It Has to Begin Somewhere

I stand at the end of the runway. I can feel the adrenaline in my body pick up, then drop as I take a deep breath to clear my head. All my practice from the last week, all the frustration, all the success, all the drops of sweat I’ve watered the grass with are wound up in three minutes.

I angle my javelin upwards, begin a slow jog in place, then slowly accelerate down the runway. About eight steps later I swing my body sidways, trail my right arm, and accelerate even more for the last three steps. Then its a hop, plant and explosion. This is my sport. This is my home.

I only started throwing javelin this year as a freshman in college. Since then, my passion in life has been to use my talent and work ethic to be the best I can be. Right now, I’m learning to balance classwork, RA duty, and training; and learning how best to train my body.

Wish me luck in my journey…

The strong fear no one…




Crossing the River

Since last summer, I have been blessed with the perfect job. It pays well, I get a good tan, I teach kids about the environment, and I get to be outside. I work about 20 minutes from my parents house in Ohio at Recreation Unlimited, a camp for kids and adults with physical and/or mental disabilities. Often those two come together. I am a camp counselor.

The story of how I wound up at RU is rather interesting. First of, I’m a bio major, with hopes of getting into field research. I have no connection or career aspirations in summer camp experiences or special education. I was driving down the highway on time and noticed the green sign marking where to turn for the camp. Curious, I later Googled it and found out the true nature of the camp. As I was looking for a job between my senior year of high school and freshman year of college I decided it would be a good experience to try RU out… and I’ve never regretted it.

My first summer I spent as a counnselor, taking care of campers, seeing them daily struggle with the most basic tasks, and daily overcome huge obstacles like our 50 foot climbing tower, canoes, arts and crafts, and crawdad fishing. These kids and adults are the hapiest people I’ve ever met, and they face so many challenges; and yet we have all our bodily functions, and are always looking for the next thing, always discontent.

Not only have I had the opportunity to work with people with challenges, I can also work with young boys and girls. Just this past week, I was leading some team building activities for a group of typical, local 6th graders. It was absolutely amazing to see the group dynamics each time we started a new session. There were always a couple kids who were really rambunctious and unfocused, but as the activities progressed, there emerged clear leaders, and those who were more task oriented than the others. Often we would present “challenges” to these individuals, taking away talking abilities, or blindfolding them. New leaders would step up; many were not those I would have thought.

One of the most interesting actions this week that I witnessed was during an activity that required campers to cross a “river” using only “logs” (carpet pads). As everyone was crossing, several of the quieter kids found themselves left in the back of the group. One could not talk, the other two could not see. The boy who could not talk was standing at difficult angles in between the two blinded kids, guiding their feet one by one, helping them cross the “river” safely.

It caused me to stop and think. What is it in some kids that perpetuate a care for others who are less fortunate? Why is it that kid decided to help his friends, even though it was difficult and easier for him just to save himself?

What in my life needs to change so that I can be like that young man who cared for his friends enough to overlook his own “disability” and help his classmates.

The job I have has allow me to see people in relatively pure environments; free of outside cares. It is there true character exposes itself. God bless this young man’s life, and may he not live in oblivion of others and thier lives as so many of the human race has done.









Why I Don’t Have Black Friends… or White Friends

Yeah… sorry if the title offends you… But honestly, why beat around the bush hoping the main idea of this post will will fly out?

I’m 19 years old… soon to be 20. I’m not a world traveler by any stretch of the imagination, but I like to think I’ve gotten around. I’ve lived in 7 different states of the U.S., and have visited countless others. I’ve gotten a taste of the extremes of culture the Unites States has to offer. From the southern “hospitality” (forgive my cynicism), to the reculsive breed of the west coast, to Ohio and Nebraska (which aren’t different except OSU fans are slightly more insane that Cornhusker fans) where you immediately get sleppy when you drive through their, well, sleepy little towns, with one stoplight, one barbershop, maybe two banks… well, you get the point.

Traveling like that has given me a perspective on people that I will always carry.

People, above all, are scared of everything that is different of them. Watch all the recent Superman and Captain America movies, and what happens? Non- super humans try to put limits on something that is different than them. Why? Because they are afraid.

Why do white kids usually hang out with white kids at school? Because they are afraid. Why do black kids only hang out with black kids at school? Because they are afraid. We are all afraid of being different in a group of people, and of people that are different. If you can’t admit that, then stop reading this blog.

As the post title says, I have no black friends, and I have no white friends. But I do have friends. All the years of meeting new people, making friends, and moving on (all with new sets of culturally affected people) has taught me that there is no such thing as a black friend, and no such thing as a white friend, and no such thing as an asian friend, etc. There are people friends.

This isn’t to say I don’t have friends who are black, or friends who are asian, hispanic friends, or friends who are white. I have all three. but they aren’t my ______ friend. Some of my closest friends are black, from Cleveland and Columbus. I’m not scared of being with them, in fact, I am never more at ease. I have friends from Brazil, Honduras, and Thailand. The key is to learn your differences, and embrace them; find things that you both like doing;  find things about them that annoy you and laugh at those things.

All of this seems really easy saying it. But I have only reached that because of the way I was raised. College has opened my eyes to the differences in people more than anything else. Athletics has brought me together with other young men who are vastly different then me.

If humanity as a whole would get the idea that people different then themselves are not scary, and that the differences in each other can become our greatest assets, the world would be a much different place.

