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Saturday, October 15, 2011

How My Life Changed This Summer

It's about time I take a look back and reflect on the summer, since I've just finished my first break of the school year. This summer was HUGE for me in terms of personal growth. I'll try and put up each major highlight and it's description in this post.

- Personal Contract

At the beginning of the summer, I began to get that nasty "it's going to slip away and won't get to do anything I want to do" feeling. This feeling has come up (and proven true) in several summers past, so I decided to head it off by making a tangible promise to myself. So just after midnight on May 7th, 2011, I wrote this short personal commitment statement:
I'm writing this as an open proclamation - No longer will I allow myself to go down the path of failure. No longer will I perform in a lackluster manner and simply say "I tried." NO. I have been given far too many opportunities to let myself fail. I will not shy from the road less traveled-by, nor will I ignore te advice of others. This summer will not be one of laziness and regret, but one of growth, achievement, and fun. In short, it's time to step my game up.

In frustration, renewal, honesty, and hope;

Christian Buckler

- Watching Mustache Man

I watched this video through the Art of Manliness:

And quickly fell in love. This is a key example of what I want to be like for the rest of my life. In great fitness, challenging myself through fun obstacle races, and not being afraid to go a bit crazy.

- Kentucky Trip (Gpa's funeral, painting, scholarship)

I made a casual trip out to Kentucky this summer for two main reasons: My Grandfather's funeral and picking up a scholarship. However, this being my vacation, I thought it would be "cool" to strip and repaint my grandparents' back porch while I was in town. This taught me a couple short lessons. The first: Once you hit flow in a certain task, it's best to ride it until completion. For instance, If you figure out the best way to paint the handrail of that porch, paint ALL the handrails - not just the handrail of one section. By leaving that task, jumping to another one like painting side rails, and coming back to the handrail; you're less effective at handrail painting than you were at the start. I would attribute this to reacclimation, and I'm sure it would depend on how different the tasks were.

The second lesson was simply that wasps aren't that bad. As a quick confession, I'm near-phobic not a huge fan of stinging insects like wasps, bees, and yellow jackets. That porch had nooks and crannies all over the place that made for GREAT wasp nests. Cool. Long story short, I killed a bunch of the things so not I'm not as skittish of them.

- Gym Internship

I worked as an unpaid intern this summer at a local gym, and observed on a daily basis the ins and outs of small businesses, particularly that of a small franchise gym. I also got to see health professionals at work, including personal trainers, homeopathic product promoters, bodybuilders, massage therapists, endurance athletes, and one potential NFL recruit. Overall, I met a lot of great people and learned a lot - oh, and I had some fun along the way, too.

- LeaderShape

I could write many, many posts about LeaderShape. I was one of 4 TCU students sent to the LeaderShape institute this past summer, and came away with several great experiences and great friends. I left LeaderShape with a new outlook on life: one filled with hope and potential. Above all else, LeaderShape taught what it means to live with integrity, and also the power of the individual.

- 24-hr romance

I had a brief romantic fling with a girl back home, one that really showed me what actual compatibility and chemistry looks and feels like. She called things off pretty quick for reasons I won't describe here, but I'm still reeling from the beauty of that moment.

- Give a Damn

I wrote about Giving a Damn earlier this summer, a realization I had after LeaderShape. We could all do a better job of sitting in the front row of our own lives - and lining up our thoughts and actions while we're at it.

- Mormon Friends Leaving

I had a handful of good friends leave for their 2-year missions this summer, and I'll miss them dearly. That being said, I'm very excited about the awesome opportunity they have to travel to another place and experience life with all kinds of people for so long.

- Argument With a Friend

Perhaps I was a little too gung-ho about my GAD attitude. At the very end of the summer, I attempted to call a good friend out on a discrepancy between the opinions she was stating and the actions she was taking. This resulted in a bit of a spat (most folks don't like being told "you're wrong." Odd.) that has since been resolved forgotten.

These events were only a few points of my summer, but they illustrate the overall themes and growth that occurred. And to think I was so worried about wasting it!

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