Friday, August 26, 2011


I am fighting, struggling, squirming beneath my skin
Trying to move trying to push past the roiling deep within
As I struggle and battle and tear at myself, each step falls heavily down
I'm drowning, no suffocating, no slowly coming 'round.
I'm breathing now and suddenly I am filled with regret and shame
That I fought and struggled and squirmed at all---and then it all starts again.

Today I am fighting a "huge mental battle" as one of my teammates deemed it . It all started with that stupid e-mail...I have been wondering for a while now if I was being a coward for not asking my coach about a scholarship for this semester. I have been doing a decent job and plan on getting faster and peaking when it counts. So the other day, after being persuaded by my dear sweet husband, I did it. I asked him what I could do to get a scholarship. I didn't really expect much to come of it, it wouldn't be the first time I have been rejected you see, and I had kind-of set my sights on not really worrying about it this year. Well at least I thought I was prepared for the answer.

The thing is, the answer was no, which was expected, but the accompanying feelings were not expected. I felt rejected and hurt. I had heard about some other girls on the team getting offers and I started comparing myself to them. I started wondering why no one EVER seemed to think I was worth it in ANYTHING. I was angry and sad and SUUUUUUPER self-esteemy. I let it build up , I let it stew, and then I headed to our second practice of the day...all the while wondering who in their right mind would be putting 5 hours a day into something without any compensation.

Practice didn't go well for me. I pulled out of our last 1200m interval claiming asthma... which seemed legit to those around me given the little high pitch whines coming out of me ( they were really half-veiled sobs). I finished our cool down and headed home, ashamed of quitting, and ashamed that I was letting this bother me, and totally ashamed to tell Justin how practice went. ---Should I have told him? Maybe some battles are meant to be fought alone?---

Then today at 6 AM we had ANOTHER six minute time trial. It hasn't even been 2 weeks since our last one and I was bitter and angry and SO NOT IN THE MOOD.We ran the warm up and I just ran hard, not wanting to think about all the pressure and the anger and the sad and the mad. We started the 6 minute...I pulled out before finishing my second lap. This time it was my "ankle" that hurt ( for those who don't know I really have been suffering from achilles tendonitis, though it wasn't what was bothering me today). What a sissy I am, I just got so frustrated like " What you want me to wake up and get out of my warm bed to come run this stupid thing for you, which won't give an accurate estimate of what shape I am in anyway because our workouts have been brutal this week and I can barely feel my legs, and you want me to do it for FREEEEEEEEEEEEE and you haven't even given me new shoes yet...and the other injured girls get to ride the bike today and the girl that just passed me ,who I could easily crush in this run right now is not running for FREEEEEEEE...what kind of a ninny do you think I am..." and then I started mentally shooting the words "You get what you pay for" at my coach. Then I just stopped. Just quit. Just like that...and I was ashamed again.

Now I have got it all figured out though.I told Justin I need to have a reason for doing this, a cause, some method in the madness. See who in their right mind would spend so much time and energy on something they weren't going to commit to. I do have my reasons, there the same as they were before; I love to run. I want to beat my best time. I want to travel. I want to share this with my husband, but I lost sight of those things for  no good reason. I let it be about what others thought, I valued someone else's validation over my own, and I cheapened two of my work-outs because of it. You get what you pay for, it holds true for your training, for life in general I think. I believe that running is a good investment, that each day of practice and "I-can't-believe-how-hard-this-work-out-is"s will yield more than enough to make it all worth it.

Life's like that I suppose. It takes a whole lot of "eh" days to recognize those extraordinary ones that give us a sense of purpose. If we put in our best efforts how sweet will be the fruit of the harvest. If we are complacent, then what do we live for? It's not much of a payday when you don't put in the hours.So from now on I am not going to let anything stand in my way. I am not going to stand there and let the small things take me down. I am going to keep fighting, with everything I have, knowing that it's worth it, knowing that the fruit will be oh-so-sweet.