Imagine what our species could accomplish if everyone loved and cared for one another. We pride ourselves on our intellect and reason, and the advances in technology and life we could have are out of reach because of pride, fear, and unreasonableness.





Midnight Myrtle Beach Madness

What do college athletes do in Myrtle Beach at 11:00pm?


Amazing what interesting things can happen to a bunch of guys wandering around the beachfront of Myrtle Beach at eleven pm.

This past March, of 2016, I went as part the MVNU track team to the Coastal Carolina Invitational in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Our team of about 40 individauls was going for trip over spring break… there was no way we could compete with teams from Division 1 schools like Michigan, North Dakota State, and Ohio State. Most teams there had over 100 members.  We were just there to have fun… well, if you call that fun.

We had two days of practice and relaxation before the meet. Tuesday we spent playing ultimate frisbee on the beach, trying to get our Cleveland-born sprinters to get in the 50 degree Atlantic, and burying one of our teamates in the sand. Tuesday was a pretty chill day, we got back from dinner that night, not really feeling like doing anything.

Wednesday, though, was a completely different story.

Wednesday, we had a lot of nervous energy, so, at 11:00pm, four of us, me, Sam, Stu, and Walter, decise to go for a walk down the beach. Our goal was the pier, three miles away. It was a beautiful night out, the moon was up, the tide was coming in, and the traffic was quiet. We maybe made it a mile and a half down the beach when we come to an inlet that none of us wanted to swim across, forcing us to awkwardly walk through someone’s front yard, then backyard to get to a road. Meanwhile, Sam is at the rear if the line just moaning and waiting for something to grab him… or so he said.

We pop out out a nice little beach lane, which dead ends, and decide to walk through part of a golf course and by the local country club. No doubt some of the patrons were wondering what two black and two white guys were doing golfing at 11:30 at night.

Finally, we get back to what seems to me a semi-main road, and learn, upon consuting our smart phone, that the inlet we’d hoped to avoid ran inland a mile and there was no way we were getting to the pier.


A one word summary of the first half of our trip.

Oh shit!

A two word summary of the second half.

We decided to stick to asphalt on the way back. Maybe a good idea.

We’re walking down some random road  in the middle of a residential zone, on the way back to our hotel; I’m looking at my phone trying not to get us lost, all of a sudden, Sam says, in the calmest voice ever, “Oh look, a dog.”

Not sure what happened next, but within about 15 seconds, all four of us were a hundred yards back down the road, while the dog (named Jackie) runs to the house we had just been in front of. Unknowingly, we had left Sam and his torn hamstring hobbling up the road 40 yards back. Oops.

What was so stupid about the whole thingis that Jackie came from around the corner up the road, as we were walking past her house.

Like really Jackie? You neglect your one job of protecting the house, run around the corner, and think its fair to scare the crap out of four college guys, and then continuously bark for the next 15 minutes. All because we walked the freakin public road in front of your house?

The poor dude who had to come outside to see what was going on with his conceited dog couldn’t even control her. As we slowly edge by, he’s basically folowing her, vainly trying to shut her up. Her two-to-one leg ratio gave her a decisive edge in evasion. We, slowly edging around, just waited for her to pounce.

It all bordered on the slightly absurd. As we finished our walk to the hotel, battle scarred veterans of the midnight Myrtle Beach streets, we agreed to go back and ask if we could borrow Jackie for the next day, stick her behind a runner as he gets ready to start, and then let her go at the starting gun. There certinly would be a lot of personal records set that day.

Unsurprisingly, the owner said no.

You may find this unbearably boring, but I tell you this story for one reason.

  1. If you go for a stroll and see Jackie… run.

Ethics Makes the World Go Round


Ethics class is always fun. If you consider mind contortions fun. I think my professor enjoys confusing the crap out of us, and gets a high off of watching us labor in our uncomfortable desks.

Day 1 of class:


A trolley is driving down the middle of the city, and comes to a Y in the track. If you continue to the right, you will kill five track workers.

Oh boy, not a good idea.

But, if you go to the left, you will run over your own mother.

You have no option to stop the trolley, the brakes are out, and you are on a slight decline.

It’s either your mother, or five strangers.

Of course, most of us would choose the five track workers being sent into oblivion. Me and my classmates chose that hands down.

But there’s one other option.

You have the option to push a fat man in front of the trolley, kill him, and save the other six people. He has no family who would mourn for him. No friends. Forget the fat man cliche, we  both know that we subconciously think less of him. What would you do?

Yep that was the entire discusion for day 1… And by the end we were looking like the dude at the top of the article.

Our professor never told us anything; he made us think for ourselves.

At the bottom of everything is an ethical choice. Why do we choose what we choose? Why do we have the job we have? Sounds dismal I know. But up until now we’ve bee making ethical decisions without even thinking, why should it be any different right now? How many times do we drive by a homeless person on a interstate ramp with an “out of work” sign, and write them off as unfortunate only because of their own life choices?

What about using unwanted children for organs?

What about using undeveloped children for testing new drugs on humans?

Is government support of those unwilling to get jobs ethical?

Anyway, these are a few examples of ethical issues we are faced with this day in age…

One of the characteristics that distinguishes humans from the rest of the animal kingdom is our capacity to reason, and to decide between what we think is right and wrong, so let’s use it!

Okay, ethics really doesn’t make the world go round… but it’s still prsent in every part of the world that is turning round… whatever that means…