Sunday, March 25, 2007

Shed Again

Oh laddy. It's been a while. I mean sure, I've posted. But I haven't gotten in here and just rambled for a while.

Do you want the ramble, or do you want the short?

I like the ramble, that's what I'm gonna do tonight. I hope it does somebody some good out there. If nothing else it still makes me feel really good. So here we go, Sunday, March 25. Ramble like a man named Rambo.

The past few months have been trial by fire for a lot of us. I guess life is like that the whole way through. You get stuff thrown at you, you adapt, you roll with it. In the end you're changed because of it.

Haha. What is this? It's finally time to ramble and I've got nothing to say? That's preposterous. I've always got something to say, right? Hmm, what if I don't?

Well, we're going to keep writing until I find something to write about. I do feel like writing, so that's what I'm going to do. Write write write write write.

I really love getting an education. I love learning as much as I can. That's why I chose the schedule that I chose. I understand that the last sentence wasn't grammatically correct, and I accept that.

But back to my point. I've said it before, but I'm staying it again. That's why I go to school. I go to learn.

And I don't want to point any fingers at anybody, but I don't understand why everybody is in such a hurry to get college credits. In theory, getting college credits should mean getting the best education that you can, but I don't think that always pans out in real life. One thing I never really get is when people say that AP is stupid because the whole course rides on one test.

That's not the case at all. You take the course to learn as much as you can. You take it because you want to grow and become better. The test at the end is just an added bonus. The two ought to be totally separate in my book.

I know that society tells you you've got to get ahead in college, you've got to do this and then do that. And that's great, getting ahead in college is wonderful. But where's the rush? Why are we all so worried about college? I want to go to college, I don't want to get out of there before I have to. I'm sure that'll change once I get towards the end, but for now it seems really short. I don't want to rush life.

It's just my two cents, I know. And I'll be the first to admit, I've made some educational choices for the wrong reasons. For a really long time I was aiming to be the valedictorian. I knew I had the capacity, so why not shoot for it? That's one of the reasons that I wanted to take a million AP classes next year, just so it'd bump my score up.

But then I thought about it, and it goes deeper than that. I don't think I'm going to be valedictorian anymore, there's a good chance I'll be beat out. I'm alright with that, because that's not my main goal here. My main goal is to learn as much as I can. I wish that I didn't have to graduate, because I'd be taking other classes if I had the choice. But alas, state legislature says I need one more PE credit and one government credit, so an AP class gets booted for athletics and government. Sure, I would have taken athletics anyways, but I probably could have squeezed AP psych in there somewhere.

Either way, my attitude with education isn't the same as everybody else's I guess. I think attitude really is the big thing though. I know. Everybody says that all the time, everybody talks about it. Parrish's class did the whole education reform project. I wasn't part of it at all, I didn't hear any of the presentations.

But I get the feeling that you'd cover more ground and get more done if you'd just motivate the kids. Don't talk about why they need an education to succeed and make money. Don't talk about why they need active kinesthetic learning to learn. Talk about how learning is going to make them better people. Heck, it's Utah. Tell all the Mormon kids how important an education is in the eternities.

It's not like we're playing for money here folks. That's not the big picture. It's not about college, it's not about graduation. It's about you.

Why do I keep talking about education? I guess it's because it's such a big part of my life. I'm not pointing any fingers or condemning anyone. I just really take this learning business serious, that's all.

Track season is in full swing. It's interesting this year. I'm..... not taking it as seriously as I could be. When I finally decided to run this year, I decided that I wasn't going to worry too much about competing. I'm running for myself. I do it because of the way it makes me feel. I do it because I know it's good for me, and I know that it's gonna make me a better person.

Once again. It's for me. Not for graduation. Not for a scholarship, because I know that that's not even a possibility. I'm not doing it because Coach made me, or because Jose tracked me down. I appreciate Jose helping me get back into it though.

Track is life.

Diabetes is life.

I'll show you how, check it out.

The whole concept behind the track workout is contrary to human nature. The idea that I'm going to stay after school for a little more than two hours and sweat and hurt and not breathe doesn't sound like fun. I walk out onto the track and warm up, then stretch. Coach tells us that we're going to run eight 200's today. So, we line up, and run the 200. We pant and wheeze and hurt and wish it'd be over, and then we run another seven of them.

At the end of the day my shins hurt. My legs hurt, I'm all wet. That much sweat is so uncomfortable. I know it's a genetic advantage, but some days it's a little much.

I get dressed, and go home. I'm tired and hungry and crash. I take a nap, and wake up and do homework.

So that's track. Why do it? Why run like that? Why dedicate that much time and energy into something like that?

It's because of the way it makes you feel. Deep down, at the end of the day, you know that what you've done is right. There is absolutely no doubt in your mind once you're walking off of that track. You know that you are making your life better. You know that this is a good thing you're doing. It doesn't matter what else is going on in your life. Track is good for you. It builds your body, it builds your heart and your mind. You're stronger on the outside and on the inside. You can make better choices, you can do hard things.

Track gives you more than it takes.

That's how life is. Every day you've got choices. Lots of them look like it's going to be a ton of work for nothing. It looks hard.

