Friday, April 26, 2013

Why I ENJOY Exercise

If you know me well at all, you know I'm fairly active on a day to day basis.  While (earlier this year, especially) I used to do it more out of compulsion than an enjoyment of it, it's starting to become more of a bright spot in my routine than a chore! Now before you write me off as an exercise nerd/addict, let me explain. It hurts me, too! When I'm doing sprints for volleyball conditioning and gasping for air like a fish out of water, it doesn't feel like heaven! It feels more like my lungs are collapsing, and usually I'm totally convinced I'm about to flop over dramatically on the sidewalk dead from over-exertion. :)

However, I'm learning to focus a bit more on the good parts of exercising, and not the pain. :)
First of all, being outside in the sunshine just makes you happier! I think the weather affects my mood, so when it's shiny and bright, it just feels so good to be alive!!! (although the opposite is true when it's totally grey and dreary outside, too.)

Another thing... Lately I've had several people and situations that I'm pretty worried about. Exercising is a way to use my energy in a positive way, rather than in worrying, which doesn't do anything productive. Kinda like a worry-outlet, if that makes any sense. I come back from a run feeling  a little bit freer and more content.

Also, it gives me a chance to talk to God! People rarely want to walk or run with me, so when they don't, well, I have to talk to someone. And God's a pretty good person to talk to. And to pray for the things I worry about or struggle with, rather than keeping them swirling around in my head like water in a clogged up toilet. Yuck!

So you see? I'm not crazy, extreme, or weird. I've just found something that works to get stuff off my chest. I know many of you are pretty active too, so I'm sure this is nothing new. But, to the few of you who don't enjoy it quite as much, maybe this post gave you a little window into my world. :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My Week in a Nutshell :)

My week has been a strange week. Usually I can determine whether my week has been been "good" or "bad". Not so with this week! Within the past 7 days, these pictures have all been accurate portrayals of me:
 Last Monday/Tuesday:
Quote of the Day(s):"This is the worst day of my LIFE!"  Confessions, confessions, I have actually thought this. (Cough, cough. A LOT!)But that's what a week of procrastination will do to you, so it's my own fault!) I had a chemistry test for which I HAD to get an 'A' (due to a previous bad grade) 3 hours of piano to do, a 64- question math test, and an English assignment. And I had the self-imposed pressure of refusing to pay the consequence for procrastinating (failure.)
Tuesdays, my days always look like this:  6:30 a.m. What in the WORLD am I wearing today? 8:30-English. 10:30-Chemistry. 1:00 -piano. 3:00 math tutoring. 5:00- MY SACRED HOUR OF DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING PRODUCTIVE! 6:15- Alpha 9:00-
treadmill time! 10:00-study for procrastinated worldview assignments. :)


Quote of the Day(s): "This is the best day of my life!" Yup. That's what a birthday, multiple very sweet cards, new jeans, Panera bread, and loads of diet mountain dew will do to you. (Wednesday.) Despite the fact that I didn't get a whole lot of sleep the day before, I had a great day... especially when my day was made by my writing class friends. :) Thursday, Mom planned a whole day out for me with a few of my friends, shopping, jelly-bean eating, talking, parking-lot-laps, walking, and more shopping and eating... basically this girl's dream come true. ) It was a truly wonderful day. And, of course, no school!


Quote of the day(s): "Wait... that's on the schedule?" Oh no! I had two honors society commitments, the ACT test, Sunday school to teach, a doctor's appointment, thank-you notes to write, and, oh yeah, I forgot about school!  How was I going to fit it all in?


Quote of the Day: "Uh, oh, I need to use the bathroom. NOW!" Yup, I had just sat down for what would be about two hours of testing, they had just gone through the rules about how if you leave  during the test you're automatically disqualified. That's when my bladder decided to rebel. Well, not really... I just really, really, really, had to go. That's when I started praying that I'd make it. And God, having forces over all nature, helped me focus despite my temporary discomfort. :)
The test was pretty hard... actually, my favorite part was the essay! It was nice to see something that looked familiar... not like Greek. I have no clue how they'll grade it, but I got words down, and I remembered to have a thesis statement! I guess that's a good thing?