Monday, August 15, 2011

For ME

Today's the big day.. I mean THE day. The day of the duhduhduh, gulp, 6 minute run. See on our cross country team we do these 6 minute runs to test our V02 Max, or our ability to use our hearts and lungs effectively. Let me tell you though, my heart is quailing right now and I still have a couple hours!! See the thing is, I shouldn't really take the 6 minute run personally. It's basically a measure of your god given talent and just because someone runs it faster than you doesn't mean they are going to be a better 5k racer. Somehow though, this 6 minute run seeps its way into each of our souls and all of us get on that starting line jittery and rarin' to go. It's a madhouse I tell you and ESPECIALLY the first one of the year, everyone wants to make a good impression on the coach and for most of us there are SCHOLARSHIPS on the line here. Justin is currently telling me that he thinks " Coach will take the 5k into perspective more than the 6 min." He fails to encourage me.

To top it all off I totally hurt my achilles last week and haven't  gotten a good and proper training run in since MONDAY! ahhhh One whole week of swim workouts and the elliptical, I might as well just claim my place in the back here and now...and yet...there's my little notebook lying slyly on th bed with my goal times for each 200 meter split of that 6 minute...and I tell you what those goals ain't based on bad-ankle-me. In any case, I am totally scared out of my pants right now but at the same time I relish it, this feeling of pumping up , of getting ready. Somehow it really doesn't matter whether I beat my teammates in this one or not. All that matters is that win or lose I LOVE this sport. I love it so much that I kept doing it, even when my scholarship was NOT renewed after my freshman year.

Last year I made a big point of that fact. I would tell my teammates "Well who cares if I only got 6th on our team, I am running for coach for free and you guys are getting paid." It was a terrible attitude...and one I would like to say has changed. I think it has anyway. If you ask me today what I run for, it's not for coach, it's not for free, it's for ME... and a teeny bit for Justin and my Dad because they just get so excited about it... so this year I am nervous, but in a good way because I am out to impress someone who I know will give me a totally fair critique...ME.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Your Mama Loves You

Today I was reading an old blog post by NAT THE FAT RAT, called "two drifters off to the see the world." It was a sweet and personal post, one of the gems among her silly stuff, and it really got to me.

Here at BYU-Hawaii I am an ICS major- Communication emphasis, which means I have been studying culture and anthropology. Often, my studies leave me feeling discouraged because I am learning this new objective and scientific perspective that makes the familiar seem strange. Today for example, we discussed Mormonism's representation in the Anthropological world. We talked about our "rituals", about "emotionalization as a conversion catalyst", about the "heirarchal political structure" within the Church. I enjoy studying these things and I think that looking at Mormonism helped put my studies into a new light. At the same time, however, I feel like this scientific objectivity tends to dehumanize. Talking about the adaptive value of  religious rituals or defining spirituality as emotionalism discredits, and detracts from the spirit that I feel as a partcipant. I look back at those truly pivotal moments in my life and imagine them being explained through this kind of perspective. It simply can't be done.

The truth is that the most real moments in our lives are not the ones that can be explained by academia. They are those personal , exsquisite moments in which we leave our thoughts and our theories behind. When we just lie there and let warmth and depth soak into our very souls.

I remember my mom rocking me , all wrapped up in a blanket and whispering " Mama loves you." My Dad tearing up as I crossed the finish line in first place , on his birthday. I remember looking into the eyes of my one and only and thinking " I could be with him forever." I remember standing at the top of a mountain overlooking the ocean and feeling an overwhelming peace and happiness, and knowing that there was Someone who created all this, knowing I belonged to Him in a most personal and Spiritual way. These moments took place without an outside catalyst. They weren't the result of some biological need or societal pressure. They were personal, private, real , both indescribable and undeniable.

I can hear the echos of my mother's simple phrase, I can feel within me an urgent desire and need to utter it for myself. To me it is so much more than a biological impulse to procreate. I feel it so much more deeply than I would an instinct. Yes, it's deeper than all that.

"Your Mama Loves You." When she whispers it to you in the night, when she chokes it out while you wait for your stuff at the baggage claim, when she squeezes into the camera's view and yells it out just before you press "End Call" on skype. Can you honestly claim it is anything less than divine?

