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You Don’t Need to Be Super to Be Someone’s Hero

Batkid, he is old news now isn’t he? But what the news coverage itself has sparked is remarkable. The monumental difference organizations like Make-A-Wish can make is incredible.

Although Make-A-Wish is known for providing the silver lining to those who have already fought the battle and lost time, it gives awareness to other groups solving the problems and hope to all about how much effect every person can have by just giving a little of their time or money. I myself never saw the level of impact the foundation has on children and families until recently. Like a majority of people I just saw the name Make-A-Wish and automatically associated it being for a good cause. But it’s more than that.

I’m part of an on campus group that just recently raised money for a young boy battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia in our community to make his wish of attending the 2014 Superbowl come true. With the help of another university we had to raise $5,000 and we did! I was able to meet with him and see the joy in his eyes, probably a look he hasn’t given much in the past few years. Along with all the press on Batkid and the positive after effects, I really feel honored to say I was a part of something that touches and changes so many lives forever. How many people get to say that they were instrumental in forming a day that a child will never forget?

It’s also amazing how one day, especially in Batkid’s case, could spike donations and volunteering levels as it did. Seeing San Francisco and the nation come together for one cause through compassion and generosity, it’s extraordinary. Not to mention, the appreciation of Miles Scott’s (Batkid)  family to start the Batkid fund that will benefit Make-A-Wish and the Ronald McDonald House.

These children really do suffer and it’s not only them personally experiencing pain, their entire families are affected as well. I hope that in the future I will continue to stay involved and keep being able to positively impact the lives of those who deserve more.

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Thanksgiving Thoughts

I’m thankful for break and a chance to come home for the first time in 4 months. But saying it was a break, doesn’t necessarily mean it was relaxing.

We did all of the traditional things:

  • Woke up and had a grand breakfast.
  • Watched the parade.
  • Started some cooking.
  • Watched the football game. Go Lions!
  • Finished the cooking
  • Set the table
  • Eat our Thanksgiving Meal.
  • Sleep.
  • Eat desert.
  • Watch a movie, and Ender’s Game was a good one to pick.
  • Fall asleep and start a new day.

Being together with the family is fun though even on a tight schedule. The best part for me is how it takes my mind off things that are happening directly in my life back at school.

The best way I can relieve stress is by focusing on other tasks, and my task of choice is playing games. Playing Scrabble with my family is always a great time and for some reason this year just seemed so much better than most. We played my first day back and are still referring to jokes and words played 2 days later. I even got the boys to play a game of Pictionary, and the better yet, a few rounds of Taboo.

This gave me the bright idea that I should assign mandatory game nights in my apartment next year with my roommates and other competitors. Unfortunately, this reminded me of my new apartment, bringing me back to reality.

How am I going to rearrange my room with a bigger bed? Which reminds me that I need to buy or build a bed frame, and outside of my room we need dishes for the kitchen and maybe to invest in a sofa, and definitely a television. Which then brings me to Black Friday shopping and how I should maybe try to find real deals, not just misleading advertisements. Bringing me to the conclusion that I can’t because I’m broke. A broke college kid… a college kid going into finals week, and the assignments I’m running out of time to finish.  Which brings me back to the age old question of what the heck I’m going to even end up choosing as my career, so Nichole, feel free to stop thinking at anytime.

Oh boy. Did I mention yet that I have a lot of little things running through my head, and I am having trouble trying not to feel stressed.

Thanksgiving was nice to remind me of what I have and motivate me to keep making strides in the right direction for it will be time to return to those commitments again soon.

P.S. All suggestions welcome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agidYAqGOl8

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Find Your Dreams and Follow Them

Watching people give everything they have to achieve their dreams is the most amazing thing. To have that kind of drive to commit every day and every moment to one goal, to have the talent to make it possible and the vision to know what you desire is rare. Most of the time these stories and accomplishments are just witnessed by me through television or articles and a lot of the time, from YouTube clips.

