Monday, February 27, 2012

A Moment Of Impact

If you’ve seen the movie “The Vow” , you know about the movie’s focus on “Moments of impact…” the  opening monologue states that our lives are simply a culmination of many moments of impact that change us forever; events that change the course of our life in such a drastic way that they can’t be ignored or forgotten. Some of these events are choices that we make, while others we have no control over. When thinking back on my own life and my “Moments of impact”, I’ve found that there are very few that are bigger than when I met James Brooks.
            This past weekend I took a trip to Greenville, South Carolina. This is not an unusual trip for us because we have a lot of family there. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.
But I now have several very close friends that live there too. Lifetime friends. Best friends. I only get to see these guys a couple times a year, but they have literally changed my life. My friendships with them have played a major role in my walk with the LORD and when I look back on the chain of events that led to our friendship, I have no doubt that God was in it 100%. But in order for you guys to understand, I’ll have to re-wind almost 4 years.
            The summer after my sophomore year of high school, I was scheduled to attend “The Wilds”, a bible camp in NC that my Dad went to growing up and many of my siblings had been to in previous years. I wasn’t interested in going to camp and spending a week of my summer reading the Bible and praying. However, everyone I knew who went had the time of their life and always came back talking about how great it was and how much I would like it. So reluctantly, I put my name on the list. My brother and I were going with the youth group from a church that we used to attend and we were lucky that they had exactly 2 seats left open on their bus. Once we arrived and I was settled in, I became nervous that I was not going to have a fun week. I didn’t really fit in with anyone in my cabin.
Later that night, however, a kid came in a joined us. His name was James and we immediately hit it off. We spent the whole week together and everyone we talked to thought we were best friends who came to camp together. But it wasn’t until I learned his side of the story that I realized how divine our meeting really was.
            James had been going to the wilds all of his life. He was planning on going with his home church that summer, but several month earlier, suffered a meniscus tear that made that trip impossible. He was finally feeling well enough to go later in the summer but did not expect to get the chance because all of the waiting lists were full. However, the week that I went was plagued with the flu and had so many kids sent home that they were short on campers and had several openings. James lives only an hour away from the camp, and so with the news of this open spot coming to him via his sister, he packed his bags and came up that day.
            By the end of the week we had become best friends. And I had learned that he lived 2 min. from where my grandparents lived. I was so excited that we had that connection that would make it easier to visit. We kept in touch after camp texting a couple times a month and catching up from time to time. We decided to line up our camp schedules for the next summer and spend another week together at the Wilds. But this year was going to be a little bit different. James was bringing two of his friends from home (Clay and Ben) along with him. I was nervous that I wouldn’t get along with these guys as well and that it would make the week awkward. I could not have been more wrong. Much to my surprise, I clicked with them as well as I had with James a year ago.  We instantly became a tight knit group of friends and they helped make that week 100x better. That week of camp brought us another new friend however. That is the week we met Letty. She fit in well with the group and knew who James and Clay were through a friend. Letty and James are now together and have been for almost two years and wouldn’t have met if James and I hadn’t lined up our schedules to go to camp together.

            I kept in touch with all of the guys and was excited to see them again next year. James and Ben were able to visit for a week that next summer and I went to camp with James and Clay the week after.  That year at camp, I of course made new friends. One of the people I met was Sara Beam. She happened to go to church with James and Clay and also knew Letty through a music camp. The connections were crazy and we all became very close. By the end of that week, I considered James and Clay to be two of my closest friends. I kept in touch with everyone (James, Clay, Letty, and Sara) through the year but wasn’t sure when I was going to see them again since we had aged out of camp.
            So here we are. My family took a trip to SC to visit my grandparents. I got the opportunity to see family and cousins and also to re-connect with my group of friends. We didn’t miss a beat. We talked and laughed like we had been friends all of our lives. I went snowboarding with them one day, and to church with them the next.
            In them, I have a core group of Christian friends who bring me closer to God and closer to themselves every time that I interact with them. I have this group of friends because there were 2 spots open on the bus to camp; Because James suffered an injury that seemed to only bring him pain; Because the flu spread through camp the week that I went; because James was put in my cabin and happened to live down the street from my Grandma; Because Clay and Ben came along the next year; Because God knew what I needed and Blessed me with more than I could ever asked for.

"Ten guys with shines for eyes ef de he beff"
"I smell like and irish spring! With a lil bi a bri-ish"
"The father's comin and we wanna go home"

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Personal Goals of a Personal Trainer...

     So I made the decision last summer to go to Liberty, but still had no idea what I wanted to major in. I have always had a passion for sports and knew that I couldn't do something behind a desk, but I wasn't sure where that left me.
     As of late, however, I have developed a real passion for fitness. I am paranoid about keeping up with exercise and am very fascinated by the biology of it all. I looked into several different careers involving such things in order to try and find a goal before I started down a path. Physical Therapy and Athletic training were always options, but tended to be more of the rehabilitation aspect of physical wellness. Personal Training, however, interested me much more. I get to spend time doing and learning about what I love, but also have a rewarding career helping others achieve their personal goals. It is a career that utilizes a lot of my skills as a person, and is something that I believe I was made to do.
     As many of you know, I have decided to enter into Liberty's "Exercise Science" program to earn my Bachelor's.
     Howwwwwever. Many of you might not know that I recently started towards my ISSA (International Sports Science Association) personal trainer certification. What this means is that once I finish my program and get my certification, I will be qualified to work at almost any gym, country club, spa, etc. As a personal trainer.
     I believe this will provide me with several very important things. Connections in the industry, a good part-time job to help keep me afloat through college, and valuable work experience in the field that I hope to eventually end up in.
     So, if all goes as planned, in four years I will have my bachelor's degree in exercise science, i'll be graduating with several years of work experience, and hopefully will be on my way towards opening up my own gym someday. I really appreciate all of the support that I receive on a consistent basis from all of you guys and really couldn't imagine taking this journey without you. Thanks so much!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Olan Rogers Trip.

