Monday, February 27, 2012

Dumb Tests

You know that feeling, when you’re studying for a test? You’re using the study guide, looking over the lecture notes, studying for hours and hours. Sometimes even days.  But then you get to the test, and it’s nothing you’ve prepared for. You wasted hours and hours studying, and the test just doesn’t resemble what you were expecting.  It’s not really that you underprepared, or didn’t have enough time—because you probably still wouldn’t even know the answers to the questions on the test if you had studied longer.  You really just didn’t study the right things, and really didn’t understand it as well as you thought you did.  Plain and simply, it was a frustrating, stupid test.

When I get in that situation, part of me panics.  Part of me wants to rip the “cheat-sheet” note card (because it’s not helping me at all… after I crammed about 7 lectures on one single 3 by 5 card).  Part of me is just annoyed.  And one last part of me refuses to give up on the test.  After all this work, all these hours, there must be something I know—I have faith that deep down in my brain, I might be able to reason through some of the questions and find (or guess) the right answer.  I have faith that the studying will at least pay off a little—even if it’s for only a few questions.

That was my Sustainability midterm on Thursday.  In the test’s defense, I didn’t study for daysss.  But I did go to every class.  I paid attention.  I did (most of) my reading.  I was decently interested in the class. So when it came time to study, I really thought I knew it.  I went to the review session.  Made a ten page study guide.   Studied the study guide. Made the most impressive 3x5 notecard I’ve ever made.  And still got a good nights sleep.  But then during the multiple choice midterm, I found myself getting stuck on a lot of the questions.  Narrowing it down, but then having no clue from there.  It was details we barely talked about, concepts I had barely heard of.  I think I looked at my notecard once, and it wasn’t even helpful.  Then despite my frustration, I kept going back through the test—hoping that the right answer was just going to make sense to me all of a sudden.  Nine out of ten times, it didn’t.  And I found myself doing “eenie meenie miney moe” to choose an answer.  I’m praying that by some miracle, I escaped with a B on this test. 

So anyways, that feeling that I got on that test (and the one that I got again today), is actually one I can’t seem to shake in other areas of my life.  And I realized it’s gymnastics.

I’ve spent years and years “studying”: training, growing, learning, and fighting.  It’s been probably close to sixteen years.  How many of them have I spent injured?  Probably too many, but that’s not important right now.  I will say that no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to avoid the injuries or reach (what I believe to be) my potential.  Even in high school and club, I was never extraordinarily good or anything… maybe because I was fighting with injuries.  Regardless, I kept working hard, because I thought it was fun.  But I couldn’t seem to get that “good grade”: make it to the National meet or have a good, healthy season. 

Unfortunately, sometimes I still feel like my “studying” and hard work hasn’t paid off.  Maybe I missed something, or misread the question.  I don't want this to sound too depressing, because it's not supposed to be.  In fact, it's the opposite.  I'm going to keep going back through the test, trying again and again, hoping that the right answer will jump out at me.  And now I’m just holding on to that faith that the hard work will pay off—because there’s no way I’ll just accept that I failed at something that I’ve worked this hard for and for this long.

And that’s my epiphany. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Erin 1 and Erin A

So let me just say that I love my occasional hang outs with Erin 1.  And they definitely do not happen enough.  For those of you how didn't know, she was my roommate in the dorms last year.  And yes, both of our names are Erin.  So in order to keep us straight, we decided to refer to ourselves as Erin 1 (her) and Erin A (me).  We couldn't have an "Erin 1" and an "Erin 2" or "Erin A" and "Erin B", because that would imply that one of us is better than the other!

Fortunately for me, today I got to hang out with Erin 1.  And just like every other time, she knows how to make me feel better.  We talk about life, in all its shapes and forms... or usually I do most of the talking.  But she's a fabulous listener.  The details of our conversation and my recent epiphany will come soon! Hopefully tomorrow after my midterm (that I should be studying for)... a little bit of foreshadowing? Ha never mind.  You'll see.

Anyways... in the meantime, you should read her blog from studying abroad last quarter in France.  Because she's awesome.  And her blog is pretty cool!
Last year she borrowed my computer and left me this friendly message.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My One Month Anniversary

Whoops. I meant to do this yesterday, but I did have a midterm today.  So I decided to be responsible and study for my midterm last night, instead of blogging about my one month anniversary.  But now, I’m supposed to be studying for my midterm on Thursday, and I’m blogging.  Of course.

And it’s official.  One month (and  one day) ago, I got a new ACL :). So far our relationship is pretty decent… hopefully it’s with me for the long haul.  (Also side not, today, 2/21/12, is my half birthday. Woo!)

