Monday, September 27, 2010

Life Update

So I don't really have anything deep and intellectual to talk about in this post. But I thought I would just give an update on my life as of late.

First of all, this past week and a half has easily been the most stressful of my college career to this point. I had all sorts of projects and tests and quizzes, all of which I felt very unprepared for. However, I worked really hard, and I think I actually ended up doing pretty well on most of the stuff I had to do. My Financial Management class is looking like it will be the death of me though. I had a project due today in that class where a partner and I had to write a 10 page paper and give a 15 minute presentation after compiling loads of data and calculating ratios. Basically, that is the main reason I had no weekend! Well, that and the photography project, marketing test, and journalism article. Isn't it lovely when prof's all make everything due the same day! :) Let's just say I am more than glad to be done with the past week and a half.

When classes started this semester, I was really worried that I was going to be in over my head with my newly picked up graphic design major. Within the last few weeks though, I think it was a good decision for me. I am excited to keep learning about those sorta things and putting it into practice. I'm still not sure if I have the artistic/creative ability that I need, like my brother has, but I am hoping it will come as I keep working with it... Really hoping!

Conditioning for basketball is going rather well, other than having shin splints, which hurt like crazy! We are in our 4th and final week of conditioning, and we start actual practice on Monday. I am very much looking forward to that! Despite the fact that conditioning has been quite difficult, I have actually had a good time with some of the stuff we have done. For instance, one day, we all went to Columbus and went through the SWAT team obstacle course, which was a challenge, but fun nonetheless. Also, I have enjoyed taking on the challenge with my teammates. We all get along really well together and always have a good time with each other. It will definitely be nice to actually work on things with a basketball. Sweet relief!
Photography project. My shoes in MVNU gym. 
Random: I recently saw a picture of my roommate with his girlfriend and my roommate in which my roommate was wearing a Dennis Rodman jersey. I commented on said picture sarcastically remarking that it is probably not a good sign that he has Rodman for a role model. She responded by saying that Rodman wasn't that good of a player either. To this, I refuted by providing statistical evidence of his dominant rebounding prowess. Then, I became further intrigued as to how good he really was and watched some highlights of him and was really impressed. His hustle is like none other I have ever seen. I think this year, I am going to try to emulate Sir Rodman in every way possible. Does anyone have some hair dye I can borrow??

My motivation for this season! 

Friday, September 10, 2010


Love is such an interesting concept to me because it seems like everybody talks about it, but so many people don’t even know what they think it really means. I have basically given up on finding love in the way our culture describes it these days. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I think love is, but this is where I am currently:
The idea that love is a feeling that can just come and go whenever just doesn’t make sense to me. Instead, I believe that love is a decision. It doesn’t just happen. I don’t believe in “falling in love.” People throw around the word love when they really like somebody, but where do you draw the line? What is the difference between when you really liked that person to now that you think you love them? Is it a feeling? I used to think so to an extent, but it can’t be, right?
 Love is a choice, an action, a sacrifice, how you treat people, caring about them even when you don’t like them. That is the biggest difference between what love actually is and the way people use it. People say after a breakup that they “just didn’t love each other anymore,” or that they “fell out of love.” If that is what love is all about then why on earth do so many people wanna fall in love? True love is not an easy thing. That is why so many marriages fail and why so many people hurt each other. They would rather believe that love is a feeling that can come and go than to accept the responsibility that they just are giving up because they are bored or tired of the circumstances they are in. Real love takes courage and dedication. 
As crazy as it sounds that we don’t have enough words in the English language, I actually think there needs to be a few more to better express this one word. Somebody could say that they love pizza and that they love Jesus in the same breath. How can that be? I think the love that people think they experience in dating relationships is more often than not just infatuation. 
True love is when you make sacrifices without being asked. It is when you do the little things not because you will get something out of it but because you truly want to make the other person happy and are willing to think of them before yourself.
True love is not just something you can turn on and off. I think you can only truly love a person if you love others as well. That is a way you can tell how much someone will be able to love, by how they treat others. Because how would you know how to love unless you had been practicing? And more importantly, how are you going to know how to love when it gets hard if you haven’t been loving even when it’s easy?
1 Corinthians 13 says it more perfectly than anything: 
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” If you think you have loved before, which most people probably would, think about that compared to these attributes... How well do you match up? This sort of love does not sound like a feeling to me. It doesn’t sound like something that comes and goes. This sounds so much more real to me. And best of all, it seems like something that will actually last... what a great concept! 

