The Brussel Sprout Philosophy

Posted: March 8, 2011 in Motivation, Recipes
Tags: , ,

I was scheduled this evening for my weekly weights session followed by a nice, easy 30 minute recovery run.  But seeing as how it was still pretty icy and cold out I decided that I would do my jog on the ‘dreadmill’ instead.  Besides, it takes me nearly 15 minutes just to get suited up in my outdoors running gear anyway, so I may as well just suck it up and just get it over with – it’s only 30 minutes, right?


Just 3 minutes into my run and the gremlins began to creep into my brain. They started with the usual ‘this is booooooring’ chestnut, followed by thepatented ‘it’s just an easy day so it’s really no big deal if you quit’ philosophy, and then onto the ever popular ‘how about a cupcake instead, tough guy?’ excuse.  God, this was going to be torture.  To me, there is no more affluent ‘mental toughness’ training than running on a treadmill.  I hate it.

At just that moment, an older woman ambled onto the treadmill beside me and after a few moments of fidgeting with the controls, started walking at an easy pace.  I wanted to find some motivation to keep going so I decided to do something I almost never do – I started a conversation.  That’s right!  I engaged another person in actual verbal discourse while at the gym.  Bewildering, isn’t it?  In fact, I recall that the brilliant ice-breaker I employed was something along the lines of “so, do you cook brussel sprouts often?” as she also happened to have an article open about brussel sprouts.  How’s that for a pick-up line?  I figured it was as good as any in that I hate brussel sprouts – those gross funky smelling Devil’s fruit – almost as much as I hate running on a treadmill.  But much to my surprise, she was more than willing to engage me in polite conversation – enthusiastic even.  Why, yes, not only does she enjoy brussel sprouts but also eats them regularly; and so our conversation got started on how to cook brussel sprouts properly.  For the next little while I forgot all about the treadmill, my training or triathlon and we just talked about everything from recipes to local restaurants and all points in between.  Hell, I even forgot to look at my Garmin the entire time and before you know it, the 30 minutes had elapsed and my workout was over.  Shit, that was even fun.  Sweet!

So what’s this have to do with triathlon training or the Ironman?  Well, nothing really.  In fact, it has absolutely nothing to do with it at all – and that’s the point I guess.  I learned that, sometimes, it doesn’t always need to be about the obvious measurable.  Who really gives a shit about my heart rate, pace, calories, distance, time, etc.?  Okay, my coach, but I digress.  Every now and again it should be about unfastening the ‘ol chest strap on my Garmin, casting the iPod aside and just enjoying what it is that I’m doing for what it’s worth; to stop and taste the brussel sprouts, so to speak.  I will call this the Brussel Sprout Philosophy of training.  The name seems befitting in that it will remind me to turn something funky into something fun.  I will now make a more conscious effort to enjoy myself on some of my workouts and not be so afraid to just…Be.

Oh, by the way, here is the simple recipe she recommends for delicious brussel sprouts:

Brussel Sprouts Cheesy Casserole

2 (10 oz.) pkgs. frozen brussel sprouts (or fresh)
2 slightly beaten eggs
1 1/2 c. soft bread crumbs (2 slices)
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. chopped onion
2 tbsp. butter, melted

  1. Cook brussel sprouts according to package directions; drain. Cut sprouts into fourths and set aside.
  2. Combine eggs, half the crumbs, soup, cheese, onion, and dash pepper. Fold in sprouts.
  3. Transfer to a 1 1/2-quart casserole. Combine remaining crumbs and butter; sprinkle atop sprouts. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes (makes 6-8 servings).
  1. mom says:

    I’m a brussel sprout lover and am proud of it!!!!! I may just try this recipe and who knows—it might be on the Christmas dinner menu>

  2. […] and working out, I’m just doing it in a completely different mindset.  This is the whole ‘Brussel Sprout Philosophy’ in effect.  Once a week, I simply leave the heart rate monitor and GPS tracking gizmos at home […]

  3. Needed this! Been getting too “in my head” in my workouts. Going to substitute some Brussels sprouts for those thoughts tonight! Great post, thanks!

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