Sunday/ Monday:
Quote of the day(s): "Wait, I have school?"  Yup, THAT'S when I remembered that I had a short story to write, piano to practice, math to do, and chemistry homework. Sound familiar?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sleepy Thoughts...

Good morning! As I write this, it's 4:52 a.m. and I've actually been up since 3:00 a.m. (Well, that's when I got up. I actually have been awake since two, but I was still in bed so it doesn't count.) Seeing as I went to bed at eleven... hmmm, I'll avoid finishing that thought, the math is scary.

Actually, so far, I'm  not sleepy at all, and it's been a good thing, since I've studied for a test, started my story, and am not writing my blog. Before you write me off as an over-achiever, NO, I didn't set my alarm for 2:00 a.m. I'm not THAT much of a morning person! I simply couldn't sleep, and beings as I couldn't make any noise, and there wasn't anyone else to talk to, I decided to just try to be productive.

Still, in between productive moments and early morning munching on almonds and granola (does anyone else wake up ravenous?) I've been thinking about sleep... or, lack thereof, really!

First, a few facts about sleep to make you smile:

The longest period recorded for being without sleep is 18 days, 21 hours, and 40 minutes during a rocking chair marathon. By the end, the record holder had slurred speech, paranoia, blurred vision, and concentration and memory lapses. I'm beginning to think my missing a couple hours of sleep isn't quite so bad!

A new baby usually results in 450 to 700 hours of lost sleep for the parents in the first year.

If it takes you less than five minutes to fall asleep, you are sleep-deprived. Ten to fifteen minutes is the ideal length because it means you're tired enough to sleep well, but aren't tired in the middle of the day.

Cool, huh? Guess what? There are major benefits to sleeping longer!

Things like better memory, a longer life-span, improved athletic performance, better grades ( might this be related to the better memory part?) and reducing our stress levels.

Whoo hoo! Guess who's going to try to get more shut-eye?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Random Excerpts from my Thoughts This Week :)

I'm not kidding when I say this post will be random. Trust me, it will be. I've been  having one of those weeks where thoughts will not collect into coherent sentences. (I have a lot of those weeks!)
So one of the main things I've been thinking about is how THANKFUL I am for other people. I love those people who I can trust with pieces of my life, and I feel so priveledged when I get to share in someone else's life story. (And just laugh with them.) 

Another something I've been thinking about is what I want my life to be about. I guess "purpose" is the word I'm looking for. It's pretty easy to get so focused in the day to day challenges and obstacles that we miss the greater purpose. The obstacles can either be something to complain about, or something we learn from. We can dwell on our failures and let them define us, or we can learn from them and apply what we learned from them. I tend to do the former.

Another thing I've been thinking about is edamame! (I know, random, right? I'm sure ya'll are shocked) I really want to find a recipe for edamame hummus! Doesn't that sound good? I could combine whole grain pitas with edamame hummus, and have a meal of veggies, complete protein, and whole grains. (Loaded with fiber) How cool would that be?

One last thing that's been on my mind is the song "In Christ Alone."  It's my very favorite song. The lyrics are so powerful! Here are my favorite verses:

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me.
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.

No power in hell, no scheme of man,
Could ever pluck me from His hand.
Till He returns or calls me home,
This is the power of Christ in me.

These last weeks, I've been anything but fearless and guiltless. Fear and guilt over various things have weighed pretty heavy on me. I love the thought that even when I can't feel Jesus's presence in my life, even when I am terrified and my heart is heavy, He holds me in His hand. His power is in me. Right now, I feel  very weak. But I'm trying to keep up the hope. If Christ controls my destiny, whom shall I fear?

Now if only I can live it out!