Off on an Adventure

I am off on my second trip of this holiday break! This time I am going with a group called Cooper House from my church in Hokieville (AKA Blacksburg) to Atlanta, GA to participate in a DOOR Ministries mission trip. This is my first mission trip, and I have no idea what to expect. We have our basic schedule, but won’t know what volunteer sites we will be going to in Atlanta until we get there Sunday night. I am really inwardly excited for this trip, and really outwardly nervous. I have no idea what to expect, only know 2 of the people going with me by name, and have no control over what happens and what plans are made.



I want this trip to be a learning experience. The first of many this year hopefully. Here are a few things I hope to gain during this week in Atlanta.

A relationship with God. I have this, but I want my faith to grow stronger, and I want to learn new ways to pray and talk to him. I want to encounter God. You hear about people going on these types of trips and feeling God and seeing him work in their life and the lives of the people around them. I want to experience this!

Friends. Like I said I don’t really know the girls I will be going with. The leader is my bible study leader and TA in metabolic and I love her. So I know I will be comfortable with at least one person. But I hang out with so few people at school because I am always studying that I have few opportunities to meet new people and form relationships. I will be eating, sleeping, working, and worshiping, and riding to and from Atlanta with these girls. I will have plenty of opportunities to break down my wall and make new friends.

Information. About me. I want to learn how I can be flexible with food, exercise, studying (yes I am bringing GRE study materials with me, it is a long ride to GA), and doing things spur of the moment. Because I know so many people are not like me and don’t like to plan every minute of their day. I am hoping this trip will kick start my search for balance and flexibility in my life this year.

So I leave with my mom for Blacksburg today (She is being awesome and driving with me out there and then coming back to pick me up next Friday night), and then GA on Sunday morning! I will not be bringing my computer with me as we will be sleeping in a church with other groups for the week. Plus I want to be experiencing social life- that means not using my computer, social media, and TV shows I could watch as a distraction from these wonderful people and God. I know my reader will be overwhelming when I get back. I am OK with that! I cannot wait to come home and see what all of you have been up to for a whole week!

What a Week can Do

One week ago I was moving into my apartment in Blacksburg, VA, and getting extremely (and nerdily) excited for a new school year full of fresh starts!

Me and a new backpack all set for a new year!

This past week has been another eye opener actually. While in Blacksburg with my parents 1.) I had no real time to “workout” and 2.) no real desire to. And I realized that last Thursday would be my last day riding my stationary bike with Grey’s Anatomy or Pretty Little Liars or Bunheads to make it even better…

Because I am that college student who brings her own exercise machine 😉

Why do I need to take this with me? Because the gyms have awful times at VT. I am sorry but not opening until 9am on Saturdays (or CLOSED because of a football game) does nothing for my mental flexibility. How am I supposed to have an unplanned rest day when it is likely to be Saturdays only because I can’t get my workout in right when I wake up and then will most likely get caught up in my studies for the rest of the day??? So I have the bike at school now. But that leaves me with almost two weeks of summer without it… Which has been slightly uncomfortable but also slightly GREAT! and needed. At the beginning of the summer if I didn’t workout in the morning then it wouldn’t happen, but then I started volunteering at the hospital so I had to move my workout to the afternoon (unless I wanted to wake up EXTREMELY early on my summer vacation). But I was still very rigid with it. I would come home and HAVE to workout even if I was slightly hungry so I would delay my mid-day meal until like 4pm… This also didn’t give me a whole lot of flexibility when it came to making plans with friends. Bottom Line: Exercise became a way to fill up my day, and pushing all FUN out the window. My days became filled with resume building volunteering (which I honestly love to do so no complaints) and exercise, followed by sedentary activities such as reading blogs, reading a book… basically just waiting for the next meal time. No FUN there…

So it is a good thing my bike is gone for the next two weeks, not only does it help me break this exercise addiction that was beginning to develop again but it also allows me to explore new ways of enjoying exercise. I have found out that I can run and enjoy it. Not long distances by any means because I have dancer’s hips and that hurts them. But a good 30 minute run at a tortoise pace feels good and I feel accomplished! (30 minutes used to not be enough for me) I also really enjoy walking around my neighborhood with a magazine (nutrition related preferred! but I just picked up cosmo with Lucy Hale on the cover yay!) and I pulled out my beach cruiser FINALLY! So I’m having fun finding new fun. I even walked into a ballroom dancing class with tons of nerves and walked out wanting to do it again! O and grabbed a ride on my daddy’s motor cycle… Nothing like that to clear the mind and relax  the body!

The best thing about this week is that I learned that it is possible for me to take a break from my exercise, enjoy the time off, and still want to exercise again. A fear I had just a week ago. What if I took a few days off and never wanted to do it again??? It seemed plausible in my mind because ever since I was younger I have hated all sports, gym classes, running… everything except dancing and now even that doesn’t give me enjoyment (I am hoping that will change). But guess what? I am not the same person I was back when I was 10, 15, even 19. And I do LOVE being physically active. Now you won’t find me playing soccer or any other sport or running outside anytime soon (or ever) or running long distances or for long periods of time (I am sorry I just don’t enjoy it enough) but I do love my gym time (yes I am a gym machine junkie) and I hate to sit on my bum all day unless my task is mentally enjoyable (like counting calories and nutrients in school lunch options or studying anatomy). I am a completely different person from even a week ago!

So what did I do this week besides take a break from exercise that has affected me so much? Well apart from driving 6 hours to Blacksburg while my mom was the passenger (first time!) I also got to live in my new apartment with my new room, go out to eat with my family, drive in Blacksburg for the first time, volunteer in the Virginia Beach School Systems food service department (working 9-5 and sometimes 6!), get back to my hospital volunteering (I love that food service office so much!), and I hung out with my best friend Rebekah at her house (we needed girl time), at IHOP (Swedish crepes now have my heart), and with her family watching Jeopardy (my favorite TV show of all time I do believe). And I think I am finally seeing the importance in balance and how I am going to have to force myself out of my comfort zone to find it.

Ready to drive!

Let’s do this!

Come into my room! (sorry this is dark!)

A Healthy Reminder over my bed

O the woos of being short! This is how I must reach things in my kitchen!

Not a great phone pic but what an AMAZING meal!!! White Cheddar pasta, with stuffed portabello mushrooms. I have gotten this meal twice before and it has never had tomatoes, spinach, and artichokes with the cheese! loving that the restaurant uses produce when it can get it fresh!

Learning to meal plan for a school system!

So this post has been all over the place and I am sorry, but I hope that I have relayed how awesome I am feeling about life currently. I am having mental struggles but I realize that this makes me no different than the rest of the world. It is my ability and wish to work on the things I struggle with. Not accepting my all-or-nothing personality that makes me different than many people. I realize that not working out at all and then working out too much is not balance but it took experiencing both for me to realize how awesome it will feel to find the balance between the two. So one week has done wonders to my mind. I was a little nervous for the upcoming year (and still am but now it is healthy excited nerves). I know that this year if I keep challenging myself to experience new things, I am going to have a whole different experience in college! I will probably meet new people, do different things, and learn so much more than what is in my textbooks 😀

Have a great rest of the weekend!