Very easy to make - you don't have to worry about spices, because you use salsa as the marinade :)
4 cups frozen corn, thawed (or if you're like me, you just let it sit & thaw after it's all mixed)
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup salsa
2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
Connor collected $870 in donations this year for Special Olympics. That's a couple hundred dollars more than last year. I was very happy with the support he got, as it will help a lot with the coming year's sports & what we can do. The ski coach gets funding for a bus to take us every other week to practice. I don't think it makes a difference where, just the total hours. So it doesn't make that much difference if we go to Diamond Lake (no chair lifts/alpine skiing), or Willamette Pass (which has cross-country & snowshoe trails, as well as alpine skiing).
The regional competition is the same - it all takes place with the bus in the same parking lot - it's just the cross country & snow shoe competitions are at the other end of the parking lot from the mountain where the alpine skiing happens.
Lee intends to ski downhill with Connor and help with the coaching. I will continue with cross country and/or snowshoe, because I'll just be coaching anyone who needs help. I have my own equipment, and can borrow the only thing I don't have - snow shoes. I have great Kamik boots to wear for that.
It will be great to have Lee along to do the winter sports with us. Connor thoroughly enjoys the whole experience of the outdoors & snow, and with the added thrill of alpine skiing, I think he'll be even more excited about Special Olympics skiing :) I think it will be wonderful to have Lee along for the long weekend at the competition & we'll have to make sure we get the time off for him as well as me.
My only concern right now is being able to video Connor during his finals... I have to make sure I'm not on a Unified Team that is racing at the same time!! Hopefully things will work out in my favor - or I'll have to rely on Lee to video Connor's runs.
Oh - someone at the Walk-A-Thon added to Connor's envelope. He wound up with $1000, and so was eligible to get the nice wheeled duffel bag. Wow. $130 from an anonymous person. Amazing.
The total collected for our local athletes was over $40,800! I love this town!
So Lee has been running a while. Connor is signed up for Special Olympics Track & Field, and both Lee & I went with him last night to practice. I have heard Lee go on about the barefoot running style, and I also read "Born to Run" but I'm really not that into running.
However, I felt I need to change things up a little, and it would be kind of nice to do something with Lee, so I did a little jogging - doing my best to follow the barefoot style as far as I read. Lee said it looked like I was doing it okay. I can only go 1/2 a lap of the track at a time to start, but that's better than I did before. I have been walking regularly with a member of my club. She's still on the losing part of the journey, so we go slower than I need to, but she's been increasing the pace a little over time.
I will have to see if I can try for little runs in the mornings once summer starts. It would be nice to take the dog out with me, because I don't think she gets enough exercise anyway. :)
So this week I will once again take over as Leader for my TOPS club. It's fine - I appreciated the break, but there are a lot of things I do differently than the gal that assumed the role after me. There were murmerings of folks who weren't as happy with the way she does things. I was just happy for a little break.
In the meantime, I worked as the assistant weight recorder. Oftentimes, I was the only weight recorder, as the other gal had some work conflicts and her husband is wanting her to give up that volunteer position altogether now. She has been a weight recorder for the full 10 years I've been attending TOPS, so I'm sure she deserves a break as well.
I understand from some of our members that they really like my leadership style, and they feel a good connection from me. I do try to have a personal contact with each member every week - I do better some weeks than others. And obviously as with any group, you get to know & be friends a little more with some folks than others.
I really do enjoy the club. I fully credit the support I get there with my continued success at keeping my excess weight off. I know from age 14 to 40 I struggled and it was getting harder & harder to control my weight by the time I joined TOPS.
Now I'm approaching 50, and I'm in better shape than I was approaching 40. I am really thankful my club exists and I found them. I have no issue with returning the favor and leading others to the success I've found :)
Connor came away from his cross-country Special Olympics experience this year with two gold medals. That's what he won last year as well. He did the same two races - the 50 m and 100 m sprints.
He was supposed to try the 1K this year, but we had a couple of athletes drop, and so his relay team was cut. I don't know why he couldn't do the individual, but that's how it worked out.
He did a great job competing, and did really well with the hurry-up-and-wait aspect of competition. We would arrive 15 minutes before his event, but the timekeepers wouldn't be ready until 20 minutes AFTER the start time :/ That was annoying.
Next year, the coach is looking at having us practice at Willamette Pass, which offers alpine as well as cross-country & snowshoe trails. If that's the case, we'd like him to try alpine skiing. His favorite part is going fast anyway, and you get to ride up the mountain! I cannot do the weight-bearing on my knees anymore, so Lee would have to step up to coach - at least until Connor can be left on his own with the other coaches (he's not there yet). Lee likes downhill skiing though, and I can still come along to assist with the cross-country athletes anyway (or snowshoe, depending on where they need help).
In a couple of weeks, Lee & Connor will go up for a lesson with some of the other athletes, just to check out the whole alpine scene. Their regular coach is a ski instructor & will give them a beginner's lesson. The cost is only $49 for skis, boots, poles, lift ticket & lesson. And it's not a crowded mountain. Most times you can just ski straight to the lift and get on. :)
I think Connor will really like alpine skiing. Will he still win gold medals? I don't know - depends on the competition, which I suspect will be more challenging. But he'll have a great time :)