Tuesday, November 29, 2011


My encouragement for the day. Knowing that God has this all planned out, everything. Not just my trip to London, or my career, but my whole life. He knows what He's doing and I need to have faith in Him.

"Now Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen...By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made by things that are visible."

Hebrews 11:1,3 (English Standard Version)

Monday, November 28, 2011


So I didn’t start the countdown from the traditional 10, or even a week out at 7. Thanksgiving festivities and family were more important, so I’m starting the countdown at 6. I don’t think I will even write a blog a day so the next one after this will probably be something like 4 or 3.
Thanksgiving: AMAZING!!! What an awesome holiday. I was thoroughly blessed this year by my family and friends. It was so nice to be home and to not worry about school or work. I enjoyed my 7-week-old niece as much as she would let me, and I was able to spend time with my brother and sister in law. It is definitely difficult to be without them close. Phone calls, texts, facebook, and email do not take the place of in person conversations for me. I miss them….Daily.
I was also so thankful to have my friend Alexis stay with us for a few days. It had been a few years since I last saw her or spent time with her and its refreshing to connect with her again and know that we are still able to talk about anything even after minimal communication over the last few years. It’s so encouraging, to be able to form that connection with someone. I think its very rare and I am blessed with two non-family members who I’m able to do that with. I thank the Lord every day for Ashley Nelson and Alexis Polito. Both have been with me through the good and the bad and we still have great friendships.
Back to school today, which was difficult after a holiday, and since I only have one class. I could have done without it and apparently so could my teacher since he actually left 10min into the class. He must not have had a good Thanksgiving.  I am working my best to polish of the items on my to do list. Not very effectively though, especially considering my to do list is in my head. That’s never very helpful. But I did email a few important people and do a quiz or two. So I feel like I’m getting things done at least.
6 more days and I’ll be in London. I better have my to do list empty by the time I leave for the airport. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The All too Familiar “Countdown”

Everybody does it when they approach something exciting and new, they countdown to that event. I was never that kind of person. I just went through my daily routine, school, work, homework, sleep, etc. and before I know it Thanksgiving is upon me. Two weeks from Thanksgiving I will be in London. Not on my way, or making preparations, I will be there in the middle of my 10 day stay, working, volunteering, sightseeing, and probably NOT freaking out anymore because I will have adjusted by then.
Now its real, I’m going to London. I’m going to London to volunteer. I’m going to London to volunteer for the OLYMPICS!!! Up until now it seemed like a dream. I knew of course that it was reality all along, but December seemed so far away, and like it would never come. And now its here, it has hit me in the face, in full force, just how much I need to do before I actually go to London. Even though it will go by quickly, two weeks is plenty of time for me to get in order what I need to. But what do I need to get in order?!
I have a place to live while I’m there. That’s good. I know how to get there from the airport, more or less. Another good thing I suppose, as long as I do ACTUALLY know where I’m going. Do I have a packing list? Do I know what my uniform is to be while I volunteer? What kind of documentation will I need? Do I have the funds I need? Have I told all my professors I will be out of class, that I’ll miss that exam; that my assignment might be late? What if I forgot a class? Will I have my Athletic Training Application for UWM finished? Should I complete it before I go? While I’m there? After I get back? Did I make sure everyone at Milwaukee Ballet knows I’m going to be gone? Do they have someone to work for me?
These are just some questions that went through my head. There are many more that plague me on a daily basis, so much that all I can think is how unprepared I am, what a big adventure this is and how I probably shouldn’t be going. Doubts are forming in my mind, but God is there to remind me that it wasn’t just the London selection Committee that chose me for this position, He did. So I need to lay all my worries and cares at His feet, God knows what He wants for me, I just need to trust him.
So from that perspective, I’ll still make my lists of things I need to do, and I will still doubt because that’s human nature. But I need to remember God first during this time. He’s brought me this far and He’s not just going to dump me to fend for myself. So let the countdown begin. :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Wait is Over!

After the long wait, I finally get some more emails from the London Volunteer Organizing Committee! My wait for news, positive or negative, is over, while others still wait to hear. I feel for those who are among the last volunteers and will be waiting until March of 2012.
On October 17th I received an email informing me that I had been selected to volunteer for the Summer 2012 Olympic Games in London with the Wrestling events and volunteer team. This email furthered my enthusiasm and shock at being selected as a volunteer. The email stated that they received over 250,000 applications, and that the selection process was very difficult for the selection committee. But apparently I did something right in that very short interview. At the time of my interview I had been confident in the experiences I had thus far in my career, now realizing how many people I had been competing against for just a volunteer position and how qualified many of them must have been, I am able to clearly see the hand of God in my life. He has all the plans for my career laid out and this is another step in His will for me. Though I am nervous about housing, food, and finances while I am over there, since nothing is provided for, I know that God is watching over me. I want to be in His will and have the confidence that He will provide for me, even on days where the needs for this endeavor seem unattainable to me, God already knows how I am going to make it through this wonderful opportunity.
Although I have the dates for my December trip, the 4th-11th, no dates have been given as of yet for the summer Olympics. Clearly I know the dates for the Games themselves, but as to how early or how late I will be involved is yet to be revealed to me. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Offers Made, Offers Pending

