Cooking (and Moving) Without a Recipe

Every now and then I’ll try to cook. Well, let me rephrase. I cook all the time, but it’s mostly grilling meat and sautéing vegetables in a pan. Good salt and pepper and olive oil nearly describes all the tricks up my sleeve. There are no recipes. So when I say that every now and then that I try to cook, what I mean is once in a while I’ll cook something I need a recipe for.

Cooking with recipe feels like learning choreographed dance. It feels distant, foreign, and short sided. As it turns out, the part I love most about basic rules of seasoning and cooking temperatures is it provides a language to cook almost any meats and any vegetables without memorizing a recipes or choreographed steps. It’s based on principle and executed with feel. 

You could argue that if I followed more recipes, I’d learn a larger cooking vocabulary. Eventually I’d be able to cook all kinds of dishes based on feel and fundamental lessons in that same way that I can cook meats and vegetables without following some directions. For this to happen, though, I’d need to follow the recipe with a great deal of awareness. This awareness could open the process up to using lessons to make other dishes or even learn the fundamentals to make the dish without the help of a recipe. After all, leaning too heavily on the recipe only solidifies the need for it in the first place. I’d never learn to really cook and my recipe would only help me make one dish.

Before you get too hungry, you must be wondering when the lesson comes in. Have no fear. The lesson is that we have this same choice in the gym. You can show up, lean on the recipe, and follow coach’s instructions like a recipe, albeit for a ring dip or a push jerk. Or, you can learn why the recipe works and start moving without it. If you choose the latter, you’ll see that those that really know how to move stopped following recipes years ago.


Logan Gelbrich


5/31/17 WOD

Complete 4 rounds for quality of:

8 Anti-Rotation Plank Lateral KB Pull Throughs (Ea)

10 Med Ball Throw-to-Sit Up (6/4)

8 Bar Roll Outs


Then, complete three rounds for reps of:

:60 Max Sledgehammer Strikes

:60 Max Lateral 20 Yard Shuttle Sprints (10/10)

:60 Max Push Presses (95/65)

:60 Max Wall Balls (20/14)

-Rest 2 Min-


**Athlete’s receive three round scores