I was thrilled to see that the world’s healthiest diets involve many colors… YES, we’ve been promoting a diet of colors (from mother earth) for the youngest of eaters in Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow. Be sure to check out the book, as the e-book is FREE next Tuesday, September 20th as well as the following week for two days (FREE on 9/28 and 9/29). Then we are OUT of our free giveaways from Kindle 🙂
Thanks to Muffy Ritz for aways being the source of inspiration for healthy living. She recently shared and excellent article about What the World’s Healthiest Diets Have in Common. Awesomeness! Here I’ve included an except from Mountain Mantras where I talk about how I first met Muffy. I hope it makes you laugh!
(Excerpt from Mountain Mantras, Chapter #4)
To explain why I call her legendary, I will start with the true story about her winning the grueling 55-kilometer Birkebeiner cross-country race in Wisconsin—the first time she put on Nordic skis. I had heard locals talking about how much they loved being part of VAMPS, as long as you were up for a suffer fest.
I didn’t know Muffy, but I had seen her around our neighborhood a few miles north of town center. One afternoon, we were driving home from the grocery store in a huge winter storm, winds blowing fiercely as the snow piled in drifts.
“Hey, Mom, do you see that really strong lady on the bike? She has her groceries, too. Except she biked to the store, unlike us,” Alexander said in admiration and awe of Muffy. “And she is being a good steward of the environment,” chimed in Elena, who was counting carbon imprint points for her school environmental project. Our car trip to the store had just cost her dearly.
“I saw her doing some push-ups and pull-ups at the park,” Alexander added. “You should just try to keep up with her.”
When I joined VAMPS, that same winter season, I had a vision that I could do the famous, or perhaps infamous, Boulder Tour with the team. Muffy let me join VAMPS once I assured her I had completed the Sun Valley Half Marathon successfully. She doesn’t allow rank beginners in the group because they slow everyone down, as I would learn all too soon.
Back in graduate school, as part of the operations-manage- ment curriculum, I read The Goal, a short but powerful book co-authored by Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt, an Israeli physicist, educator, and business leader. The most memorable concept of the book is the Herbie, a single element that slows down the en- tire production process. In the book, Herbie is a pudgy and slow Boy Scout on a hike with the rest of his fit and fast group. Herbie’s lack of fitness becomes a problem for the entire group because they need to stick together.
The point is that we need to keep our eyes out for the Herbies of the world because, by speeding them up, we can speed up entire systems.
“You are an AmeriCAN, not an AmeriCAN’T!” Muffy encouraged us as we did another lap around the Nordic training circuit. We were testing speed levels for groups that would ski the Boulder Tour together. The Boulder Tour is a 33-kilometer, one-way Nordic course. The logistics require that you leave a car at the finish line, drive a second car to the starting point, and then, once everyone has finished, drive back to retrieve the other vehicle. In other words, the course requires that you stick together as a group. Since I was finishing my laps nearly 30 minutes after the others, I knew I would be a drag on everyone. People would freeze as they waited for me before retrieving the second car. Even though the Boulder Tour had been my vision when I started Nordic skiing, I was now having trouble realizing it.
“Don’t fret it,” Muffy said. “You just need to break it down. Don’t start with a 33K course but a 5K one, instead. Build your technique on that distance. Then build your endurance. Keep increasing your distance until you’re ready. The Boulder Tour will be waiting for you later.”
Breaking down my vision into manageable goals turned out to be a win-win-win for my team, my coaches, and me that first year of VAMPS. Alongside my DIVAS Best Attitude Award sits my other most-cherished award, the Coach’s Award, given to the VAMPS member deemed most coachable for that year. My willingness to set realistic, attainable goals that pushed me brought success to my team. For the record, the next season I finished the Boulder Tour with Team Guylay: Jeff, Elena, Alexander, and me.
Mini Mantra: Take one race at a time; don’t slow down the entire line.