I have a love-hate relationship with the gym. I tend to go to classes instead of trying to go it on my own for a few (good) reasons. Believe it or not, I can be a bit of a wimp. When I'm running my heart out on the treadmill all by myself, I want to quit as soon as there's a tiny bit of sweat. I'm tired, you know. My feet might be starting to hurt. I wouldn't want to accidentally overdo it.
But mostly, there's no one to yell at me for whining and making up lame excuses.
Now don't get me wrong, I can force myself to do some physical activity but there is no way in hell you can make me do a few hundred squats of my own accord.
In class, there is an unspoken agreement that everyone is in it together, no matter where the sweat and pain will lead you. When the going gets tough, everyone unites and there are words of encouragement spread far and wide.
When the going actually gets tough, the words of encouragement are lost in exasperated panting and strangled grunting. Our once solid unity dissolves before our eyes—it's every man for himself. I begin to actively despise the instructor for making me do 50 more crunches when my abs are burning fiercer than the fires of hell. I want to cry at the prospect of holding the plank position one more time (but my tears would only be lost in the sweat dripping down my face). I am bitter and hostile because she makes jumping around for an entire hour seem like a walk in the park. I channel all of my savage thoughts into finishing that last set. I have tunnel vision until the second hand of the clock ticks into the end of my punishment.
When class is over, all bad thoughts dissolve. The class once again becomes a strong unit. We bring out the encouraging words again. Someone mentions that class "wasn't so bad today" and I agree. The rush of a good workout somehow diminishes all the hatred and tears I felt moments prior.
I think we all get a case of workout amnesia—it's the only way we'll ever step back into that gym again.
Sunday brunch is one of my favorite meals of the week. The menu this morning called for sausage, fruit, and this vanilla rum soaked French toast. This is basically a standard French Toast recipe with a twist. As soon as you take a bite, you will be hit with the sweet tones of vanilla and a subtle kick of rum. Neither flavor is too much or too little. Make this French toast when you feel like spicing up your morning!
Vanilla Rum Soaked French Toast
Yields 4 servings
1/2 to 3/4 cup half & half
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons rum
Pinch of salt
6-8 slices of french bread, slightly stale and cut thickly
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the half & half, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, rum, and salt.
Soak bread slices in egg mixture for at least 4 to 5 minutes. Do not soak more bread than you have griddle space for at one time.
Lightly oil and heat a large griddle or heavy skillet on medium-high. Place the soaked bread on the griddle and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until French toast is a light golden brown.
Serve hot with maple syrup, butter, or powdered sugar (or all three!) with a side of fresh fruit.