Monday, December 6, 2010

12 Days 'til Return!!!!!!:)

In honor of Christmas time and the infamous song "12 Days of Christmas" this is the 12 days until returning to Minnesooooooooooooota!!!!!!!!! It's more of the Top 12 things I'm looking forward to when returning!!!! With 1 being the # 1 THING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12. DAVE AND BUSTER'S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
11. DRIVING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
10. DULUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
9. LAKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3. SNOW AND COLD FOR 5 WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!
1. FAMILY AND FRIENDS I HAVEN'T SEEN FOR 1 1/2 YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

Now obviously there are a MILLION other little and big things I am excited for when returning, but these would have to be the top 12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No matter how much I think about it, or count down to the actual day, I think when that day actually comes and I'm in the site of family and friends at the airport my emotions will be out of control and tears will be flowing that a new lake will be made and words will be silenced for at least 5 minutes!!!!!! Lake Airport!!!!!!!!;) I mean I'm already stacking up on toilet paper!!!!!!!!!! In exactly 11 days from this minute, us leaving for the states will be in a KLM plane departing from New Delhi airport to Amsterdam, then splitting up and those going to Minnesota will be arriving in Minnesoooooooota 8 hours after departing from Amsterdam and arriving Friday December 17th at 12:15pm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) HOLY FREAKIN SCHNIKEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

Have a FANTASTIC Sunday everyone and to those at Woodstock, 9 MORE DAYS UNTIL STAFF MEETINGS ARE DONE WITH AND BREAK OFFICIALLY BEGINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LET JUNIOR SCHOOL SPIRIT WEEK BEGIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!;) HAPPY SMILING, HAPPY LIVING, AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)


Friday, December 3, 2010


Today is the first day of winter break!! Now I say winter break, even though technically staff starts their winter break December 15th!!!! However, not having to teach every single day, for me, counts that as winter break!!! A break from teaching, which everyone needs once in a while!!!!!!! It was a very interesting ending to the semester yesterday, which I will leave at that!!! However, interesting as it was there was a part of that day that made me really cherish life and having the health that I do!! Some are not so lucky and would do anything to have that health, either again or for the first time!!! People look confused when I say "no" to getting a ride in a taxi when it's late at night or the night brings darkness and cold!!! It's not that confusing in my mind!! I was blessed with healthy legs, a strong love of being cold (thanks Minnesota), and the love of fresh air (even if it is through the bazaar and barely any fresh air to be had)!!!!!! Point is, even the most simple things that you love to do, you need to do them!! This is what I've found to bring someone true happiness!! If you love to walk/run places then do it!! If you love to ride your bike, then do it!!! The day I can't physically run anymore will be a depressing day, or at least until I find something else to love!!! The stares you get when you run the bazaar with a backpack on in the early parts of the night is trivial!!! Trivial to the people watching you!!! But the people that either crack a wise joke/start to laugh, or look at me weirdly tell me they have no passion to run, otherwise they would completely understand!!! The lightness you feel when you are on your toes like a butterfly on your finger is the best feeling in the world!! The wind breathes through your pores and face, rejuvenating a possibly stressful day or crabby mood!!!! The sounds your shoes make as it runs over puddles, leaves, snow is so calming and soothing!!! The hypnotic rhythm of your breath (once in the zone) is mesmerizing but cleansing!!! The peacefulness you feel out on the open road during the break of dawn is the best way imaginable to start the morning!!! The reflecting thoughts about the day before or the current day, if running at dusk, fill your head sometimes, only to get resolution and calm!!! All of these little bits and pieces of a run make for a magical, joyous passion for life!!! Life is simple when you look at it through the eyes of a child: do what makes you happy and the world will smile back at you!!!! We (adults) complicate life sometimes with too much work and not enough childish moments!!! It was Spirit Week for Senior School at Woodstock, and every day it was so much fun to dress as something ridiculous and fun!! Even if that meant wearing a Saree one of the days!!!! However, not everyone had the same fun thoughts as I did, and I'm not mad at that, but sorry they cannot have that joy out of the simple things in life!!! I've been called immature and childish so many times I've lost count, but you know what, if the price to pay to be called those names is to be happy and excited about making others smile, then please don't stop!!! Call me all the names you want to, because you aren't changing anything!!! Life is too short to be worried about others and their thoughts about you!!! Yes, you obviously care about what loved ones think, but as for the general public who cares!!! At the end of the day, you go home to the ones you love and hopefully love you back!! And that's what makes the day so special!! Because you have those people in your life, that know the true you, and love you for you!!! I know who those people are in my life, which is why I surround myself with them every single day!!!:) Which is why I run, every single day, if not physically then mentally!!! I do it because I want and love to!!! Having an entire day off today really made me, for the first time in a while, appreciate how life is turning out!! We get so caught up in the day to day, that we sometimes forget to take a step back and look at what blessed things we have in life!!! (Now it's time to brag, sorry) I have an amazing, wonderful, beautiful girlfriend!! Close friends that not only make me happy, but enjoy the stupid, goofy things that I do!!! Family/friends back at home, that in 14 days from now, will hopefully get to see a son/brother/friend that hasn't changed except maybe some bigger calf muscles from all the freakin hills around here!!!!;) An Indian family that I've grown so close to this semester!!! And of course the awesome Woodstock students that has to suffer from my teachings day in and day out!!!:) I was reading a book today (shocking), a book entitled heartbeat by Sharon Creech (thanks Jen)!!! And there was one single line out of the entire book that I will never forget!! And it reads:

Run for the pleasure of running.

A sentence so simple, yet in life it can get so hectic that we forget the simple things!!! Don't ever forget the simple things in life, the simple things that can make you so happy, or others around you so happy!!! It's those simple things, that at the end of the day, will leave you smiling and feeling like it was a GREAT day!!!!!! Also, using exclamation points helps too!!!!!!!!;) After yesterday, today is exactly what I needed to appreciate everything I have and hopefully can spread the appreciation to everyone else as well!!!!!!!!!!!! For all of you back in Minnesooooooooooooooooota 14 DAYS BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) Everyone else here at Woodstock, LET THE WINTER BREAK BEGIN IN 12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy running and HAPPY SMILING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving of Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

As this CRAZY busy semester comes to an end, not being able really to post that many blog entries this month, I do think it is VERY important to post about Thanksgiving and what I have to be thankful this year!!!!!:) It seems so weird that last year during this time I had been in India for only 3 months time, and now it'll be 17 months!!! I think back to last year and all the friends I grew extremely close to, now have gone back to the states!! Mostly not by choice at all, but because certain circumstances came up!!! But let's get started!!! THE LIST OF THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR IN THE YEAR 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Health (both physically and emotionally)!!!!!!
  • Family (both American AND Indian!!)!!!!!!!
  • S.C.!!!!:)!!!:)!!!!:)
  • Friends (both American and Woodstockian)!!!!!!!!!
  • Woodstock School (students, staff and of course the job)!!!!!!!!
  • Paavo Nurmi Marathon, New Delhi Half Marathon, and World Run Day 2010!!!!!!!!
  • Having a strong passion for life!!!!!!!
  • Skype (to of course stay in touch with everyone back home)!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Running (especially in the mornings during sunrise)!!!!!!!!!!!:)
  • Smiling!!!!!!
  • The look of friends and family after not seeing them for 1 1/2 years!!!!!!!!!
  • Some lengthy, overdue welcome back hugs at the airport December 17, 2010 at 12:25pm!!!!!!!!
  • The Peters (Indian Family; mentioned earlier!!!!)!!!!!!!
  • The Wiebe's, especially Cookie and her kicking butt of cancer!!!!! See you guys soon!!!!!:)
  • Walks in the moonlight and around Mussoorie!!!!!!;)
  • Enthusiasm towards things you love!!!!!!!!
  • "Glass always is and always will be half FULL" look on life!!!!!:)
  • The little things in life!!!!!!!
  • Thursday night yoga!!!!! AND SPECIAL FRIDAY NIGHT PRE-RACE SESSIONS!!!!!!
  • Having someone always there to help get through the rough patches in life!!!!
  • Bedtime prayers!!!!!
  • For having things to be thankful about!!!!!!!!!!
  • and of course.............EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)
So granted some of these haven't even happened yet, HOWEVER, I know when they do happen I will be very, VERY thankful for those moments!!!!!!!!!! I can't say this enough, but I am SO VERY VERY VERY thankful for having such wonderful parents!!!!! Mom and Dad you are the greatest parents a son could ever ask for, and I know I don't say this enough or talk to you very often but I love you guys and there is not a day that goes by that I'm not thinking about all the things you've taught me to be in life!!!!! Not only through words but through your actions as well, which definitely spoke louder than words!!! Dad your passion for your job and always having such a positive look on life is one characteristic I am truly thankful for you having!!! And mom your caring and warmth you bring to everyone around you every single day has shown me how to open arms to everyone around!!!!!! And yes Nat don't think I forgot about you!!! You smell bad!!! Thank you for that!!!!:) That's older brother talk for I love you and thank you for all the support you have shown throughout all the years and even over here in India, with the COUCHSURFING.COM incident in Finland!!! I will always remember that!!! One of the sweetest acts ever!!!!!!:) I'll make it up to you someday, somehow!!! S.C. thank you for EVERYTHING these past 3 months and 5 days!!!! You not only have put even a BIGGER smile on my face every single day, but everything about you makes life worth waking up to, earlier and earlier just to see you or think about you!!!!!!!:) The little things you do make you such a special person and make my heart fill with warmth!!!!!! Now Dan, even though you're a HUGE jerkface, make my life a living hell, and constantly make fun of me, you are my best friend, will always be my best friend, and forever we will be united with all the memories in Shako, your basement playing video games, and those long tennis road trips to Hutch!!!! It won't be long my friend until we're back playing those video games and laughing at the most ridiculous moments ever!!!! AND my Shako Coaches don't think you're escaping this post without being mentioned!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The summer of 2009 will ALWAYS be in my most cherished memories!!!!:) What we did that summer can never be repeated, EXCEPT FOR THIS WINTER IN 2010-2011!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HECK YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) Can someone say frozen campout in the tennis shed!!??!?:) It'll only be -30, no big deal!!!!!!!! Laughing, frozen feet, and movies!!!!! Sounds perfect!!!!!! And even though there are a BILLION more people I could go on and on about I have to mention The Peters!!!!! This past semester has been so wonderful getting to know you guys!!!! You have made me feel at home ever since Day 1!!!!!! The warmth and care your family has, not only for each other, but for others you bring into your home is something most families have lost!!!!! That is fantastic you guys!!!!! I feel like one of the fam every time I come over, and with being so far away from blood family, that means so much more to me than you can imagine!!!!!!!!!!!!! All of you I have mentioned AND of course everyone else in my life past, present and to come I cannot thank you enough for all of the memories and moments we have shared, sharing, and are going to share!!!!!!!!!!! Without you guys, I definitely wouldn't be the person I am today!!!!! I have all of you to thank for that!!!!!!!!!!:) I wish everyone (on Thursday) the HAPPIEST AND MOST SPECIAL THANKSGIVING YET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everyone back in Minnesota I would proudly like to announce this very urgent news bulletin:


