Thursday, February 17, 2011

Crispy Shrimp Spring Rolls, Dry Garlic Ribs, and Determination

When I was in grade nine I ran track.

Never a natural athlete, I was always more the little engine that could than a contender for greatness; but one thing I have always had going for me is my determination - and in grade nine I set my slightly chubby 5'4" sights on becoming a track star.

I never looked back.

Sometimes people ask me how I get so much accomplished or marvel because everything appears to come easy - but, truly, nothing could be further from the truth.

Behind any person with a modicum of success is a trail of heartache, determination, and hard work.

It only looks easy after the fact.

And I believe my character began to be built running track and field in grade eight and nine.

First, because I never should have made the team, and second, because when I did - as my track coach Mrs. Tulley put it - "That girl ran on guts."

If there was ever a secret to life that I would want to convey, it is that one.

Some people have talent. Some people have looks. Some people seem to "have it all" - but it is the person who chooses to believe in herself at all costs and do the necessary work to get to where she knows she belongs who will live a life of success.

There will be failure and disappointment, but the key is not be afraid of it because hardship is triumph's launching pad.

There are so many gifts in failure and if we are willing to examine them, dust ourselves off, and get back into the race, the other side of disappointment is almost always something breathtaking.

***

1982: Final track meet of the year, grade nine.

I am running a 1500 meter against Debbie Anderson; a 5'11 gazelle who has never lost to anyone.

But here's the thing about determination.

It moves mountains.

Changes history.

And ever so often gives a chubby little girl who had no business being a track star a moment in the sun; because I won that race that day.

By a country mile.

I went in knowing there were other athletes more talented than I was, but I didn't let it deter me.

Instead I chose the path of the runner.

I didn't look to my side or behind to gauge my competition because this would surely slow me down.

I chose, instead, to look straight ahead and stay focused on the goal.

I see those qualities in Rob and Russell who have returned to this season of Survivor Redemption Island for another round.

Neither has the physical attributes or "Godlike qualities" one might associate with a true champion, yet both have triumphed many times over because of their determination and will.

I was so excited by this, and by the new season that I decided to turn this evening into something special for the PB and I.

I wanted to feature finger foods that we could eat and enjoy while watching our favourite determined heroes take the stage.

We had Dry Garlic Pork with Crispy Shrimp Spring Rolls and both were delicious!

















Even more exciting, both were my original recipes - I am having so much fun contemplating food and flavour, and trying to figure out how dishes come together.

Like the pork getting crispy in the pan...


















And my beautiful spring rolls becoming real...

















For the Printable recipes for each of these dishes, click the following links:

Dry Garlic Pork
Crispy Shrimp Spring rolls

No matter where you are in life, there is always the choice and the opportunity to set your personal bar higher because it is in the risks you take that the greatest gifts can be found.

Until tomorrow,

TOWANDA!

xoxo



9 comments:

  1. "it only looks easy after the fact", I love that line, so true!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great story, and you are so right. Some of us have to work much harder to achieve what others achieve without trying. And it just makes us stronger.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "I chose, instead, to look straight ahead and stay focused on the goal."

    I like this! One of my goals is to stay in the moment and appreciate life as it is, and enjoy the journey as I travel toward my goals.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great motivation...never give up! I was the same way but I was a 5'3" skinny little thing. I could beat many who challenged me to arm wrestling. I guess I was stronger than I looked...or maybe it was that I was more determined! :D

    What a great way to enjoy a show! The food looks good. I like your determination!

    ReplyDelete
  5. LOVED THIS BLOG, LYNDS.

    AND I SO LOVED THAT U WON THAT RACE!

    LET'S HEAR IT 4 THE CHUBBY GURLS!

    ONE THING THAT DREW ME 2 U AND YER BLOG WAY BACK WHEN WAS THAT NO MATTER THE OBSTACLES B4 U, U OBTAINED EVERY GOAL U SET YER MIND 2, AND WHAT'S NOT 2 LOVE ABOUT THAT KIND OF POSITIVE MIND SET?

    U HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH I'VE BEEN ABLE 2 OVERCOME WITH U AS MY ROLE MODEL.

    I'VE BEEN ONE OF THOSE WHO HAVE HAD 2 FIGHT EVERY STEP OF THE WAY 4 EVERY- THING I EVER TRIED 2 ACCOMPLISH IN MY LIFE, AND IN TRUTH, I'VE FAILED FAR MORE OFTEN THAT I EVER SUCCEEDED.

    BUT ONLY BY THE GRACE OF GOD AND MY IRISH STUBBORNNESS WAS I ABLE TO SOMEHOW FIND THE GRIT 2 PULL MYSELF
    UP BY MY BOOTSTRAPS AND KEEP MOVING 4WARD.

    U R MY HERO, LYNDSAY, AND THE MORE I KNOW U, THE MORE I STRIVE TO EMULATE YER POSITIVE QUALITIES.

    THANK U, 4 BEING WHO U R IN MY LIFE AND ALLOWING ME 2 B WHO I AM IN YERS.

    LOVE U MUCH, GF!

    TOWANDA, BABY!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I watch survivor too! It's going to be another great season!

    ReplyDelete
  7. My eldest adores pork. She's lile that dog commercial for beggin' strips. I bet if I made a batch or two of bacon, she'd run fast enough to break a track recors or two. Don't underestate the power of "petite"!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am constantly amazed at you. What inspiration flies through your fingers onto the page. I love that little girl who WON THE RACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please, when you are RICH AND FAMOUS, don't stop blogging. YOu are my sunshine......XO, Pinky

    ReplyDelete
  9. That was a Great Story I have to tell ya I feel OLD LOL 1982 Grade 9 WOW !! hehehe

    ReplyDelete