120 Thoughts I Had While Running the Cowtown

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Because what else are you supposed to think about for 6.2 miles?

Before:
1. Okay, race day. Let’s do this.
2. I should probably stretch.
3. Knee brace? Ankle brace? Good.
4. I hope I don’t die today.
5. Corral 3 is so empty.
6. I can see where I fall on the food chain.
7. National Anthem time. I’m getting chills.
8. Corral 1 is starting.
9. Eye of the Tiger. The only fitting song to begin a race.
10. “Elite runners.” Must be nice.
11. Party Rock Anthem. Interesting choice for Corral 2.
12. Corral 3’s song is probably going to be something like Turn Down For What.
13. Oh our song is Zombie Nation.
14. They really have faith in us.
15. Oh I accidentally started my watch.
17. I hope those 0.04 seconds don’t affect my time.
18. Cross the chip.
19. Start watch.
20. LET’S GO.

Mile 1:
21. And we’re off.
22. Gosh there are so many people.
23. Will Rogers Memorial Center is so pretty.
24. I miss the Stockshow.
25. I need to go back eventually.
26. Ugh…walkers.
27. Please get out of the way.
28. Alright, now we’re trucking along.
29. I’m feeling pretty good.
30. Wait, mile one is over?
31. Okay, 5 more miles to go.

Mile 2:
32. I’m surprised at the amount of energy I have.
33. These are nice houses.
34. Hey, that yard sign says Bo French.
35. Better stop real quick to take a picture.
36. Close Craft. Run for Texas House. I like it.
37. Ft. Worth is so pretty.
38. My knee hurts
39. Oh hey, mile 2 is already over.

Mile 3:
40. Just keep on running.
41. Do I have to pee?
42. I really hope I don’t have to pee.
43. Ugh, why did the path get so narrow?
44. My knee hurts.
45. Oh one of those flag runners.
46. I’m going to stay with them.
47. These flag people are so cool.
48. “Enriching the lives of Veterans.” How do I join this organization?
49. Major Campbell. Well Major Campbell, thank you for your service.
50. I wonder if the Wounded Warrior Project run is still in Irving?
51. I need to look that up.
52. I would so run in that race.
53. I bet it’s awesome.
54. I need to research the Marine Corps Marathon.
55. If there is only one marathon I ever run, I want it to be that one.
56. Plus, Marines give you water.
57. I would be all over that.
58. I need a dri-fit shirt about the military.
59. Or I could wear my Captain American shirt.
60. Or a shirt that says “Not all superheroes wear capes.”
61. I want socks with the American flag on them.
62. End of mile 3. Solid.

Mile 4:
63. I should probably take a breather walk now.
64. My knee hurts.
65. Now my left ankle hurts.
66. Why does my left ankle hurt?
67. This is supposed to be my good ankle.
68. Oh I lost Major Campbell.
69. Time to start running again.
70. Found him. We’re good.
71. Hey that lady’s flag has RIP on it.
72. That’s so sad.
73. I could do that and it could say “RIP Shane Lee Goldman.”
74. I will never forget that.
75. Okay keep running.
76. How much longer until this mile is over?
77. I should be finding mom and Aria soon.
78. Finally done! That mile was tough.

Mile 5:
79. Ugh why is my hip so tight?
80. I guess I should walk for a little bit.
81. Keep breathing.
82. Oh there they are!
83. Aria gave me a high five. Definitely motivation.
84. Dang, I accidentally grabbed Gatorade. I wanted water.
85. Now I really need to go to the bathroom.
86. Once I start running again, I will not stop.
87. My knee hurts.
88. Why are there so many hills at the end of this race?
89. I see the coliseum.
90. So close now.
91. Time to pick up the pace.

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Mile 6:
92. So. Close.
93. Time to start sprinting.
94. My knee really hurts.
95. How long does .2 miles take?!
96. I see the finish line.
97. Time to sprint hard.
98. I’m smoking all these people.
99. SO CLOSE.
100. Done.

After:
101. So glad that’s over.
102. Alright keep walking people.
103. Where’s the medal people?
104. I want my medal.
105. Just give me the medal!
106. No, I don’t need the after race picture.
107. I just want food.
108. FOOD.
109. Cookies? Yogurt? That’s cool, but where are the bananas?
110. I need a banana.
111. My whole body hurts.
112. I’m ready for Pancake House…even though it’s purple now.
113. I really despise TCU.
114. Did I stop my watch?
115. Better log this on MapMyRun.
116. THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW.
117. My face feels disgusting.
118. I’m ready to go home and take a nap.
119. My knee still hurts.
120. So, when’s the next race?