Monday, August 8, 2011


Yesterday started off with a bang for poor Justin. It seems that every time I start a new round of birth control I go nuts. This time I seemed to think that Justin just didn't express his love for me enough. I happen to know that this particular strain of thought is untrue because Saturday morning I happened to tell all my friends about all the little things my honeybunches does just to make me feel special. Not to mention Saturday night was one of the most romantic dates I have ever been on, complete with beach make-out and security guards trying to save us from pre-marital doom, ( "...except we are already married sir so if you could just leave us alone now we'll try to wrap this up real quick without making any more single people jealous.") Anyway then I took my crazy pill Sunday morning and it was like the sky fell over. I laughed, I cried, I made Justin bang his head against the wall . Anyway , I guess we ended up in a good place because I came to my senses just before we had to leave for Church and got him all choked up by being like " I'm sorry honey, I know I am acting all crazy and everything. The truth is I know you love me and I know you show it differently than I do but I want you to know that I notice it. I noticed how you woke up early to fix my bike and how you are always trying to do little things for me. And I do love you for who you are." So yeah, I went a little crazy but maybe a little crazy was just what I needed in order to come to a perfectly  sane conclusion.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


This is actually a paper I wrote for an Anthropology class, I gave a presentation about the cultural significance of a favorite dish afterwhich we watched an episode of a PBS show entitled The meaning of food... I felt like I had some good insights, though perhaps the connection I made may seem a little strong. Anyway I just felt like sharing...

"After watching and discussing the episode of “ The Meaning of Food”, I have a newfound appreciation for its [food’s] effect on culture and life. The film had particular meaning to me because I happened to present my “Food Project” on the very same day. What I came to find out about my own attachments to food was reflected in the cases of the four different people in the film. After thinking on the depth of these attachments specifically: my own feelings about food, what I have come to learn about food and BYU-Hawaii students, and those of the people in the film; I have come to the conclusion that food can be a very spiritual matter.
                While preparing my grandmother’s “ German Pancakes” for their presentation to the class, I realized that my hands were shaking. As I rolled each strip, I laughed at myself and then mulled over possible reasons why I should get so worked up. I am not usually unnerved by school presentations, oftentimes I even relish them, so I knew it was not the presenting that had me feeling jittery. As I examined my feelings, both in that moment and later in class, I tried to identify just what this particular food meant to me. What I came to realize was that this sentimentality for a certain dish was actually a complex and multi-faceted emotion. On the one hand preparing the pancakes, normally prepared by or with my mother, alone made me feel incredibly homesick. Flipping them in my little frying pan made me wonder if I would ever be as good a wife and mother as my mom is. Carrying them in my bread pan while riding my bike amused me, and seemed to connect for me two different “me’s” (the college me and the at home me). Finally I sat down and really thought about it and realized that it went even deeper than familial ties or an identity crisis, it was just this, a combination of the carnal and the divine. You see, on the one hand food is a necessity. It’s something our physical animalistic body needs, a craving or dependence which is distinctly mortal. Food=mortality. On the other hand food is a very spiritual thing. Smell, our sense which is most strongly tied to our memories brings on an onslaught of familiarity as we partake of a particular dish. Taste allows us to feel gratification. The combining of certain ingredients, in a certain way, in fact is in itself a showcase of our ability to create, something (aside from reproduction) that is distinctly human. Something that comes from within. In essence then the creation of a particular dish based on smell and taste and preference and our creative abilities is a sort of triumph over our mortality. Yes we need food, but what we choose to eat in order to fill that need is a choice. And that ability to choose is representative of our divine nature.
                Aside from my own experiences, I believe that others have felt a similar complexity behind their attachments to food. Here at BYU-Hawaii for instance, the counseling center’s number one recommendation to alleviate homesickness is to make yourself a dish from back home. Foodfest is hugely popular with students, and everyone seems to get extremely involved in the process of making their own traditional dishes. Food projects for classes are often the most prepared for in an entire semester. The case of the Alaskan Native Americans certainly seems to support my claim. The tribe members have gone to such extreme lengths in order to keep their right to eat their cultural food. They even specifically describe the spirituality of both hunting and eating the whale. Such a spiritual connection to food is apparent in the Ancient Hawaiians’ tender care for their taro, as well as in the emotion evident in the little Texan boy’s victory. I strongly believe that our connections to food are deep. Perhaps even deep enough to represent the triumph of the spirit over the natural man."

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I am a videographer located in Goodyear, Arizona. Visit my site to check out my best work and the Stories Told blog.