     So, the choice for what to write about first was not a hard one. About 2 years ago, my good friend Luke showed me this guy on youtube who he thought was quite funny. His name is Olan Rogers. Olan made video blogs sharing stories about his life and also some pretty funny shorts for youtube. So I subscribed to him and have been a huge fan ever since. One of Olan's biggest fears is being on stage and performing in front of people. This would clearly limit his career in the future and he wanted to do something about it.
Olan's Youtube Channel
  About a month ago he posted a video updating us on his life. (He just moved away from home and has a lot of stuff going on) And at the end of the video he mentioned that he was going on tour. He was really nervous about it, but wanted to meet all of his fans and finally get over his stage fright. Naturally, I looked at the tour locations to see if he was coming to a virginia venue. He was not, BUT, his first show was in Charlotte which is only 6 hours away. I called Luke and we decided to make it happen.
     After a tiny bit of yard work to raise some gas money ;) we were off. We left home home at 11 am and the show started at 7. This was the longest drive I had ever taken but I was excited to have a friend come along with me. We were having a good time. The music was pumpin, we were jammin, and the memories were flowin. After a couple hours of "singing" we began to settle down. As I previously stated, it was nice to have someone else in the car. I had someone to talk to and laugh with. I was in the middle of telling Luke about my favorite childhood memory when I looked over at him and saw this....

     ...okay, so maybe I wasn't in the middle of a story, regardless, the next 2 hours were filled with silence as we kept on truckin through the POURING RAIN!
     When Luke woke up, we were only about 30 min. out. We hadn't eaten yet and decided to get some Chick-fil-a. So I used our GPS "Kurt" to find the nearest one. It took us a while to find it because Kurt got really confused and had no idea where we were. We finally got our food and headed towards the Fillmore. Once again, Kurt got lost and ended up bringing us to a set of abandoned railroad tracks. We had no idea what to do so we asked a woman standing outside of the nearest building where the Fillmore was. She said she gets that question all the time and all GPS's lead people to this spot.
     So finally we arrived. Almost 2 hour early, but we were there.
     The show was great, Olan was very funny and the rest of the acts were pretty good too. Though they didn't really matter to us as much. After the show, the time had come to MEET Olan Rogers. We weren't sure exactly what to say or how to act. We just asked him a few questions and got the latest information on the videos he is working on. He then signed our shirts and took a picture with us.
     ...But we didn't stop there. We decided to ask Olan to do "Danger Legs"with us (<---Link explaining what danger legs is exactly)  Danger legs is his signature dance. He agreed, and we became the first people *on record* to publicly "Danger leg" with Olan Rogers. The following is a link to said event.  Our danger legs
     But Olan was not the only youtube celebrity on the tour. We also got pictures with Mitchell Davis from LiveLavaLive and Nanalew/Meekakitty.

...So yeah, the trip was awesome and TOTALLY WORTH IT. The drive back started at about 9:30 pm and we arrived home around 3:15am. It was filled with HOURS of freestyle rapping, Kurt taking us through random ghost towns that were pretty creepy, scary stories that are only scary at 1 am, and of course...taco bell.
     It was basically the most fun I think i've ever had and was the first time I have ever lost my voice from laughing so much. I did not know that was possible.
    Sorry this post was so long, I just wanted to make sure I included everything and gave you guys the whole story so that I don't have to tell it OVER AND OVER in person. Hope you enjoyed.

Monday, January 16, 2012


     I totally forgot about this blog and had abandoned it for so long that I didn't even remember the password. So, I have decided to kind of start off with a new series. It will be tracking my college life. This will include all kinds of things. You will read about my personal stories, thoughts, realizations, decisions, milestones, aspirations, and developments. I thought this might be better than random posts on Facebook and would be more documented and organized. 
    Before I start posting these life tales, I should probably give some of you a little background...
     I am currently a Freshman in college. My plan through high school was always to go to James Madison University with my sisters. I wasn't sure why that was my plan, I only knew that everyone seemed to like it there and that I probably would too. 
     Several times in my high school career I felt like maybe I should attend a christian college. More specifically, Liberty University (most likely because of my circle of influence). But I would always push these ideas away because I didn't want to spend my college years following a bunch of rules and sitting through countless sermons. College is the time in your life where you figure out who you want to be as a person and finally get the freedom to make your own choices and why would anyone was to limit that freedom by attending a University that put restrictions on those opportunities?
     As I began the application process, I decided that I was going to show God that I knew what was best and only apply to JMU, GMU, and ODU. Thankfully, God closed the JMU door through my own lack of effort in school. I was not accepted into JMU and didn't really want to go anywhere else. 
     Towards the end of last summer, I finally gave into what I thought God's plan for me. To go to Liberty. I realized that what I wanted to DO with my life was serve the LORD. The only rules that Liberty has are rules that would help me develop a better relationship with him. However, it was too late to apply for the fall semester so I enrolled in TCC. Little did I know, In making me wait an extra year, God was protecting me from myself and setting me up for success instead of failure. I have had to use this year to learn how to study, how to take initiative, and how to handle college life in general. I believe if I would have gone to any 4 year university right off the bat, I probably would have either failed, or been very close to it. 
     So here I am, in my second semester at TCC. I have already been accepted into Liberty for transfer next fall. I plan to enter into their Exercise Science program and become some sort of Personal Trainer.

     I can't wait for what the future holds, and am excited to share it with you all. 

Godbless.    (^^^PHOTOSHOP^^^) haha