You know it!!!!!!!!!!!! I miss you all sooooooooooooooo sooooooooooooo sooooooo very much!!!! Can't wait to see you!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everyone at Woodstock I WILL SEE YOU TOMORROW BABY!!!!!!!!!!!:) HECK YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAPPY SMILING AND HAPPY GIVING OF THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Let the sunshine in, and never let it go!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

WORLD RUN DAY 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

GO OUT AND RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHY?!?!?! BECAUSE TODAY IS WORLD RUN DAY 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!! The entire world is running!!!!!! Do you want to be the ONLY one that sits on their butt all day and doesn't enjoy the wonderful world that is THE OUTDOORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You don't even have to run, the point of World Run Day is to be outside and be ACTIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe this will spark a memory you have of how AWESOME it feels to be active again!!!!!!!!!!!!! Especially if you are a runner who is out of date in their runs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Sunday, October 24, 2010

ACTIVITY WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well everyone I would just like to bid you ADUE (or however the French spell it)!!!!!!!!!!! IT IS THE BEGINNING OF ACTIVITY WEEK AND I WILL BE AWAY FROM ALL TYPES OF COMMUNICATION/TECHNOLOGY FOR 1 WEEEEEEEEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAVE A FANTASTICO WEEKEND AND WEEK EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!! FOR THE NEXT TIME I WILL MAKE CONTACT WITH YOU IT'LL BE 1 WEEK LATER!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah that's 3rd grade math right there!! BAM!!!!! MATH SERVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) See you all in 1 WEEK AND HAPPY SMILING!!!!!!!!!



Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nothing but you and the ground beneath your feet!!!!!!!!:)

"And just ran!"

Friday night it was exhaustion city over here!!! It has been a full week, 2 weeks, 3 MONTHS, of constant sports practices and preparations for Cross Country Inter House, Inter School, Sports Day Inter House, Inter School and it has either been practices up at the Chakkar or practices down at Hanson Field!! Either way it's an extreme UP or an extreme DOWN!!!! Plus prepping for Health and PE classes!!! Now this blog is not to moan or complain of all the work, in fact I love it, because it keeps me busy and motivated!!! Back to this weekend and my plans going in to it!!! It was basically going to be a relaxing, lazy, nothing but couch laying and a little work for Sports Day weekend!!! It really turned out to be the EXACT opposite of that!! Friday night was 4 loads of laundry, Saturday was running 12 miles in the morning, followed by a hike to Flag Hill with some sunset Yoga, Sunday was running 11 miles in the morning, followed by singing at church for staff choir and then lunch at Chardhukan!!!!!! But you know what, it WAS a relaxing weekend!! Why? Because I got to run, and I ran, and I ran far!!!!! There really are no words to describe the feeling you have when you run for so long except possibly peaceful, reflective, and at one with yourself!!! Those 2 links up above relate to a deep deep down dream and passion I have!!! One day, be in 5 years or 10 years I would love to just stop everything, run out the door and not stop for however long I feel like running!!! Granted if I have a family when I do it, they could come with and be my pit crew!!! But the feeling to have nothing but running on the mind and the sites and sceneries to be seen while running would be AMAZING!!!!!!!:) I keep coming back to my bigger years in 5th-10th grade and I'm fairly positive that's where the passion to run such long distances come from!!! I could NEVER run more than 1/2 a mile without stopping or getting completely winded!! And now any run under 5 miles feels like failure or not a good run!!!

"I just felt like running"

Another thing I love to combine with running is charity!!! And it would be such an added bonus if whilst running for such a long time it would be for charity!!! Like every mile I complete a person would donate $1 or something!!!! Of course ALL proceeds would go towards EDUCATION!!!!! Seeing around the world is a struggle for school funding!!!! Maybe its just crazy talk and could never happen, but what is life if deep deep down we don't have a passion or ambition to do something that one day could possibly come true!!!! If you have nothing to aim for, to strive for, then what are we???? Monkeys??? Its those crazy dreams and ambitions that keeps someone going!! Without them life would be lost and have no purpose!!!! Also running for me is equal to that of someone going to therapy!!!! Having such clarity in thinking while running is the best feeling ever!!! Your endorphines are pumping and your brain is working with precision!!!!! Who knows maybe one day I'll open the door, start running, and find myself 4000 miles away home after 2 years!!!!!:) Then again my life could be feeling complete and the need to run will be a little laid back and not so extreme!!!! Life is a journey so you may make the best out of it!!! BEST RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) Have a fantastic rest of the weekend everyone!!!!!!!!!!!! HAPPY SMILING AND HAPPY RUNNING ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!;)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

6 WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IN 6 WEEKS THE NEW DELHI HALF MARATHON WILL BE SOUNDING THE STARTING PISTOL!!!!!!!! It's been 5 1/2 freakin years since I've ran a half and COULD NOT BE MORE EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!! It'll be very weird, just like the Paavo Nurmi Marathon to not have family there cheering me on!!!!! That's one thing that I found very special to me, is having those loved ones, even if you saw them for a couple of seconds maybe 3 or 4 times along the way, standing on the sidelines cheering their hearts out for you!!!!! Finishing the race is the a great memory, but the greatest of all is looking for family and finding them with a big smile on their faces because they are so proud of you!!!!!!:) Those looks will last a lifetime!!!!!!! For all those out there who have family come and watch you run, you know exactly what I'm talking about!!!! For all of those who still have that chance, live every second of that moment, because you don't know what you're missing until you move HALF WAY ACROSS THE WORLD and lose that opportunity!!!!!! I think that is one of the reasons I'm so pumped to run the Jolly 5k in December, not only to run it WITH MY DAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But to see my family once again, on the route, cheering and showing me the love they have!!!!!!! It's truly special and I am so blessed to have such an amazing and loving family!!!!!!!! I miss you guys and I cannot WAIT to see you December 16th, 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As for now, my Woodstock family and I have a HALF MARATHON TO RUN/CHEER FOR ON NOVEMBER 21st!!!!!!!!!!!!:) BRING IT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Goal time for Half: 1 hour 20 minutes!!!

We learn and grow from failure. What happened in Finland will never happen again. Its time to take what has been growing inside of me (determination) and let it ERUPT at the New Delhi Half Marathon!! I fear for all those running, because come November 21st, they will see a Flying Finn........determined.......fearless........and with that EYE OF THE TIGER that has been missing for so long!!!!! IT'S GO TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO PAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO PAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO PAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LET'S DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

And we'll see you........tomorrow night!!!!!!!!!!!

Ask any Minnesotan about this phrase and they will tell you EXACTLY what this means!!!!! For all you non-Twins fans please watch/even if you're a Twins fan PLEASE watch!!!!

"Into deep left center....for Mitchell......annnnnnnd we'll see you......tomorrow night" - Joe Buck

Now all your Kirby fanatics out there, I dare you to watch this the first time without shedding some tears/flowing some tears!!!!!:) Being in India the past 16 months has been fantastic!!! But for some reason, in the past month there has just been days like this where not being home in Minnesota right now is killing me!!! Like even watching this I have been balling my eyes out!!!! Mainly because Kirby was my childhood hero, like a lot of Minnesota kids!! Everyone wanted to be just like Kiiiiiiiiiirby Puckett!!! The way he played the game was inspirational and with heart and determination!!!!!! I think one of the saddest days of my childhood was hearing the retirement of Kirby Puckett!!! I know it sounds lame and stupid, but to look up to a guy so much and too see him in tears because he's being forced to leave the game that he loves for his entire life was so emotional!!!! This is a guy who went out every single game and played his heart out, "like it was his last game," and it was such an inspiration to watch!!!! For all that don't know Kirby died March 6th, 2006 and I can still remember that memorial service like it was yesterday.  I was up at UMD during it, otherwise I would have definitely been there to pay my respects to the GREATEST Minnesota athlete of all time!!!! Thousands of Minnesotans and Twins were packed into the Dome to pay respect.  They played this wonderful video with the song "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong (Kirby's favorite song)!!!

