Technology Addicts- The Lot of Us

Hello, friends!

Below I posted a link to a Bill Maher clip where he talks about the effects technology has on us and compares it to an addiction. It is only 5 minutes and worth a watch.

 

He starts off by referencing a recent “60 Minutes” segment where someone talks about everything that Silicon Valley creates is for the purpose of making us feel compelled to check in constantly with our technology. Some people use a laptop or Ipad consistently but this is mostly referencing our smart phone use. Basically, we check our phones constantly throughout the day because OUR BRAINS WANT DOPAMINE. Dopamine happens to be directly related to pleasure. The chance we could get a reward, such as a like from social media or a text from someone we like, is exactly what our brains desire. Our brains are constantly seeking pleasure and trying to avoid pain. In the clip Bill Maher explains why this is comparable to nicotine-this is an addiction! Checking our phones and other technology is habit-forming and Bill doesn’t really talk too much about this specifically, but he references it: excessive use and addiction can be harmful. Bill also compares this to the food industry where a lot of food (really just the snack foods in a supermarket) are processed in a lab and full of sugar, salt, and fat. We cannot just eat one Oreo or Dorito; we need a lot because our stomachs will not feel full and it tastes so good. Not satisfying or nutritious, but delicious.

The average person checks their phone 2600 times a day. WHAT!? A third of Americans check their phones during meals. Pedestrian deaths are way up because both drivers and pedestrians are looking down at their phones. These statistics are easy to believe when you think about it. Most adults don’t seem to be quite as addicted. I could be wrong, but not from what I see. I feel more concerned for my generation and younger kids who will grow up addicted to technology. Kids will have IPhones when they are 10 before you know it. For all the benefits technology has and continues to create, this is scary and unfortunate. Reading books and other sources of text will go down, which I think means our literacy as a country will decrease. Literacy is not just whether you can read what this blog post says. Literacy includes one’s ability to interpret what they read, think critically about a topic, and more. We will also be constantly distracted and removed from the present moment. Rather than taking the time to really engage with your family at night and those around you, I just see it as being too easy to revert to our phones or other technology.

When I was student teaching last semester my first lesson to start the unit on the book 1984 involved me setting very strict classroom rules to try to resemble what it could be like living in a totalitarian society. Basically, I took away a lot of their rights by not allowing them to speak and only doing as I told them. Otherwise, they were “punished.” I asked them afterwards what a worse punishment would have been that would have actually gotten them fired up. The majority insisted that it was their phones. One girl seemed rather serious that she would have marched to the principal’s office to call her Mom to get her to come to the room. It sounds like they would have gotten out pitchforks and gone wild if I took their phones away for just one period of the school-day. Addiction, man.

I know this is a topic that a lot of people will sort of talk about. Everyone kind of seems to know that too much technology is bad, but addiction will get you. It gets me a lot. I’m not going to be a hypocrite and pretend that I’m not checking my phone often or on my laptop (still have to get a new one) a lot during the day. However, for a while I have gone without any social media apps on my phone, unless you include snapchat. I put my twitter down a while ago and only use Facebook on my laptop. I have noticed that I check my phone a lot less often now. I try to resist the urge to look through it when I can. This doesn’t make me better than anybody, obviously, but I think it benefits me in a lot of ways and I am not just distracting my brain for a while.

I really would love to hear some thoughts from other people about this! Feel free to comment on the post itself or text/ message me in some way. Any thoughts are welcome, clearly, but I would really love to hear from someone who disagrees with what Bill is saying in the clip and what I have added. Thanks!

Free Throw Mania and BDAY

I accomplished the free throw challenge yesterday! My goal was to hit 20 in a row and the process worked well. I actually went on to hit 32 in a row before missing. Before shooting a free throw, players tend to go through a short routine with the ball prior to their shot. Some dribble, some pretend to shoot before shooting, and then there are many other ways. Once you get the ball in a real game, you actually have 10 seconds before you must release. This ended up being the hardest part for me, other than doing this all on my own (I had to get my own rebound each time). I kept switching my routine, I tried to tell myself that the routine did not really matter, and I noticed that my mind kept thinking about whether I was doing the right routine or not. I finally sort of settled into one, but the X-factor was when I switched my focus to each shot. I found that my brain liked to jump to when I accomplished the task and I was done shooting, rather than focusing in on what I was doing and putting in the work. This is where mindfulness can help. I focused on how the ball felt in my hands and I told myself that the shot I was taking at the time was the most important shot. Not the next shot, or the one before, but that one. This was obviously not fool-proof and my mind wandered a bit, but it really helped. Neuroscientists, Buddhists, and more use a term “flow” to describe when one is fully engaged in something. You have probably experienced this in an athletic event, playing music, or some other exhilarating experience. The mind is not wandering when you are in flow. What you are doing is all the matters. E.g. When a basketball player cannot miss a shot and the hoop looks 10 times bigger: they are in flow.

