Fellowship Friday: A Day in the Life of a High School Cross Country Athlete

Every once in awhile we will have a Fellowship Friday with a guest posting from other bloggers or friends. Today I’m happy to introduce to you Leila!
Hi!  My name is Leila, and I am a high school sophomore cross country athlete. I live in beautiful, sunny California, although sometimes it may be a bit too sunny.
So what is cross country? No, it is not running across the country. *:) happy It is, yes, running all day every day, and ultimately training for our 5k races, that are like other teams’ games. (Quick fact- a 5k= 3 miles! Just to give you an idea of how long our races are.)
My high school team is combined with boys and girls together at practice, however, we race separately. (Imagine a girl trying to keep up with a boy for 3 miles! But who says girls can’t do anything guys can do, right?) Our practice runs from 2-4:30pm, Monday-Friday.

Our Typical Practice:

First, we start out with a “warm-up” lap, to get our blood flowing and body pumped, of one mile. Then, we begin our stretches, complete with lunges (and yes, everybody’s favorite) -squats. Next, the part that you’ve all been waiting for…drumroll please…our coach sends us out on our run! *:) happy Haha. We do not run inside our school’s track and field, it is simply too boring and repetitive running around in circles. 🙂 So we run on trails, hills, parks, and quiet residential streets near our school’s neighborhood.
Typically, our girl’s varsity team (basically the faster girl runners) goes on a run of about 5-6 miles a day. Our girls junior varsity team runs about 3-4 miles a day. I am proud to announce I get to run with varsity!! However, on the boys side, the varsity team runs 9-10 miles A DAY. UH-HUH. YOU HEARD RIGHT. I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE ALL THINKING, OUR COACH MUST BE CRAZY!! Although sometimes it may seem like a lot, all of this training builds us up for our much shorter mileage race, of only 3 miles.
When we get back from our run, tired, weary, and yes, sweaty, we usually have a 6 minute workout. What this workout is is basically running sprints back and forth on the track for 6 minutes, 1 min at a time, as fast as you can. And I’ll have you know, YES, it’s exhausting after running 5 miles in the heat. (I warned you that California can be too sunny *:) happy) Then, we do a “cool-down” to slow our heart rates, of 1 mile. After that, we stretch again so our muscles don’t get sore, and lastly we have what my team likes to call “killer sets”.  🙂 Basically these sets consist of 100 pushups and 100 crunches. Yes, you can breathe again now, that’s it for the day folks! Have a good one and I’ll be back later.
Yeah, right. There’s a lot more to cross country than just running, folks. We also have to be eating healthy and  stay hydrated, because running so much can really suck the nutrients out of you if you’re not careful to replace them properly.
Because a mile burns about 100 calories, my team and I typically burn about 700 calories a day. (not to mention the boys team, which goes over 1,000 calories). So it’s important to replenish your body, but with the right stuff, not junk food. Yes, fine, okay I’ll admit it- the girls and I often fail to abstain from chips, sweets, and chocolate. However, it’s okay to eat junk food, only in moderation. Lots of carbs, such as bread, pasta, cereal, and protein such as eggs, meat, and beans are needed to give you the proper nutrition. And yes, everyone’s favorites, fruits and LOTS of vegetables are needed for vitamins in the body.
My coach claims that a typical runner, especially when it’s sunny needs to be drinking a GALLON of water a day, which is about 8 bottles of water. I try my best, but I usually average about 6 bottles.  It’s important to hydrate 3-4 days BEFORE  a race day, because not drinking enough water before running 3 miles at your fastest can impede your score, and also cause you to faint, heatstroke, etc.
However, there are many benefits to joining a cross country team!!!
1.) You obviously become a better runner! I remember before I joined my average mile time was about 7:45, and now my record is 6:08! 🙂
2.) You stay physically fit! (burning all those calories sure pays off!)
3.) You have a new family. Joining a team can create new friendships and bonds, and your teammates will always be there for you to support you during practice, a race, or even just a regular day.
4.) You feel good about yourself!! Although running so much is physically draining, everyday when I step into my dad’s car to go home after practice, I can hear a little voice inside my head saying, ” Good job, Leila. You gave it your all. You tried your best. Now let God do the rest. “
Also, I have learned a very important lesson from my experience with my cross country team: “Never give up” and “Just do it”. Yes, I may be quoting Nike, but they really do have something here. No matter how hot it is or how tired you are, just do it. You will feel so good in the end that you pushed yourself a bit further, ran that extra mile, lifted that heavier weight, and won that medal. And most importantly, never give up. God is always with you.
I hope you enjoyed reading this, and that I didn’t bore you!
-Leila *:) happy

Isaiah 40:31
” But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

In Memory of Pastor Chuck Smith – A Humble Man of God

(Image Source: pastorchucksmith.com)

I heard the saddening news this morning on the radio that Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa passed away to be with the Lord, at the age of 86. He was the founder of the Calvary Chapel Movement and the Lord used him mightily to work among the hippies of California and plant a church that grew and had a national impact.