It's really tough being in India right now, with the Twins in the playoffs and not being able to watch it!!! I remember going to the games with my dad, keeping score on the scorecard, at the Dome!!! Or going to the games with friends in the $4 seats with $1 dome dog Wednesdays!!!!! Its those moments in life that you treasure for the rest of your life!! No matter what, memories like those last a life time!!! Which is why its so hard right now, so close to being home, so close to seeing friends and family again, so close to hugging the ones I've loved for my entire life and haven't been able to in the past 16 months, so close to flat out being a TRUE MINN-E-FREAKIN-SOTAN AGAIN!!!!!!!:) 2 MONTHS AND 10 DAYS!!!!! But I am so blessed to have my Woodstock family and friends who are there for me to help me realize home is where you make it, and without them what would this experience be!?!? Having a loving/amazing girlfriend, caring friends, wonderful students that make me smile every single cannot get better than this!!! It definitely helps me through the tough times that will be the next 2 months!!! So wherever you are right now Kirby, probably at Heaven's stadium hitting some homeruns for the crowd, thank you for not only inspiring me to have the energy like you had every single game, but to do it with the BIGGEST smile around!!!!!:) To all those you touched when you were alive, we appreciate and miss the heck out of you!!! Rest in Peace Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiirby Puckett!!!!!! And for old times sake: TOUCH 'EM ALL KIRBY PUCKETT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)




Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The MUCH anticipated Quarter Break is now complete!!!!!! A 7 out of 10 experience!!!!!:)

1:14 pm!!!!! 1 minute before the final bell of a quarter rings and quarter break officially starts!!!!!! 3..........2..........1............QUARTER BREAK (we all yell)!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HECK YES TO QUARTER BREAK STARTING AT 1:15pm Friday October 1st, 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) And the first thing I do on quarter break....... YELL AT ALL THE STUDENTS TO GO HOME AND GO ON BREAK!!!!! GYM CLOSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) It was a joking type of a yell, cool out!!!!!!!!!!;) First thing after getting out of the school grounds was run home real quickly and get prepared for the weekend ahead!!! Packed up some minor clothes and other livable accessories and was back out the door to meet S and head for the buz!!!!!:) We head off and split our ways at the Clock Tower, because I had to start my run down to Rajpur to get some fresh OVEN BAKED PIZZA and she had to get some things in the bazaar!!!!! I made it down to Rajpur's Chaya in 1 hour 1 minute and 24 seconds!!!! Not too shabby with the MASSIVE amount of shrubbery and prickly bushes I had to chop through when I got to the nature trail!!! There were times when the path was LITERALLY covered and impossible to see!!! My legs are an unfortunate victim of the slashing and cutting that occurred!!!! Seriously they were burning and red all over!!!!:) But pain aside, arrived to Chaya, ordered a DELICIOUS chicken pizza and was back on my way within the hour!!!! Left Mussoorie at 3:05, arrived at Chaya at 4:06, and was on my stomach stuffed way by 5:06pm!!!! THANKFULLY S had to go to the bazaar, which pushed me to leave earlier, for the trip back up was, AGAIN, another cud climbing adventure and I needed all the light I could use!!!!:) Now there are 2 ways to get back up the path to civilization!! A right way and wrong way!! As you may guess what is coming, otherwise why would I go into detail about it, I accidentally missed my turn for the immediate up and correct path, and kept on going straight which of course is the WRONG and LOWER path!! My first red light should have been the lack of stone and gravel, because if I was on the right path I would have had a severe incline with plenty of loose gravel!! NOPE didn't see that, but assumed it was coming!!! Secondly, on the correct path there are these old cement steps in the ground when the British used to use this as their "highway"!!! NOPE didn't see that on this path!! Thirdly, and this was the final tell there is a left bend in the path that cuts through the hillside to go off to the right and up!!! If I was on the correct path, this bend that I saw would be cutting through the hillside.......NOPE no cut!! Just a CRAP load more of bushes and pricklies!!! Oh and another OBVIOUS give-away I should have realized back then is I went over 4 rock slides!! On my way down I went over 1 easy one!! 3 of these rock slides I came a foot away from sliding down the rocks and falling a pleasant 50 feet to probably a broken leg!! DON'T WORRY DIDN'T FALL!!! Expert hiker when getting lost!! Have lots of experience in this field!!!! So I get to this bend that should have cut through the hillside if I was on the right path and thought, crapola definitely on the lower path!! Luckily I knew EXACTLY where I needed to go: UP..............UP.................UP and away!!!!!! I had to cud climb!!!!! Now this may sound dangerous, but in reality you're going up a hill through bushes!! Not that hard!! Until you get to parts that freakin bushes are surrounding you and the only option is to army crawl on the ground up the hill, then it turns fun!! Which I only had to do 3 times!!!! So I climb up the cud (hillside) which takes about 6-7 minutes!!! Branches are poking me every which way, leaves are slapping my face around, and I'm pretty sure the prickly bushes saw me coming and uprooted and moved to my path because I was COVERED in the them!! SO comfortable when you're going commando and the friction of the legs are ever so frictiony!!!! I make it to the exact point I thought I would come out at, and climbed up the brick wall to VICTORY AND ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL DETOUR OF BUSHWHACKING!!!!!! GO TEAM TALISMAN!!!!!!!!!;) Meanwhile my goal of getting back to Mussoorie in 2 hours has now been put on sidetrack and my goal at this point was to make it to road before dark!!! I make it to civilization/cement just before the sun sets (which was covered with FOG AND CLOUDS)!!! The rest of the walk home was a piece of cake!! It was very peaceful and nice!!! These walks, stressful at points, are so nice to have in life!!! Think about anything and everything!!! Certain people, certain moments, or even the future!!! Whatever it is, it is your thoughts, the world, and quietness!!!!:) I stop over and hang out with S for a little bit to tell her my pleasant story/adventure!!!!! The next day we (S and I) planned for a nice RELAXING day!!! Basically lounging around, talking all day, ate some lunch, and did nothing!!! It was AWESOME!!!! From being on a schedule for 3 straight months (including weekends) having a Saturday of nothingness makes all that hard work pay off for that one day of relaxation!!!!!;) Also, BONUS, it was with S which you cannot go wrong there!!!!!:) We had some amazing talks all the way up to dinner time!!! Which we decided to go out to Rokeby for a lovely dinner!!! The walk up and back down was freakin spectacular!!!!! Talked about this, that, and others!!!!!! Sunday was another relaxing day!!!! Layed out in the sun having an ice cream picnic with S, R, and M!!!! With J in the chair being on "duty"!!!!!!!! And yes if I used their full names that would give away who I am dating, SO, again NOT going to mention any names!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA!!! Hey I already gave you the first initial to either her first or last name!!! Go from there!!!!!!!!!!!:) Pretty soon it may be 2 letters!!!!!!! Then Monday came and this was Dehradun Monday, not only for S and I, but ALL OF WOODSTOCK it seemed!!!!! Everyone was down at Dehradun when we went!!! We were supposed to be mystery guests and critique FabIndia and how they helped us, knew their stuff, and the overall layout!! Needless to say it was a blast!!!! Got some Nehru jackets which one will be worn TOMORROW at Parent/Teacher conferences!!!!:) Along with some other things!!!! Then after Fab we headed to McD's for some lunch and then Nerula's for ICE CREAM!!!!!!! We were up in the air if we should go back up or do something else in Dehradun!!! Luckily S knew of this Tibetan temple (the largest Shupta in the world) and we decided to go there!! It was AWESOME!!!!! Very peaceful and had this beautiful banyan tree!!! Which I'm looking forward to seeing plenty of those this winter break!!!!!!;) We walked around and went inside the Shupta!! It was AMAZING!!!! So many intricate paintings along the walls and so many stories being told!!! There were two levels to it, bottom and top!! The bottom God looked very evil and angry, not very peaceful at all!! But the top floor had a more soothing and peaceful God!!!! An excellent place to relax and pray!!!!! After that we headed back up to Mussoorie to relax and talk some more!!!!!!!!:) Even on the ride up we told some really fun childhood stories!!!!! I think the coolest thing about dating someone is really getting to know everything about them, past, present and their future ambitions/goals!!!!! Today was laundry day and had some major dirty clothes pile-up in my room!!!! So did that, lounged around the house instead of going for a run!!! Hey it was still quarter break give ME a break dang it!!!!!!:) And then tonight went to the Opening Ceremonies of the Mussoorie Writer's Conference!!!! The GOVERNATOR OF UTTARKHAND was even here to begin the ceremonies!!! Except I must say, her entrance was very classy but dull!!! Kinda expecting her to ZIP LINE from the top balcony, whilst strobe lights and spotlights are going back and forth, all while Eye of the Tiger (our school song) is playing in the background!!!! And then her bodyguards would come via trampolines on stage doing all sorts of flips and log rolls!!!! Again though, she didn't and just walked in on a red carpet!!! Very 1945!!!!!! Oh AND there wasn't even a passing of a torch or a big gong to ring to open the festival!!!:( All this hype, build up, and talk around school of this GRAND opening ceremony involving lights, zip lines and 80's music was nothing but rumors!!!! Granted I may or may not started a few, but that is here nor there!!! IT COULD HAVE HAPPENED!!!! Anyways, all in all, it was a freakin AMAZING, STUPENDOUS, AWESOME, AND RELAXING quarter break!!!!!! Best one yet!!!!!!!:) And of course all thanks to S and being that special someone to join me for the ride!!!!!!!! HA ending the blog corny style!! IT'S HOW US MINNESOTANS DO IT!!! We love the corn!!!! Take that Nebraska!!!!!!!!!!!!:P So that is all in a nut shell Fall Quarter Break 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There may or may not be more details to what was told, but you got the gist of it!!!!!!!!!!!;) Hope everyone's weekend was FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC and remember all: HAPPY SMILING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, September 27, 2010