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Until next time friends! Keep running!

Music Wednesday: Fight Songs

I have something a little different for music Wednesday this week – fight songs!

These are in fact fight songs played by bands for schools because no matter what these songs will always mean something to me! I know this is different but don’t lose me now…there’s a surprise at the end!

Starting with high school:
Okay so I went to Little Cypress Mauriceville for 10 years of my life. YouTube doesn’t actually have any videos with the LCM fight song in it, so I had to settle for the school song, however the song still resonates with me. After all, I spent my entire childhood at football games listening to it!

College:
I love Baylor. In fact, I love Baylor more than I ever expected to love Baylor. So whenever I hear the Baylor fight song, I will always yell “Baylor Bears fight!”

ANNNNNND here’s the surprise – GRAD SCHOOL:
That’s right, friends! Today I was accepted into the Master of Arts, Public Policy program at Liberty University!! To celebrate this exciting day, I present to you now the Liberty University fight song!

Told ya I had a surprise for music Wednesday! ūüôā

Remember the Alamo!

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Every Texan Рlet me repeat that РEVERY Texan must remember the Alamo! After all, the grounds of the Alamo in San Antonio are the holy shrine of Texas liberty.

On February 23, 1836, a group of Texians and Tejanos stood together to defend a Spanish mission from the army of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. The Alamo was the symbolic key to the defense of Texas. For the next 13 days, these men would hold out the Mexican army, willing to greet death at every step.  The defenders embodied self-sacrifice.

The commander of the Alamo, William B. Travis, sent couriers with pleas for help to surrounding communities. The eight known pleas have been named by historians as The Travis Letters. The first six described the siege and requested aid without delay. The last two letters were sent to personal friends of Travis in which he confronted his coming death.

On February 24, 1836, the commander¬†would pen the famous “Victory or Death” letter addressing the renowned struggle against tyranny. The letter began with the line “To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World.”¬†These famous words continue on to state although thousands of Mexicans surrounded the garrison, the flag still waved proudly from the walls. Travis would never surrender or retreat. His words spoke the rhetoric of liberty and patriotism. While he presented his dire need for aid, he would also state if aid was neglected he would die a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country.¬†

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For nearly two weeks, skirmishes and encounters would continue among the walls of the garrison. The Alamo would resist ongoing cannonade from Santa Anna, Fannin would depart for Goliad in efforts to bring reinforcements, and the spirit of the vastly outnumbered defenders would continue on.

By March 1, 1836, a band of 32 volunteers arrived from Gonzales, ready to defend liberty. The next day the Texas government located at Washington-on-the-Brazos declared independence from Mexico.

As the siege continued, Travis stated he was ready to perish in defense of this place. Three days later, on March 6, 1836, the Mexican army would regroup and breach the walls to rush the compound. The last stand of the defenders would center around the church, and after a brutal 90-minute battle the Alamo would fall.

The revolution continued and on April 21,¬†General Sam Houston would find General Santa Anna and his army backed into Buffalo Bayou participating in a siesta. Houston, who had quietly been creeping toward the camp, seized the opportunity and attacked. The surprised army was unable to formulate a defense and¬†within 18 minutes the grounds, and Santa Anna, were captured. The victorious Texians chanted “Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!”

The Siege of the Alamo paved the course for the Republic of Texas. Globally, the Texas Revolution embodied Enlightenment ideals and left a lasting impact upon the world.

The heroes of the Alamo, consisting of lawyers and farmers alike (plus a frontiersman named Davy Crockett and a knife fighter named David Bowie), chose to fight against all odds and personified the meaning of making the ultimate sacrifice for freedom Рan idea still found with reverence to this day. Worldwide people have heard of the fight and perseverance of the Alamo defenders. The Alamo will forever remain hallowed grounds in the great state of Texas.

Texas forever.

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A picture of Alamo I took on my trip to San Antonio in June 2015

Supplemental information from thealamo.org

Forgive & Choose Not to Remember

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“I will never not be mad at Rory for falling for Jess while dating Dean. #GilmoreGirlsProbs”
This is a tweet that appeared on my Twitter earlier this week. I’ll admit, I am¬†one of those fans who has strong feelings about Gilmore Girls, and Jess is BY FAR my least favorite of Rory Gilmore’s boyfriends. Maybe it’s his “the world hates me and I could star in the Breakfast Club” act, or maybe it’s the fact he is seriously disrespectful (and I cannot stand disrespect), or maybe it’s just the fact he wedges his way between two people where he doesn’t belong and ends a relationship. Either way, I have some very strong feelings about the Rory/Dean/Jess love triangle.