Last year though, I met the most inspiring man I will probably ever come across. I continue to look up to him for his dedication and his consistently positive attitude. After not seeing him for a few months, I was finally able to visit him at a swim meet.

jason and danny

We met by chance at school through some mutual friends. His football career was cut short by an unfortunate injury and left him with much free time to reevaluate his life, which he was no longer content with. He was a born athlete, good at pretty much every sport and loved to stay active. Since his knee was the spot of his injury he wasn’t left much hope for playing sports at a college level any longer so he kept in shape by swimming laps at the pool.

I often joked with him about the rigorous routine he put himself through, by choice, as we sat and watched multiple movies together, since I craved the life of relaxation outside of season. The more I learned about his love for superhero movies and Batman, the more realistic his dream of swimming at the Olympics seemed to me. For now, he is currently working to continue to improve his times and swim for a college.

Granted he had only began swimming a few weeks prior, but the way he talked, it all seemed so real and possible. He changed my outlook on every challenge and task I came across. For awhile anything seemed possible and the future seemed so full of opportunities and wonderful experiences. Having that attitude last spring is the reason I believe that we all can make our own happiness, because that was the happiest I have ever been.

He left school to go back home, join a team and pursue his dreams. I was the last one to say good bye to him and we both teared up a little, one of us a little more than the other. We talked about all of the fun times we had in such a short period of time of knowing each other, and I told him to never give up and he told me to never change. Little did he know, he has changed me.

I stayed back at school, went home for the summer and worked at a movie theater, just waiting to return to my regular college routine. Unfortunately, I have since then forgot what he had told me over the last few months. It’s the end of the semester and I don’t know if its the pressure of upcoming finals, or boredom of being stuck in my room for so long, but I regret wasting so much time sitting on my bed in between classes and dinners. After soccer ended, I find myself getting caught up in some drama and lying around watching TV too much when I could be doing things that actually matter, activities that I’m passionate about.

Seeing him again has reminded me to stay motivated and actively pursuing dreams, even the smallest ones. Which is exactly what I’ve been needed.  I really need to work on not letting myself lose this attitude a second time.

It might have been a few years since I’ve watched this movie and the clip might be a little cheesy, but I love it and Hillary Duff.

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Friends Come First

I love meeting new people and hearing about their experiences. I don’t know if it’s because my life can be quite boring at times, but any chance I get to hear a good, original story I’m there. I’m not one to say no to an adventure, or just any invitation out that I receive, even if I’m exhausted or have homework to do, you can count on me being there.

Not because I have that silly scared to miss out syndrome – FOMO, or whatever the kids are calling it these days, but because I genuinely enjoy experiencing new things and have conversations constantly about ideas and possibilities.

The only drawback with meeting new people, to make room, its less time you get to spend with your older friends, and that can be sad. It’s a careful balance between not hurting feelings and maintaining healthy relationships. The perfect friendship is one that no matter how much time has passed, you feel like you haven’t missed a minute.

I’ve found a few of these people at my time in college and cherish every minute with them.

With good people and good conversation, going to the same restaurant every Saturday can be an enjoyable time. Especially with a diverse group of friends, I always learn something new or get an interesting take. I love having my own thoughts and opinions challenged.

Just the other night I sat on a futon with 6 other people in the room for 3 hours, no TV or music, just us hanging out. We talked about things from card games to food to the benefits and drawbacks of recycling and what type of options there are for changing the voices on a pronunciation website. We found ourselves on that because we were debating on the proper way to pronounce the word turbine.

They are my Ferris Family and I couldn’t imagine a day here without seeing any of them. When I go home for break I miss them more than anything. They are the ones I call after any little insignificant thing happens in my life. Even the guys chip in on how I should paint my nails for the upcoming week. I can truly be myself around them, and they are the type of friends that when I take a step back I know they are who I have to keep in my life. 

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Caught in the CrossFit

I signed up for CrossFit tonight. Go me! It’s hard. I have respect for anyone that does CrossFit on the regular and at a high level. I was sweating and exhausted.