September troubles!!!!!!!!!:)

What the heck is it with Mussoorie, September, and hikes going not as planned!!!!!:) Let's recap a certain hike from last year with Matt and myself!!!! We hike down to Thatyur in the early morning, get there around noon and decide we're big boys and can hike back up by ourselves!!!!! Long story short, we take a new way back, get completely lost, get stuck in the monsoon, stay at a nice couples place until monsoon is over, then see the lights of Mussoorie and return home around 9:45pm!!!! All in all an AWESOME hike now that's it is over with!!!!! Fast forward to yesterday!!!!!! Which is kind of a oximoron (I don't know what that means but it sounds good)!!! How do you fastFORWARD to a day that already happened previous to this day?!?!?! THINK ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!:) Anyways fast forwarding to yesterday, girlfriend (yes she will remain NAMELESS until I am positive everyone at Woodstock knows who, until that happens KEEP ON GUESSING) and I decided to go on a hike!! I picked out our destination and we left around 11am!!!! Had an amazing time heading towards our trailhead!! Trail head being a point where it goes from cement to NATURE!!!! Well we reach our trailhead after about 3 hours of walking!! Now you're wondering, holy crap how far did you go?!?! We went about 18.4 miles!!!! Okay not really, our destination could have been reached walking in about an hour!! BUT that is not our hiking style!! Which I love!!! We take our time and walk a wonderful strolling pace!! Let life slow down, take our time, and enjoy each others company!!!! No rushing here!!! Well we reach the trailhead, start walking through the forest and head for the ridgeline!!! All in all from trailhead to destination on the ridge is about a 20 minute walk mostly uphill!!! REMEMBER that!!!;) So we set up lunch, eat and then sit and talk for about 4 hours!!!!! Now we're heading into sunset and still talking away!!! It was a perfect night! Cold but perfect!!!! We talked about all sorts of stuff!!! Well now the sun was setting even more, but we were still talking away, when finally the sun has almost completely set and we decide to head out!!! Of course this being the night the moon decides to come out LATE!!! So now here we are with no flashlight and pitch black sky with a plethora of stars!!!! Now I've done this decent before, always daylight however and with contacts in!!! COMPLETELY different with no light and blind as a bat (no contacts)!!!!!! We start off, I'm leading the way and she's close behind!!! This is almost crawling speed, cause literally I was crawling to see the stupid path!!! We make it down the ridgeline in about 20 minutes!! In normal daylight would have taken probably 5!!! Now we get to a part where it looks to me like a dark yellow blur!! I ask "can you see a path??" She says Yes and takes lead!! THANKFULLY!!!:) Cause honestly I was struggling!! So she takes the lead, I'm holding her hand here cause I have no freakin clue what's ahead!! It's literally blind as a bat vision for me!!!! She does an amazing job finding the paths and giving me heads up about holes, rocks, and other various obstacles!!! Even though I was blind as a bat I still knew the general direction we had to go, that wasn't being affected!! So I kept pointing in that direction and she would find the best path to go!!! We're walking slow and safely but on the right path!!! Now there were 2 points of the walk that was really cool!! Both with the same occurance!!! There was one time when we were unsure of which path to take and at that EXACT moment a jeep would drive by on the road below and light up our options!!! THEN the same exact thing happened another time when we were stuck on a decision!! So that was really cool!! Oh might I mention too, taking a hike FULL of freakin stinging nettles in daylight turns into a BAD idea on the way back!!! Obviously every plant looks the same with no contacts and in pitch black!!! Wearing shorts on the way back, lets just say OUCH!!!! At least 4-5 different occasions got stung!!! And if you've never encountered a stinging nettle before, it does NOT take much when rubbing against it!! It could be a little brush of the tiniest part of the plant and BAM!! OOOOOOOOOUCH!!!! IT BURNS!!!!!!!!:) Anyways we're at a point now that we can CLEARLY see where we started and happy to be almost done and back on road!!! This after butt sliding down so many freakin mini hills to get to new paths!!! And let me tell you, butt sliding in dirt = dirt in the pants!!!! Continuing, not 50 feet before we reach the ending of the trail I step on an imaginary path (path not there) and FREAKIN FALL 30 FEET DOWN THE SIDE OF THE HILL!!! I go head over heels like 6 times!!! My face is all bloody, my arm is broken/shattered, and both ankles are mildy sprained!!!! Okay not really, we make it back to the road safe and sound and give a nice big hug of RELIEF!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) A hug similar to the hug Matt and I shared after we were lost, but obviously this one being WAY more special!!! Sorry Matt!!:) So after an HOUR of crawling speed down the ridgeline, which in daylight would have taken 15 minutes, we were headed back home via CEMENT road!!! Lesson to be learned?!?!?? Always remember to shower the night before a hike!! Cause if you do get lost or really slowed down, at least you'll smell good!!!!!;) Oh and probably also bring a torch (flashlight) no matter the time you leave for a hike and expect to be back around 4pm!!!!!!!!!!:) Sometimes time itself gets away from you!!! OKAY THAT'S ALL!! HAPPY SMILING EVERYONE!!!!!!! AND HAPPY SEEING!!!!!!



Thursday, September 23, 2010

Such a difference a year makes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

I was looking and reading some of my older blog titles and its so weird to see the transition in the blogs from this year to last!!!!!! Last year at this time it was all about adjusting to the monsoon and being like a baby seeing the world for the first time!! Every and any new experience I would blog within a day!!!! Which, in India, there was SENSORY overload that first month or two!!!!! So there was a lot to blog about!!! Now I'm noticing a shift in blog content!!! It's gone from new experiences to a more personal life/settling in basis!!!! I think I'm finally settled in and ready to go for the long haul in India!!!!!!:) What were new experiences are now everyday life!!!! What was once a goal to do my 3 years single and loving life, has now changed to being in a relationship and loving life EVEN MORE!!! YES I SAID IT!!!!! I'M IN A RELATIONSHIP!!!!!!:) That last blog was true!!!!! Life is SOOOOOOO much more amazing when you have someone special to share it with!!!!! Someone who makes your already ginormous smile increase to a magnitude unheard of, for the sake of words though let's use VInormous!!!! I'm literally scared my jaw muscle will be able to eat metal because the strength it is at now with all the smiling!!!!  Who it is though will still stay confidential because I know some of my students/coworkers read my blog from time to time and they're trying to figure out who!! So all you students and teachers out there, IN YOUR FACE!!!!!!!:) But getting back to the difference a year makes!!! It's amazing how you have these goals and thoughts in your mind when taking a new path/journey in life!!! When I signed the contract I thought, okay 3 years at Woodstock, single the entire time, come back retire in Shako teaching and coaching summer tennis of course!!! NOW, it's 6-7 years at Woodstock, not single, who the crap KNOWS where life will lead!!!!! However, that what makes life SOOOOOOOOOO awesome and interesting!!! One year ago I would never have dreamed this is where life would take me!!!! But on so many levels I am ECSTATIC to be at this point in life!!!!!! I am also very happy the USE OF !!!! HAS INCREASED 10-fold!!!!!!!!!:) I'm very nervous though I'm getting to a point where I'm going to need so many ! that it'll be like math and using a squared ! in my sentences!!!!!!! For now I'm hoping it doesn't break!!!!! ALSO its so nice to have a solid group of friends here!!! People you can feel comfortable with and know will probably be here in the long run!!!! I can see why the veteran teachers stay so close to one another, because its so hard to, every year, make new friends and then say goodbye a couple years later!!! Its exhausting!!! And this is only my second year!! I couldn't even imagine doing this for 5-6 years!!!! Of course it doesn't help HALF of the staff you arrived with left after a year!!!! Lame!!!! ON THE BRIGHT SIDE 3 MONTHS OF MONSOON IS DEFINITELY OVER WITH TOMORROW!!!! Looked at the forecast and I do believe it has SUN FOR FRIDAY!!! SUN FOR SATURDAY!!! SUN FOR SUNDAY!!!! SUN FOR MONDAY!!! SUN FOR TUESDAY!!! SUN FOR WEDNESDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After 90 straight days of rain, IT IS OVER!!!! I'm predicting a sudden SHIFT in moods starting next Monday!!!!!!:) Good ol' Vitamin D is BACK and taking over!!!!!!!!!!! I'm not sure if my smile can get any bigger, or what will happen to it if it tries, but LOOK OUT WORLD WE HAVE A 150% CHANCE INCREASE IN SMILES!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) Did I mention I'm loving life right now!?!??!?!? If not, LOVING IT AND THE PEOPLE IN MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAPPY SMILING TO ALL AND TO ALL A FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC NIGHT AND WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

p.s. SECOND BEST STAFF TALENT SHOW I'VE EVER SEEN TONIGHT!!!!!!:) And yes this is my second one!!!!!!!!!!;) We'll see how we do TOMORROW NIGHT when the Senior School is attending!!!!! GOOOOOOOOOOOO TALENT!!!!!!!!!!!!:)


Saturday, September 18, 2010

What I never thought was missing.........was!!!!!!:)