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I am convinced there is too much pain in the world. So much of it is cause by us and those around us. Other times, though, pain is inevitable. In many senses, pain is necessary. Because what would happiness and contentment and peace look like if there was no pain? Everything would be the same. It would all get boring. That being said, it doesn’t make pain any easier to swallow when it happens to us. But such is life... 
(Warning: This is a story I usually don’t tell people because (1. I am sorta shy, and (2. it’s not exactly dinner conversation material if ya know what I’m sayin’ ... but):  
One night in late-December of my sophomore year of high school, I noticed that my poop didn’t exactly look like it usually did... It was blood red... and didn’t look like poop at all... just like blood... which I assumed was not necessarily a good thing. For whatever reason (probably just my own stupidity), I convinced myself it was no big deal because I had a basketball game the next day and I wanted to play (sometimes I’m way too competitive for my own good... yeah this might have been one of those times: Whoops!). I was hoping that this strange phenomenon would just go away and order would be restored in my bowel ASAP so I could continue playing basketball as I wanted. However, this did not happen. I felt horrible the next day and blood continued coming out of me instead of staying in (never a good thing). I began to get weaker and would get tired just by walking up a few steps. Despite all of this and the fact that my stomach kept hurting and I continually had to go to the bathroom, I played in the game that next night (and scored 20 points while internally bleeding!). After the game I immediately felt exponentially worse and thought, “hey it might be a good idea to tell somebody (parents, doctors, Red Cross?) that something ain’t quite right.” So I told my parents, and apparently this sorta thing didn’t exactly happen to everybody (who woulda known, right?). We went to the doctors and they didn’t know what was wrong with me so I went to Children’s Hospital and they didn’t know what was wrong with me. They put me through all sorts of tests, each one was terrible--moreso because of the “prep” than the actual test, in most cases. The first time this all happened, I bled for ten days straight before it stopped. I lost A LOT of blood though. My hemoglobin level (which is normally around 13 or 14) was down to 6.4 I believe. I could hardly get out of bed through the later days. To put it simply, it was not a fun time for me. But then, when it stopped, I thought everything was fixed and I would never have to worry about it again... I was wrong. It kept coming back randomly. (I think I missed about 15 games due to this in my high school career which is almost an entire season!) The first time was the worst it has ever been. The length and severity have gotten better. But every time it happens, even if it only happens for a day, I get exhausted and can go from being in pretty good shape for basketball to basically having to start from scratch again. For the longest time, doctors would tell me there was really nothing they could do to stop it or prevent it, and that I had something that was extremely rare. Basically, what they told me was causing all this was that the veins in my colon (which I previously didn’t even know existed) were bigger than they were supposed to be. Apparently that meant that when food was going down my pipes, there was a chance the food could slice my vein open and that is why this all happened. I’m not sure how many people in the world have what I have, but I don’t even know to this day if it even has a name. I was referred to some specialists in Boston, Massachusetts and went there to get checked out and they did basically an experimental procedure on me to see if it would help at all. It seems like that procedure has helped because my bleeding has not happened as often or been as bad since the first procedure. They then did the procedure a second time right before I came to college last year. I wish I could say I don’t have to deal with all of this craziness anymore, but it still sneaks back up occasionally. 
This experience has taught me so much about life in general and pain and how to deal with the pain we encounter in our lives. First of all, I let this condition be an excuse as to why I wasn’t going to do things or why I “couldn’t” do things. I decided not to play basketball at MVNU last year because I didn’t want to have to deal with that again. But also, I thought I would be okay with not playing. I don’t necessarily regret not playing last year, but I decided that I don’t care what I have to go through this year, I love basketball too much not to at least give it a try. So I am determined to overcome this condition. I have found out that it can’t control what I do. It can’t hold me down. I am going to fight through it because I am stronger than that. 
One of the things that I had to realize in this battle I went through, and am still going through, is that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes it is so hard for me to believe that, but I know that this whole experience has made me a stronger person, and I needed that. I know that God has a plan for me and that there are things I am going to go through that may not be fun, but each one of those painful things are preparing me for who God wants me to be. 
The thing about pain is that most of the time, it gets us down so much not because it is that overpowering, but it gets us down because we let it get us down. If we tell ourselves that we can’t do anything to stop the pain, then we won’t be able to. What we have to do is understand that we have the ability to overcome pretty much anything, and it is up to us how much pain controls us and how much we overcome the obstacles keeping us from our desired goals. 

The Basics

So, I am writing a blog (...duh?) and I’m not sure if anyone will care to read it or not, but I feel like it may be strangely fun so I’m gonna do it anyway. :) 
I guess a good place to start is a little introduction of who I am and all: 
My name is Zach (obviously). I am 19 years old and am a sophomore at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. After much indecision, I have decided to double major in Marketing and Graphic Design (more to come about this later). I am playing basketball for the Naz this year, which I am quite excited about (also, more to come about this later). I am generally a pretty shy/quiet person until I get to know people... sometimes I wish I was more outgoing, but it is what it is I guess. I am from Lancaster, Ohio where I went to Fairfield Christian Academy for the majority of my academic career (2nd through 12th grade). I love sports and movies and music and my family and friends and art and God and all the amazing stuff he puts around me like the sky
I can’t say that I have had the toughest life growing up. I have a great family who has always supported me and awesome friends. I am extremely grateful for the people God has placed in my life and just for the life I have been fortunate enough to have. However, I have also gone through a great deal of things I would not wish upon anyone else (my next post will talk about that).
There are a lot of things that I don’t know or understand in this world... like most things related to science, and there are a lot of other things that I think I know but I really don’t. I hate when people pretend to know everything so I am going to preface everything I will say from here on out by saying now that most of this is going to be my opinion or others’ opinions that I just agree with for the most part. So with that said, I hope you (and if you is just my mother, that is fine with me) enjoy my thoughts and sometimes crazy ideas.