Monthly Archives: June 2014

What’s Wrong With These Bikes?

I have been a group exercise coordinator for a very long time.  Which means I manage the group exercise programs at the gym.

Here is something I come across A LOT, A LOT, did I say A LOT?

iphone pics 149What is that? Well my best answer is I do not know? My assumption would be it is a cluster of spin bikes that have been moved to the back of the spin room because they are not working correctly. My job? Solve the mystery.

Step One: Look in the bike maintenance binder to see what bikes need fixing.

I open the binder. Well that is funny because there is nothing written in the binder which means everything is functioning perfectly.

Step Two: Look at each bike to see if there is anything obvious broken.

Nope, after a little bit of searching and effort on my part nothing stands out.

Step Three: If time permits prior to my class climb on each of the bikes and ride them as you increase tension. Listen for any noises, feel for any issues.

Nope.

Step Four: Shrug shoulders in frustration wheel bike back to its position and hope it was just moved to wash the floor or something.

I find I can relate to this back row of bikes facing the wrong direction and begging for attention. Do you?

Often times when something is not working I find myself doing one of two things.

(1) Isolating myself because I feel I am not of any use to anyone.

(2) Making an emotional display of my displeasure in order to draw some attention.

Whether I choose the 1st or the 2nd behavior both of them get me back to the same place. Those around me will attempt to get me back in the game and when nothing is solved and I no longer appear or feel broken I will just be thrown back into the pack until the next time I try to be useful and my problems once again surface.

Two lessons my crazy mind sees in this back row of misfit bikes.

Lesson #1 The SPIN class called life can be grueling and if you are playing hard all the time things eventually will break, need replacing or repair, nourishment, some loving that’s just NORMAL.

Lesson #2 It’s my job when things are not working to COMMUNICATE what the problem is. Even if I a not exactly sure, sometimes there is so much squeaking, squealing, and misalignment you do not know where it is coming from BUT the more information I can share with the ones I love the better opportunity I am giving them to HELP me meet my needs.

What are your struggles when it comes to getting healthy?

Have you talked to the people around you about them?

Have you given them specific things they can do to help you?

Personally I isolate. My wife Jen is learning this about me and I am learning that if I cannot clearly communicate to her what I am dealing with that I need to tell her that. Sometimes that looks like “I am frustrated with __________ right now and I am praying for clarity. I am not sure what the root of it is. But when I know what it is I will tell you what you maybe able to do to help”

I find that talking it out with her will sometimes bring the clarity I need, which beats the isolation that solves nothing.

We are both getting better at asking “what can I do for you?” and then being specific about what that is.

SO what has you sidelined? Work on clarifying what the problem is. Pray about it. Then ask for specific HELP.

Clearly writing your problem in the bike maintenance binder means there is a much higher chance your issue will be addressed and you will be back in the pack moving forward longer before the next problem arises.

I love this point from Danny Silks “Keep Your Love On.”

“It’s my job to tell you what is going on inside of me, and your job to tell me what’s going on inside of you. We do not have powers of telepathy or the right to assume we know one another’s motives, thoughts, feelings, or needs.”

  

Raw Chocolate Chili Bars

raw chocolate chili barsOne of my avid STEP extraordinaire’s has been known to bring me an awesome healthy treat from time to time.  I asked if I could share the recipe for this chili bar and OH MAN, you are in luck because she said YES.   The combination of chili peppers + cinnamon + chocolate = AMAZING! I shared some of this treat with other people at the gym that day and they have been peddling me ever since to get the recipe.

I made them last night and it took me less then 15 minutes and Noah (my 5 year old) help me dump and stir all the dry ingredients.

Ingredients:

2 cups whole almonds

2 cups coconut desiccated (I used shredded unsweetened coconut because we have a bulk size bag)

1/2 cup coconut sugar

2 cups fresh dates

1/4 cup coconut butter (oil)

3/4 cup cacao or cocoa or carob powder

2 tbsp cinnamon

1 tbsp chili flakes (I accidentally used 1 tsp and it did the trick)

1 tsp pink Himalayan or sea salt

1 tbsp vanilla bean (I used liquid vanilla)

Instruction:

1. Pulse almonds in food processor until just roughly chopped. Place in a large bowl.

2. Add coconut, cocoa or carob powder, coconut sugar, cinnamon, salt, and chili flakes to your almonds and combine.

3. Add your vanilla and coconut butter to your dry ingredients and mix with your hands until evenly distributed.

4. Pit your dates, and process in the food processor until you get a paste. It does not have to be totally smooth, just broken down. You may add the juice of an orange if your dates are dry.

5. Mix your dates into the dry mixture until fully combined. You can add more liquid if the mixture does not come together easily (I had to add a tablespoon of water).

6. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Press your bar mixture into the tray in an even layer. Score your bars.

I stuck them in the freezer for 15 minutes and then transferred them using the parchment paper to a cutting board which made them very easy to cut and portion out. We are also storing them in  the fridge cause the portion is enough that it will take us a couple days to eat them.

Added health bonus: Chili and Cinnamon are known to stoke your metabolism. Cocoa has antioxidant power. Almonds are packed with protein and healthy fat that slow the absorption of sugars into your system. Dates are full of fiber and energy. YEAH for REAL and GOOD food!

Let me know how it turns out for you.