Tuesday, April 23, 2013

On Settling

 This year - and especially this track season - has flown by. 

I have four weeks left of track. Two regular meets - and one Conference meet. 

Leading up to this, I have put in miles and miles of running. I have been doing two-adays regularly (swimming in the mornings and practice in the afternoons). I have been eating healthy and getting adequate sleep. I have been lifting and planking and icing and stretching and everything in between. 

I want to succeed. I want to be fast. I want to win. 
But more importantly, I want to reap what I have sown. 

I had a crazy revelation the other day - one that most athletes have probably already had. For some reason, however, 
it took me awhile to grasp this concept. 

If I do not compete on race day, all the hard work I have done is for nothing. 

Meaning - it doesn't matter how many two-a-days I do or how I perform in practice if I don't perform on race day. 

I have realized that my success is not going to happen on accident. 
When I get on the starting line, I have to choose to compete. Choose to race. Choose to push through the pain. 

These are not the faces of people who settle - they are hurting. 
But it's worth it!

I raced a 1500 this past weekend - a race that I previously did not consider to be my ascetic. I am a distance runner through and through, and I thought the 1500 was too short a race. After a great conversation with my coach, however, I toed the line motivated to win - and I did. I pr'd by 9 seconds, and I surprised myself greatly. I didn't settle. I raced. 

I have worked too long and too hard to settle during races. And that's what I have been doing this whole year. 

If I give everything I have and I still don't win, that's okay. I know that the talent I have isn't mine anyway. I know that I don't run for my glory. 

But if I don't give everything I have... if I settle... I am wasting an opportunity to reap the benefits of all of the hard work I've done. 

I think I finally get it. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Unfiltered Access

"Do you value your freedom of speech? If you do, then exercise your rights and get a Twitter account - even if you don't use it!" 

My Anthropology professor made this comment the other day in regards to how social media has created a social revolution. 

As a 21 year old, I honestly rarely turn on the news. But I check Twitter everyday. Within an hour of the Boston bombings, I had access to unfiltered and raw information from thousands of different vantage points. 

The pictures were unedited - the information unbiased. 

Within fifteen minutes of the bombing in Waco, I was able to watch it happen via a video posted on Twitter - and I live in Idaho. 

I knew about a earthquake on the Pakistan border 
only a few hours after it happened. 

Unlike people of my parents' generation, I do not have to turn to the news to know what's going on in the world. And I support the news - don't get me wrong. I want to be a broadcaster even. But the news can be incredibly biased. And social media, while sometimes subject to ignorance and oddity, helps deliver authentic information. 

As a result, we are made constantly of the sadness in the world. 

This week, social media has been flooded with tragedy after tragedy. I am continuously aware of bombings, murders, and robberies - these things seem to stand out a little next to 
silly Facebook banter and pictures of peoples' food on Instagram. 

As a result, I have been thinking a lot. Reflecting. I think everyone has. 
I'm grateful to know about these things, 
but I am burdened with the weight of knowledge. 

The only thing we can do is pray - and lay those burdens at feet of the One who can make anything work together for the good. He can take what the enemy meant for destruction and somehow work it out. And that is beyond my understanding. But it does bring peace. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What Would Jesus Do? Seriously.

W.W. J. D. 

What. Would. Jesus. Do. 

You've seen it on billboards, bracelets, and t-shirts. 

It's a catchy slogan. 
In fact, I've heard people who don't even buy into Jesus saying it. 

I want to say it popped up during the 90s, but - let's be honest - I wasn't alive before that, so I could be wrong. 

When I was in fifth grade we all thought it was kind of dorky.
 I guess it still sort of is. 

But I also sort of think it's cool. The concept is great. I even have a bracelet that I wear when I race that says W.W. J. D. on it. Stylish, I know. 

But what does the phrase actually mean? 

And even more than that - how is it applicable to my life, here and now? 

I want to imitate Jesus in all aspects of life... not in just the obvious ways. 

So you have to bear with me, because I believe that EVERY part of life, even running, even going to Anthropology class, even folding laundry....... 
could use a little Jesus. 

And with that in mind, I have been asking questions lately. 


"If Jesus were a runner, how would he act?"
"If Jesus were running a race, how would he feel?"
"What would he think?" 
"Would he be nervous?"
"Would he want to be beat everyone?"

No, Seriously. 

