Saturday, 16 April 2011

Day 11: Russian Tea (And A Montage)

You know those films, particularly sports ones, where the hero (or heroine) decides to really go at it, whatever 'it' or ice skating or running or bobsledding...and the film shifts into the classic montage scene. You see our hero running round the track, but collapsing partway through. Beating his head against the ground in frustration. Rising in excitement and success, then falling again. Trying over and over and over at something that isn't working. Collapsing in exhaustion and getting up early the next morning. And slowly, slowly beginning to improve until suddenly snap! The overriding music ends and the Hero Is Ready to Take On The World (or the local basketball team, ice skating duo, marathon runner, or bobsled team).

I love those montages because they skip out on all the hard stuff. You can sit comfortably in your bed or in your living room and watch it, and feel a sense of accomplishment with the runner or the ice skater, without having to go through any of the hard stuff. But let me tell you - being in the midst of a montage is a darn hard thing.

Today I walked to the track at the leisure centre and walked around it. And then I ran around half of it, and did that a few times. Then I walked home. I was so exhausted I could hardly achieve anything the rest of the day. I know I have a long way to go, and it seems I've tried this 'montage' many times and eventually just give up, but since I was able to achieve my 90 day challenge, perhaps I can do something amazing with this new one. Because since the focus is tea, I don't have to get real clever with my walk-of-the-day. It can be as boring as walking (or running) around a track.  Because at least I'm trying something new!

So I came home to some good old Russian Tea. I don't know if you've ever tried this before, but it involves 'instant tea' (a strange American phenomenon, similar to instant coffee crystals); something else called 'Tang', which is a citrusy-instant-tea-orange-flavoured-drink; cinnamon; cloves; and sugar.  It's pretty sugary, now that I realise it. I found a recipe online for it, which fascinated me as I didn't even know there WAS an actual recipe. I thought my mum was the only person who truly knows how to make proper Russian Tea (and I still maintain that she is). 

Russian Tea is a family favourite, as my mum always had it on hand especially when we went on holiday or on a trip to our family's cabin. We'd go out for a long tromp in the bitter cold, a walk around the frozen lake, and come back to the cabin rubbing our hands in front of the wood fire, listening to it crackle and snap and spit coals out onto the floor, and Mum would be making a cup of hot Russian Tea.  Then we'd hold it in our chapped, cold hands, feeling them warm up, and take a sip of this tangy hot sweetness.  (That's a cool name, I think I'll use it for a band.)  My mum and my sister often make a small container of Russian Tea for me, and send it over whenever someone from America comes to visit me here in Scotland. It's a little piece of home, and of warmth and happiness and family and joy, and I'm enjoying it tonight.

Walk length: 1.25 hours


  1. Look at you running! Yes, u are spot on about the montage. In the moment, and while recuperating, the pain seems endless. On the other hand, i do notice that when i accomplish great things, all those hard hours of training DO seem like a montage - even one fast-forwarded. And the hard moments fade, and the great moments get replayed, over and over, for years. One of the cool things about pain and joy. Pain fades, and joy often gets treasured for life.

  2. Thanks sis! Forgot to mention this blog post was dedicated to you, runner extraordinaire and all around amazing person!