Friday, August 29, 2008

Fly Dutch, Fly!

I am tired.
Races'll do that.
I feel good.
Satisfactory races will do that to you too.

Vanderbilt is Hope XC's only 2008 home cross country race. It is also one of the slowest courses we run. Slower times may come off of other courses, but it mostly just feels slow. Well, not the whole thing- more miles 2 and 3 (probably 2, 3 & 4 for the guys). Mile 1 speeds by. We took the race out rather conservatively this year. I was towards the back of the pack, but I ran through mile 1 at 6:15. The front of the pack was probably in the low 6's. The first mile at Vanderbilt is all either flat or downhill. I felt successful today because I "moved" for majority of the race. It is easy, especially in the middle half of the race, to just settle into a position and stay there. There are some races when your goal for the middle half of the race is to just stay where you are, but that was not today's purpose for me. In a field of only 4 teams, none of them as good as Hope's-- I should be passing people... and so I did. And as a result I ran one of my fastest first races, if not thee fastest first race for me, ever. [possibly sub21]
This was especially surprising for me because I have a fairly negative stigma with this course. We ran this year's time trial, along with a couple workouts, on our course so far this season. None of these runs have been kind to me. The ground is especially hard and uneven-- for almost the entire race. My hips and hamstrings don't react positively. Yet, today, whether it was adrenaline, a mind game, or simply a blessing- the pain was minimal and I was only "stuck" twice. Both of these times a teammate was there to pull me through.
With a small field, our course was more a sea of orange than anything else. There was always a teammate near by to encourage or be encouraged by. This made the typically "slow" course seem much faster. As an added bonus Hope claimed 13 of the top 15 places. Obviously we won the meet. We scored 20 points [15 is the perfect score]. I am excited to see where we go from here. We have a lot of young girls and a lot of growing potential from everyone. The first week of school is a time of adjustment, and not typically included in your recipe for PRs (although Jackie B. never got this memo and PRed by a second today! woo!)

Our next race is in Oberlin, OH and near my hometown Amherst, OH. Sadly, most friends I have in Amherst are graduated and thus, in different places. However, I am hoping a few friends still at home will be able to stop back to see the race :) I think it'll give me a new sort of motivation.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

plenty of sunshine

The alphabet game.
Describe yourself, exaggerate characteristics... especially flaws...
Someone will love you anyways.
And someone wouldn't love you even if you were ..... more idealistic.

currently inspired by Sark

My name is Sara and my biggest fear is dying alone. I suppose it's not terribly uncommon, but some other characteristics are. As a result I've been called a strange bird more than once in my life. I wish I was more creative and less desperate for attention. I get excited about the littlest and silliest of things. And to me, being free is synonymous to being happy. Sometimes I'm GIGANTIC and my self can fill a whole room. Other times I feel so tiny and need a lot more help to be alive.
Have patience with me at restaurants, I am indecisive. I used to never get jealous, but now-a-days I'm a bit jaded. However, I do try and be kind; after all, I love to love and be loved. I'm mad. I'm a bit nostalgic about times that probably didn't exist. My drummer is off-beat, and only productive at night. I'm a quirky runner and ridiculously silly. And while I'm stubborn, I'm succulent and thus I fit in with most theatre people. Like everyone else, I have my ugly days and find myself living extremely vicariously on these days. I don't like to be wrong. X-rated. I fell in love with yoga this summer. My dad and I used to sing ZippityDooDah together while waiting for the bus. It helps me have that kind of day.

I hope you have that kind of day too :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


If I could write a note in crayons... on a small piece of paper and leave it in your car... cause that was one of my favorite things to do... I would write this.

Hey you,
Do you remember my birthday 2 years ago-- when I got really upset when I couldn't find Succulent Wild Woman at the bookstore? And you thought it was dumb that I would get so upset about not being able to find a book and I couldn't explain to you why it mattered so much. Well my housemate lent me another book by the author. We temporarily traded SARK books. Well I opened A Creative Companion and the second page said this:


I started to cry. It's not the first time I cried today. I cried earlier while listening to Photograph by Andrea Gibson. But you said that last night... when I was scared about not doing enough or being extraordinary enough. When I read this now I immediately began thinking, how can Sark say I'm enough, she doesn't know me and all that I've been through. She doesn't know what I've done and what I've-- given up... She doesn't know why I'm sad right now and why I'm so scared. Last night, when you said that though, that was exactly what I needed to hear. So thank you. I don't know if you're right, but I really hope you are. I hope no matter what it's enough... because if it's not that'll be pretty miserable.


