People Who Inspire Me: Olympians

Two loaves of molasses bread (see link to recipe below)

Mixed: 2:45 pm

Molded: 4:45 pm

Baked: 5:25 pm

Gave to a family who runs the race–and hard…

Some of you may know that I was a gymnast as a young girl. I trained for many years. Five or six days a week, four or more hours each day. I stretched, strengthened, and flew my body around daily, and loved it. I also learned lessons about pain, about finding strength when you thought you had none, about staying dedicated and being determined.

The Winter Games are in Vancouver and I’m inspired. These athletes who have given themselves to sport inspire me to give of myself at the next level. Not just give bread, though that’s certainly become part of my daily life… But especially to give more light than dark. Light, not dark. That’s really my deepest quest. It’s the way I, with my aged body and sometimes failing brain, can remain an athlete for years and years, even past the days when I’ll be able to kick up into a handstand like you see above…

Have you ever noticed that sometimes, when you’re at the end of your strength, the most light and clarity about life is shed? I recently needed to find peace during a dark moment–and my body was clogged with food, my heart felt heavy, and my head was spinning. I took off running, something I typically despise, but three miles later had found immense relief and a clear vision of what to do. Think about past times when you’ve been severely ill, or have run a long race, a marathon even, or when you’ve fasted from food, or dedicated yourself to a long stint of prayer. If we look at the athlete, we know that he won’t skate to the finish line swiftly if he hasn’t broken down his mind and body in training so that it might eventually be built stronger. The very struggle and fatigue helps us find a hidden strength, energy, and vigor that can only come with giving all of yourself over to that pursuit. As a Christian, I know that I am at my best when I break down all of the Me-Barriers and allow God to flow freely through my stubborn head and cluttered heart. At my weakest, because of the struggle, I hit my peak.

So, here we are with no cable and no ability to watch the Winter Olympic Games! In general, we’re not much for the television. But I’m in the mood to be inspired…  I dropped an Olympics hint earlier today and my husband ran with it.

So, don’t tell the kids, but the cable dudes are on the way. We’ll call again after Closing Ceremonies and cancel our subscription. But in the meantime,  I’m hoping to mix, mold and bake many batches of bread…

…during commercials.

Ooh, ooh, and before I go.

I spotted the very recipe that I use for making molasses bread at this website! Yay!!! This is a wonderful recipe from Rabbit Hill Inn in Vermont–a loaf of brown delight that gets gobbled up by even the per-snicketiest sort of bread people… Most times I switch out a cup of the white bread flour for a cup of whole wheat. And sometimes I leave the butter out… Enjoy!


5 thoughts on “People Who Inspire Me: Olympians

  1. I always enjoy reading your musings. Gary got the books from Carla and I am looking forward to giving them to my granddaughters and our friends. We have neither a TV nor cable but I try to keep up with the Olympics online. One of the freestyle skiing competitors is from Bozeman. She performed well in the preliminaries but not in the finals. Still what an honor to compete. Needless to say Bozeman is big on winter sports and activities. On President’s day each year, there is a local fundraiser for Special Olympics in which people who have gathered pledges take a plunge in a local pond. The water temp yesterday was 34 and the air was 35. Miss Montana participated (I was impressed) as well as a 70 year old women whose granddaughter has special needs. There was a “chicken coup” for those who wanted to raise funds but not head into the water. Maybe next year I’ll start as chicken – not sure I’m ready for really cold water. The ocean in SB is cold enough.

    • Fun to have you comment here, Carol. A great way to feel that you aren’t so far away…

      Yes, the ocean here is chilly, but it couldn’t be nearly as chilly as your freezing pond water! Eek. Oh, Carol, yes, you should head for the chicken coup next year. What fun, and what a wonderful event to support. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I just wanted to let you know that you have so inspired me and my daughter that we have decided to follow your example in giving…today we baked two loaves of Molassas bread delivered one to an elderly neighbor. We plan to do this once a week for at least the next 6 weeks….and after that, who knows? I hope that you don’t mind my so closely following your example, but I mean it as sincere imitation of what I have been admiring.

    • Phyllis. Do I mind?!!!

      I’m thrilled, and honored. I’d love to hear of your adventures and thoughts over these next several weeks… Perhaps you can help me to do this better through your very own work. May God bless you greatly in your giving, and bless those who receive the bread…

  3. Jane, your whimsicleness (I know, that is not really a word, but you get the idea) is so delightful. Who but Jane would be not only doing a handstand out in her driveway, but also posting it on her blog? I love it. I love you. Your freshness, your friendship, your surprises, your generosity and your giftedness. You’re a blessing in my life.

    Thanks for sharing the journey of giving bread. I am touched and inspired. And I’m so delighted to finally have the molasses bread recipe. Hmmm. I wonder if I’ll ever actually make it; if ever I am inspired to give bread making a try again, it’s going to be that recipe for sure.


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