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I do not have any witnesses to my feat, but I would ask for your trust. And today is my birthday! Well, it is our birthday. My twin sister, Sophie and I turn 22 today. Veronica is coming over and later we are going out to eat. I think Saturday will be more of the celebration day where we go out for drinks and such.

Have a wonderful week.

Life Keeps Rolling

I hope everything is going well for you! As always, hope you are at least okay or that you will be in the near future.

I haven’t written in a while because of everything going on, but I’m excited to write this post. This will mostly be stream of consciousness writing with some lackluster proofreading at the end, so thank you for reading and bearing with me.

I finished my last final last Tuesday (was a paper for creative writing) and then had a lot of free time leading up to graduation. On Wednesday night I actually went bowling with John and James as a goodbye of sorts to them as they were leaving in the morning. I was absolutely terrible in the beginning-throwing multiple gutter shots-but then I kind of got the hang of it and threw some strikes. We were the only ones there and it was a lot of fun. Alcohol in the freshmen dorms afterwards as an RA with residents? Na, that didn’t happen 😉 We also played an entertaining game with their multiple girlfriends called “Tellestrations” I highly suggest looking it up. Lots of hearty laughs. As I’ve said multiple times, I’m excited to see the team keep getting better. The upcoming sophomores are serious about running, as is Joe, obviously. Led by Joe and the upcoming sophomores and juniors, along with some solid freshmen, cross country and track will be enjoyable to follow.

 

Thursday night I went out with a good bud, Rodolico, into Pheonixville. Ursinus bussed us out and back. There are a lot of bars in the town and we had a good time. Molly Maguires would be my suggestion if you want fairly priced drinks and solid appetizers. Near the end of the night most of Ursinus seemed to congregate at this bar called Bistro. It was nice to chat with a lot of people for probably one of the last times.

Friday morning I played some basketball with 10 inch, Simoncini, and Sean Clark. We played 2-2 with all the different team possibilities. Simoncini can really ball out. 10 inch is just a wild man on the court. He will literally run into a brick wall to try to get a rebound. I’ve been playing a good amount of basketball recently and I notice that I am getting my groove back a bit. In the evening my family and Veronica came to watch my induction into Phi Beta Kappa. The ceremony was nice, but the dinner afterwards was superb. The society seems almost secretive for some reason, but I’m certainly proud to have been inducted into a selective group. Later that night there was a bonfire. The fire itself was actually huge. There was free beer and I ran into Slade, Newman, and other old friends. Reminiscing about old times and talking about what’s to come was enjoyable.

Jamie arrived on Saturday morning! We got some good ol’ Wismer brunch and then went to the beer store to get some beverages of choice for that evening/night. He also brought a yoga mat as a comforter of sorts for sleeping and was nice enough to watch me do some Yoga using a new app I just downloaded called “Down Dog.” Every Wednesday from 12-1 this past semester there were free yoga sessions for all athletes and I went to most of them. Yoga works wonders for your muscles/tendons in both flexibility and strength. We then went to hang out at the track suite for a bit and played some drinking games with Mitchell and co. Later that night we went to the field-house where there was free food and drinks. They also had an inflatable slide and a bunch of activities like corn-hole, basketball, and more. I really enjoyed this part of the night as it was relaxing, yet fun. I got to chat with a lot of people at this event. Later on we went back to Reimert and got to dance around with Drew and some others. We then coordinated a naked lap with Mitchell and went down. Campus Safety came and we were rather worried for a short time, but then I went and spoke to the guy and he was totally fine with it. Another track tradition lives on. At least in some fashion.