I had over 100 things about myself before, but I thought I'd start with 15 that are posted elsewehre and then begin again... so here are 35. I might add more later.

1. I am a runner. At Hope College, I steeple chase in the spring and 5k/6k in the fall.
2. I am a theatre major and a business minor (2010).
2b. I'm not sure what I want to do. I am afraid to commit to a certain idea because I don't want people to think I can't do it... especially cause those people who wouldn't say it to my face.
3. I am healing.
4. I have a selective memory. I acknowledge that most people’s realities aren’t what actually happened.
5. I want adventures and story time.
6. I often live vicariously through other people.
6b. “Sara Saturday lives in the Land of Make Believe.”
7. I receive chalk and crayons for most birthdays. I use them often.
9. I laugh at my own jokes when no one else does.
10. My family is the best.
11. I love camping: camp fires, s’mores, tents.
11b. I spent 8 days living in a tent behind the yellow house this past summer. I had a wonderful time.
12. I know I must look ridiculous when I dance but don’t bother to find out how ridiculous because it wouldn’t make me any happier.
13. Being invited is very important, and you should laugh while you’re there.
14. I like to be held.
15. I believe in trust, love and the promise that everything will turn out okay.
16. One of my life goals is to have my own library in my house when I'm a grown-up
17. One of my other life goals
is to run a naked 5k.
18. While I love the cross country team's tradition of playing assassins, I hate the way the game makes me anxious.
19. I can't stand fruit flies.
20. If I am in a room with some who hates spiders, I don't mind them and can take of them on my own. If I am in a room with someone who doesn't mind spiders, I jump more and ask them to take care of them.
21. I often see deer on runs and always talk with them before leaving. They give me a good feeling.
22. Just now, when I typed good feeling, the "It's a good feeling, to know you're alive" song by Mister Rogers just popped into my head. Listen here:
23. If I turn on the tv (which isn't done often) and Mister Rogers is on, I'll stay on that channel.
24. I love playgrounds... especially at elementary schools I attended.
25. I scrapbook A LOT, but I only do so at home (ohio). I still need to scrapbook DC and all of summer.
26. I REALLY appreciate people who go out of their way to be nice to me when I'm feeling insecure. I spend time wishing good karma on those people.
27. I love mail.
28. I believe Andrea Gibson is one of the greatest slam poets of all time.
29. I don't know what makes a good writer or a good poet, but I'd like to find out cause I wish I could be one.
30. My counselor once told me I have a "loud mind". I think that's the nicest way to put it.
31. Phone calls are important to me.
32. I have a terrible habit of taking things that aren't personal... personally.
33. I'm definitely a work in progress.
34. I love Bob Dylan.
35. Sometimes I close my eyes and I'm where I was and not where I am.

Monday, August 25, 2008

You just can't tell trees that.

I'm probably in love with Andrea Gibson. She's a slam poet and I have a hard time recommending just one poem... as I haven't heard/read one that I havent' fallen for yet, but here is a link to's a start.


I am having you follow the link instead of just reading it on here because on the same page you can play and hear Andrea say it to you. I highly recommend doing so... reading it to yourself doesn't do her justice...

Here is a small section of Photograph:

Autumn is the hardest season
the leaves are all falling
and they're falling like they're falling in love with the ground
and the trees are naked and lonely
I keep trying to tell them
new leaves will come around in the spring
but you can't tell trees those things
they're like me they just stand there
and don't listen
I wish you were here

It might get worse before it gets better...

Today I have been particularly out of sorts. On days like this I feel as though I should withdraw so as not to negatively affect people. Yet I also feel as though I should reach out in hopes of switching the switch back. Talking to Tim tonight helped that. Now that I am tired enough to sleep going to bed will help even more.


