After five years of on-again, off-again food blogging, it was time for an update. My life has changed since I started the blog formerly known as Fresh Cracked Pepper. Though I still identify in part as a foodie, triathlon had begun to muscle its way in on that relationship. Call it an affair of sorts. (But more on that later).
At summer camp in my teens, my friends affectionately called me the human garburator: “Canadian” for kitchen waste disposal unit. I’m still proud of that one. I come from a line of industrious women, and because of them was exposed to pierogie making that rolled into the witching hours. Not to mention longstanding holiday traditions like making weinascht stollen.
Various stints in the restaurant industry built on that food-loving foundation, and so did traveling. Whether it was beer in Benin, Americanos in Vancouver, barbecue in Syracuse, kitfo in D.C., or fish tacos in San Diego, the places I’ve lived have shaped not only the way I think, but the way I eat.
I started freshcrackedpepper.com when I had the luxury of time. I was grateful for it, knowing things wouldn’t always be that way. I now have a full-time job, train for long-course triathlons, and live in a place where I’d rather be outside than cooped up in a kitchen. The time I used to spend doing things like baking bread I now spend traversing cove, road, and trail in pursuit of that elusive PR or age-group podium.
So why “The Hippie Triathlete?”
Back in my University days, friends always teased me for my hippie style (one friend called one of my jackets a “vegetarian sweater”) and my “crunchy granola,” composting and communal-living ways. I’m not really a hippie anymore, if I even ever was. I like yoga and farmer’s markets and believe human activity is changing the earth’s climate. But really, I’m just another average, Whole Foods-shopping ”yippie” (yuppy + hippie) trying to do good by the earth and those around me.
Like one of our sport’s greats, I did my first triathlon on a $300 used road bike. I wore the same pair of $30 padded bike shorts to every spin class and group ride, washing them diligently in between. Because I love simply getting sweaty in the great outdoors more than I enjoy looking at my normalized power. Because no matter how large my goals how voracious my discipline, I never want to take this sport too seriously. I want my blog and my writing to reflect my youthful “hippie-esque” earnestness. When I wasn’t afraid to stand on a mountaintop in the buff, camp illegally in a field, or go four days without a shower.
One day, a training partner called me the hippie triathlete, and an idea was born. The URL was open, and that sealed the deal. So here you have it: a site for all of you granola-crunching, kombucha-making, frugal, buy-it-used lovers of swimming, bike (yes, biking), and running.
A lot has changed, but I still love good beer, drinking coffee outside, yoga, fall, fermentation, surprising friendships, and doing pretty much anything outside. But there are new things now: swimming in La Jolla Cove with the muffin crew, North County Masters, negative tides, downloading power files, time trials, and scones at Dudley’s bakery in the middle of 100-mile rides.
These are the kinds of things you’ll be hearing about a little more than baking bread and perfecting biscotti. In addition to recipes for homemade energy bars and quick and easy, portable breakfast ideas, you’ll find my thoughts on living as a hippie among triathletes … and the times when it feels more like the other way around.