Graduation day itself was really nice. I was not even really planning on going to Baccalaureate in the morning, but then my family wanted to go, and now I am really happy that I went. The speaker, a reverend at Eastern University, gave a rousing speech. Our commencement speaker, Dan Mullen, who spoke later that day at the commencement ceremony, was fine, but too generic and unwilling to tell take risks in my opinion. The reverend was insightful and told stories that brought tears to my eyes and others watching. His suggestions for how to live were actually founded in some research and not were not bland suggestions you hear from a lot of people. I then went with my family, Veronica, and Jamie to brunch before the ceremony. The food was nice and I was happy I got to spend time with people that mean a lot to me. The ceremony itself went well, besides the fact that my bladder felt like it might burst at some moments. Peeing on your robes isn’t that bad, right? But then afterwards was enjoyable as I got take a lot of pictures and feel the love. Ursinus is a special place. I know a lot of people have qualms with some aspects of the school, as do I, but overall I really enjoyed my experience. It will certainly be hard to say goodbye and not go back to school in the Fall. Alas, change is inevitable and everything is impermanent. I feel that I have learned a lot and plan to put my understandings and skills to good use.

Last night, Veronica ran an incredible race. And I mean incredible. Swarthmore College, the place where many people seem to have running PR’s at the Last Chance meet, including myself from freshmen year in the 1500, seems to hold some kind of magic for many runners. Na, it’s not magic, it’s more the fact that it’s basically an elite meet and an amazing atmosphere. Many runners peak at Swat and the competition is wonderful. Veronica PR’d by 28 seconds, got 4th place in a loaded field, closed in a 34, set the school record, and much more. Her determination is something to watch and admire. She ran fairly even splits and PR’d in the 2-mile during the race. Her mental toughness is remarkable. She now has the relationship PR as well by 4 seconds. I don’t know if I will ever beat that, but it will be fun to shoot for. I’m content with Veronica having that; she works her bum off and is one hell of a runner. Also, shout outs to Drew for a big PR in the 1500 and to Sam for breaking 16 in the 5k!

Life keeps rolling. I have until early August before City Year begins. I know some people get really bored without a set schedule, but I plan to do my best to not let that happen. I want to get back into running and working out more soon. I hope to see Veronica and friends a lot. I want to spend a lot of time with family. I want to continue building my mindfulness practice. Because as comforting planning for the future can be, and as trite as this sounds, we really only have right now.  I have also just started watching another HBO show called “The Leftovers.” Captivating thus far and it seems like something that I will continue. I hope to read a lot as well. I am currently reading “Waking Up” by Sam Harris and next I have “10% Happier” by Dan Harris lined up. Any suggestions are welcome! Today I will be heading to the gym soon to try to get those 20 free throws in a row. I have not forgotten about the challenges post. Yesterday I got close. I hit 15 in a row, missed, 16 in a row, missed, and a bunch of 8-10 in a row streaks. I found myself getting frustrated, but hey, that’s the point of a challenge.

Much love everyone.

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Saying Good Bye to the School’s Laptop

One of the big perks Ursinus advertised to potential students when I was a senior in high school on the college search was the guarantee of a laptop for all four years. Next year will apparently be the first year where they will not be giving out laptops to the incoming freshmen. Now, I know a lot of people think the laptops the school gives out are shitty, and while the lack of a place to insert CD’s and the terrible tendency of the touch pad to stop working, I will miss this laptop. And my lack of tech savvyness will make finding a new laptop for a reasonable and fair price challenging. I had the option to buy this laptop from the school to keep using it, but I’ve already been using it for two years and getting a new one seems like the better option. Also, the price they are asking for ($340 or so) is comparable to the prices I have seen for a brand-new one.

Alas, this is the last blog post I will be writing on this laptop. At 11:15, I have to return it to tech support. I know some people have horror stories with their laptops, but thankfully I have avoided that. I also used my first flash drive and backed up my files! This post has been dedicated to this laptop. One day, when AI may have some form of a conscious, this laptop could know that I am thanking it. We don’t ever want AI to reach that level, but it could happen. Cheers.

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Some of my Creative Writing Poems

I thought it would be a fun idea to post some of the poems I’ve written for my creative writing class this semester. Seeing as my last assignment as a college undergraduate is to create a 12-page portfolio of my best work in creative writing, I have posted some of my revised poems below that I really like. Don’t pay much attention to the format. Copying and pasting made the structure look a lot different than it looks in a word document. The first piece, “The Making of a Man,” is a persona poem. I sort of take on the persona of a man challenging norms that are placed on boys. The next four poems are all tankas. Tankas are based on syllable count per line: 5-7-5-7-7. The 4 poems are all interconnected and considered a tanka chain sequence.

 

“The Making of a Man”

Toxic Masculinity.

Hyper-Masculinity.

Boys will be boys.

But how does a boy become a man?

Men can cry.

Men can cook.

Men can clean.

But how does a boy become a man?

Men can date men.

Men can read.

Men can paint.

Teach them at a young age,

How to respect all people.

