Wednesday, January 16, 2008


i haven't trained a new barista (person who makes coffee and espresso drinks) in maybe 2 years or more...until now.
i was always kind of nervous about training...and felt better when it was someone else's responsibility to give the overview of why we make drinks the way we do. I preferred when Nick trained my newbies first..and I got them after they had made a drink or two. Nick was always better at explaining the science of steaming milk than I am. I always worry that i'm going to say something in a confusing manner, or get mixed up and say the complete opposite of what i mean.
...and when i have trained baristas in the past, i was never training with the mindset that within three weeks or so, they'd be working completely by themselves. I was training toward being able to be within ten feet of a fully trained employee who could answer questions and give vocal direction as needed. We didn't leave these newly budding baristas alone in the shop for several months, at least.

but here I the new girl, Laura, in how to properly steam lattes and cappucinos, the art and mechanics of pulling proper espresso shots, how to make and remember dozens of drink varieties, how to run the register and close up shop, how on earth we get everything put away and cleaned up in 30 is kind of overwhelming to ME to see that how do i explain it and teach it to her in a way that is not frightening...and is easy to remember? I suppose just..a little at a time..until we both suddenly realize that we've covered it all and she feels completely comfortable being left alone with her new identity as a barista.

i've mentioned that i'm learning to be a runner, haven't I? A couple of months ago I asked my friend Julie some running questions and she suggested that i train to run the Cooper River Bridge Run with her, and a group of people from first pres. She promised to help me prepare for it. Along the way, Julie formed a whole team of us ladies to train together.

Yesterday began week two of official race training. there were 5 of us. we ran nearly 1.5 miles in the beautiful hill area neighborhoods of Augusta. Considering that I started out knowing I had slightly strained my hamstring the day before (in a sudden burst of cold air, non-running)...I'm not surprised that I was at the back of the pack...but I made it. Julie stayed back with me...asking me how i was me beginner how to make your side stop cramping up..and how to breathe better...and other encouraging words.

After the long run...we began hill sprints (actually more like hill bounds, in this link)..which i was very unsure of, with my hamstring..but decided to give them a try. I made the first three sprints, but noticed it was going to starting hurting. on the 4th one i had to stop within about 10 feet due to pain in my left leg...and watched the other girls finish their 8...then came home and iced my leg for the evening. I'm not hurting as long as I continue to rest it, I hope to be able to join the group to at least walk while they run tomorrow's downtown route.

I'm continually amazed at how my body is reacting to becoming a runner. i ran much farther yesterday before walk-breaks than i thought I would/could. I'm having to change my eating habits from those of a working, singing, sleeping american that of a working, running, singing, sleeping american wife. adding that one other thing has drastically changed the way i have to think about food. I cannot forget a meal..i cannot just eat a plain ham and cheese sandwich on light bread for lunch. i also cannot eat right before i i need to plan ahead so i have fuel in my system an hour or so beforehand. I'm starting to understand why there are so many types of power bars and quick energy foods. granola bars don't always cut it when your body is begging for the protein it needs. I look at other runners differently than i used to. I used to meet someone and find out they ran...and thought of them as a different type of human than myself. i thought that there were people who were made to run, and people who weren't..and i saw myself in the second category. Now I'm realizing that we weren't all that different in the first place...we just were using our time differently. It takes months to get from being a walker to a full-on runner. Now when I'm in my car and see someone running up a hill, i find myself inwardly cheering them on...and hope that others do the same for me.

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