September started with moving into my new apartment downtown Milwaukee and getting into a routine with school, work, and living downtown. I liked having an apartment (which I share with two other girls my age) so close to my school and work. It made the two things less stressful without such a long commute. Before living downtown Milwaukee I had a 45 minute commute one way every day, now my commute is cut down to 15 minutes, sometimes 20, which is so much better.
My professors loaded assignments on students right away, fortunately a few of my classes I had previously taken at my first college. UWM was having me re-take them to fully immerse me in the designed schedule they have for Athletic Training students. But due to the repeating of material these courses didn’t seem too difficult.
Soon my job was having me teach ballet classes as a substitute. This ended after about a month, when the original teacher returned from maternity leave, but every now and then I have the opportunity to substitute teach again when needed. I do enjoy teaching, which I never thought I would, but it is fun. I hope as the year progresses I will be given more opportunities to teach.
Even with my busy schedule it had not escaped my notice that it was now September and successful Olympic Volunteer applicants would be receiving news soon, whether good or bad. On September 9th I awoke and checked my emails to find that I was a successful applicant. I had been offered a Games Maker role as a Sport Equipment member for the Wrestling Test Event! I emailed my dad right away and told my family members. I was so excited, and nervous! I had been given one week to accept the offer. Due to the response time I immediately contacted a friend who is originally from England and asked if she new of anyone I could live with. I did not want to accept the position without having somewhere to live.
A few days went by and I was beginning to get nervous, my dad told me it was a great opportunity for me in my career path and I should accept, if the Lord wants me to go He will provide what I need. So I logged onto the website and accepted my Sport Equipment role. I was ecstatic that I had been offered a role, nervous for what the role would bring, and thrilled that I would get the opportunity to be in London for some pre-Olympic events.
As the months continued I started to think about the actual summer Olympics and the offers that would be made to volunteers for that. The more I dwelt on it the more nervous I began to get as I quickly realized that being invited to a “Test Event” does not automatically entitle one to a volunteer position for the summer Olympics. So of course I automatically started thinking “this might be it, I wont actually get to go to the Olympics.” Another thought that crossed my mind was “what if I was on the edge and they are inviting me to the Test Event to see how I do? Maybe they wont like me once I actually get to work at the Test Event?” These are just a few thoughts I had during the waiting period.
Every now and then I would receive email updates saying that they hadn’t forgotten about us, or don’t worry if you haven’t heard from us in a while, there are a lot of applicants to sort through. General emails that everyone receives, always what a person anxiously waiting important news wants to receive. Offers continue to be made until March of 2012; I had a long time to wait. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Forgotten Goals

I quickly became busy with school assignments and responsibilities and my application to volunteer at the London Summer Olympics was soon forgotten. During the first few weeks of school I got a call from Milwaukee Ballet School, where I trained in classical ballet, and was offered a part-time receptionist job. Since I had no form of income and thought it would be good to have something I accepted and began working four days a week.
It was a good job while I was adapting back to school, I knew all my coworkers and bosses well as I had been a student in the school, and was also given the freedom to do my homework during the times I worked. I liked the job I had and liked being back in the “ballet world”. I also got some perks like free tickets to Milwaukee Ballet Company performances, which I always enjoyed.
The semester was going by quickly and I was ready to be finished with school for a bit. I was still working at Milwaukee Ballet and had negotiated working full time for the 2011-2012 year. I liked the environment, people, the job, and the interactions; so I wanted to keep the job at full time if the school would let me. And they did. As things were speeding up in the school semester and professors were rushing and adding assignments to fit everything in I received an email late March.
“Your Games-Maker Interview Invitation” read the subject of the email. If I hadn’t been in a public area waiting to go take a test I would have screamed. I started shaking, feeling the nerves already coming even though the interview was a month away. I couldn’t believe after almost 5 months of waiting from the time I submitted my application I was getting an interview. Statistics for the London Volunteer program say that 240,000 people apply for a volunteer position, the volunteer committee interviews many of those applicants and finally selects about 70,000 people to volunteer for the Olympic Games, and 10,000 people for specific test events. Of course I quickly confirmed, accepted, and set up a time for my phone interview. Due to being in a different country my interview would be over the telephone, which made me a little more nervous as I like to see the person interviewing me.
After this, March flew by and the day of the interview was here. I had checked numerous websites and talked with many people to find out the time difference and what time my interview would be here in WI if I signed up for this time in the UK time zone (I hadn’t taken into account the time difference when signing up), but after my research I was confident that my interview would take place an hour after my second class had finished. I was walking from my class to the UWM-Union building to look for a quiet place to sit and concentrate and look over my question I had prepared when I got an unavailable id phone call. Of course I knew right away it was my interviewer and my calculations had been off by an hour.
I answered the phone and quickly battled through students to the “quiet” level of the Union so I could concentrate on the interview. The interview lasted about 20 minutes and went very fast. I was nervous early on but the interviewer quickly put me at ease and the interview proceeded more as a conversation than a time of question and answer. At the end of the interview I was told that I had impressed my interviewer so much she was going to recommend me for a “Team Leader” as well as to volunteer for the Paralympic Games, which take place after the Olympic Games. I was also told that volunteer position offers begin being made in September, so again I had a long time to wait.
The hard part was over, although it was the only part the committee had to make a decision on how I would function as a volunteer for the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games.