For my first ever GCW trip I was very fortunate to be able to travel to Vietnam with nine of my close friends. I often heard upperclassmen saying how lucky you are to be with friends on GCW and how a trip is not as fun unless you are with friends. After experiencing a GCW trip I think I could say if I did not have any prior friends on this trip it would have been a completely different experience. In some aspects If I were going without any friends I would have got to know many people that I would not normally meet and that would have been great for me. But going on a trip with friends got me even closer to those people. Before Vietnam out of the 9 girls I was really only super close to four of them now I am a lot closer to the rest. The late night talks, card games, and spending two hours ordering ice cream gave me many memories with these girls that I will never forget.
Before this trip I really did not know how much traveling we were going to be doing. It turned out this trip involved many hours of long bus rides. This made me become more patient. Patience is something that I strive to have more of, as it is a very important quality. The bus rides gave me time to reflect on the experiences I had so far on the trip and also brought me closer to the girls because we rocked out so much to music. The food we ate was not the usual food I eat, as most of it was deep-fried. I had to accustom myself to that and become more open to different types of food or I would go hungry on the trip. It made me realize how lucky I am to have such a big variety of food at home. This trip was a very community service orientated trip and therefore made you feel very accomplished if you worked hard. I was very happy I was able to contribute to improving the grounds of a school. To see the smiles on the kids faces as we were shoveling gravel and sand in bags was so rewarding. The kids were so grateful for the work we were doing for them and it was so nice.
The most challenging part of the trip was shoveling gravel and sand. Now this may seem like something easy but doing it for one consecutive hour can really be hard on your back. Also carrying the bags to the cement mixer was very hard because the bags were so heavy. The most rewarding part of the trip was seeing the finished work of the cement pavement around the school. It felt great knowing that without our contribution of money and hard work this would not have been possible.
I learnt something about the culture of Vietnam and its history. I thought CuChi tunnel was very interesting because I got to experience crawling through them and it made me wonder how people could live in them. It made me think about the harsh conditions people had to endure throughout wars. The brutal traps people had to die in made me see how terrible war is and reminded me of the sights I visited in Kanchanaburi. Not tunnels, but equally difficult places to be like Hellfire Pass.
The more I get to experience and see of the world, the more I make connections between events, people, and places. The more open minded, accepting, and aware I become of how privileged I am. And lastly I hope these experiences change me for the better.
This summer I plan to read a wide variety of genres. I want to read some feature articles and articles on the BBC so I can improve my writing in that genre for the journalism class I am going to take in high school. I want to read some more Jodi Picoult books because every time I read her books I know that my vocabulary is improving. I learn a lot from her books about being in court and legal rights. This summer I want to read the book ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ because it was a number one selling book in Spanish and was highly recommended by one of my friends. I would like to read six books or more, during summer. I am not with friends so I get a lot of time to read. This summer I am going to be really busy but hopefully if I put in a half an hour to read every night or more I will reach my reading goal. When I am hooked into a Jodi Picoult book I cannot put it down. The place I visit in England has a local library where I can borrow books from so I will get some books from there and I will also buy some. I recently just checked out some books from the ISB library and I will check out some more to take with me.
There are two acronyms for remembering the main principles of an effective training program.
- Specificity – sport and individual needs
- Progression – start at your level and gradually increase
- Overload – work harder than normal
- Reversibility – train regularly
- Tedium – keep it interesting
- Frequency – how often
- Intensity – how hard
- Time – how long
- Type – what methods of training
While running I try to keep in mind the main components of having a strong run like posture, hand movements, not burning out in the first part of the race, saving energy and more. These are 8 tips I have to prepare for a race:
- Taper off your amount of excercise you are doing a couple days before a race.
- Get lots of rest the night before your race.
- Always do a quick warm-up before you run.
- Remember not to burn yourself out in the beginning.
- Stay hydrated.
- Don’t run with fists, let your hands relax.
- Adjust your stride according to the distance your running.
- Be confident, have fun, and believe you CAN do it!
Eating healthy is a very important part of being an athlete. You must mantain a healthy diet to have enough energy to perform at your best. Carbohydrate loading before a big tournament or before you do a big long distance run is important because this is a food that releases energy slowly. Candy and soda (ex: coca cola) give you a burst of energy but only last for a short period of time.
Exercising on a full stomach is not ideal. Food that remains in your stomach during an event may cause stomach upset. To make sure you have enough energy, yet reduce stomach discomfort, you should allow a meal to fully digest before the start of the event. This generally takes 1 to 4 hours, depending upon what and how much you’ve eaten. If you have an early morning race or workout, it’s best to get up early enough to eat your pre-exercise meal. If not, you should try to eat or drink something easily digestible about 20 to 30 minutes before the event. The closer you are to the time of your event, the less you should eat.
Are you looking for something more exotic, and more dangerous: like the new designer drug, twelve. “Set in Manhattan between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, from the housing projects of Harlem to the penthouses of Park Avenue, it is the story of White Mike, a seventeen-year-old prep-school dropout turned drug dealer, and his privileged peers. White Mike is a loner and an anomaly: he doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, and he never uses drugs. His mother is dead and his father is depressed — but they’re hardly more absent than the other parents who are off on holiday in Bali or business in Brussels, leaving hired help to look the other way while the kids of Twelve stay home in their multimillion-dollar co-ops and town houses, partying with drugs and sex and escalating violence. Access to cash is a given here and the kids of Twelve have it all; Chris and Claude and Hunter and Laura have the best, and most, of everything, but are constantly looking for something more exotic, and more dangerous.”
I thought overall the book Twelve was terrible. It is probably one of the worst books I have ever read. No offence to the author, but it was written very poorly and did not make me interested. The author had many characters in the novel that did not relate to each other and made the style of writing confusing. Sometimes one chapter would be written in just a paragraph and sometimes the chapters were in Italic-what does that mean? I thought it might be a flashback but the flashbacks were the most random flashbacks that I couldn’t have been right. I was not satisfied with the book so of course I was not satisfied with the ending. In the end all the characters in the book get shot and they die. That is the ending. I was waiting for something big and explosive for the book to end with but when that happened I was thoroughly disappointed. I was angry that I had even spent time reading a book so bad, when I could have read a much better book. The lasting thoughts in my mind were that you couldn’t believe everyone’s praise that they have on a book because this book had so much praise but turned out to be terrible.
Right now I am reading a book called “The Running Dream” by Wendelin Van Draanen. The character in the book is a girl named Jessica. She is a track and field athlete and her best event is the 400m sprint. She is the best in her league at this race and has high hopes for the future. Unfortunately she is in a tragic bus accident which causes her to have to get a below knee amputation on one of her legs. This book is about her determination and dream to be able to run again with a prosthetic leg. It is truly inspiring and really makes me greatful for the two legs I have. Often times we don’t realize how fortunate we are to have all our limbs. A quote from the book that really made me think hard and realize how true it is, is the following:
“People don’t understand why we run. It seems so mindless to them. All you do is go around and around the track. That’s the funny thing about running. The deceptive thing about it. It may seem mindless, but it’s really largely mental. If the mind’s not strong, the body acts weak, even if it’s not. If the mind says it’s too cold or too rainy or too windy to run, the body will be more than happy to agree. If the mind says it would be better to rest or recover or cut practice, the body will be glad to oblige”
To become a strong runner you MUST have the right mind set. Next time your out running and you want to give up because you believe you can’t go any further, don’t stop, because you CAN keep going. Your mind is very powerful and can deceive you. It will make you feel like your really tired, when your not. Be strong.