Sunday, October 14, 2012

One Lap Down - Buddy from Messiah

Comparing my experience to running a mile may not be the best of metaphors (not going to stop me though). I mean, they use the metric system here and to be quite honest, I haven’t seen too many people out jogging… Maybe it is because no one is overweight, and therefore no one needs to exercise? Who’s can say? All I know is that my trip is 1/4 of the way done. If things keep up, this will be the fastest mile I have ever run. Sign me up for the 2016 Olympics, I’m gonna bring home the gold.

You can quote me on that.

So I’ve finished a lap, been here a month, and I’ve hardly broken a sweat! At least that’s how it seems. Thirty days have just disappeared in a flash and I’m not even breathing heavy. Or am I?
If I take a step back, as I am doing now, and have done periodically since I have been here, it is easy to see the actual effect my time abroad has had on me. I’m still pushing, but I am tired. My head is throbbing, and my soul is bruised. But it is a good pain. You know the feeling – you just worked out harder than ever. The next day you wake up, and you can’t get out of bed. But you know you accomplished something; pushed yourself beyond your limits and succeeded. That’s where I am right now. Or rather, I can see that is where I am heading. At this point, I think I am just at the tail end of my workout. I have that one final set to put me over the top, then a cool-down, and then rest. But those can’t happen until it’s time to leave the gym.

I know I am going to get there. You can feel it when you’re in the middle of a good workout and working hard. Let’s tally it up = I’ve traveled some thousand miles across the Atlantic. Stayed up for nearly thirty hours, 6 of those spent in the Warsaw airport. I’ve spent time in five cities, seen a castle, waded in the Baltic sea, partied at a medieval dance club/microbrewery, gotten lost, gotten found, walked a million miles, been borderline sexually assaulted, and made friends from 28 different countries.

Oh yeah, I’m taking a full course-load too. All in all, quite the workout. Move over Jillian.
I am tired. I said it once, and I am saying it again. I’ve had enough new experiences to last me a lifetime, and I still have three months to go. It’s exciting, exhilarating, and any other positive adjective that comes to mind… but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to the end. Let me clarify – I LOVE LITHUANIA and I LOVE LCC and I LOVE THIS STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCE. But all that is tempered by a slight case of homesickness. I miss my family, I miss my house, and I miss my girl. Really, I miss all the nuances that make home, home. Who wouldn’t? In no way am I wishing time away. This trip is too much of a blessing; too much of an amazing opportunity that not everyone has. I have quickly realized just how unique this is and how blessed I am to be here and that has totally shifted my point of view. It has made all the expended energy, and the sweat, and the stress worth it ten-fold. But I’ll be happy to be home when the time comes.

And it makes me enjoy the workout that much more. I’ve got 3/4 of a mile to go, and I’m just trying to hold on for the ride. It’s hard, it’s a sprint (just the nature of the trip!), and now, after laying it all out here, I am starting to breathe a little heavy…

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