Crafty Friends

Daily Prompt: Craft

When I look at who my friends are, I am often surprised. The women I spend the most time with are between the ages of 20 and 40. I am almost 69.  I never even noticed that my friends were so much younger than me, or at least that so many of them were, until recently. I’m not sure what changed, but I’m glad it did.

 

grays-rock
Me, Lucy, Jasmine and Alisha hiking Grays Mountain

I am a personal trainer at a local gym and, well not to brag but it does make me darn proud, there aren’t many women my age who can keep up with me.  Even though I don’t seek out young women to work out with, we seem to find each other.

 

Working out together is in some ways an intimate experience. We help each other with our form, which means looking at each other’s physical strengths and weaknesses. We know what makes each other sweat, laugh, and cry. Forty year’s difference in age doesn’t seem like much; fitness is a great equalizer.

Last night I had three of my young workout partners over for dinner. I wasn’t paying much attention to their conversation as I was clearing the table, but I heard them talking about someone who had made such a positive difference in their lives, inspired them to go college, and was proof that obstacles were just challenges in disguise. “Who are ya’ll talking about?” They started laughing, almost hysterically. “What’s so funny?”

 

portabello

 

“We’re talking about you!”

“You guys are embarrassing me.”

That’s when I saw it clearly for the first time. I could be mother or grandmother to these women, but instead they are my best friends. When they started telling me the ways I had inspired them, it was my turn to laugh.

 

img_3355465
Jasmine, Alisha and me working at Bucklin Park

Yes, I inspire them, but they do the same for me–and they motivate me. They keep me focused on giving my best in a workout, they are interested in my life and never me old—well not much!  They respect my education, my fitness, and what they call “wisdom.” I call it survival strategies. If I didn’t work in a gym, I can’t imagine how our lives would have ever crossed. I love my job, and like many of you, feel it is my craft. These young women have been my inspiration to refine my craft, continue to improve, and learn. Because of them, I am the top trainer in our club. They have helped me better at almost everything I do. Because of them, I really feel that I have turned my job into a craft and look forward to going to work everyday.

 

Advertisements

Breakfast of champions

Oatmeal—gotta love it. Mom always said it was the “stick to your ribs” breakfast. I didn’t love it. In fact, you could say I hated it. Cornflakes, Raisin Bran, Frosted Flakes—that was my kind of breakfast.

cornflakes

Somewhere along the way, I stopped eating breakfast entirely. It definitely wasn’t the most important meal of the day for me. Occasionally I would stop at Winchells or Krispy Kreme for my morning sugar and caffeine fix which evoked memories of the sugar high from my childhood.donut

Then, like so many of us, I decided to get healthy. Here comes oatmeal—again. Didn’t like it any better this time. But did you know that you can turn a healthy bowl of oatmeal into a delightfully, sinful concoction? Add some butter, brown sugar and milk. This is way better than Frosted Flakes. Wow! I loved this healthy breakfast.

Eventually, I saw the delusion I had created with my so-called healthy oatmeal. Out it went. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t avoid the oatmeal hype.

Suddenly, like an epiphany, I saw that oatmeal really was the perfect start to my morning. It’s bursting with fiber and heart protective nutrients. And because of the hype, it was available in individual packets, microwavable and, sadly, loaded with sugar. I loved it! Then I read the label and realized that inadvertently I had once again created a sugary oatmeal monster.

steelcutoatscooked250

This had to stop. I was on a mission. Oatmeal for breakfast or bust! In comes steel cut oats. Why I was willing to spend 30 minutes cooking them, I don’t know, but I was. Maybe I was growing up. I added a small amount of brown sugar while cooking and found that the creamy texture and slight sweetness was eminently satisfying.

Finally, after many years, I am an oatmeal junkie. Part of my weekly meal prep is cooking a week or two’s supply of steel cut oats, dividing into muffin tins, freezing and packaging individually for my own version of instant, slightly sweetened breakfast of champions.

I don’t want to bore you with all the healthy, nutritious details but the final analysis of the steel cut oats and regular oats debate is that nutritionally they are the same with one minor difference. Steel cut oats have a slightly lower glycemic index which makes them a better choice by a smal lmargin. Make your own decision—just eat the oats.