Saturday, August 24, 2013

Dream A Little (Or Some Other Cliché Title)

I have always been an avid dreamer. 

As a little girl, I walked around with my head in the clouds. Anything and everything was possible, and my overactive imagination served me well for writing stories and playing make-believe. Even in the face of life's many failures (which everyone must deal with, unfortunately), 
I retained my large aspirations. 

Of course, as I got older, I adapted a bit more realistic perspective. 

At 13, I began to figure out that  it was unlikely that I would happen to be discovered by a famous Hollywood producer who happened to be in Idaho. 

And, after taking AP physics and hating every minute of it, I realized that it was a lot more difficult to be an astronaut than I first imagined. 

When I began my collegiate running career at a community college, I began to comprehend that I probably wasn't going to break any distance running world records anytime soon

Yet, though I perhaps have more of a realistic perspective than I once had, my propensity for dreaming has never diminished. 

What I mean is, there is still a large part of me that thoroughly believes that I might be a famous movie star one day. That I might travel to space. Or that I might go to the Olympics. 

I just finished my first week of xc training with my new team at the University I am transferring to. My legs are sore and my body is tired. Early mornings, two-a-days, and ice baths will take up all my time from here on out 
(except for studying, of course). 

And I couldn't be more excited. I keep on getting better. I keep on becoming a stronger and smarter racer. And I keep on dreaming. 

Honestly, who knows what the future holds? And who is to say that I might not break the school record, or the national record, or the world record one day? 

I know it's a long shot. I understand that A + B does not equal C. But I have come to think of dreaming as a very powerful tool. 

Without it, we would limit ourselves. 

So I'm going to continue to keep my head in the clouds. 
I'm going to push myself beyond my limits and see where it takes me. And if it only ever encourages me to give my best and never leads anywhere phenomenal, so be it. 
At least I will know I never sold myself short. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

And it Begins

Tomorrow is the first official day of practice with my new xc team. Well, it's the first day of xc camp anyway, and I'm assuming we will be doing some form of running tomorrow. Thus, it's the first official day of my Junior season of collegiate cross country. Where does time go? 

Summer is over, just like that. And I have spent the whole last week trying to get emotionally prepared for all of the change that is about to take place. 

I'm excited, yes. There is no doubt about that.
 I have started to find myself thinking about racing all the time. 

But I'm also nervous. 

I have spent the last two weeks doing some major cross training. I always deal with achilles issues (I have talked about it in the past), and for some reason these issues had to flair up again right before the start of my season. At least it wasn't in the middle. Or before Conference or something. 

But due to this nagging issue, I have logged a total of 19 miles in the last two weeks. If I were on schedule, I would have gotten in anywhere from 100-120. So that's unfortunate. 

Luckily, I'm an excellent cross trainer. I know how to get my heart rate up, and between the mile long swims and the intense biking sessions, I think I have stayed in pretty good shape. I'm just hoping that I'll be able to jump right in with my team tomorrow for the longer runs. I know I have to be careful starting back up again, but I'm feeling confident that I'm better. 

And I'm feeling confident about how this season is going to play out. I have never been stronger mentally or physically than I am right now, and I am fully trusting God with every result. I'm looking forward to making new friends. To long bus rides and muddy races. And it begins tomorrow. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Free and Unfettered!

So this is what it feels like to be a poor college student.

For the first time in my adult life, I can genuinely say that I am flat out broke. Is there any reason, someone please enlighten me,
 that textbooks should cost more than $400? 


I didn't think so. 

I know it's all part of the experience. Typical. But I can't seem to wrap my head around the fact that I am going into debt (something that society frowns down upon) to get a degree (something almost essential in society) because society tells me that's how it is supposed to be. 

I'm not trying to complain. It's not like I'm destitute or anything. I'm sitting in my own room right now in a two story house and writing this blog on my own personal laptop. I'm beyond blessed. 

I'm just amused by it all, I guess. 

The wonderful thing is, I never really need to worry about money. I need to be wise, yes. But worry? That's not for me. 

Matthew 6 says it pretty clearly:

"There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. 
And you count far more to him than birds."

"What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met."

I will be the first to admit that I worry about a lot of things. But God has been working to get me to relax. To steep my life in his provisions. In his reality. 

So that's just some food for thought for the day. And for everyday. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Au Revoir L'été [Goodbye Summer]

Today I spent two hours in Starbucks sipping a cold brew (it's coffee people!) and getting some quality journaling in. I filled eleven blank pages with every thought that has been circling around my head the past few days, and when I finished I shook out the cramp in my hand and breathed a sigh of relief.

There is something oh so therapeutic about writing. 
And I realized just how much I have missed it.

I'm hesitant for summer to end. I have thoroughly enjoyed the late night trips to the hotsprings, the grass volleyball, and the summer camps
 (church camp for college kids, you ask? Heck. Yes.)

There have been a few ups and downs, no doubt, but I am grateful for all of the memories I have made. 
When school starts, free time will be far and few between.

This summer has flown by, and as I contemplate what this next season of my life is going to look like, I feel the inescapable urge to write down how I'm feeling. So here goes. I'm feeling nervous.

Nervous to run for a new team. Nervous to be a transfer student and not know how anything works at this new place. Nervous to take upper division classes and somehow balance a full day of classes, practice, and homework while still aiming for 8-9 hours of sleep a night (I'm an athlete... we need it!) I can't help imagining myself failing miserably. Not living up to others' expectations of me. Or my expectations of myself...

But then I remember that this is supposed to be exciting. I have been given the amazing opportunity to extend my education at an incredible school. I have been offered a spot on a competitive xc/track team and will undoubtedly grow as a runner in the process. I get to go to school with my sister and best friend. And I get to stay involved at my church which is growing exponentially and now has about 1/3 of the Boise State football players involved.

Honestly, I'm so blessed. And though I often feel inadequate, I have to remember that it is in my weakness that God's strength shines through.
 So I am more than enough.

So here is to a new season. I still have a week or so to catch my breath before the storm, so I'll be relishing the moments undoubtedly. But I am going to look forward with cheerful expectation. God has a lot for me this year, and I can't wait to share everything on this blog. If you are willing to read (and even if I am sending this out into the atmosphere for no one but myself), 
I am happy to write.