Monday, March 29, 2010

In Memory of Dave Baugh

A few times I've sat down to write something about Dave, but it has been hard to start. So, I'll just start.

Dave Baugh was my first rowing coach at Green Lake. He taught me what it meant to be a coxswain, a teammate and a good competitor. When I showed up at Green Lake in 8th grade, I had no idea what a rowing shell was or what I would be doing as a coxswain. All I knew is that I had to be loud and small. Over the next five years, I learned everything I could about rowing and coxing from Dave. A coxswain's role in the boat is to be the eyes and ears of the crew, and to relay that information to your team and get them to push even harder than they think is possible. Even when you're behind, you still have to make your team believe that they can pull together to win. He taught all of us to never, EVER give up. Dave also taught me the value in learning how to steer a straight line. It doesn't matter if you've got the best crew team out on the water, if your coxswain can't get you across the finish line first- you're out of luck.

I will always remember my senior year and having Dave come to me to tell me that he couldn't decide between me and another coxswain. I had been the Varsity coxswain the year before and had a great boat. That was the year I had gone to Costa Rica for the summer to volunteer and they had gone to Nationals without me. They won that year- they were amazing. The following year was tough. We had some girls graduate and not return and some of the magic from the year before was gone. It was Spring season and the boat was trying to figure out the best lineup. That included my seat. No one was safe. I remember Dave coming to tell me that he would let the girls decide, since he couldn't decide on who would be best for the boat. Both coxswains had our pluses and minuses. I remember him saying to me "I wish I could just nail the two of you together." That is what sticks with me most about Dave. Whereas any other rowing coach would make a decision and not talk to you about it- saying "This is the lineup" and leave it at that. Dave genuinely cared about each of us and we cared about him.

Graduation from high school led me to the University of Washington where I started out on the Men's Freshmen team. A few weeks later, I had been moved to the Men's Varsity team. They were short on experienced coxswains and I was up for the job. It was intimidating, terrifying and overwhelming. But, I had faith that I could do this job that I had practiced the last 5 years for. I knew I could be tough even though I was intimidated. And, most importantly- I could steer a straight line.

Four years at the University of Washington and I returned to my old haunts- Green Lake. I coached Novice Girls rowing for three years. Every now and then I would see Dave and he would always have the same laugh, the same smile and ask me how I was doing. There are so many good memories that I have from the various crews I have been on and kids I have coached. I would never give up my experiences with Green Lake and the University of Washington crew teams and they have shaped me in the person I have become. Dave was instrumental in shaping my career as a coxswain and a coach and I will always be thankful for that. I don't know what my high school and college life would have been like had I had another rowing coach. For that, I am eternally grateful to have known Dave, and he will be truly missed.


I've been doing some reading lately on food additives and how they affect our bodies. Another reason to get rid of the processed food; a quick little article on how food colorings can cause hyperactivity in kids:

If you need another excuse to throw away the junk- that might be it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Un-Diet

Lately I've been having a lot of people ask me "Are you on a diet?" when they see me bring my lunch to work or when I refuse sweets at the office. It has made me realize what a skewed perspective we have on our own diets and how some people perceive healthy eating as being on a restrictive, no fun, calorie cutting, depressing diet. Don't get me wrong, I love my treats. But I think when treats become the norm and not "every once in a while" is when we have to step back and take a hard look at our eating habits. For a while my body was on a sugar craving cycle- I would immediately crave sugar after a meal. I had just finished a meal, and yet, my body was asking for another hit of sugar. I started to look a little closer at what I was eating and realized that the combo of what I was eating during the day had me on a little sugar roller coaster. First I was up, then I was down, then I was up...

So now I am taking charge and refusing to have all the cookies, cupcakes and delicious treats that people bring to the office each day. Cookies at home are pretty much non-existent, and treats that are not really worth it- get tossed into the trash. Harsh, I know- but it has helped a lot. And yes, I still indulge every now and then, but for the most part it is keeping them out of the norm that has helped me the most. Keeping myself focused on the the week has also helped a lot. Wiping off each day as a clean slate for bad food behaviors has gotten me into trouble in the past. Now I clump each week together and "treats" are more of special occasion.

