The Balancing Act

Three women explore the art of having it all together; challenge yourself with foreign foods, find affordable fitness options and take time to look at your life

Two weeks ago I challenged myself to do a little something everyday. Even if that something didn’t mean hitting the roads for a run.

For the most part it was a success. It felt good to know I can be active despite a busy schedule. For now I am going to put the free weights back in my closet and start a month-long challenge. Since I have a travel-heavy month, like many of you spring breakers, I am going to start a challenge I can do from virtually anywhere with an Internet connection.

Starting today I am doing a 30 day yoga challenge. It won’t require a mat, or a membership to the gym. Instead, my instructor will be a YouTube sensation.

That’s right, I’m starting Yoga with Adriene.

At least one of the gals I write this column with has already conquered the challenge and I look forward to the road ahead. It’s my plan to stay active even when I’m spring breaking.

— Courtney Kueppers, Editor in Chief

I will be the first to admit: I can be an impressively hard person to shop for. People close to me have told me time and time again getting me a gift is a special kind of torture.

But this Christmas, I received a gift that was perfect for me – one that was not only thoughtful, but presented a challenge for me to conquer. My boyfriend got me a sushi kit.

Sushi is an art form in itself – to become a sushi master, or “itamae,” one must train for upwards of ten years. That will never happen for me and I’ve accepted it. But I’ve learned making your own sushi is a ton of fun, gives you a creative outlet and the results are delicious.

Taking on a challenge in the kitchen is definitely daunting. When you crawl home from campus at the end of the day, it’s easy to pop a box of instant mac and cheese in the microwave and eat the whole thing in one sitting. But taking time to try something new has left me with a sense of pride I can’t help but Instagram – to take a picture and say, “Hey, I made this!” before devouring it in one swift inhale.

Getting it right is proving difficult. To make sushi rice, you need a special combination of salt and rice vinegar, otherwise it will be too sticky. The first time I made a roll, it stuck to the roof of my mouth before I could even chew. I’m slowly getting better at rolling it just right in the special bamboo mat – you can get yours in the Asian foods aisle at the grocery store – rolls usually fall apart by the time they hit the plate, but still taste just as good.

Until I can list “itamae” on my resume, I’m going to have to keep trying.

— Kristina Bornholtz, Managing Editor

I had a touch of wanderlust, so last weekend, I went to Madison. On the drive there, I rekindled my love for road trips. I find great rest while driving long distances, rolling over the blue-tinted hills while the sun kisses the trees before it sets for the day.

In the quiet, I got to process through some of the bigger things happening in my life.

I didn’t figure anything out, but I did acknowledge the presence of more than just school-related activities. I started to sift through what my life is going to look like when I graduate. I’ll be joining a new community, completely separate from what I’ve had here for four years now. Thanks to that time I had to think through my coming transition, it won’t be quite as hard come May.

We all have those big questions gnawing at the back of our mind. Sometimes it’s a transition like mine; other times, it’s a relationship problem or a crisis that happened years ago and was never dealt with. What is yours?

Make time to process this week. You may need to be alone in a quiet space, like a car ride or a walk outside, or you might need someone with you. You can journal, you can talk, you can write a letter. You know how your mind best works, now give it the time to do so.

— Anna Mateffy, Photo & Multimedia editor