"What would Jesus do????"

Well, I'll tell you what he wouldn't do. 

He wouldn't compare himself to the other athletes. 
He wouldn't worry that he wasn't going to perform well. 
He certainly wouldn't place determine value and his worth by how he performed. 

I think that if Jesus had to run a literal race, he would be remarkably calm about it. Sure, he may get a little jittery at the start. And he would do his best - I mean, he's Jesus. 

But he would know that,
 no matter how he performed, he had the love of the father
He would understand that it wasn't about how good he looked. 
That he wasn't running for his glory. 

He would be confident in the fact that, win or lose, 
God's glory would shine through him. 
He would be joyful. Because God delights in his children. 

Tomorrow morning I'm headed to Spokane, and tomorrow night I'm racing a 10k. My favorite race. The race that I care the most about. This particular meet is HUGE. Tons of schools will be there, and the competition is fierce. 

But I don't want to be nervous. Or to worry. Or to put too much stock in it. 
Because it's not about me. 

It's about Him. 

How can you apply this concept to your own life? 
To your own job or hobby or relationship? 
W.W. J. D?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Linfield 5k Recap

My track team and I finally arrived back home at 2:30 a.m. last night (today?) after a long day of competition and an eight hour charter bus ride. 
Needless to say, we are all pretty exhausted. A good kind of exhausted, though. 

Other than the psychotic western oregon weather we faced (we warmed up under the sunshine one moment and experienced hurricane-like conditions the next), it was a pretty all around successful day of racing. Almost everyone on my team had a personal best - myself included. I ran the 5k, and I finished in 2nd after an intense last mile of battling with another girl for the win. She actually just drafted off of me for the first two miles, I just took the wind and went with it. I like to lead. 

Anyway, I was okay with my second place. Not happy, but okay. I raced, and I raced hard. And I set a personal record. So I should be happy. I'm a little confused, though. Because I could have run another 5k on pace after that one - I've done it before. If I can hold a certain pace for 6.2 miles, I should be able to go waaaayyyy faster than that for half the distance. I'll get there. But I'm... puzzled. 

I'm going to have to figure it out soon though! The season is halfway over!

Today I stumbled out of bed a little too late for church, so I put in my headphones and headed out on a run while listening to a message podcast. It was nice and easy - except for the tumbleweed that tried to attack me. 

Honestly, between the wind in Ontario and the rain in western oregon, I'm ready to pack up and move to Arizona or something. 

Sorry about all the running talk today. If you aren't into that stuff or didn't catch my lingo, I apologize. There is plenty of other stuff on my mind, but I'm not quite sure how to communicate it, yet. 

Be back atcha soon!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sunshine Addict

 Today, my Sociology professor made a reference the t.v. show My Strange Addiction and commented on how society's view of addictions has changed. Previously, things were only considered addictions if people actually had physical withdrawals. Science has allowed our understanding of addiction in the brain to increase, however, and we can scientifically measure how humans become addicted to weird things. Like eating toilet paper. Or sleeping with the hair dryer on. I'm not making those ones up. 

Well, I think I'm addicted to the sunshine. Seriously. I am one hundred percent happier when it's sunny outside. Add warm temperatures, and I'm on cloud nine (where did that expression come from, by the way?)

When it is not sunny, I experience major withdrawals. Take today, for example... The last week leading up to today was blissful - seventy degrees and clear, sunny skies. I thrived in every way possible. Nothing phased me. Track practices - even grueling track workouts and repeats - were a breeze. My body just feels better when it's warm and sunny. 

I don't even mind my ugly tan lines. I'm growing to like them, actually.

But today, well... today the sun was nowhere to be found. The temperature hovered around 53 degrees. It felt a lot colder. I felt a lot colder. 

It's no matter, though. Because I know that spring is finally here to stay. I hear birds outside my window every night. And it smells like spring. 
And I'm running my first 5k on the track. 
And that definitely means its spring. 

Tomorrow morning I'm headed to western Oregon with my team for a track meet on Saturday. These weekend trips are exhausting - traveling roughly 18 hours in two days, getting little sleep, pushing my body to its physical limit - a whirlwind, yes, but so worth it. 

I will be running the 5k sometime Saturday afternoon. And I'm so excited. And I am never excited to run a 5k on the track. So I know something magical is going to happen. And its going to be sunny. 

I'll keep you posted!