However, this love triangle is fiction. Rory Gilmore, Dean Forester, and Jess Mariano are not real people. I can be mad at Rory, I can hate Jess, and my heart can break for Dean all I want because ultimately these people do not exist and this messy love triangle did not happen.

Yet this tweet got me thinking about how often we keep this mentality throughout our daily lives. We get mad at people, we hold grudges, and ultimately we find it hard to forgive.

Also earlier this week I had a dear friend come to me for advice on forgiveness, specifically what scripture has to say about it. I was extremely happy to help. As I finished my lunch, I began skimming my brain for the best material to provide him. I flipped through scripture looking for some of my favorite passages and prayed God would give me the wisdom to present His words to this other person.

I read over the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount on how we are to forgive as our Heavenly Father forgives us. I recalled the words Christ spoke to Peter on how we are to forgive not up to seven times but seventy times seven. Words of Christian authors and theologians came flooding through my thoughts like a tidal wave that could not be stopped. God was reminding me of all those Sunday school lessons how forgiveness is from the heart and a reflection of His love for us.

I was writing down every thought that entered my head as frantically as I could so I could at least be somewhat organized when I spoke with my friend when suddenly God hit me with it – “Tell him about her.”

I froze. She was a former friend of mine before we had an unfortunate falling out. The situation is one I don’t like to address much simply due to the amount of pain it caused me. Yet I could not shake the idea this could be relevant. Maybe my friend really needed to hear this or maybe God just really wanted me to tell this story. So I did.

The story was one I had only ever really discussed with my mom until that moment. As a bit of backstory, she and I were pretty close. When tensions rose between us she came to me to apologize and we slowly started to talk¬†things out. No, things weren’t perfect, but I figured a little bit of awkwardness would be better than a complete schism. Things never went back to normal. Only a few weeks later would she and I face the final straw in our relationship.

During the process of the falling out I felt beyond betrayed. In my mind I was the one who extended her the hand of forgiveness and she took advantage of it. To make it worse, from my perspective it seemed as if everyone in the world took her side. Can you image it? I was the one “wronged” and everyone still supported her decisions! The pain was a lot to deal with (and yes I was being incredibly selfish throughout the process).

Our falling out was odd. We never had a yelling match that resulted in us storming off, never to speak to each other again. We both knew the situation was escalating, and one day she and I both woke up realizing everything would be different. We never had to speak a word to each other to realize what happened between us. From that day forward we silently went our separate ways.

For a few months I allowed my feelings to fester. I was so angry at her but I knew there was nothing else I could do. By that point what was done was what was done. Then around six months after we hadn’t spoken, God (seemingly out of nowhere) placed her on my heart. I had no idea what to do with this. She had hurt me, she had betrayed me, why should I care about her?

Ever so gently, God methodically placed her in my thoughts. I still didn’t know what to do so I prayed. I prayed God would show me what to do with these thoughts. I prayed He would help me realize the significance of this. I just prayed.

In a matter of days my prayers were transformed. I began praying for her. No, not in the hell-fire, smite her and bring her justice ways either. I prayed for her as the beautiful creation God created her to be. I spent hours on hours praying for her heart, her relationship with Christ, that she would live a blessed life filled with joy, and primarily that I forgave her. Yes, I prayed for the very person I would have easily considered my nemesis at the time.

The funny part of the entire process was as I prayed for her, I noticed I began to change. I may have no idea the affects the prayer had on her life, but as I prayed for her it was as if God began lifting a burden off my shoulders. God used my prayers of forgiveness for her to show me the anger I had been harboring for all those months was dragging me down.

As I expressed my forgiveness toward her and my remorse for holding a grudge, I was freed. My Father spent those months showing me that repaying “evil” for “evil” was only hurting me in the end. I realized how heavy the burden was weighing me down and forgiveness became what rescued me in the end.

Most importantly, God reminded me I had no reason to remain angry at her. He loves me when I am the least lovable. He forgives me knowing I will turn around and make the same mistake again and again. I had no reason to say the pain I had endured was unforgivable. I had to forgive her and then strive to choose not to remember the pain or the actions, the same way my Father does for me.