End of August and 2 weeks into September will be a time I will NEVER forget!!!!! Possibly because the future may be effected because of it!!!! The feelings you have when you're alone (single) in a place can be good and depressing at the same time!!! Good because you can do whatever you want, go wherever you want, fart whenever you want to, and not have anyone around that cares where you are!!! I mean obviously people care, but not in the relationship type of way!!! Well here's the catch side to being single!!! You don't have that one person that really cares about you at all times, to talk to whenever you're feeling down in the dumps, to look at across the room or hallway and feel a special bond!!! So yeah, of course being single would seem awesome and care free, but that's only because you are forgetting about the one true need every single human being needs: to feel cared about!!!! I believe that is one of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, in fact one of the necessary ones!!!! And once you get those feelings in side of you, those "care for someone" feelings, it feels like you're on top of the world again!!!!! I wouldn't trade that for anything, even if that means being single the rest of my life and being able to do anything whenever, without any objections!!!!!!! Because having feelings for someone, and I mean really having feelings for someone, is the greatest part of life!!!! When I arrived at Woodstock, I was so bent on living my years here single and free to do anything that I wanted to do, that I forgot one can do the same thing single or in a relationship!!!! However, in a relationship, while you have the freedom to do whatever, you also have someone that cares about you and you care about them!!!! That right there is one freakin spectacular feeling!!!:) And should NEVER be forgotten!!!! Being single for a long time makes you forget real quickly!!!! However, once you get it back it's like the sun is shining every single day, EVEN during monsoon!!!!! The way your eyes meet in the hallway makes the day 10,000 times better!!! Or their smile when looking across the room, lights up everything inside of you!!! Including your gallbladder!!! Yeah it's pretty much the most AMAZING feeling ever!!!!! Well there is a billion things more to be said, but I think that is a decent start for now!!!!!!:) Now you have to ask yourself, am I still single and reminiscing on the times of relationships OR have I found that special someone?!?!?! You can always ask me!!!!!!;) For now HAPPY SMILING AND NEVER FORGET TO FLOSS!!!!!!!!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

What is success these days???

This weekend has been FANtastic!!!!!!!!! Not only has there been plenty of activities this weekend, BUT both Friday and Saturday night my friends and I (somewhat different group each night) stayed up until midnight talking about education and what we are seeing as the new generation of teachers!!! ESPECIALLY in India!!!! It felt like we were in college again!!! So yes students, your boring old teachers stay up until midnight talking about education!!!:) EXCITING!!!!! For us at least!!! Anyways, last night was the more intense conversation about education than Friday night, mainly because we were talking about expectations at Woodstock and our opinions on them!!! Now I'm not going to repeat these conversations because we know what we talked about and that is that nor am I going to mention names with their opinions!!!:) However, I wanted to share some thoughts on my experiences with education, both as a student and now as a teacher!!!!!!! Mostly from the teaching perspective!!! Which has a LONG, ELABORATE history I know!! A whole whopping 1 year and 1 month!!! But that is in formal education, I also have 7 years of teaching experience on the courts back in Shako, so it's not like I'm brand spanking new to this concept of pedagogy!!! As a student I won't lie I was one of the more "teacher's pets" you could say!!! ALWAYS excited to go to school and see my friends and goof around!! But when it came to the books I was above average!!! At least up to high school!! Then my easy ways of barely studying and just basically knowing was going down the pooper!! I actually had to study now!! And this is where a lot of students determine their path in education right here and there!!! They can either CARE about grades and their future, OR they can blow it off all together and go through the motions!! Well luckily I cared about my grades and future and I got down and dirty, not studying too hard but enough to get a 3.5GPA!!!:) On the ACT (similar to SAT's) I scored an 18 the first time and a whopping 22 the second time, out of 36 I think!! Needless to say aint going to Harvard!! But thankfully I had no ambition at ALL to go to an IVY league school or any of those "rich" schools!! My eyes were set on THE U of M (sorry Michigan, but we are THE U of M) or THE University of Minnesota Duluth!!! By 11th grade those were my 2 college choices and thanks to 5 years of teaching tennis at that point I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to be: a PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER!!!!:) Senior year came by, I applied for both U of M and UMD and was accepted FIRST into UMD and from there the rest is history!!! I didn't need a campus visit, because I've been to Duluth so many times I knew I would love it there!!! College was AMAZING!! First year on academic probation (stupid lib eds!!) and again had a choice either shape up or give up!!! OH I SHAPED UP HARD AND FAST!!!! Got off of Academic Probation after my second semester of college and never looked back!!! I was motivated as all crap to get that Physical Education degree!! Because I knew there was nothing more that I wanted to be in life, or anything more meaningful!!! So going from a 2.2GPA after my first semester and graduating with a 3.14 wasn't too shabby!!! And yes comment all you want that it was only "UMD"!! No glamor school, no nationally known college, it was plain and simply my college and now my alma mater!!!:) And you know what, everyone else's opinion simply didn't matter!!! Why?!?! Because I was happy and proud to be a college grad and on track to teach Physical Education the rest of my life!!!!!!:) AND THAT IS WHAT MATTERS!!!!! Not the college you graduate from, not the grades/marks you receive, not how many extra-curricular activities you participate in!!! The one and only thing that I think matters in life is going after what you're passionate about!!! And the rest will fall into place!!!!:) I was passionate about teaching (specifically PE) and that passion turned my grades around in college and landed me a job at Woodstock!!! If interviews only went by grades and marks there was no way I would have landed this job!! However, interviews focus on one thing, that person's personality and character!! And Woodstock (I hoped) could see my passion for teaching and for Physical Education!!!!! THAT is what landed me my first dream job!!! And what a dream it has been so far!!!!:) I couldn't be happier, and this coming from a UMD grad, shocking right?!?! How could I ever be THIS happy without an IVY league degree, graduated with top marks in my class, or a big bank account?!?! Simply groundbreaking stuff right here!!!! Ooooooooooooooooh wait I think I know, it's because I am doing what I WANT AND LOVE TO DO!!!!!!!! A lot of this/most of this comes from my parents!!! My dad got into banking when he was 15 and loved it ever since!!! My mom got in to religion and has been the most passionate pastor I know ever since!!! When I told them I signed a contract to Woodstock School in India and then told them what I would be making, they were the happiest parents I knew!!! Why?!?! Because they know this is what I want to do, and this makes me happy!!!!!! They didn't care what I was making, or what school I was teaching at, all they care about is seeing their son happy and doing something he loves and is passionate for!!! Which brings me back to the perspective as a teacher!!! In a lot of ways we are parents to these kids, especially at Woodstock!!! If we show up to school everyday showing no enthusiasm or passion for what we do, how are we ever expecting our students to be excited about life?!?! You teach by example damn it!!! If I teach PE, you better believe I'm going to be active EVERY SINGLE DAY OF MY LIFE!!!! How can I preach the benefits of staying active if I'm a 100lb overweight lazy butt!?!?! How can I teach enthusiasm about life if I don't show it myself every single day!?!?!? How can I inspire students to do something they love, if I myself do not do something I love every single day?!?! In a perfect world every student would be in shape and going after what they love!!! Well real world says that aint gonna happen, and you know what that's okay!!! Why?!?! Because that is why we become teachers to take that head on and try to motivate and inspire!! If teaching was easy, EVERYONE would want to be a teacher!!! But it's not!!! That is why I will NEVER tell my students to stop doing what they love and focus on what will benefit them the most financially and what will look good on a resume!! Once we (teachers) start doing that we're not teachers anymore, we're everyday people who just tell someone younger than us what is the best thing to do.......a.k.a ADULTS!!!!!!!!!!! No, a teacher is someone who cares and believe in students!! A teacher is someone who will work that extra hour one on one with a student who is struggling and trying to find their place in life!!! A teacher is someone who WILL SHOW UP TO WORK DAY IN AND DAY OUT READY TO INSPIRE!!! A TEACHER IS SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T FOCUS ON RANK/GRADES BUT ON A STUDENT'S CHARACTER AND MORAL DECISIONS!!!!!!!! We are shaping the future teachers of the world, and if we do not lead by example then what becomes of this next generation?!!? Who are we but dust in the wind if we do not try to make a difference and impact on each student's life!!!!! Good college, big paycheck, nice car?!?! Those things come and go!!! Heart, passion, and character stick with someone forever!!! They are you, they are your soul!!! We cannot change their character, we can only inspire and lead by example!!!! To all those out their who strive to make change every single day in the classroom I solute you!! For those who go through the motions everyday cause it's giving you a paycheck get out now!!! You are doing no good for yourself and for your students!!!! Why does the system fail from time to time, because there are teacher's out there who don't care for the student's, only themselves and advancing in the paycheck ladder!!!! So what is success these days, I can't tell you what yours is but I know what mine is and I know I'm on the right path!!!!!!! There's my teaching philosophy!! And they say keep it under a paragraph!!!! RIGHT!!!!:) Hope everyone's weekend was FANTASTIC and HAVE A WONDERFUL SEPTEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!

3 MONTHS AND 20 DAYS MINNESOTA/IOWA/KANSAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves" -James Barrie

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A unique experience??

