The off-season is a period of time during the year where an athlete takes a less structured approach to exercise and training. This week I’m writing about the two sides of the off-season for me: the serious (yesterday) and light (today). Both posts are illustrated with photos of what’s been keeping me busy lately.
If I were to write a love letter to the off-season, I’d only need two weeks to fill it. As much as I love striving towards a goal, these past few weeks have seen the end of a year-long cycle of swim-bike-run (not to mention eat-sleep-laundry). Things are a little less repetitive these days, and a little more spontaneous.
In short, it’s the time of year where I let the hippie take the wheel from the control freak.
Cups overflowing with…
- Cortados: A new favorite, at Lofty (Encinitas) and Blacktop (L.A.)
- Beer: Various goodies at Nickel Beer Co. (Julian), Alpine Beer Company (Alpine), Angel City Brewery (L.A.), Priority Public House for a ‘lil birthday gathering.
- Wine: with friends at home and at Thanksgiving and while making pie
- Eggnog lattes: one at Starbucks (we didn’t have eggnog yet!) and at least four at home. And I’m just getting started.
Stuffing my belly with…
- This Root Vegetable Gratin from Food52, which was a huge hit
- Simply Recipe’s Pumpkin Pie (which for some reason I didn’t love the texture of, I remember liking this one much better)
- Cook’s Illustrated’s Pie Crust, which turned out lovely, despite the “rugged edges” in the photo!
- Our famous grown-up cranberry sauce with port, rosemary, and figs
- A festive salad with persimmons and pomegranate seeds (and this killer, simple vinaigrette that I’m intent on memorizing)
- Alton Brown’s Baked Beans (to which we added a smoked ham hock)
- Seasonal Talenti Gelato flavors, Eggnog and Pumpkin Pie
Filling my time with…
- Hiking: in the Volcan Mountain Wilderness Area near Julian (peak #1), and the Cuyamaca Mountains (peak #2)
- Camping: at William Heise County Park near Julian
- Taking the train to L.A. to visit B&A, something I’ve been wanting to do for long time
- Exercising: when I feel like it, with Masters swimming, riding (and listening to Serial from start to almost-finish on one single bike ride!), and taking two full weeks off of running
- New activities: thanks to FitN, a cool new startup that gives you access to hundreds of different fitness and yoga studios for one price. My arms are still hurting from that TRX class…
- Reading: “Appetites: Why Women Want” by Caroline Knapp. I didn’t realize it was about eating disorders when I first picked it up, but I’ve been enjoying her look at female desire and how that encompasses food, among other things. Her summary: “Appetite is about eating, certainly … but it’s also about a much broader constellation of hungers and longings and needs. It’s about the deeper wish … to partake of the world, to feel a sense of abundance and possibility about life, to experience pleasure.” YES.
The best part is, I have four more sweet weeks of off-season freedom (at least, maybe more) until structure will come banging down the door again. I think I’ll be best served with a more Sinatra-esque approach, as in this quote I saw years ago:
“To do is to be.” -Nietzsche
“To be is to do.” -Kant
“Do be do be do be.” -Sinatra