To try new things.

A boy knows that they do not have to fit in.

Teach them to hug one other.

To stop rating girls,

purely based on their looks.

A boy knows that they can ask for help.

Go ahead,

Call me and my friends fags again.

Insecurity at it’s finest.

A boy can laugh,

A boy can dance.

 

 

 

“Beliefs Over Time”

 

1)

church. yeah, well sometimes.

baptism. confirmation. yep.

enforced on us? nope.

christmas and easter. each year.

just going with the flow, right?

2)

prep. mass all the time.

doesn’t matter much early on.

then kairos happens.

we are all in this together.

faith is suddenly vital.

3)

ursinus. new turf.

church on sunday evenings.

time starts slipping by.

god still matters, just not church.

change is okay, but still hard.

4)

senior year. new times.

anxiety. ocd.

suffering. joyful.

i love god. Buddhism knows.

mindfulness is my new way.

 

 

 

 

Haverford’s Coach: A Legend

For as long as I have been running at Ursinus-since freshman year-Haverford has been the distance goat (funny pun because they call themselves the goats). Or rather, their coach, Tom Donnelly, has been the GOAT. While John’s Hopkins has over 4,000 undergraduates and an endless amount of great athletes, Haverford still seems to own the conference in distance events during track, and especially during cross country. Haverford’s school population is similar to Ursinus’s: around 1300-1500. Now, the dominance has certainly been changing a bit as John’s Hopkins has beaten them during my time here, but since 1993, Haverford has only lost 3 Cross Country Centennial Conference Championships. Our conference is incredibly competitive, so this feat is rather remarkable.

I understand that once he started to establish Haverford as a great program, more and more good runners probably started to go to the school with running as their number one reason. However, what makes his resume even more impressive is that the team improves consistently from top to bottom. Over my time at Ursinus, I have noticed that runners who were on the slower end of their team’s spectrum still improved drastically as time went on. And then their faster runners got faster as time went on. When you are already really fast, it gets harder and harder to drop time. Runners who go into that school and are half decent end up being really good runners by the end of their careers at Haverford.

I really have a lot of admiration and respect for their coach. He seems like a really nice guy who cares about everyone on the team, no matter ability level. And for a team that runs as well as his does, this is something I appreciate a lot. I’ve found myself wondering multiple times what their training is like. I feel like they have some kind of program that they all follow. In general, it seems if you stick to the program, over your time in school you will keep improving. That is something all lovers of the sport want to be a part of.

Below is a nice article about Donnelly:

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2008/11/14/sports/othersports/14haverford.html

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Getting Closure

Hey everybody! I hope things are going well for you. Again, if not, I do hope you are okay.

As graduation comes closer and closer, I realize all the closure I am getting here at Ursinus. Last week, I ran my final track race. Tonight, we have a track team dinner where seniors are recognized. On Sunday, there was an athletics ceremony for all UC sports teams where all the seniors were recognized (and we got this really cool watch). Last night was RA formal. Next week, all the senior RA’s have a special dinner with our pro staff and all the dean’s at the school. I also attended the English Honor’s Society ceremony yesterday where I unexpectedly received an award for academic excellence (some mula came my way thanks to this). Next week I have an induction ceremony for an honor’s society. There are really just a lot of final things going on.

Thinking about all this closure, I feel a lot of gratitude. I am thankful to be recognized for all these things. I also feel a mixed sense of pride and for lack of a better word, guilt. Yes, I have worked hard during my time at Ursinus and I committed a lot of myself to the different classes/activities I have done, but I don’t think I have worked harder than a lot of my fellow students. I know that a lot of other students don’t get this same type of closure with awards and ceremonies. But the guilt I think really stems from a recognition where I know there are lots of people in the world working much harder than I am, both physically and mentally. In college, the duration and frequency of breaks between classes and activities is remarkable. Just knowing that most people don’t have the luxuries I have spurs some feelings of guilt. It is very easy to forget about privilege and how rare going to a good college/university really is. For the amount of money it costs, one does have the right to complain about certain aspects of college such as food, but having three guaranteed meals (all you can eat if you want), is something most people never get.

Despite this guilt, I do feel pride and I know I should not be ashamed of that. I worked rather hard at times and did well in my classes/ other activities. I put myself out there and tried to help others. I prepared myself for classes and participated a lot, aware that this is how you learn. I was an RA for three years, recognizing the importance of being involved in a community.