Well as of 12:35pm (Saturday, August 21, 2010) I said my 3 month and 28 days goodbye to the Wiebe's until I see them again in Kansas back in the states over break!!!!! But still that's 3 months and 28 days too long!!! As I took last night to kind of reflect on everything that has happen this past 1 1/2 months I realize I'm kind of in a unique predicament right now, comparing myself to the staff that I came over here with that is!! Let me explain:

-One of the few that came to Woodstock knowing NO ONE and left all friends/family behind
-The only one that has not gone home to see family and friends since arriving (going to be 1 1/2 years)
-Helped pack BOTH the Farley's and Wiebe's things before they left Woodstock for good (within a 1 1/2 month span)
-1/2 to 3/4th of the staff that I arrived with has either quit and gone somewhere else or had to go home before their 3 year contract was up (which will be end of next year)
-One of the few living alone (which I like)
-Have only been on 2 dates this entire time and have had NOOOOO relationships (good and bad)
-I've had to say goodbye to 4 really close friends (basically family over here, and within a 42 day span)
-And somehow through all of this, for the most part, managed to keep on smiling 9/10th of the time!!!:)

Now the point of this post is not for sympathy, please leave that for someone who really needs it!! I guess the point of this post is to open your eyes and see what your life is like and if you think you have it bad try walking in someone else's shoes or looking through their eyes (empathy)!! For example, I haven't seen family and friends for over a year now and won't for another 3 months and 26 days, BUT that's still not as bad as military who have 2-3 year campaigns and have to wait that entire time to see their family and friends again!! Sadly, God bless them, some don't even return for that moment when they get to hug their wife, husband, kids, father, mother, etc.!! So I'm thankful that I get to go home in 3 months and 26 days, and not have to wait another year or so!!!  I'm thankful that I've made such close friends here this past year!!! I dearly miss the family and friends back at home like you have NO idea, but to fill that void Woodstock has such unique and wonderful people that if you put yourself out there and try to make close friends/family over here it is very very easy!!:) Because, they, like you for the most part are in the same boat!!! And we know how hard it is to leave everything we are comfortable with at home and go out on an adventure on our own not knowing what to expect!!  I still revisit the quote Dave told me in my tennis goodbye video, "those who love you will still be here (Minnesota) and waiting for you when you return, so go out there and live life!"  And that's so true!! Your family and close friends who really miss you will be waiting impatiently when you return and will be waiting with open arms!! Or some may have closed shivering arms if it's freakin -30 degrees and snowing when I return to Minnesota!!! CAN'T WAIT FOR THAT FINALLY!!! A TRUE WINTER!!!;) Life is full of lessons, hardships and a variety of get knocked down and get up and do it again scenarios!! What I've learned, and this is a definite life lesson, is no matter how much you may be feeling down in the dumps or sad because of something, there will always be someone there to pick you back up again!!! Like last night, definitely feeling sad and alone, but Jen and Shooby (yes your nickname from now on), invited me over for dinner and tried their very best to give me that sense of belonging!! I will never forget that night!!!:) If you are one of the few that have no one to help you through rough times, then I truly feel for you!! Because I don't know what I would have done yesterday if I didn't have my friends along for the ride!!  To everyone out there that has helped me through rough patches of life I thank you from the bottom of my heart!! And to those who need some help getting through the rough times I will always be there for you, no matter if I'm in India or literally standing behind you ready to scare the crap out of you cause you think no one is behind you!! Those are always fun moments!!!;) Hope everyone's weekend was fun, happy and in NO way sad!!! 3 MONTHS AND 26 DAYS NOW MINNESOTA/IOWA/KANSAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TIME WILL FLY BY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) HAPPY SMILING AND HERE'S LOOKING ON THE UP AND UP BRIGHT-SIDE!!!!!!!!!

God bless and safe travels home Wiebe's!!!:)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Wiebe's

Death. Cancer. Moving.  Three words that come to mind about this past week and the past couple of weeks.  It is truly a shame that all three words have to do with one fantastic caring person.  About 2 weeks ago we (Woodstock) found out that Cookie Wiebe was diagnosed with cancer.  Nothing deflates a happy bubble from summer break with news quite like that.  Over these past couple of weeks there has been a lot of talk about death, not only at Woodstock but especially at Mt. Hermon.  In all of this though, not surprisingly, Cookie has been strong as ever!!  Also Dave as well, to be at her side and both staying so optimistic and strong!! Truly inspirational!!  On coming up dooty with the students, some of us went to visit Cookie in the hospital and while we were there she was enthusiastic, light-hearted and plain old being Cookie!!  It was truly remarkable that even at the darker moments of her life she can be so strong on the outside and be such an inspiration for all!!  Since their return from Delhi and her first chemo session, the nights have been up and down.  Some good and some bad.  Whenever I have seen her though it always seems to be a good night.  Again not surprising, seeing this is the Wiebe's we're talking about!!  If there's one inspiring couple I want to emulate as I grow old this is definitely one!!:)  Full of life, energy and a lifetime of stories!! Nothing seems to bring them down, hold them back, or make them give up!!  I am truly blessed to know such an amazing couple and wonderful friends/family!!  When this week started they were talking about leaving Woodstock to return to the states for the third (possibly second) round of chemo and another attempt at surgery to remove the cancer.  First surgery the cancer was "frozen" and was too hard to remove, thus the chemo to try and weaken it as much as possible.  I/we all had a gut feeling they would return home for this, it was just a matter of when??  Now I have to admit I was thinking, 2 or 3 weeks, maybe even a month down the road they would return home, sometime around middle of October.  Tuesday morning was just another morning.  Did my morning run, fitness room, and breakfast routine, then homeroom with 11th grade.  First period flew by with energy in the air and feeling good......then 14 minutes into second period, while the students were doing group work, I happened to sit down for a second at my computer and noticed an e-mail from Cookie.  An e-mail that would put the entire period on hold.  The line that stood out when reading: "we will be leaving Woodstock on Saturday."  I couldn't believe it was already happening.  Needless to say that moment of maybe 10 seconds seemed like 10 minutes of just sitting there in disbelief and sadness.  I think one of my students must have called out my name 3 or 4 times before I finally snapped out of it.  Sucked it up for that period and finished class in a blur.  Luckily it was tea time and 2 preps after that so there was some time to be alone and think/cry.  Mostly cry.  I was smart and chose the upstairs bathroom so there would be drains around and no flooding!!;)  But they were a flowing and it felt good (after holding it in for the entire second period mostly).  When I finally stopped, mostly dehydration, I needed to get some air and luckily ran into Kate who greeted me in open arms and gave me a wonderful hug, just what I needed.  The rest of the day was a blur as well.  Honestly, just wanted to get home and have some time alone.  After getting most of the emotions out on Tuesday, waking up Wednesday was a lot better start.  Started with another morning run, fitness room workout and a perfect morning hug from Shubhra that seemed to last forever.  So everything was starting off right.  Well except for breakfast which had NO eggs, don't get me started on that.  After breakfast we headed up to the senior school for morning assembly.  This is where it got rough/emotional again.  Cookie was giving devotions today, and basically reading her 4 points to death speech and being okay and accepting death as a possibility.  Her speech was perfect.  Such heart, passion, and emotion was built into it.  Her words were poetic yet picturesque.  There was one line that I will never forget, and she said "What other life do you have to go all out?"  That right there sums up not only Cookie but the heart and soul of the Wiebe's.  At that point I could not hold back any longer, tears were streaming again and again it was going to be another emotional day.  For the most part only the morning was rough, after lunch it brightened up with my fantastic 10th grade health class.  Full of energy and pulled me right out of the emotional sadness that was my morning.  I keep thinking about these past couple of days and admire the Wiebe's strength during all of this.  Meanwhile the entire staff is breaking down left and right.  I don't know what we would do if we saw them breakdown.  They keep us strong.  They keep us full of hope.  Most importantly they keep us striving to live life to the fullest and NEVER let anything conquer you.  Not even for a second.  To the Wiebe's, my friends, my family, and my neighbors for the past year I wish you NOTHING but the best.  You have inspired me in so many ways I can't thank you enough for that.  I love you guys with all of my heart.  I WILL see you in 4 months when I return to the states, so save a game of Settler's for me and a bowl of popcorn.  Thank you for an unforgettable and magnificent 13 months 3 days and 22 hours!!!!!!!! May God bless you and be with you as you begin your next journey back in Kansas and the next stages of chemo!!!!

Much love and prayers!!!

Steven Mark Luukkonen

Thanks for the memories Wiebe's!!!!:)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Busy to the 10th degree!!!!!!:)

An actual blog post IS coming I promise!!! However, waking up at 5am and not getting home until 8/9pm at night doesn't leave a lot of time!!! AND with the busy weekends both last and this weekend, it will be a hectic end to a hectic week!!!! BUT a busy week is definitely going to pay off in the long run when this SATURDAY US STAFF SHOW WOODSTOCK WHAT BOLLYWOOD DANCING IS ALL ABOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) STAFF STYLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There will definitely be a post about that AND the entire first 2 weeks of school!!!!! Hang in there and HAPPY SMILING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!;)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THAT IS ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, July 26, 2010

I'd like a side order of AWESOME to go with those fries!!!

