The other night I found myself laying on the couch on my back, swollen feet up in the air after a long day at the bakery – 205 cakes long, to be exact. But whose counting?
Ted was cleaning the floors (bless him – I know – I’m the luckiest girl ever). He had the ESPY awards on in the background.
ESPY – Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award. NO! I didn’t have to google that! I knew it off the top of my head!
I ignorantly assumed the awards show would be, well, a waste of time. Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate sports! And mom and dad – do NOT think that just because the parents of the kids on my 4th grade soccer team begged the coach to get me off the field means that I don’t appreciate sports. I was more interested in picking dandelions than I was at blocking the ball from getting into the net at the time. So sue me! I was 8 years old – what the heck did I know?
But I digress…
As I watched the ESPYs, mostly because I was too tired to change the channel, a few football players whose names escape me now (and, admittedly, even escaped me at the time) accepted some awards. Then, a tribute award was given. The Arthur Ashe Award, to be specific: an award for human achievement.
It was awarded to Pat Summitt, a legendary women’s basketball coach with over 1098 wins and 8 national championships.
Payton Manning introduced the award (yes – I know him thanks to the magic of tv advertisement and a fiancé with a mild obsession with football…and cycling and basketball and baseball…but that’s a story for another day).
As Payton introduced the award, my interest was piqued. By the time the story of Pat Summitt had concluded, tears were streaming down my face (and running into my ear because I was still on my back). Best awards show. Ever.
So. Who is Pat Summitt?
Pat Summitt is a girl who fell in love with a sport for boys: basketball. At age 22, she was named the head coach of the women’s basketball team at the University of Tennessee. She went on to change the world of women’s basketball. What’s more: she changed the lives of the women she coached, as evidenced by the raw emotion of the players who were interviewed for the piece. She saw their highest potential and expected that from them every day, both on and off the court. In fact, many of them credit Pat for being the reason they are the women they are today. Pat Summitt was, and still is, someone who viewed the world as place you don’t just live in, but as a place you change.
Pat Summitt is the kind of women I want to be. She is the kind of mentor I want to be. Her mark not only on the world of basketball, but on the world in general, is unmistakable. Would that I could be even half the woman she is.
When she was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in 2011, she continued to coach, but, to the dismay of her players, eventually decided that she would need to retire early to deal with the disease.
In Pat’s words, “If I’m not leading by example, than I’m not doing the right thing. And I want to always do the right thing.”
As we think about Pat, and send her love and healing hands, I encourage you to think about the people in your life who inspire you. Who are your mentors? Do they know that they are?
This is also a great reminder of how precious life is. Whether you are at the top of your career and blossoming, or still on your way up, remember that anything can happen at any time. Are you taking the time to appreciate the moments? This moment? This deep breath? This sunset?
And for any of you dealing with any kind of ailment, remember how healing food can be. Please use this adapted recipe for Kitchari from my dear friend Leslie to heal your body from the inside out. Kitchari is a traditional Ayurvedic dish that’s often used to detox the body. It’s been known to push the “junk” out of your body and to re-balance your system. The mung beans and basmati rice form a fully digested protein which is easy on your body to process.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 tsp cumin powder
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
1 1/2 cups basmati rice, uncooked
1 1/2 cups mung beans, uncooked
10-12 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 tablespoons coriander power or seeds
1 bag washed kale (or swiss chard or spinach)
1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and sautee for a few minutes, until it starts to brown.
2. Add the cumin and stir, ensuring the ginger is coated.
3. Add the cauliflower and cook until browned.
4. Add the rice and mung beans. Stir and sautee for about 3-5 minutes.
5. Add the water. Start with about 8 cups. Bring the mixture to a boil. As the mixture starts to reduce and the rice and beans absorb the liquid, test the doneness of the beans by tasting them. If they are still hard after most of the liquid has been absorbed, add another cup of water at a time and continue to cook at medium-high heat without a cover. Continue in this fashion until the beans are soft and most of the liquid is absorbed.
6. Add the turmeric and coriander near the end of the cooking process. Add the kale (or other greens) at this time as well and stir. Cook until the greens are wilted.
7. Season with himalayan salt. Serve with yogurt if desired.
Happy healing, everyone!
Your crazy friend,