It’s true, I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting. Why? I want new results and I want to understand what creates those changes.
I haven’t been very scientific, before you get too excited. I’m hesitant to commit to journaling the experiments and documenting the results, none of them are worth replicating or even revisiting. That said, I am learning a lot.
I’ve been making Foccaccia twice a week, at least, working on getting flavorful dough that rises enough and doesn’t require olive oil to taste good. I’ve barely thought about Tops, as I work on the Bottom (no innuendo). Seriously, my field trip to try Liguria motivated me to put a little effort into toppings, whether that is roasting some garlic or sautéing some green onions, but first, Lao Wai.
Seriously, I joke with Olivia all the time about things we should Lao Wai, foods that will benefit from that low level rising heat with a hint of smoked crispy chili peppers. Foccacia.
I made 1/3 of the pan basic Olive Oil, as my control group, so there is a base level palette to compare the bread. I put a few teaspoons of Lao Wai Hot Oil on the top, intentionally digging in and pulling up the roasted pepper crunch at the bottom of the jar, allowing the sheen of the oil to slide along the dough. Pressing my fingers into the dough, breathing gently, trying to find the balance of easing the oil into and out of the small pocked divets next to air pockets and layered around gluten.
Gentle, Less is More.
Obviously the above experiment was a MASSIVE hit, easy to predict when combining above average base bread with the best hot oil in California (tempered boldness).
Most experiments fail.
This week, I had another win, on the Peloton.
I’ve been frustrated by a long plateau this Fall, my rides were mostly the same struggle since Covid recovery. Frustrated.
A week of hiking before Thanksgiving shifted me out of my comfort zone. Maybe I rested, maybe I used different muscles, maybe. I joked to myself, it’s weight loss, likes that matters in a stationary bike.
The week off the bike wasn’t rest, we laid into miles and did a ton of elevation.
Fast Fun Friday.
I’ve shifted my Peloton training since I got back, focusing on cadence and improving my speed of my legs, determined to change the story I’ve been telling myself for 2 years, I just can’t pedal fast, only heavy. Like 55 resistance and 60 cadence. Slow steady grind. Uphill.
You Can Do It.
Look at the picture above, a photo from the end of my ride on Fast Fun Friday, that’s the mantra I repeated to myself when I was struggling. Breathe.
Wait, Hold On.
Seriously, I’ve changed the story by experimenting with speed, working with light resistance and training my legs to go fast at 40 and 45 resistance. One minute on, one minute off. 2 minutes at 40, 2 minutes at 45, keep the cadence above 90. Pedal Faster. Breathe. Sweat.
It is good for the ego to remind yourself that you can do the impossible, and apply that everywhere in your life.
If I can shift the story that I am an uphiller that enjoys climbing slowly, to I am fast in the flats and can move going downhill, those are skills I get to add to my uphill abilities. Basic discipline and light structure, with a few pro-tips and I’ve got a successful experiment.
How does that “work?” We are the same everywhere we go, whether that is the Peloton bike, yoga mat, kitchen or computer. If I can become a fast pedaler on the Peloton, I can equally get better at French or understand the latest shifts in the social algorithms and how it benefits Search Engine Optimization. We are the same everywhere we go. Right?
The end of the year is close, there is still plenty of time to experiment, learn something new, and become a better version of yourself.
You Can Do It.