The Balancing Act

Three women explore the art of having it all together; becoming familiar with the broiler, preparing for a half marathon and laughing away stress

Story by Spectator Staff

Give me a class where we can write two of the four papers and I’m going to write the last two every single time. And if said paper is due Friday I am going to write it Thursday night.

That’s just how I operate. I’ve been rolling this way for as long as I can remember. I blame it on being a journalist — I work best under the pressure of deadlines.

It was a similar type of pressure that got me out of bed this week to go running. The realization that race day is four weeks away. The race is a half marathon in La Crosse the first weekend in May.

While I’ve been training haphazardly, I am definitely not race day ready. Not yet anyway. This week marked my official start of training. Since I only have four weeks until the gun goes off, I will be ramping it up real quick.

I’ve successfully completed four of these 13.1 mile runs before so I’m confident in one months time I will cross the finish line, it’s just a matter of how much pain I’m going to be in when that time comes.

It’s that mantra that will get me up and out the door to train for the next race. In terms of marathon running, it’s the Thursday night before a Friday deadline.

— Courtney Kueppers, Editor in Chief

If you have a minute, go and take a look at your oven. An obvious must in kitchens across the country, an oven and stovetop perform many functions. This appliance is a familiar beast, loved by generations.

But what is that setting … broil? What does that even mean? Does anyone ever use that setting?

Those were questions I asked myself when cranking up the heat past the 500 degree mark on my oven. Broil. I’d seen the word on menus before, but never tried to broil anything myself. I’m willing to bet you haven’t either. So I took to the internet to find some ways to use your broiler.

Cook any meat you like under the broiler, moving the rack six inches from the element and flipping the meat after seven minutes, letting it cook for seven minutes more on the other side. Love roasted bell peppers on your salad or sub? Slice up a red pepper, drizzle with olive oil and put under the broiler until the skins are black and blistered. For nachos, sprinkle cheese over chips and put under the broiler for just over a minute and bam: restaurant-quality, melty, gooey cheese in nearly an instant.

Now that I know where my broiler is and exactly what it is capable of, it’s become another staple in my kitchen, just like the rest of the appliance that houses it. I challenge you to try and broil something this week. The possibilities are pretty much endless.

— Kristina Bornholtz, Managing Editor

Over spring break, I helped move my mom into her new house. I was dreading this until I found my cousins were helping us out. Let me give you context: my cousins are 6 feet 8 inches tall, and two of the funniest guys I know. They are much like a real life Saturday Night Live, with a different bit every five minutes. While moving box after box, tears rolled down my cheeks from laughing so hard.

I didn’t expect to enjoy myself, but I did. Despite the exhaustion and stress of carrying heavy things, I finished the day feeling emotionally energized. That got me thinking: what else could be improved with a little laughter?

According to the Mayo Clinic’s article, “Stress relief from laughter? It’s no joke,” chuckling can help your health. There are short term benefits like increasing your oxygen intake to your muscles, stimulating circulation, muscle relaxation and soothing your tension. Laughing can also improve your immune system, relieve pain and improve your mood long term.

This week do something to make you laugh. And I don’t mean chuckling at a funny cat video, I mean sitting around with your friends laughing until it’s hard to breathe. Enjoy!

— Anna Mateffy, Photo & Multimedia Editor