For all of this, I am thankful. And I plan to take what I have learned during my time at Ursinus and put these tools/skills to good use. I want to help others and I will work towards that. I’m also thankful to Ursinus for all of these closure activities. At a bigger school, I really doubt this would happen. It’s a nice feeling to be recognized.

Sometimes, I read through some of what I write and wonder if I sound like an arrogant douche. I tend to wonder if people think I am trying to sound like I’m a great guy or something along those lines. I’m really not. I’m working on being honest in what I write. I’m thankful I can acknowledge my privileged position in this world and I hope I can do something with that. I do think Ursinus has helped prepare me for this.

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NBA Predictions for Second Round Match-Ups

Ayyyoo! Hope your weekend was nice. So it seems I got most of my first round picks correct for the first round of the NBA playoffs. The two series I was off on were the Clippers-Jazz and Thunder-Rockets. The Jazz-Clippers could have gone either way, but Blake Griffin missing most of the series did not help. I was way off in picking the Thunder. I highly overestimated Russel Westbrook’s supporting cast. Turns out Oladipo is really not that great, Enes Kanter did shit, and no one else seemed capable of stepping up. Meanwhile, I greatly underestimated the Rockets supporting cast for Harden… Nene, holy shit. And Eric Gordon and Lou Williams (Sixers Pride) went off!

Here are my predictions for the next round:

East

1) Celtics vs. 4) Wizards:

Prediction: Celtics win 4-2 

The Celtics seem to be clicking right now and are led by an emotionally charged Isaiah Thomas. What he is doing in the immediate aftermath of his sister’s death is remarkable. Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder are playing well, which is huge for the team. Al Horford is solid as always. John Wall and Bradley Beal should make this an interesting series, though. Both score at a high level and Wall is a great disher. Gortat causes trouble down low as well.

2) Cavs vs. 3) Raptors:

Prediction: Cavs win 4-2

The Raptors are a good team, but not good enough to stop a steam-rolling Lebron James and company. The Pacers should have won one or two of the games last series, but Lebron and his team showed a lot of offensive firepower down the stretch. The Raptors could make some of the games fun to watch, but I still think the Cavs are too much.

West:

1) Warriors vs. 5) Jazz

Prediction: Warriors win 4-0

The Jazz might be able to snag a game, but I doubt it. I really think the Warriors are too hot right now. They man-handled the Trail-Blazers, who are not a bad team. Even with Lilliard and McCollum going off, the Warriors were fine. They have too many options and can score in spurts that are detrimental to their opponents.

2) Spurs vs. 3) Rockets

Prediction: Spurs win 4-3

This is the hardest one for me to pick. I really underestimated the Rockets last series, and as much as I like the Spurs, they are definitely not that much better than the Rockets. Tony Parker needs to step it big-time like he did in the last game of the last series and Manu Ginobli needs to contribute off the bench. This series should be a lot of fun to watch. If Harden gets to the free-throw line a lot and the Rockets are making shots, they might actually be the favorites.

Hope you have an awesome rest of your week! We are also saying goodbye to a legend: Paul Pierce. A unique and fantastic basketball player. Always fun to play with him in NBA live 2006 back when I would play on the GameCube.

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“Big Little Lies” and Penn Relays with Veronica!

Cheers to your health, everybody.

I recently finished watching “Big Little Lies” from HBO and give the show an 8.5 out of 10.

There is only one season so far and I thought it was very well done. Unfortunately, if you do not have an HBO subscription, then I’m not sure you will be able to find the show online for free. If you can, however, then I highly suggest watching the show. There are only seven episodes and each are probably 50 minutes or so (not a huge time commitment over the summer). The setting is a small town in California and the plot revolves around a murder that the audience knows happened within the first few minutes of the opening episode. We do not know who was murdered or by whom, and that makes it all the more interesting. The town is full of rumors and there are three separate, yet very intertwined story lines that all come together at the end. You will probably find yourself hooked from the start and it only gets better as the episodes continue. The final scenes in the finale, where you find out what happened with the murder scene, are incredibly well done and so surprising.

I attended the Penn Relays last night! As we already know, Veronica Wheeler is amazing. Last night just added to the awe. Veronica crushed her 10k PR from last year, which was already a school record, by over a minute. She ran 36:43, which really is amazing. She averaged sub 6 minute miles for over 6 miles (25 miles on the track). The amount of mental toughness necessary to run a fast 10k is remarkable. Watching the race I was very impressed with Veronica’s ability to maintain her pace, despite being obviously tired and full of pain. There is a noticeable difference between Veronica and lots of runners when it comes to the tough parts of race. Many runners, myself included, tend to fall off of a pace and let the pain get to us, while Veronica seems to be able to withstand it better than most. She may slow down a tad, but it never seems drastic by any means. Everyone knows when runners hit the tough part of a race where they visibly slow down, but again, Veronica’s ability to maintain during this phase and to continue pushing points to her mental toughness and fitness.