I'm not being restrictive, I'm not denying myself. I'm changing my lifestyle. I feel that if I say I am on a "diet"- it implies that eventually I'll be OFF the diet. So really it is all about a lifestyle change and making improvements in my eating and exercise routines. The un-diet.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hello World.

It's been a while. Since I primarily check Facebook every day, I've lost my desire to blog on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly basis. But lately, I've had a lot on my mind.

Things have been great recently. We've settled into our new place, got more furniture but haven't unpacked half the garage or emptied our storage unit. I guess that will get done eventually- I hope. Isabel turns TWO next month, and someone - please tell me where the time has gone. Actually, I think we've already launched ourselves into the Terrible Two's as Little Miss Iz has become Little Miss Independent. Not a second goes by that I don't hear "Isabel do it!" or her pushing a stool over to climb up and see what I am cooking. Lately, she's been trying to dress herself- and this morning it resulted in her trying to put on a dress upside down. Legs went through the bottom of the dress and through the neck. Unfortunately, she was only able to pull it up to her waist.

As we are seeing Isabel grow, it has resulted in a lot of changes in our lifestyle. J and I are trying to get rid of a lot of chemicals from our house- cleaning agents, detergents, hair care, lotions, you name it. Does it have parabens and phthalates in it? Unnamed "Fragrance"? Chemicals that you wouldn't dare ingest because it causes cancer in rats? Toss it in the garbage. We've decided to try and eat organic as much as possible. We're trying to avoid as much processed food as possible, because frankly- most processed food is loaded with chemicals, and really what that amounts to is poison in our bodies. Having a child and realizing that we are responsible for her health and well-being has really been a "Come to Jesus" moment for both of us. I am trying to give her the best possible life I can while I can, and when she's old enough to make decisions for herself- I hope that she will continue on a healthy lifestyle. Seeing the rise in cancers, disease and obesity in this country has made me a little crazy- but I hope that it is for the best.

I'll climb down from my soapbox now, but I do hope that I can instill in her the courage to question the norm. I recently read some disturbing articles that are linking high consumption of dairy with cancer, osteoporosis, and many other diseases. It seems so contrary to what we've heard from the Dairy Farmers of America. "Milk Does a Body Good". I've even heard doctors say that children need lots of milk for growth. But I rarely hear them talk leafy greens and vegetables and other sources of calcium. I know that expecting a toddler to eat all sorts of leafy greens might be a little out of the ordinary- but if we don't start them eating a vegetable rich diet from the start, when will we?

Again, like I said- I've had a lot on my mind. Kids will do that to you. In the meantime, I invite all of you do to a little research and see how you can improve your health. Your life depends on it.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful Thoughts

I am thankful for a lot of things every single day. The fact that I have a wonderful family, a wonderful husband and amazing little girl. I am thankful that I am healthy, our family is healthy and have wonderful people in my life who make each day fun and exciting.

However, there are some other random "thankfuls" that I should mention on this glorious day of Turkey and Thanks.

-I am thankful that Sesame street is only on once a day and that Isabel hasn't figured out the "On Demand" setting on the remote quite yet.

-I am thankful for my coffee, it is the fuel that keeps me going.

-I am thankful for the fact that Miss Kitty is so tolerant of Isabel wanting to "pet" her. Lately, this has involved a stick.

-I am thankful for OxyClean. 'Nuff said.

-I am thankful for Starbucks Pumpkin loaf. I am NOT thankful for the extra pounds it brings me each year, but this leads me to my next one...

-I am thankful for my trainers who help try and keep the Pumpkin Loaf from adding to me...

-I am thankful for my husband who changes diapers and helps around the house.

-I am thankful that the simplest things are the most entertaining to my daughter. The Squirrel Superhighway in the backyard has been awesome.

-I am thankful for a good glass of wine and a quiet house. Either in the morning or evening. As long as it is quiet. Wine doesn't even have to be that good.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!