Sometimes I'm just not sure what is important. Tonight I decided encouraging others is important. I've narrowed out most other things.


I am scared I will not do enough. I feel as though I should do extraordinary things and I am worried I will be basic, typical and not live up to the opportunities I have been given.

I don't know what to do.

I think it's jsut that time of year...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Selfless Love

My Aunt Darlene is the most selfless person I know. She passed away while I was at cross country camp. I have not seen her since last fall. My Aunt Darlene cared for my Grandma Pearl until she passed away last fall and has always taken care of my Grandpa Kenny as well. She is not related to either of them, but would happily drive both of them back and forth from Toledo, Ohio to Florida every year until they permanently moved down to Florida a few years back. Anytime someone was sick or needed some sort of encouragement she would send notes or cards. Even in the past few months she was taking care of other people when she should have been taking care of herself. She was her daughter's rock and everyone else's angel. I feel as though a person filled with a lot of good has gone. Obviously she spread even more care and love while she was here, but that doesn't make it any less noticeable.

Last night
I was very upset and hurt because of some things a friend had said to me. He had a few drinks in him and for whatever reason was very hurtful in his speech. After some mean words were exchanged I hung up. I began to cry and then stopped when I realized I was tired of letting this kid influence my tears. He doesn't care so why should I. That's a terrible way to approach life-- for if you do, nothing will change, but all the same- I did not feel my reaction of "Cry." was a good one. He sent me a picture of this dog he'd found, which was his way of attempting to make amends (I think) and I called him back. I told him he'd hurt me and he apologized profusely. This is not a common thing for this kid (the apologies) so I hoped they were genuine. I love this kid to the moon and back and I forgive him constantly. If I kept tally of all the times he's hurt me in the last 2 years I might be awfully miserable. However, forgiveness leaves your soul much lighter. I often wonder if there are limits to the amount I care about this friend. I've been thinking about my Aunt Darlene a lot so I began to think about her ability to love people to such great lengths. It's a fascinating ability that I aspire to contain. I care about many, but to go such great lengths -- I will try.

These two stories connect though, I promise.
You see, this friend who I care so much for does not believe in selfless love. After all, you benefit from this selfless love. When you chose something you benefit from, this makes it selfish? You get the "good job" feeling from it. You feel good about being able to love someone or you get some sort of benefit back. I used to argue that it's still a better way, but I never really knew how to defend why because this was true; there are benefits to caring for someone. It is nice to feel good about yourself. Last night it occurred to me though, not everyone lives this way and that is what makes it better. Making the choice, letting go of the possible alternatives- the things that could benefit you and hurt others... choosing the option that will cause happiness to someone else is the way that you should live. I took a class on capitalism and was taught that theoretically if everyone did what was best for them than the highest level of productiveness would be reached. Yet, I can't help but wonder what about the lies and the cheating and the feelings and-- there's a lot missing from this equation. I suppose the moral of the story is that selfless love is not easy and as humans, it is not constant. We are not able to consistently love others selflessly, but that should not stop us from taking the effort to take care and treat as many others with compassion* as possible. Whether you view it as "selfish" or not, it's the better way.

It's tough though.

*Compassion 1-
Deep awareness of the suffering of another, coupled with the wish to relieve it
Compassion 2-
The desire to help when a need is discovered.

From the front porch looking out.

It's my first evening out on my front porch. It rained early today so it's nice porch sitting weather. There aren't too many people walking, but my across-the-street neighbors and my new next door neighbors are out on their porches. The guys across the street look familiar, but I don't know the people next door at all. Although the guys across the street are currently talking with the girls next door. I'm not the biggest fan of change and I miss last year's neighbors a lot. We all knew I'd miss the next door neighbors. Their house was sort of my escape from mine. 9 women in one house... you'll need a place like that. The yellow house is kind of far so I'm not sure what I'll do for a respite this year, but I'm sure I'll find one. Maybe I'll put my name on my chair so the porch can be my permanent respite :) I love this porch. I am excited for Sunday mornings. I love eating a bowl of cereal and jsut watching the people. Depending how my sleep schedule goes Tuesdays and Thursdays might be graced with the same routine... minus the people walking to church. If you'd like to sit with me, please come over any time. I won't claim that it's thrilling or exciting by any means, but it's very chill*... and that, my friends, is just what I need.

