Tag Archives: olympics

Olympic Gratitude

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What is it about the Olympics?

It doesn’t matter what sport it is, but when we turn on the Olympics, our eyes are become glued to the television. We can’t seem to turn away. Sure, people will joke about badminton, table tennis or whatever else as an Olympic sport. But we still watch in amazement because we know the hard work and dedication it takes to be the best in the world.

These are individuals who’ve given everything to be at the top of their game. They are people who have transformed their bodies physicallyvso that they can live up to their utmost potential. And if they rest of us would only do a tiny fraction of what they are doing, we’d all be fit and healthy, too.

Today I was thinking… Your body is the one thing that you take with you wherever you go. You can’t leave it or a piece of it at home when you go out somewhere. You spend every waking {and non-waking} moment with it. We each have the choice of what we want to do with it and the choice of how we treat it. Let’s not waste it.

That’s one reason why just watching the Olympics this year has made me feel grateful.

Another reason?

Gym class.

I’m not kidding. Despite the fact that I hated the Presidential Physical Fitness Tests, had no confidence in my physical abilities whatsoever and just wasn’t a fan of gym class in general, I am grateful now.

You see, one of my favorite Olympic sports to watch is Gymnastics. Why? I’m not quite sure. But talking with other people about it this year, I realized that my elementary school gym class had something that not all others had: A Gymnastics Unit.

Yes, I went to a public school and our school district had {or rented?} gymnastics equipment that rotated amongst the schools throughout the year. We had the opportunity to try out the horse {vault}, the parallel bars, the uneven bars, the rings and the balance beam. There may have even been a pommel horse in there; I don’t quite remember. But I do remember loving this unit! I was always excited when the gymnastics equipment arrived at our school. And just as I was never very good at any other sport, I wasn’t very coordinated on this equipment either.

But it was fun.

And isn’t that the point? It’s the only time in gym class that I can remember that instead of worrying about how bad I was or how dumb I looked, I just had fun.

Now, I’m truly grateful for the people who may have lobbied for and coordinated the gymnastics equipment for us.

Now, I am grateful for the people who took the time to move this heavy equipment from school to school.

Now, I am grateful for being given an opportunity to enjoy gym class.

Now, I am grateful for my gym teachers.

I’m grateful for my gym teachers. It’s been eons since elementary school and since I don’t have kids, I really don’t know what physical education classes are like now. But I think it would be incredibly difficult to teach a class of students with a wide array of abilities the same thing. It would be difficult to inspire confidence in every child. And while we often think about gym class as an opportunity to get kids some physical activity during the day, it is so much more than that. I am grateful for that now.

And the part that really blows my mind about Olympians is their mental strength. It probably can be argued that their mental strength even surpasses their physical strength. They don’t give up. They come back from being beat down. They persevere. They know they can do it. They are among the strongest in their sport not only physically, but also mentally.

I’m slowly learning to flex my “mental” muscles and not letting myself be defeated. Last night, I wanted to run my fastest 3 miles ever. I ended up being slower than I had expected. It was a hard run. But you know what? I ran 3 miles. A year ago, I never would have thought that possible. I’m grateful. I’m gonna keep on going…

This weekend I plan to:

  • Use my muscles: Start to lift weights.
  • Push myself cardiovascularly & mentally:  Do my first 5-mile run. {It’s going to be gorgeous outside on Saturday morning!}
  • Try out a couple of recipes out of the Homesick Texan Cookbook.

It’s summer. And this is the first weekend where I have things I want to accomplish, but no real “plans”
{except, maybe trying to use up a couple of Groupons}. And I want to keep it that way. Weekends like that don’t come around too often…

What do you like best about the Olympics?

Cheers~
Carrie

Medal-Winning Wines

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With the Olympics in full swing, I thought it only appropriate to introduce to you one of The Traveling Vineyard‘s Medal-Winning Wines for this Wine Wednesday! This post will include:

  • Tasting Notes on the wine.
  • My personal thoughts on the wine.
  • Food Pairings for the wine.
  • A fun recipe to try out with the wine.

2003 Vina Alamosa, Premium Cabernet Sauvignon, Cachapoal Valley, Chile

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Tasting Notes {from The Traveling Vineyard website}:

“Chile’s star grape shines a deep red in this full-bodied 100% Cabernet Sauvignon boasting aromas of cherries, saddle leather, and vanilla. Similar expressive earthy flavors explode in the mouth for a masculine, dynamic Cab with lots of personality.”

Silver, highly recommended, 2007 World Wine Championships
Price: $17.99 – CHI114

This wine is available for a limited time online at The Traveling Vineyard

 

My Personal Notes:

  • This wine has aged well and is ready for drinking!
  • This is a big, bold somewhat smoky Cabernet. It’s perfect as a gift for the wine connoisseur and an excellent value.
  • Seriously, do a search on 2003 cabs. They are expensive. This is a steal.
  • While there is no legal definition for the word reserve on a label of an American wine, it does have a meaning in Chile. So does Premium or Prestige. They represent different levels of quality, including a more careful process of hand-picking and aging requirements.
  • I met the winemaker at one of Annual Harvest Conventions. He’s actually a young Frenchman. His attempt to create this New World Cabernet in a Bordeaux style was a success. {He was easy on the eyes, too.} 😉

Recommended Food Pairings

  • Steak {Duh, it’s a Cab.} I prefer filet mignon, maybe even blue cheese crusted.
  • Smoky meats on the grill
  • Mushroom Risotto
  • Stronger cheeses
  • Dark chocolate
  • Better yet, Raspberry Dark Chocolates – they bring out the berry in this wine! I had a room of non-red drinkers fall in love with this. Give a bag of these chocolates a bottle of this wine as a gift and you’ll be much appreciated.
  • Or, you can make the dessert below… Bring a bottle of Vina Alamosa Cab and the Raspberry Chocolate Bars to a party for dessert. Decadent.

Warning:

I apologize in advance that this is not a healthy recipe. I’ve never made them myself for that reason. However, I have tasted them {my hosts love to make them!} and they are insanely good. If I ever did make them, it would have to be for a party so they wouldn’t sit in my house…

Quick & Easy Raspberry Chocolate Bars

*This is a recipe I obtained over the years from a fellow Wineaux… but I’m not sure exactly who provided it. If it’s you, please comment and give yourself a shout out!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 3/4 c softened butter
  • 10 oz raspberries
  • 1/4 c orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 c chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In bowl beat first three ingredients with a spoon or electric mixer on medium until all crumbly.
  3. Press in bottom of ungreased 13″ x 9″ pan and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. In saucepan, mix next three ingredients. Bring to a boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  5. Cool 10 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle chocolate chips over baked layer.
  7. Carefully spread raspberry mixture over chips and back until set (about 20 minutes).
  8. Cool 30 minutes.
  9. Chill one hour.
  10. Cut into 48 bars.

Enjoy. Cheers~
Carrie