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And a couple nights ago I did this little challenge with John and James across the hall. There is something called a push-up pyramid where you have to do 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 without letting your knees touch the ground. So after you do one set, you can hold a plank. You can also do all the push-ups in a row; 55 straight if you are in good enough shape. Maybe for some this is easy, but my goodness I found this difficult. I would hold a plank between each set, and by the end by entire body was shaking. It’s worth a fun shot if you’re looking for a quick workout you can do anywhere!

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UC Career Coming to a Close and Accepting Position with City Year

I hope you are doing well! If not, then I hope you are at least okay.

On Saturday I ran my last official race in a UC uniform. It’s definitely a weird feeling and one that has not sunk in fully. I have a FB post that talks about all the feels a bit. People dream of the fairy tale ending where you run a huge PR or win a championship. But those fantasies do not happen for many. I had my own ending that I’m smiling thinking about right now. Right before my race, Veronica came up to me and showed me this amazing banner that she created all on her own. The details are spot-on and great. Just thinking about the amount of time she put into drawing this makes me grateful. I found myself tearing up a bit before the race as I did some striders. I ran an okay time in the race, but I’m not focused on that. I found myself smiling multiple times throughout the race hearing friends cheering; I was happy to be out there. I found my legs very tired at the end of this season. I am not trying to make excuses, it’s just an honest observation. I still managed to PR this year in the mile, 2 mile, and 5k. As a distance runner, that makes me pretty damn happy.

Experiencing injuries and seeing close friends injured helps me feel thankful for how many times I got to train and race throughout my UC career. I missed a solid chunk of cross country during my junior and senior year, which was really hard and sucked, but other than that, I really did not miss any races because of injury. I’ve had lots of little knocks that affected my training, but that happens with running. It’s so easy to get caught up in comparing to others and criticizing yourself about how you are running in races, and I won’t pretend that does not happen to me (happens quite a bit), but I know running is about a lot more than times. It’s the day to day that really makes it for me. If you only focus on the times you have run, then you take away from all the training and hard work that you put in. All the little things you did to try to help prepare. All the fun times you had with teammates at practice. I think not having friends to run with every day will be one of the hardest parts about leaving UC. I always had XC or track practice to look forward to in the afternoon, even if it was a workout that I did not really want to do. I knew that I would be with friends, and then most nights we would spend a long time in Wismer afterwards chowing down and chatting. I got three years with Jamie, Vince, Rudy, Nolan, Drew, Slade, and Grant (for part) and I did not know what to expect this year after saying goodbye to such good friends. But the freshmen this year are great. Evan, Jonny, Mitch, Joe, Voyack, Dylan, Lukens, Connor and Sibs have all helped make it fun and worthwhile. Crystal, Blickle, and Tyler as well. With these coaches, I am excited to see the team keep getting better. Despite the anxiety stuff popping up this year, the team helped me look forward to getting out there most days.

Another part that will be very hard for me is not getting to compete in front of my family. My Dad coached me in many sports growing up and my family has come to so many of the different sports I did growing up. UC being close to my house has been incredibly convenient for us. I got to see my family on many weekends and that made me happy. I’ve gotten so used to training and racing that it will be tough to say good-bye.

I will keep running, though! Hoping I stay healthy. I’m not sure what I really plan on doing after school in terms of training and if I will get back into other sports. We shall see when the time comes. I’m also trying to run a 2-mile at some point over the next couple of weeks to try to drop my PR a bit. I’m at 10:32 right now, and I think I could run in the low 10:20s with a good strategy. If I am able to stay healthy, then I think I will try to do longer races more often in the future. I remember PR’ing in the 5k recently and noticing how satisfying and fulfilling it felt. I got more out of that race than running a solid 800 or 1500.

I also recently accepted a position with City Year in Philadelphia! Over the next year, starting in August, I will be working at a school in Philly (tbd), where I will be trying to help prevent kids from dropping out of school (middle and high school). I will be finding out a lot of logistics over the next few weeks about the position. Life keeps rolling. It’s hard at times with different things, and accepting the changes in leaving UC will be hard, but I am thankful. And I hope to continue to grow in gratitude.

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