Okay I know fries are usually a side order themselves, but this time lets give French fries there OWN main course feeling to them!!! If you don't like that, please consult my secretary Ms. Amani Dangi!!!!:) Also doing it this way you really have NO freakin clue what this post is going to be about!! So again FACIAL!!!!!!!!!!!:) Basically I just want to go into depth on how AWESOME it is to eat French fries and use a very clever analogy with French fries and work!!!! Okay ready: eating nice crispy fresh French fries is like working with an old friend again!!! Always delicious on the outside and very salty in the inside!!! Yeah that didn't work at all!!! Skip that, reverse that, cover it up with song..... OH YOU PRETTY CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG PRETTY CHITTY BANG BANG WE LOVE YOU!! AND OH PRETTY CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG PRETTY CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG WE LOVE YOU HI OH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) Ha now you have no recollection at ALL what the subject was!!! But in all seriousness I really wanted to stress the awesomeness it is to work with someone you know FROM THE STATES AT WOODSTOCK!!!! Coming to Woodstock not knowing ANYONE turned out to be a blessing, cause the group I came with pretty much ROCKED Woodstock to pieces!! Buuuuuuuuuuut then half of the coolness decided to LEAVE after their first year, some not decided but had to, and then the worries came in about the next year and having the coolness still!!!! However, Woodstock being Woodstock picked right up where they left off and hired some sweet new staff this year including Stalky McStalk Stalk and L-Dizzle!!!! You know who you are, and are probably reading this right now creepers!!!:) Having not only a friend that you knew back in college come here, BUT be in the SAME department as you is freakin amazing!!!!!! The familiarness of a person can bring such new energy to a person its awesome!!! AND THE YEAR HASN'T EVEN STARTED YET!!!! Can't wait for that next Wednesday!!!!:) So I guess the whole point of this crazy rambling post is to hire people you know from years before!!!;) NOT just kidding!! Its definitely no matter how long its been since you've seen or talked to someone that friendship can come back SO quickly once you see each other again no matter the length of time!! And thats so important to have in life!! Reigniting those old friendships with friends you were so close with!!! Cause its sad how easy it is to lose touch with someone once you graduate from college, switch jobs/states, COUNTRY, etc.!!! Friendships are what make life so dang FUN!!! And without them, its a sad, cold, lonely world!!! Okay well thats all for tonight!!! Oh one more thing: CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) HAPPY SMILING EVERYONE!!!!! AND TO ALL A GREAT NIGHT!!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

FINLAND!!!! MARATHON!!! SWEDEN!!! LONDON!!!!!!!!!! TRIP!!!!!!:)

Well I suppose it's time now, with most of my photos being uploaded, FINALLY, to tell all about my trip to Finland, Sweden, and London!!! First off IT WAS AMAZING!! And just TOO many things to go into detail about each one!! Soooooooo let's do it like this: BULLET POINT STYLE!!!

Finland (June 25 - July 3)

Helsinki (June 25)

  • Arriving in Helsinki had about 5 hours to tour Helsinki, so walked in ONE big circle around Helsinki, seeing these sites:
    • PAAVO NURMI STATUE (at the Helsinki Olympic Stadion)
    • Helsinki Olympic Stadion (and YES that is how Finns spell Stadium!!)
    • A number of beautiful cathedrals!! (pics on picasaweb, link will be below if you want to check those out)
    • Two or Three beautiful Government buildings
Like I said for Helsinki you just have to look at the pics to understand what I did and saw!! Words cannot describe the beauty of the city!!:)

Turku (June 26 - July 3)
  • Biked a LOT!! 4 out of the 8 days I was there was biking!! Now understanding that I had to rest up for my marathon, otherwise it definitely would have been 8 out of 8 days of biking!!
  • Saturday (First biking day) was really dissecting Turku which was basically going wherever, no goal or point of arrival set!! The best way I think to see a town!! Bike riding total = 9 hours!!
  • Found a REALLY REALLY REALLY AWESOME park that day!! Check the pics out!! You'll see!:)
  • Sunday (Second biking day) was along the North West shore of Turku following the river up to the most Northwestern point one could get without going to Ruissalo (the island)!! This was more industrial and some parts residential!! Bike riding total = 8 hours!!
  • Monday (Third biking day) was the North East and South East part of Turku which was more parks and residential!! Bike riding total = 10 hours!! 
  • Tuesday (Fourth and last biking day before resting for the marathon) was the Islands!! In the morning was Ruissalo Island (Northwest) and in the afternoon was supposed to be Hirvensalo but missed my turn to the bridge and ended up just biking around random parts of the South West of Turku!! BEST missed turn outcome ever!! Found some beautiful cross country skiing trails and followed those!! Then around 8:30pm headed back out to conquer Hirvensalo, now that I had a map and knew where I was going!! Biking total = 15 hours!!:) And that was Tuesday, 4 days before the marathon!!;)
  • Wednesday - Friday up to the marathon (Saturday) were rest days!!
  • Wednesday I moved from my Hostel to Hotel Harriet (more downtown then along the shore) and vegged in my OWN room watching some tv!!
  • Thursday and Friday just walked around Turku and tried to hit places I didn't see on bike, and found a REALLY cool Renaissance type fair of Old School Finland!! Definitely check out the pics for that!!:)
  • Saturday was RACE!!! Paavo Nurmi Marathon was scheduled for a 1:20pm start which definitely was unique and played a big factor on how the marathon played out for me!! I ran a 4 hrs. 31 min. 24 sec marathon and was NOT happy when I crossed the finish line! My goal time was 3 hrs. 10-20 min. To put into perspective on how the first half went I ran a 1 hr. 40 min half!! Meaning the second half of the marathon was almost 3 HOURS!! Yeah ran out of steam at the 15-16 mile mark!!!
  • Sunday was transition day!!! Meaning goodbye Finland (sadly) and HELLO Sweden (happily)!! To make this transition a reality I rode Viking Ferry (a beautiful ship) from the Port of Turku to Åland Islands to the port of Stockholm, Sweden!! All in all a 15 hr. boat ride!!:)

Sweden (July 4 - July 11)

Stockholm (July 4 - July 11)
  • Monday (first biking day) was the first day back on the bike again after the marathon and I had no clue what to expect from my muscles, BUT everything felt GREAT and not too sore in the hammies!!:) Monday was South East Stockholm and about 6 hours total on the bike!!! South East Stockholm is mostly business, residential, and shopping!!
  • Tuesday (second biking day) was North East Stockholm and that was a lot different than Monday!! A lot more biking paths/trails and peaceful!! Very nice day it was!!!
  • Wednesday (third/last biking day) was South West and North West Stockholm!! This was a lot more residential and Churchish!!! A bunch of beautiful Cathedrals were tightly packed into this area!!
  • Thursday was KAYAKING all day!!!! The launching site was North West Stockholm and I got as far East as Old Stockholm Island, then kayaked South for about a mile, then headed West around Longest Bridge Island, then headed home!! All in all started at 10am and finished around 5:30pm!!! It was a FANTASTIC day!!:)
  • Friday was walking around Central Stockholm day!!! I covered All corners of Stockholm via bike, and planned to cover Central Stockholm which is cluttered with tourists, traffic, and businesses by walking!! Way to cluttered and frustrating to be on a bike during that time!! Visited 2 museums (one was a Viking's exhibit) and ate at Hard Rock Cafe: Stockholm!!!:)
  • Saturday was another traveling day!! Walked around Stockholm a little before getting on a bus to the Arlanda Airport in far North West Stockholm!! Waited around the airport for a couple of hours, slept, went online, THEN took off for London!! Arrival time in London was 8:55pm, we arrived around 8:45pm!! Another perfect flight!! I was going to just stay up all night at a local 24/7 cafe or something BUT could not find one and checked into a hotel instead!! Got the smallest and cheapest room available and that was still at 40 Euros ($70) for one night!! Ridiculous!!:)
  • Sunday was TOUR LONDON day!! Because I'm heading back there this next summer for WIMBLEDON and an Irish Marathon I didn't want to see too much of London, just the major sites in Central London: Big Ben, Parliament, Eye of London (didn't ride it though), Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace, and the several bridges!!! The rest of London/England is for next summer!!!:) 
  • Sunday/Monday was the other MAIN traveling day!!! Departed Heathrow Airport (London) around 9:25pm and was heading to New Delhi airport non stop!! Arrived in New Delhi at 10:11am and thought there was still chance I could catch an earlier train out of Hizzmudin Train Station!! HOWEVER, there is only ONE train that departs for Dehra Dun and that was at 11:50pm (overnight)!! Soooooo I arrived at the train station at 11am and slept/ate/relaxed there for 12 hours!! Which anyone that has been to an Indian train station knows how LUXURIOUS that is!!!:) Train left at 11:50pm and I arrived in Dehra Dun at 6:10am and was out of there via taxi by 6:20am!!! Arrived HOME, IN MUSSOORIE, AT 7:30AM!!!! Took a nice 3 hour nap then SPENT THE REST OF THE DAY WITH THE FARLEY'S AND THEIR LAST DAY IN MUSSOORIE!!!

The End!!!!:)

If any of you want to check out the 3000 pics I took from this trip you can click on the link below to my Picasa Web Album!!! ENJOY!!!:)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Year #2 in India begins in 2 days!!!!

In 2 days (July 15th) it will be EXACTLY 1 year since I left for India and started this whole new adventure I call life!!! And how will I always know that date, cause its the freakin day after my birthday!! Ooooooooh Happy Birthday Steve, now BUH BYE have fun in India!!! See you in 1 1/2 years!!! Yeah that was special!!!:) Okay yes I brought that one on myself choosing to go to India!! So many memories, experiences, life changing events have happened this past year, ending with the most depressing, which was today!!! Today at 7:18pm (it was around that time, a more exact odd time always sounds better and more powerful!!) the Farley's left India for good, or most hopefully just a long vacation in the states!!! There are so many friends and close friends I have made this year here at Woodstock, but without a doubt Nicole and Chris are the closest I have!! Laundry/SVU nights!! Catch up on The Office nights!! Or just chill and play cards!! Whatever it was it felt like family for me, which coming over to India all alone was a blessing in disguise!!:) Nothing can ever replace true family back at home, but to have one over here and back home is freakin amazing!!! And to see them leave today, knowing they won't be here first day of school to start another year at Woodstock is starting to finally sink in.  Luckily the goodbye today was upbeat and not full of tears, seeing we'll see each other in 6 months, but deep down there was plenty of sadness!! All in all Iowa is very lucky to be getting them back and Woodstock is very unfortunate to lose such positiveness and brightness with these two!! You guys know I wish you all the best, and for what its worth thanks for such a wonderful year in India!!!!!!:) Love you guys and all the best in IRELAND and Iowa!!!! SEE YOU IN 6 MONTHS!!!