C.S. Lewis states it best when he says “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable in others because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”¬†I had pulled that line on others before and this time God was reminding me it was time for my words and my actions to align.

Forgiveness involves our attitudes and our actions. If we love others the way Christ loves us, we will be willing to forgive. We have experienced grace and therefore have no reason to not extend it to others.

While I may struggle extending grace to Jess, forgiving Rory, and not throwing pity parties for Dean, God showed me the beauty that can come from facing these acts in reality.

Even though she and I¬†haven’t spoken since those last moments, I still pray for her. At the end of the day, the prayer continues to change me and helps me heal. Praying for her provides a constant reminder of what Christ did for me, and I am forever thankful for it.

Operation Detachment

February 19, 1945.

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On this day, three United States Marine divisions landed on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima, eventually capturing it over a month later on March 26, 1945. The invasion, named Operation Detachment, was to secure the island as a crucial area for the United States military to attack the Japanese mainland. Strategically, management of the 2 mile by 4 mile long island roughly 500-600 miles from the mainland would allow a place for B-29 bombers to land without retreating back to the Marinas.

While preparing for the battle, Japanese Lieutenant General Tadamachi Kuribayashi positioned the Imperial Army in heavily fortified areas with strong defensive weapons in efforts to inflict as many American casualties as possible. The hope was to send the fighting off the island to the mainland.

U.S. air raids began on the island earlier in June of 1944 with sixty-eight hundred tons of bombs and twenty-two thousand shells. Then on February 19, right before 9:00 a.m. the first wave of Marines would land on the beaches of Iwo Jima. The volcanic ash of the beaches would make it difficult for the Marines to dig foxholes. Shortly after, Kuribayashi would release his heavy artillery fire on the United States forces.

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The tunnels dug by the Japanese before the battle made the fighting grounds unique; the Marines were above ground while the defending Japanese were underground. The lengthy battle had to be won inch-by-inch, soldier-to-soldier. The tenacity of the U.S. military, coupled with lack of rations for the Japanese, would ultimately be what won the battle.

By the time the weeks of fighting were over, nearly 70,000 USMC members faced-off the 18,000 Japanese troops on the island. The secured island would pave the way for the last and largest battle of the Pacific (the battle my own grandfather partook in) – Okinawa.

The Battle of Iwo Jima would become one of the bloodiest and most renowned battles of the War in the Pacific during World War II. Twenty-seven servicemen received the Medal of Honor for their actions on the island. Admiral Chester Nimitz went¬†on to say “Among the men who fought at Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue.”

Joe Rosenthal of the Associated Press captured what became the most iconic photo of the battle, as well as arguably one of the most iconic photos in military history and for the United States Marine Corps. The raising of the flag over Mount Suribachi undoubtedly signified an American victory.

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The image later became recreated for the Iwo Jima Memorial. The memorial can be found at Arlington National Cemetery.

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Semper Fi Marines and thank you for the valor shown during those dark days.

Information from:
History Channel
National WW2 Museum
Iwo Jima

Music Wednesday: Frank Sinatra

Good ‘ol Frank Sinatra. What would the world be without his sultry voice and fedora hats? This is a man who truly defined what it meant to be a swoon worthy singer during the 20th century, while creating a foolproof way to my heart.

If you want to hear timeless music then just listen to some Sinatra. I am convinced he can make any day 1000x better.

Therefore, this music Wednesday will feature my all-time favorite Sinatra song, and probably one of the best songs in the world – Somewhere Beyond the Sea!

After all, I am convinced my lover will stand on golden sands and watch the ships go sailing with me (just saying).

P.S. Do not be deceived – other Sinatra favorites for me include Come Fly With Me and Fly Me to the Moon.

 

Godly Dating 101: Part 2

Purpose

I once told someone I wished God knew what my dream guy looked like. Without hesitation they nudged me on the shoulder, wiped away the tear on my eye, and said “He does. It’s His son.”

I am not sure this person ever understood how much these words meant to me. They were right. In that moment, I received a glimpse of clarity from the thoughts fogging my mind.

But I also want to talk about how wrong this statement was. First of all, it should have never come out of my mouth. By expressing this statement I was saying the God of the universe could not understand my own my heart. I doubted the power of the very person who holds my life together in the most beautiful way imaginable. Secondly, if it really mattered that much for God to know what I wanted, why did I never tell Him? Yeah, I’m still stumped on that end.

