I’m writing at the end of a very nice evening with old and new friends.  K. and Asa’s chum, T., come over every Monday for dinner while the Texas legislature is in session.  We look forward to their company all week.  Some Mondays the boys are buddies, and some Monday’s they’re decidedly not.  Most Mondays they’re a bit of both.  After a rough patch of cardboard box envy, they had a pretty good night tonight.  We also had the pleasure of M’s company tonight.  She was a student on the last Wilderness First Responder Recertification class I taught in Albuquerque, who was in San Antonio on business.  Have I mentioned lately how great my job is?  I meet the very best people.  M. is extraordinary and it was a great pleasure to have her at the table.  She’s one of those folks who radiate energy and make you feel capable of tackling the most noxious task.  I’m not saying I’m going to file the huge stack of bills and important paperwork piled high on my desk tonight;  I’m just saying I feel capable of doing it after her visit.

We talked a bit about what makes someone capable of effecting change in another person’s life — about what makes certain figures inspirational.  It’s an interesting topic because it doesn’t seem like there’s one common denominator.  And I love trying to understand how certain people can have such a great impact when others, who seem just as capable, do not.  I should say that I think there is a common inspirational denominator for each person.  I’m a sucker for the indefatigable spirit and integrity in any context.  But there doesn’t seem to be a common denominator between different people.  I know folks who are inspired to train harder by runners who run very fast.  Do you think this is true for most runners?  It seems like there has to be some sort of “If I work hard like this person I can also meet my goals” connection between the inspired and the inspirational.  I think I’ll make a list of the folks who inspire me after I finish this blog entry tonight.  I should probably keep them a bit closer at hand anyways.  (Happy to share that list, of course, if you’d like.  Just a bit tired right now.)

I’m sure you’re familiar with the children’s book “Guess How Much I Love You?”  (If not, buy it tomorrow, read it, and then give it to the first person who comes to mind.)  Anyway, Asa always follows my “I love you to the moon and back.” with “I love you to the WALMART and back!”  We don’t frequent the Walmart, so it must seem pretty far away — and an appropriate come back.  Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your reading to the Walmart and back.  And thanks for keeping me from drowning my 4 o’clock tiredness in a bag of tortilla chips.


-big soy latte (2 cups)

-very green smoothie (cup orange juice, 2 cups spinach, flax seed, 2 carrots, scoop protein powder, scoop super green , 1 T molasses)


-beanie bread (2 slices sprouted grain bread, 1/2 cup refried beans, 1 tomato)

-1/4 cup raisins


– two big homemade PB cookies


-1 cup lentils

-1 slice Eliot bread

– spinach and tomato salad

– red wine (celebration of company)

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8 Responses to Inspiration

  1. Kerry Rodgers says:

    > She’s one of those folks who radiate energy and make you feel capable of tackling the most noxious task.
    Liza, that’s exactly how I think of you!

    I’m curious on which diet philosophy your menu is constructed? Are you sure there’s enough protein in there?

    • lizahoward says:

      That’s a very nice thing to say. I can be a pretty good black hole too — more often than I’d like. 🙂
      Let me enter the numbers for yesterday and get back to you on the food.

    • lizahoward says:

      Kerry, I don’t know that I have a diet philosophy per se. I try to be pretty plant-based in my eating — though that’s not all that apparent in this day’s meal. It seems like the less processed a food is, the better it is for you, so I don’t eat a lot of packaged foods. Or, better, packaged foods with long ingredient lists. I’ve been told that I need to get in 75-90g of protein, so that’s a focus. I think there are lots of good ways to eat well. My grandmother always said, “Everything in moderation.” I’m more, “Most things in moderation.” I really have enjoyed and been persuaded by Michael Pollan’s writing on food and food politics. (In Defense of Food.) Right, so this is more “scattered thoughts” than “philosophy.” Did that answer the question at all? And I’ll get the numbers up for the day’s protein today.

    • lizahoward says:

      Oh, and I don’t find much time to prepare meals.

  2. Mary says:

    Eliot bread is delicious. It inspires me to try to make some myself.

    • lizahoward says:

      He is good, and I almost ruined everything by trying to get him to include some whole wheat flour in in the dough. He just stopped producing. I keep quiet now — mostly by shoving slices of bread hot from the oven in my mouth. He taught himself reading “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart. Reinhart does a great job deconstructing the process. Totally relieved me of my fear of yeast.

  3. Martin says:

    I’ve seen the local ultrarunning community grow considerably over the last several years. Several people have told me that I have been something of an example/inspiration for the newcomers. My impression, on hearing this, is that people listen to me recounting some ultra adventure and think to themselves “If this doofus can run 100 miles, then I should have no problem”.

    So I guess there may be different kinds of “inspiration”.

    You diet makes me hungry just reading it… and I just ate dinner!

    • lizahoward says:

      I feel like I have that kind of “If this doofus can run 100 miles, then I should have no problem” inspiration to offer too. We all have our gifts. 🙂

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