As for Year #2 in India............ BRING IT ON BABY!!!!!!!!!!!! We will finally have somewhat of a strong PE department with Lauren coming this year, 4 would be ideal, but 3 aint too shabby!!!!! Feeling the groove now so I can focus on improving my teaching and adding some more creativity to it!! AND GOING TO TEACH HEALTH!!!!!!!! OH YES HEALTH BABY!!!!!!!!!!!:) Going to go out in the buz and buy me some suit and ties!!!! This PE teacher is going to look professional in a classroom setting!!! Well for the first week, then I'll realize WOW monsoon season is WAY too humid and sticky to be wearing freakin suits in a classroom, and then go back to shorts and a nice polo/tie!!!!;) BUT for that first week CLASSY!!!!!:) Or as the French would say Le CLASSAY!!!! Well that's all for tonight, officially turned 25 during this post!! FREAKIN quarter of a century years old!!! HA bet that makes you feel old mom and dad!! In your face!!!!:)

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I'M OUT!!!!!!!!!!! HAVE A FANTASTIC 2 1/2 WEEKS EVERYONE!!!! I'll be back and settled by July 13th and READY TO SHARE SOME STORIES!!!!!!!!!!!!

My short version of an itinerary!!!!!:

Finland: June 25 - July 4  (Paavo Nurmi Marathon July 3rd!!!!!)
Sweden: July 4 - July 10
London: July 10 - July 11
MUSSOORIE: JULY 12th early morning (7am)!!!!!!


Saturday, June 19, 2010

ON YOUR MARKS........GET SET..........GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The start of the 34th Grandma's Marathon has begun!!!!!!!!!! And I'm half way across the world for it.  I never really had a chance to really sit down and kinda reflect on this entire year!!! I'll be arriving home from Sweden when it's officially 1 year and probably won't have that much energy to write something!!! Today was a perfect day for just that!! After killing myself yesterday to the physical max (6th consecutive day), definitely needed a downer day before running my final long run tomorrow (13 miles) and taking it easy with medium sized runs until July 3rd!!! I think for this post gonna keep it debby downer!!:) Things I've missed this past year, compared to other training years and how good it's going to feel hugging my mom, dad and sister for the first time in a year and a half!!!! I was watching Saving Private Ryan tonight and there was a particular scene I could REALLY relate too!! It was one of the soldiers talking about his experiences as a kid and how his mom always worked late and slept through the day!! How sometimes his mom would get off early and come home and watch him sleep, however, he wouldn't be sleeping just keep his eyes closed like he was sleeping!! Then he goes on explaining how he didn't know why he never opened his eyes, cause all his mom wanted to do was talk and see how his day went!! But he never opened them and continued to sleep!! I think as kids all of us do that, I know I did when I would pretend to still be taking a nap after a long day and not want to talk to anyone.  I also don't know why I did that, maybe it was just the actions of a stupid teenager!! Well I look back at those moments and regret keeping my eyes closed for both my mom and dad, sister no so much, and how I wish I would have opened them to talk!! Cause now I'm half way across the world and don't even get to physically talk to them for another 6 months!! Now to relate all of this to training and how this year has been different to past years!! During every training season I would always do some mini races (5/10k's) and of course my dad, mom, sister, and Cindy would all be there with cameras and cheering voices of support!! For the marathons, my mom would always have the bananas, strawberries, oranges or mini snicker bars, while my dad would be Mr. Road Map and make sure they hit ALL 5 points along the marathon route, while taking a MASSIVE amount of pictures!! Then there would be Dan (best friend) who would yell things of "YOU SUCK!!" , "Hey you're behind like 500 runners, pick it up!!", "I hate you, you'll never win this race!!"!! So Nicole, now do you see where I get my words of encouragement from!!!:) But you know what those "negative/hilarious" comments made me loosen up inside and probably were the best comments anyone could yell!! And of course my sister would have some kind of shirt with words of support on it, or a sign, or flat out just being there cheering her big brother on!!! All of these small little moments in life, are now HUGE moments I'm going to miss come 2 weeks at the Paavo Nurmi Marathon!! No food from mom, course mapping and checkpoints to look for the family compliments of my dad, no helpful words of discouragement from Dan, no encouragement from my sister!! This is where the one negative of being a teacher comes in, the money!! In a heartbeat I would fly all of my family and Dan over to Finland so I could be with them and run this race together!! Cause I would be no where without all of them there throughout my life supporting me as a I run!! They are my support crew, my family, and my concrete foundation!!  This race IS for you guys!! Without you I wouldn't be where I am today!!! This is my 6th marathon, but really its my first all over again!! Have a great weekend all and Minnesota..........see you in 6 months from today!!!!:) Happy Smiling!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's finally sinking in.

With school coming to an end OFFICIALLY AT 3PM TOMORROW (FRIDAY) AFTERNOON!!! What would be a normal routine on Monday is non-existent this year!! I think not being in Shakopee for the summer for the first time in 18 years is finally sinking in.  I mean my "Monday: First Day of Summer Tennis Routine" has been solid the past 9 years as a coach. Here's what a normal "Monday: First Day of Summer Tennis Routine" would be:

Monday June 14th, 2010
  • Wake up around 5am
  • Boil eggs and put in refrigerator
  • Go for a light run (6-7 miles)
  • Come back home around 6am and eat boiled eggs
  • Hop on bike and bike over to Community Center
  • Hit the weights from 7-8am
  • 8-9am teach 3-4th graders tennis
  • 9-9:45am teach little hitters (yes the most adorable group EVER)
  • 9:45-10am have a light snack while watching Dan swing on the swing set!!
  • 10-11am teach 5-6th graders tennis
  • 11-12pm teach 7-12th graders tennis
  • 12-12:30pm HAVE LUNCH AND REFLECT ON HOW AWESOME SUMMER TENNIS IS!! Maybe throw some Office/Saved By the Bell quotes in there!! Then torment Jenny and poke the crap out of her!! Then make fun of Amy while she's sleeping for the 14th nap of the day and the day's not even half way over!! Have a little tickle fight, with Matt getting the worst of it!! Then of course making fun of Kayla and all of her pink girly accessories!! Yes, this is all in 30 minutes!!
  • 12:30-2pm teach 12U and 14U Team Tennis!!!
  • 2-3:30pm teach 18U Team Tennis!!!
  • 3:30-4pm MUCH NEEDED BREAK before 1 1/2 hours of LITTLE HITTERS!! Yes this break was CRUCIAL!! Definitely nap time for most of us, or green Aloe for those who forgot sun tan on the first day of tennis and by now is burnt to a crisp!!!:)
  • 4-5:30 teach another session of Little Hitters!!
  • 5:30-6:30pm BREAK before Adults come!! All 3 of them usually!!! And this break would definitely be NAP and quick dinner!!
  • 6:30-8pm ADULT tennis!!!
  • 8-9:30pm basically become a zombie of exhaustion but have the feelings of HOLY CRAP THIS IS THE BEST SUMMER JOB EVER!!!!!!!!:) While working on a crap load of Shakopee Tennis paperwork/online webwork/administration work!! Something Jenny SHOULD be doing but is not for Dave!!!;)
  • 10pm if lucky BEDTIME!!!! Cause 5am is coming and that means another GREAT day!!!!:)

Well Shakopee Summer Tennis this Monday you officially begin your journey without me...... hold on getting a little emotional (no sarcasm).  For 18 years, not only have you been a second family for me in the summer time, but a place that I will ALWAYS call home, no matter how old I am or how hairy my face is!! I would not be the type of person I am today without all of you and the wonderful, fun, amazing, spectacular, outstanding, fantastic, heartwarming, caring, and PERFECT times we had!! I think back to our South Dakota trips (3), Detroit trip, Wisconsin trip, Duluth trip, South Dakota trips (1 more time) and can NOT think of a more perfect place to be in the summer time!! With friends that I love and a game I treasure!!!  I think of all the friendships and faces that came and gone throughout the years I was with Shakopee (was with Shakopee, never thought I would ever be saying those words) and how close we got at some points!! All of the memories with those friendships: the annual coaches mac and cheese parties, Shakopee Inner House Tournament at the end of every summer, the parade that we dominated for years straight with best float, registration at the old log cabin, convincing Shakopee youth that tennis is the BEST sport ever at the annual Shakopee Showcase (where Tom "Bring Home the Bacon" Stenson stole me away from baseball 18 years ago and I never looked back!!:)), the special events at the Lynx game, downtown Minneapolis for Serve and Volley, TWINS GAME, trip to a certain cabin, shed sleepovers, late night movies, etc.!! For those that actually remember those they were the best!!!:) One day I will never forget out of those 18 years is July 13th, 2009........ my very last day to step on that court and teach the crap out of tennis.  Not to mention the most memorable "farewell" party any human being could ask for.......... hold on again.  You will always have a part of my heart Shakopee tennis, in fact the biggest part of my heart!!!! I hope nothing but the absolute BEST for Shakopee Tennis and I know it will only grow stronger and stronger during my minor leave of absence!! You have been left in amazing hands of the coaches and Dave-O and I have no doubt in my mind students will be enthused if not more enthused every day to come to play and learn for Shakopee Summer Tennis!!! I love all of you, and you have no idea how much I miss not being there!!!  HAVE A FANTASTICO SUMMER (ESPECIALLY ON THOSE WACKY WEDNESDAYS)!!! MISS YOU GUYS!!!! AND MOST IMPORTANTLY HAVE SOME FREAKIN FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

My only words left are............ Summer 2012!!!!!:)

Have a ROCKIN' summer Shakopee Tennis and THANKS for the memories!!!!!:)