a really weird place in my head on the river, and I knew I couldn’t handle going downstream. I could have stuck it out, sucked it up and maybe turned the day around, right? Or… I could have gotten the absolute crap kicked out of me, affecting my own safety as well as that of the group I was paddling with, and setting myself back emotionally and mentally for all the river trips down the road. I decided to err on the side of caution.
It was an easy decision to make in the moment, but I sat in the woods and cried for a few minutes while my group paddled off without me. Once I worked through those immediate fall out emotions and settled into my decision, I knew I had done the right thing both for myself and for my paddling group. Next time you’re on a run that’s taking you to your “next level,” think about it. Sometimes you can be talked off that proverbial mental cliff, but sometimes you can’t. Are you bargaining for more than just your pride if you continue downstream? Is proceeding with the day going to send you forward in positive experience and progress or is it going to set you back? None of these moments will ever be the same for anybody but I think there’s a time and a place to check yourself and your mental position before continuing downstream. Keep yourself honest and your ego in check; it might be tough to swallow your pride and admit today is not your day, but I think it might be harder to come back from a really negative river experience because you weren’t in a good place mentally and emotionally while you went downstream. Read: this does not mean swims/bumped heads/brusied egos are bad and should be avoided and treated like the plague, it just means that there are times when you can handle the obstacles and process them as triumphs and there are times when those same experiences will become burdens and bad baggage that you carry around with you on and off the river.
IN THE BELLY We did some “product testing” this week, and it was more satisfying than I thought it would be. That’s right: we tested out some of our clinic lunch ideas by buying, preparing, and yes, tasting the lunches we might supply for some of our upcoming clinics. The result: DELICIOUSNESS.
When preparing for a day on the river, the lunch has got to be quick and easy to make, transport, and disperse. We are still working on that easiness but we came up with a tasty put-in/take-out lunch that can easily become an on river meal with a few adjustments.
I whipped up an incredibly easy bean and corn salsa that would get topped with cheese, avocado, and even some plain greek yogurt if we can swing it. Meat can easily be added or left out but all the goods get laid out on a giant lettuce leaf for rolling and wrapping. The best part? These wraps are not only yummy but can be both vegetarian and gluten free at the drop of a hat. Here’s what to do:
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for the salsa
½ red onion
1 c black beans (rehydrated or 1 can)
1 can corn (no salt added preferred!)
2-3 cloves of garlic
fistful of cilantro, stems removed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lime juice
1-2 tsps cayenne pepper
Dash of red pepper flakes
Sea salt to taste
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for the wraps
lettuce leaves (*we used a head of lettuce, but will be experimenting with some other options to see which works best for wrapping!)
cheese to taste
plain greek yogurt to taste
protein, optional (we used sliced turkey on one and went total veg on the other)
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I basically threw everything together in a big bowl the salsa and mixed it up. Prep was super easy, and all we had to do was add some turkey and cut up the avocado when making the actual wraps. These were a bit messier than we’d planned, but the salsa was so good and would definitely travel and keep well. This is a recipe that could easily be created on the road, kept over ice, and amended based on taste. My favorite bit is the lack of flour products, which usually leave me wanting a nap afterwards instead of getting back on the water. Enjoy!
FOR THE BODY Last week I started running for the first time in over a year! It was going really well… until we left for a weekend trip and I forgot my running shoes. Now I haven’t been out for a few (*cough cough*) days BUT I picked up some good nuggets about DIY fitness in the process.
- I didn’t wear a watch or listen to music. I discovered that when I was wearing the watch, I was obsessed with running for a certain time which made the whole thing harder because all I was thinking was how much time I had left. Without keeping time, I thought less about how much longer and more about how much further I could go. When I was tired or out of breath, I stopped to take a quick break and measured my walking/running goals by landmarks instead of time… which, as a person who has been out of the fitness game for a while, made everything easier to manage as I pushed myself.
- Find a time that works well for you, set it aside, and stick to it. For me, morning is best. Seriously, I know it’s hard to wake up and do something that might not always be super enjoyable first thing, but the longer I put it off, the more I find myself saying, “Well, I’ll go after lunch.” And then, “I’ll do it while dinner is cooking,” and before I know it, it’s nine o’clock at night and I’m trying to motivate myself to go for a run with the whole day on my back. Sometimes that’s not so bad, and sometimes it’s tortuous.
Next week, I’ll tell you all about how terrible it is to take a week off from working out and then try and get motivated again… sigh.
OF THE MIND Having fun yet? This segment is going to be about balancing life with passion and creativity, keeping the thoughts fresh and the mind dynamic by finding other areas of stimulation and happiness. This might be anything from personal or business related writing or photo projects to, say, a sewing class… which is what I’m doing right now.
When I mentioned adding this to the blog, Chris asked me what about it pertained to H2o Dreams and where we’re taking the vision of the business. I was put on the spot a bit, but I answered honestly that I wanted to be able to make things for us instead of buying them, thereby saving money, fueling creativity, and taking ownership over what we own, how we use it, and what kind of work goes into creating such things.
Last night was our first of what will be four classes, and we’re making aprons. I wish I would have had this for the lettuce wraps I made earlier in the week…