caffeine & mornings

06 25 2014.

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As a kid during the summer, I remember waking up almost immediately after my parents exited the pop-up camper. I would listen to my dad boil some water on his Coleman stove right outside the window, the sound of the bubbling water in the blue and white spotted Enamelware. Shortly after, I could hear the whisk scratch against a bowl and stir the pancake mix around and around and around.

After the heat of the day became too much to bear under the canvas ceiling, I’d emerge from the camper and walk the short distance over the fire where, without exception, every member of my family sat staring at the flames with a cup of coffee.

Coffee. I don’t know why I started drinking it regularly. Perhaps it’s because I love the taste. Maybe it’s the comfort of having a warm beverage in the morning or the safety of a constant variable in my ever-changing day-to-day schedule. Perhaps it’s for the nostalgia – knowing that now, as an adult, I would belong to the morning campfire coffee crew.

Either way, I know that I don’t need it – and lately, I don’t want it. Yet I’m still drinking it. I’m still preparing the grounds each night for the next morning. I’m still hitting the “brew” button, and I’m still leaving for work with my travel mug in tow – filled to the brim with the delicious caffeinated drink.

Though I can go days without coffee and feel no adverse effects (YET!), I feel like my body is a ticking time bomb. Why am I still drinking it? It’s only going to stain my teeth and get me addicted.

I’m well aware that a glass or two of water in the morning can have the same effect as a cup of coffee. So why am I still drinking coffee? Water is FREE!

So I’m going to challenge myself. Honestly, I feel like it’s more of a test of willpower than a test of bodily needs. So here’s to 30 days without coffee.

forgetting the swim

06 24 2014.

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I grew up swimming. In pools. In the ocean. In lakes.

I never had the technique or the training, I just jumped in and “did it.” Despite my history in the water, I was (am) nervous about the swimming leg of the triathlon. 1/3 of a mile seemed like such a long distance to swim – especially when you’re practicing in a pool and you have to count X number of lengths.

Regardless, swimming with a group of over 30 women for the sole purpose of training and advancing – isn’t exactly a walk in the park. I can be competitive – even when I’m not trying to be – so sometimes these events are stressful as I feel the need to “win.”

After months of pool laps and a few weeks of open water swimming, I finally experienced something last night that I was never expecting to experience. I forgot that I was swimming. It didn’t happen right away – but after swimming roughly a mile, I noticed that I wasn’t concentrating on swimming. Instead, I was thinking about my day, about what fun events I had planned in the future, about the hike I had done the day before. That’s the first time – ever – where I wasn’t actively thinking about the fact that I was swimming.

It was probably one of the most calming, comfortable experiences I’ve ever had in the water.

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Let’s be real here. I’ve done a 1-miler and a Color Run. This isn’t truthfully my first road race, but it is my first timed race that I signed up for of my own accord and was actually “in-shape” for.

This isn’t so much a race report – there isn’t much to tell about a 3.1-mile race. In fact, there isn’t a lot of thinking that can happen in that time either! This is my story: the progression of time that has led me to this point. Sure it’s “just a 5k” – but in the scheme of this past year, it’s a very significant milestone.

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