*chill when the giant, loud shuttle bus isn't driving by and when there is no construction.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Where I am is here.

I have toyed with the idea of writing a blog readable to my college friends for awhile now. Anyone who has known me for any length of times knows that I have been blogging for years. I have over 300 pages of entries removed from the internet, along with one unknown blog and 3 years worth of entries on a myspace page. This is in addition to journaling in notebook which is where more emotional rants take place. The myspace page is typically kept up-to-date with tid-bits of Sara. These entries may be posted on there as well, if for no other reason than I love to have so many entries in one location.

The idea of Junior year is one of my favorites. It's before the ending so there's still time to enjoy your self before over-preparing to the leave the safety of your current state. Yet, it's also after the excitement of meeting all new people and exploring all new places. There is still exploration to be done and friends to be made, but it's of a different sorts. If I didn't explore and I didn't meet people, I would still have places to be and people to hang out with. It's simply the lack of adventure that would create that keeps me from choosing this route. However, it's a little late to find new activities: especially if I'm going abroad in the spring. This is a bit discouraging. There were so many other things I might've enjoyed that I never made the time for.

I am thrilled for the start of my junior year. I am taking my first management course (although my second to last class for my minor), Lighting Design, Directing 1, the History of Social and Folk Dance and The Planet Earth. I am truly hoping I have an interesting instructor for The Planet Earth. If we take an approach that encourages action rather than 8th grade science, "The Planet Earth" could potentially be worth my time. Let's hope for the best. I am so excited for Lighting Design and Directing 1 that it makes me a little nervous. To me these are "real theatre major" classes and this makes me a real theatre major. Given, I am declared, and that's what makes me a real theatre major, but until you have the knowledge, the piece of paper the registrar has does not mean much.

The discouraging part of a new year means that a past year must've come to an end. I am missing my friends. I have friends abroad (particularly runners) and two whom transfered and a bunch more who did that thing many people do after four years... graduated (*cough*Lydia*cough*Schae*cough*Jill*cough... you get the idea). Of course, there are new people to meet and I am loving the ones who I've begun to know already. There are almost as many new girls on the XC team as there are returning runners. As strange as this is, I am loving it. Everyone seems to be meshing very well. I need to make sure I continue to make an effort to get to know the girls better as school begins, but we have a great base. Camp was wonderful. It seemed really short this year (with the exception of nights in which I had odd difficulty sleeping). We played battleship, cards, mafia and Roshambo (sp?) as usual. This year I actually went putt-putting, but I wasn't very good, haha. Jo and I shared delicious, but slightly complicated ice cream afterwards. It combined kitchen sink, superman and some sort of brownie ice cream into a waffle cone of taste bud glory. In other news, we spent time at the beach and now I finally have some sun on my skin. I might see if some people want to go to the beach tomorrow to try and continue this crazy thing called not-so-pasty-skin. The best parts of camp were:
  • Having some quality runs on trails
  • Feeling like an upper classman: People asked me things; I knew them.
  • Feeling comfortable with other people on the team-- Even guys and girls I didn't really know yet... things just felt right.
I really feel like I'm in the right place right now. My freshman year I didn't always feel that way. My sophomore year the feeling was more regular, especially second semester, but now it's truly strong. It might not last, but that's okay. Right now feels right. The only place this isn't always the case is work. Yet, today was my first day and that might change. For some reason the start of the new year always leaves me out of sorts. I feel as if I didn't learn anything last year. I remember the basics from freshman year, but nothing that puts me above anyone who's been on the crew for more than 2 weeks. It's a bit discouraging... especially because I've been considering light for real. I'll get back to you on that one. I am reluctant to go too far into my frustrations, but that's alright... another time.


Random excerpt from a journal from this time in 2006:
"We may be enough, but this doesn't mean we're everything."

I remember what that meant to me at the time, but I'm not so sure what it means to me now. I think I still agree though.

8:30 practice in the morning.
Have a good night.

Friday, August 1, 2008