Anyways, these last couple days in the gymnastics world of UC Davis has not exactly been the best. I got to travel with the team to Air Force on Friday, even though I wasn’t competing.  But still, I was so excited to travel—to even be allowed to go.  I felt like I really needed the pick-me-up, considering I was reaching a little bit of a lull in my rehab journey.  Right now I’m at the point where I have pretty small, stupid looking exercises, that I do lots of numbers of… and they still hurt.  Not to mention I’m still losing leg muscle at an alarming rate.  Which is frustrating.  Especially considering how much I could actually do, and how strong I felt when I didn’t even have a functioning ACL.

But back to Air Force.  I just really enjoyed being with the team, and being seen as a part of the team to everyone we encountered—from the airport to the hotel to the restaurant—I was proud to be a UC Davis gymnast.  The meet itself wasn’t our best.  We kind of had some mishaps.  Some that were pretty uncharacteristic; others that we can’t seem to get rid of.  But at the same time, I saw so many things that I was proud of.  Just like every other meet and every day at practice, I saw people fighting through pain and injuries, showing that they are tough and want to do everything they can for the team.  I watched my teammates make smart decisions on doing what was best for their bodies, and I watched some of them do what they needed to in order to stay on their feet.  I even saw some people do their best routines of the season (even though the scores definitely didn’t reflect it).  And most excitingly, I saw us pick back up the energy during a really tough event.  And when things could’ve easily continued down the rough road we were on, we finished the meet with two very strong beam routines.

Sure there were things we could’ve changed, and our coaches have definitely pointed them out.  But I still believe in every single one of them.  I believe that they can hit routines.  And I believe that they can hit them pretty well at that.  And of course, I’m still proud to be an Aggie.  I can only hope that one day, I can represent this school with just as much passion and determination as they do. 

In the meantime, it’s back to the grind.  If you can even call it that.  One month down…

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Proud Aggie

After the less-than-satisfactory meet at Cal in the beginning of February, we all felt the kick in the butt.  We knew it wasn’t our best meet.  The overall energy was low, and even some of the audience members noticed something was up.  What that was, we weren’t exactly sure.  Nevertheless, we knew we were capable of so much more.

The next week of training was a real testament to our character.  All week, I noticed the team was fired up, ready to turn the season around, and ready to do what they (we) were capable of.

So Friday came, and it was extremely helpful that we were at home.  Sac State was our main competition, but they’ve been really good this year, so we knew it’d be tough.  Oregon State, ranked #9 in the nation, was coming too, but they were going to be a little out of our league.  Let’s be honest.  Ha, we were just trying to be realistic.

Personally, I thought our goal should be to try and keep up with Sac State’s scores, and make sure that we were the loudest team in that gym.  I figured Oregon State would be very loud, but there was no way they were going to out cheer us in our gym.  No way.

Friday night’s meet was so much fun.  Even from the sidelines.  I couldn’t help but be happy for every one of my teammates, because they all did something they should be proud of.  In the end, we got 3rd, but Sac State only beat us by around four tenths.  Andd we improved our season high by over 2 points.

The best part was that Friday’s routines weren’t super human for anyone.  They just did everything they did in practice and showed everyone (including themselves) what they were truly capable of.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012


I’m going to be honest.  If I wrote this six hours ago, this would be a totally different blog post.  With a totally different mood and tone.

The beginning of this week felt absolutely crazy.  With a photography project and an Econ midterm on Monday, then a design and nutrition midterm on Tuesday, I felt absolutely brain dead by Tuesday night.  Just ask my teammate I was studying with for my last midterm Tuesday night.  I combined the words “vernacular” and “phonetic”: phernacular.  That’s not a word. JSYK.  But now that it’s Wednesday (technically Thursday).  I’ve had a little bit more time to rest, and my brain has also had a little bit of a break… at least from thinking about school.

My knee has been healing really well.  And I’m also officially walking without any crutches!  My mom saw me last week, so she can attest to the fact that I’m bouncing back from this surgery significantly better than the last time.  Maybe it’s because I was in better shape and I’m stronger than I was going into the 2009 surgery.  Or maybe it’s because I didn’t have to re-drill holes.  Or maybe I’m just tougher.  Whatever the reason, I really feel pretty good.  And I’m extremely thankful for that.

But here’s how my mood made a complete 180 in about four hours.  When I was originally started writing after practice, I was discouraged.  I won’t go into too many of the details, but I was disappointed in myself and in the thoughts (mostly of doubt) that were going through my head.  But after my night class got out, I met up with my teammates, Taryn and Kailyn, and my mood already started to brighten.  Just being able to talk and joke with them, I felt like I didn’t have to worry about all the thoughts running through my brain.

Then the three of us went to AIA, where the speaker talked about the fruit of the spirit, specifically joy.  Perfect, right? If I ever needed a reminder about where joy comes from, it was right then.  The speaker encouraged us to protect our joy, because in life, struggles and hardships will try and steal that away from you.  But God is still good, and our joy can still be found in Him.  He will protect me.  He will protect us.  And in Him, we can hold on to the joy in our life.

John 16: 33 “I have told you these things,
so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”