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A Rapid June

On June 10th, the group headed to Ace Adventure Resort for our big summer retreat. The former youth pastor, Kelly Blanton traveled in from Texas along with his intern, Jonathan Perkins to be our guest speakers during the retreat. That afternoon, shortly after we arrived, we embarked on our first event at the resort, which was a mud obstacle course. Our guide led us to the start of the course. There he handed us all a PDF and instructed us on a few things. We put on our PDF vests and helmets, we were eager to get dirty. We decided to run the course as a team, which meant we had to make sure everyone made it through the obstacle before we moved on to the next. The guide blew the whistle and we took off. Cristal was the first to leap into the first obstacle, while the rest wasn’t far behind. The pit was thick with mud and we had to crawl under logs with netted rope over them. The smell hit our noses immediately, it was quite putrid. Each obstacle was a challenge and the group worked well as a team, whenever someone was stuck they encouraged them and even gave a little push/pull when needed. Whitney even met a friend along the way!
After the mud obstacle, we walked back to our campsite, laughing and reminiscing over the muddy good time we had. The theme for our retreat was servant hood, so once we arrived back at camp I instructed the teens to not run to the shower yet. My lesson was on Jesus and washing the disciples feet. I had each of the teens sit at the picnic table as Dave and I prayed over and washed each of there feet. They were nice and grimy too, considering what activity they just went through.
The next morning we headed to our check in station for our whitewater trip. Several youth and adults were a bit nervous about rafting, while some of the others were pretty excited about it. After the long bus ride to the river, our group was split into two rafts. Both groups had fantastic guides. I was very impressed by the professionalism and knowledge of the guides. We hit the river and enjoyed the time working as a team, riding the whitewater, and coasting through the calm spots. That afternoon when we arrived back to the campsite, Dave taught his lesson on listening to the guide. I won’t spoil it, since he will be presenting it to the church soon. Then that evening after dinner, Kelly spoke to the group about discipleship and putting others ahead of yourself, among other things.
The next day, we went rappelling and rock climbing. I am terrified of heights, so I was really nervous about this event. The guides gave us clear instruction on what to do, they were very informative and helpful. We rappelled first, I nervously waited my turn and determined that I would conquer this fear ready or not. They clipped my harness, gave me a quick re cap on what to do, and I slowly lowered myself off the cliff. I didn’t look down, I kept my focus above. When I started hearing the cheers from the others who went before me and the onlookers, I was thankful I was close to ground. It wasn’t that bad actually, I’m very glad I did it. When it was time to rock climb though, I didn’t do as well. I attempted it. I climbed a little, it was really hard to position yourself and the rocks were a little slippery. Plus, I was a big chicken! Brian, Heath, and Thorne did a great job on the rock climbing, they climbed like Spiderman! Whitney did a good job too, she was like me, a little afraid of heights.
That afternoon we spent time at the lake, playing on the water toys, sliding down the waterslide, zipping into the water, and bouncing on the trampolines. It wore me out, but was a lot of fun. If you are ever looking for an awesome place to do some extreme adventures, Ace Adventure Resort in Oak Hill, WV is the place for you. They have excellent guides, great food, nice lodging, and nice facilities.
That evening Kelly, Dave, Jonathan, and I shared in the lesson for the evening. We talked about sacrifice, obedience, and change. I hope the kids got a lot out of the trip. My heart is that we all will come closer to God and develop the heart of Christ for others. We can make a difference in our community, schools, and workplace if we allow the holy spirit to guide us and teach us daily.

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Posted by on July 2, 2012 in Youth

 

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Hanging up the Fishnets

I never imagined myself becoming so passionate about a sport.  I’ve always enjoyed playing sports and being competitive.  But, I never was actually part of a team before until I decided to try out roller derby.  I remembered watching roller derby on television when I was a kid.  I was really fascinated by it.  Tough girls taking hits and giving them back, falling down and getting back up.  My favorite motto as a child was, “Girls can do anything boys can do, only better.”

About two years ago, I noticed a friend of mine from high school was playing roller derby.  I thought to myself, “that’s really awesome.”  After a few months, I decided to shoot her an email and tell her that I was impressed with her playing this tough sport and thought it was really cool of her.  She sent me a message back and said I should check into the local team, that I would really love it.  I was reluctant to do that.  I was afraid of being unaccepted and feeling out of place.  But, I kept thinking it would be really cool to check it out and see what it was all about.  My friend played for a team that was an hour away and she invited me to come watch a scrimmage, so I could get an idea of what was involved with the sport.  My family went and watched the scrimmage and it made me want to try it out even more.  I spoke with my friend afterwards and she asked me what I thought.  I told her it was amazing, full of action, and looked exciting.  She told me that the local team was having a recruitment night the end of the month and invited me to go check it out.

After talking with my husband and a close friend of mine about it, they both encouraged me to go for it.  What did I have to lose?  So, I went on recruitment night and felt welcomed by the team members.  The idea of actually participating in the sport fueled my passion.

The exercise and drills we did in practice was intense. It felt strangely satisfying to put on tights, fishnets, or knee high socks and sweat more than you ever thought you could, to learn to maneuver on skates quickly, hit a girl as hard as you could, skate faster, endure through tons of pain.  The encouragement from the other girls was enough to help you stay focused and determined.  I fell in love with roller derby.  There was so much to learn about it and there was more than I imagined that went into doing it.

After being in it for two months, we were preparing ourselves for our first bout.  In just that little bit of time, I was excited about actually getting to play.  A week before my first bout, I ended up breaking my elbow in practice.  I thought I had just sprained it, but ended up going to the doctor and found out I broke it.  It was disappointing that I was unable to play, but I still went to the bout and cheered on my new team.

I took a month off from derby to heal up.  I wasn’t sure if I should return to the team. I didn’t feel I had enough to offer them.  But, a teammate contacted me and was seeing how I was doing.  She encouraged me to come back, so I did.

After coming back and getting more involved, I found many reasons to love and appreciate this sport.   I developed great friendships with people I would have never met otherwise.  I saw how accepting the sport is to all types of people, no matter their background, age, belief, or fitness level.  It is an encouraging sport; it makes you more confident about yourself.  It makes you appreciative of others.  It makes you understand the importance of encouraging others and seeing the value of everyone involved.  It makes you become a more determined person.  It makes you realize that in order to reach the goal you have to be willing to go through some pain.  It is a bonding sport, you develop close ties with your teammates, maybe it’s because they see you at your worst and at your best, yet still encourage you to push through.  I’m sure there are many other lessons I have learned by participating in roller derby, too many to list.

As much as I love the sport, there comes a time when you have to hang up the fishnets.  This is where I am at.  I have many things going on in my life right now and I have other opportunities arising.  Will I ever put on the fishnets and skates and hit the track again?  Who knows, for right now though, I feel led to use my nets to catch another passion of mine.  It’s very tough to lay down something you’ve grown to love, but it will always make me smile when I think about it.

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2011 in Sports

 

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