And it is hard, there's no question about it. AP classes are hard. Helping other people is hard. Getting a job is hard. Not being an idiot is hard.

But in the end, it gives you more than it takes. Your life is going to be better if you do hard things. Being a slacker your whole life isn't going to get you anywhere in track, and it's not going to get you anywhere in life either.

Track is life. It makes sense.

Now, as for diabetes, it's a similar situation.

When I eat, I have to take a shot. For every 15 grams of carbohydrates, I do one unit of insulin. It's a party.

But sometimes that party gets old. Not only do I have to factor in what I eat, I have to factor in the exercise I get. Those are the two big ones. Exercise acts like insulin, it lowers my blood glucose levels. So, instead of doing a normal sized shot and then working out, I do a smaller shot, then work out. That way I don't go low.

But either way, sometimes you get tired of worrying about it all. Sometimes you just want to eat a banana and not have to search for your insulin. Sometimes it's easier just to ignore it.

Now, at the time that you make the choice to ignore the shot it seems to you that this choice is going to bring you happiness. You're not working hard, and you're thinking that working hard is bad news.

And so you don't do the shot. Deep down you know that in 20 years you're gonna be really mad at yourself for this. You do it anyways, cause you're feeling like being lazy.

Now, you had the 20 years thing right. In 20 years, you are going to be mad at yourself. Your kidneys are going to be mad at you.

But that's not the only thing. The truth is, when you don't take care of your blood sugar, you feel crappy right then too. It's not just a future thing. You feel so much better when your blood sugar is where it's supposed to be as opposed to when it's high. When you're high you're irritable and your body doesn't perform the chemical processes that it needs to as well as it should.

You don't notice it as much once you're used to it. But after a few weeks of really taking good care of yourself, once you're high you can really feel it and it's trouble.

So, what's the point? Life is like that.

You see a choice in front of you, and you're looking at two parts of it. You're looking at the short term, and the long term. Sometimes it's really easy to say that in the long term this is going to be good for you. That's the same way with shots, you know it's good for you in the long term.

The short term is more confusing. You want to be lazy, and it looks like in the short term that's going to make you work, and you don't want to work.

But the fact is, working, and throwing the lazy out the window, is going to make you feel better in the short term as well. Just like doing the shot and taking care of your bloodsugar makes you feel good today AND 20 years from now, so too will doing whatever it is that you need to do. It's the same principle.

What am I getting at? I'm trying to say that our lives are governed by the same principles, no matter what it is we're looking at. Whether we look at track or personal health or work of education or relationships or life in general- we can make a few certain statements about them all.

First and foremost, we can be sure that working at something is always going to be better than not working at something. Our lives will always be better if we're working hard.

Inversely, laziness will always make our lives worse. Perhaps it won't have a detrimental effect in and of itself, but the fact that it prevented us from doing hard work, which in turn prevented us from making our lives better says that it's bad for us.

We can also say that doing what's good for us in the long run is generally good for us in the short term as well. We really don't even need to separate the two anymore. Short term blends into long term. It's all life.

I'm sure I've said it all before. I'm sure that I sound a little preachy. I don't really like people that sound preachy when they write.

And yet, it doesn't stop me. I'm writing this more for me anyways. This is really what I think, this is really what I believe.

Does it mean that I always live it? No, it just means that I ought to. It means that I wish I did live it. It means I'm going to try harder to live it.

Yeah, things get in the way. Some days we're so messed up that it's hard to even get the strength to work hard. Some days we just hate the world so we decide we're not going for it. Some days we say that we've been kicked around so much, been stepped on so many times that we're through trying to work with the system.

These things happen. But we're the only people that can change them. Bad things happen to good people. It is hard, but it happens so we can grow.

When people's lives are screwed up, it's not necessarily their fault. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. Sometimes it's a combination of the two. Regardless, the principles of life apply to them too.

If your life is screwed up, it's going to get a little better if you work hard.

Does that mean that your life isn't going to be screwed up anymore? No. It just means that it's going to be that much less screwed up.

If your life is good, does that mean that this doesn't apply to you? Does that mean that the only reason it's good is because you've worked hard? No. It just means that if you do what's right your life is going to be that much better.

Do I believe it? Absolutely. I know that my life is going to be better if I clean my room tomorrow. It's messy, and it needs to be clean. If I make my bed tomorrow, my life is going to be a little bit better. I don't really believe in the necessity of making one's bed, but I know that my Mom cares about it. And if she has told me to make my bed, and I make my bed, by golly my life is going to be a little bit better.

The dead horse is now a fine paste. I will now dip my paintbrush in that fine paste and continue to paint a picture with it.

Just kidding, it just seemed like the natural sequence of things, that's all.

So what does it all mean? Why do I write it all down? Is it going to impact my week?

I sure hope so.


Kortney said...

Wow, you have perfect timing. I definitely needed to hear some of the stuff you said. Sure, I hear similar stuff everyday, but today it was what I needed.

Good work

Anonymous said...

And it has impacted a lot of other people as well....including me. We all need to hear that. I definitely agree. Work is good, we should all do more of it. Meanwhile, exercising is life! I love dance! So thank you for increasing my motivation....again.