I have matured a lot since that day. As stated in my previous Godly Dating 101 post, I believe there is no reason to date if God is not at the center of it. The quote from Jefferson Bethke states it best – “Dating without the intent of getting married is like going to the grocery store with no money. You either leave unsatisfied or take something that isn’t yours.”

This quote alone can sum up my thoughts on dating, but when we dig deeper, we realize that we should actually date with a purpose.

Everything about the Christian life points toward sanctification and dating (and ultimately marriage) is no different.

I constantly remind myself that I cannot depend on someone for things only God can provide. First and foremost, God has to capture our hearts before someone else can. To be the center of the relationship He has to be the center of our lives first. If not, you will drift away from God and find other things to become a functional God. This will only end in pain.

I firmly believe that dating with an understanding of the gospel changes the way we date altogether. I believe it is important to list those values from the gospel and to never, ever compromise them. Seriously, if someone¬†asks you to compromise your beliefs, then recognize the red light right there that they do not respect you. Take the nearest exit and hop on the nope train right out of there. You’ll save yourself from a world of hurt in the end.

Make these values a framework for your relationship and not a checklist. When we make them a checklist, we will reach the point of placing God-like pressure on the other person. This will only leave them feeling they can never be good enough.

If you don’t have this list of values, then I cannot urge you enough to make it. (Seriously, mine is written down and tucked in a drawer in my nightstand)¬†How can you possibly know who you want to be with if you don’t know¬†what is important to you yourself? You can’t. You cannot say you know you want to be with someone simply because they make you warm and fuzzy inside. This feeling will¬†fade. Then what are you left with? I’ll let you ponder that for a moment…

Values are important because they will ultimately define the direction a relationship will go in, and some values will always take precedence over others. I heard it stated once as primary and secondary values. A secondary value would be me, a Rangers fan, dating a Yankees fan. This may pain me to no end during baseball season but ultimately, it is not a deal breaker.

A primary value would be acknowledging where God is calling you in life and clarifying the other person shares this passion. The same person who presented this analogy used foreign missions as the example; if God is calling you to live abroad then you should make sure the other person truly desires this life as well and will support you through it. This same principle can apply to any career, living location, or other defining parts of our lives.

Knowing your deal breakers is important. Personally, I can’t stand it when guys cuss. The language disgusts me. Among others, this is one of those primary values I pray for.

Dating with a purpose also means I disagree with dating around “to find yourself.” This is a quest for a camelot that will only leave you feeling disappointed and unfulfilled. If you understand the gospel then you do not need to date to find out who you are, what you like and don’t like, etc. You already know who you are in Christ.

Dating toward marriage will always fundamentally look different than shotgun dating. Someone told me once that dating is like buying a car and you have to test drive to know what you really want. I cannot disagree with this statement more. In fact, I was livid when this person told me this. I know what I want in a relationship because I can point to it in scripture. I don’t need to shoot a shotgun or go for a test drive hoping to find the “best.”

When you shotgun date or take your test drive, you are ultimately looking for reasons to leave. I worked for a car dealership and in that time I drove more cars than I can count. In every car I drove, I looked for the things I liked and hated. When you date with this mentality you want to find the things that are wrong. You will walk away as soon as difficulty arises. When you date with a purpose you believe in the importance of continuing to push forward no matter the difficulty that arises. The difference between these two thought processes is exponential.

People have told me before that for a single person I have some very strong opinions on dating. I don’t deny it because I know it’s true. I believe it is okay to pray for God to send you a spouse (and to pray for that spouse), but you cannot let the desire consume you either. Singleness truly is a time from God.

I have a friend who dated on and off continuously throughout high school and her first couple years of college. After her last serious relationship ended she came to me about six months later and said that was the longest she had been single since dating Colby back in high school. She then proceeded to tell me even though her breakup with Ryan hurt, the time she spent single was a true blessing. She wished she had embraced it sooner. I had another friend tell me the same thing after his four year relationship ended.

Being a steward of your time as a single person can make a huge difference. Not only can singleness heal the hurt from previous relationships, but you are also unbound in the ways you can serve the Lord.

Dating can be a tricky thing to maneuver, but a true difference can be made when we consult God every step of the way. Our relationships are meant to reflect Christ. If it doesn’t, then you might want to take a good look at your relationship. Relationships are not just about us, they are about what Christ has shown in us.

I have said it before and I will say it again – I only desire to be with someone who will lead me closer to God. It’s that simple.