I’m heading to college in a month, and I am ready.
(or, as ready as I can be!)
My time management skills are on point, my confidence is running high. I am less adverse to risks, more open to unpredictability.
And for all of this, I thank my gap year.
The past few months have been far from easy and predictable. I have trained relentlessly on the track only to end up with a metatarsal stress fracture, moved houses, messed up sight-reading at church, logged sketchily few practice hours for violin, and had some overdue library books.
Had an awesome time playing with lasers, learning about the weirdness that is light*, and hanging out with these cool people at the Lawrence physics workshop in February!
*to quote Feynman: “Now we know how the electrons and light behave. But what can I call it? If I say they behave like particles I give the wrong impression; also if I say they behave like waves. They behave in their own inimitable way, which technically could be called a quantum mechanical way. They behave in a way that is like nothing that you have seen before (Messenger Lectures, 1964, MIT).”
I love letters. During high school, I wrote letters and mailed them to myself. Sometimes I wrote letters to open on certain dates, other times, I wrote letters to be opened under certain circumstances.
The Writer’s Garret is a non-profit org in Dallas- you can read about their mission and goals here .
2. … and what was I (and what will I be) doing there?
I am participating in a program called CAMP, which means I will be hanging out with a bunch of aspiring writer folk and working on my writing. The most epic part is that I pay for some of my tuition through work-exchange (because, you know… student loans and college are coming…), so I will also get to learn about non-profit organizations more generally and potentially teach creative writing to the K-12 population!
I got to hear some writers talk about the classes that they are teaching this semester at the organization and share some of their writing.
If you are a runner that spends time with other runners, especially those from the clan of mid- and long-distance ninjas, you might be familiar with this question: “How many miles per week do you run?”
This question seems especially popular between seasons, when runners are focused on getting ready for outdoor track or cross country. Usually, there’s a target number that a runner will aim for. It could be anywhere from 20 to 40 to 60 to upwards of 80… And generally, if you provide a greater number, your running buddies will take you more seriously. In fact, more and more kids seem to be taking pride in the number of miles that they run- it’s as if running more miles makes you as legit and superhuman as Usain Bolt.
Sorry to ruin your ego trip- But what if running more miles alone did not guarantee better times? What if running more and more miles o n l y for the sake of running miles led to injuries and fatigue and burnout? Would you still feel all macho and abs-o-steel and heroic? Continue reading “No to mindless miles, yes to mindful ones!”
As soon as I made it my goal to run in college, I realized that I needed to make a plan in order to get better.
And since I needed to figure out how to get better, I figured the best way to go about creating a plan was to make a running log in order to keep track of what was working and what wasn’t working about my runs and workouts.
The first week I noticed that I hadn’t been running as much as I thought I was– in fact, with 19 miles total and one off day, I was pretty tired.
So I made a goal to consistently average 30 miles each week (which I didn’t end up doing…) for cross country so that I could build up my endurance and survive the 5k.
I liked working towards my goals so much that I decided to let my goals govern the plan. That is, I was going to make sure that what I was doing each week was going to help me reach both my small goals and my big goal.
I ran out of space in running log 1.0 a couple months ago, so I have since been keeping my log online.
Keeping a log has also forced me to clearly define my goals and now challenges me to ask- what do I want out of running, and how can I get there?
Since hitting my initial goals of running in college and running specific times for certain events, I have set new goals for myself to achieve.
Having kept a running log for nearly two years means that I can look back and appreciate how far I have come from the runner (and person) that I was- it used to take me much longer to formulate plans around my goals and remain dedicated. Now that I have set a new series of (some rather daunting) goals for myself, I love to look back and remind myself that I met my goals by becoming dedicated to running (which I love) and putting in more hard work than I thought I ever would.
As I go to put my log entry in for today, I ask myself, how can I get better and meet my goals? And I realize that part of the answer is sitting right in front of me, in the notes and the numbers in my log.