My first workout is below for anyone who wants to give it a try but may be too scared or nervous to make a commitment quite yet.

Warm Up

  • 400 meter run
  • 30 second rest
  • 5 push ups
  • 10 sit ups
  • 15 air squats

3 Reps

Bench Press

  • 70% max – 5 reps
  • 80% max – 5 reps
  • 90% max – as many reps as you can

Stretch while you aren’t benching (make sure there is a spotter still!)

Cardio

  • 1500 meter rowing
  • 600 meter run
  • 75 double jump rope
  • 75 push up (hands up)
  • 60 burpees

In any order, even split them up, just finish as fast as you can.

Abs (with a partner)

  • 30 yard wheelbarrows, switch halfway
  • 40 bicycles
  • 20 leg throws, switching from side to side.
  • 50 penguins, shoulders up and feet together.

3 Reps

Cool Down 

  • 400 meter slow jog
  • Stretch well and slow

GOOD LUCK!!

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One Obsession

One Direction’s latest album, Midnight Memories, was leaked today and it is just as awesome as I expected it to be!

It is officially released in a couple weeks, and the latest song the band has released as a single is Diana. I still can’t wait for the day I can buy the CD in the store and physically hold it my hand and cherish… oh, is it getting weird now? I’ll stop.

But I don’t think this girl will ↓

My roommate unfortunately caught me watching this alone in my room with the lights out smiling and laughing. oops.

I can’t even be embarrassed though because I’ve recently discovered a new trivia game. As everyone should know trivia games are the bomb.com so it was a great day overall. I rocked my typical categories, TV shows, mythology, and logos. However, I failed at One Direction! Some of the questions were their moms names, eye colors, first pet names, and the directors of specific music videos. No one should have that much knowledge on five boys they have never met in my opinion.

Even if I’m saying that out of jealousy, I’m still proud of all the Directioners that are partly responsible for shutting down 8 tracks for a period of time when the CD leaked. Whoo!

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Blood, Sweat, and Friendship

You only get one chance at a first impression.

Puts a lot of pressure on you, doesn’t it? Good thing that seems to have little effect in my life and I end up embarrassing myself no matter what the situation is.

Some of my most memorable ones would have to be the time when I met a guy on the football team when we tried to take a picture of him talking to one of my friends and it was just me thumbs-upping him since I was unaware I was blocking her out. He not only caught me taking the stupid picture, but was also tagged on Facebook. Just him and me. It’s not that weird is it? Keep in mind I had never spoken to him before.

jason thumbs

Or what about that time when I approached a girl in one of my classes because she was wearing a Taylor Swift shirt and I blurted out that her and Harry Styles just began dating before even introducing myself. Thank goodness she was a fan and that she also shared a passionate love for cats. We were just meant to be friends, until she moved to North Dakota a couple of months ago. You can say we keep in touch.

cat birthday picture

Her way of wishing me happy birthday…

One I will never forget is when I was running on the track last winter, doing a set of stairs every two laps. Meanwhile another young man is doing stairs constantly, so I kept passing him, getting in his way a couple of times. Eventually I’m done and I passed him by the drinking fountain and went over to apologize, making a clever joke (it really was) and we had a nice little conversation, I said bye and left.

Sounds great right? The start of a blossoming friendship? No.

I meet up with my running partner shortly after and she informs that my lips are so chapped they are bleeding and there is even blood on my teeth. All in all, I hope I never see this kid again.

And I didn’t until this year. He works at our on campus cafeteria, and fortunately for me, the station I love the most is the one he is most frequently working. I don’t think he recognized me the first few times, but he definitely figured it out. He acts all sweet and remembers what I eat, which is the same exact thing everyday, so it’s not too flattering. But considering we haven’t exchanged words yet, I can pretty much assume he laughs on the inside a little every time he serves me.

It’s okay though because little does he know, my friends and I refer to him as “bloody tooth kid”. I don’t care if it’s an undeserving nick name and one that doesn’t make much sense. It sounds way better than “guy I met while working out with chapped, bloody lips and a terrible smile.”

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