I was rather shocked to hear the news of his passing… although it was to be expected after he battled with lung cancer. Yet it seemed like yesterday we were there attending the Creation Conference at the church he pastored in Costa Mesa. Before the conference began we all watched a pre-recorded welcoming video by Pastor Smith greeting everyone from his home (he was not able to attend the conference because he had been hospitalized recently after recurring problems from cancer). I didn’t want to think he would leave this earth so soon. Pastor Smith was a humble man of God, with a warm heart, faithful to the Word, and to Christ. We had the joy of visiting his church and hearing him preach a few times.

I know he is now joyful in the presence of the Lord, but he will be missed here by many who were impacted by his ministry. My dad always mentioned he learned one of the most important lessons about the Christian life from listening to Pastor Chuck Smith on the radio. It was the verse that Pastor Smith frequently repeated:

Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:6

If you want to learn more about Pastor Smith’s ministry, see some pictures, and read his biography visit this website: ChuckSmith.com. You may not know Pastor Chuck Smith at all…or you may have heard about him on radio or in other places, but after reading this post, please remember his family in your prayers during this time.

Fun Apps for iPhones & iPads!

A few months ago, I shared with you some Fun Apps for Android Phones. The good news is, the developers of those apps decided to  create some apps for iphones too! So now everyone with iphones can enjoy some of those neat games!

doodle pair up

Doodle Pair up! Test your Memory!

Check out this neat game available only for iphone/ipad users. You have to find the pair for colorful pictures, and see if you can remember where the pair is. Then you can share your score on Facebook too! Kids will love this, and I’m sure adults will like the challenge as well…it’s good to test our memory once in awhile.

You can download this FREE app in the Apple Store. Or visit their Doodle Apps webpage and find more apps for your enjoyment!


Doodle Scratch on iphones too!

This app was first made for Android users as you saw in my previous post. But now it’s also available for Apple devices! It’s fun to scratch out the color and discover the picture beneath. I can personally testify my siblings were surprised when they saw me glued to the screen scratching out the colors for awhile. It’s addictive. 🙂

You can download the apps for free at the Apple Store or the Google Play Store if you have an Android.


Interview a Blogger!



Remember the Liebster Blog Award?  I had to forward it to 11 other bloggers with less than 100 followers, with some questions for them to answer. So I decided to broaden the group and include practically anyone! I want to interview bloggers and learn more about them- and I came up with the idea to start a “Interview a Blogger Challenge”. I want to interview my blogging friends, advanced bloggers who I admire, my subscribers, and even just regular readers and friends who visit my blog!

I can’t wait to hear what you all will answer! I got so excited writing down the questions that it was hard to limit them to a reasonable number ;).

Are you a blogger who just stopped by here? Then, I would be glad if you want to join in! A reader who likes visiting different blogs? You’re more than welcome to comment and answer the challenge questions!

Also, I am tagging these lovely bloggers to answer my questions :

His Princess Warrior Blog

Alicia Willis

Little Maid of Virginia

Rejoice Evermore

Let My Life be a Light

Rosie Posie’s Place

God’s Character

The Family Cochran

With a Joyful Noise

Family Faith and Fridays

How it works:

Please copy and paste the picture and the questions in a post on your blog and answer the questions. If you want, include a link to this blog. Please post a comment here when you published your post, so I (and my readers) can come by your blog and see it too! As an optional thing, you can pass on the challenge to other bloggers.

And Now! Here are the questions: 

  • What is your favorite hymn?
  • What do you consider to be the most difficult book of the Bible? Why?
  • A character trait you most admire in people?
  • What do you like most about your family?
  • What do you wish you could do more of?
  • Favorite author and book?
  • Do you prefer active/outdoor activities or creative/indoor activities?
  • Do you keep a journal/diary?
  • What is your favorite healthy food or recipe (ex: blueberries)?
  • Do you think music is neutral or does it have an influence on those who listen?
  • Which historical person (besides Biblical characters) do you most admire?
  • What do you like best about blogging?

Remember, everyone’s Invited! 

If you are just a reader, subscriber or a person who stopped by, and want to answer the questions too- then step right up! Copy the questions and answer them by leaving a comment. I would love to hear from you!

Mother’s Day! Doodle Apps for your Android Phone!

Riddle me this: What is the most important day in May? 

Don’t know yet?

Hint: It starts with Mother’s Day! 

And I know just the right way you can show your mother how special she is to you! Indeed, there’s something for the whole family, or people of all ages. You can use this right off your android smart phone or tablet!




The Doodle Family Apps. There is a collection of really neat apps designed to allow you to express your creativity and instantly share it with your friends and family.

The best thing about it? They’re all free!

Doodle Wish (Send a Doodle Wish Card to Your Mother!) 

I like this one best! You can select a beautiful greeting card template for any occasion, personalize it, and send it via email or text to  that special someone. The card templates have cute little quotes on them, and nice designs. Now you won’t have to rush in the store to find the perfect Mother’s Day card, just grab your tablet, choose your card, write a personalized note and send. They even have stickers, and fonts you can add to your card, and you can scribble on it with your fingers. They have a lot more greeting card templates coming up- from baby announcements to anniversary, and the 4th of July! You’ll be sure to find something to send.

Instagram Friendly. To all the Instagram users out there-  guess what? You can import pics from instagram, personalize them and send them as greeting cards!



Doodle Scratch

This is a neat app just for kids! It has a lot of colorful images and pictures. The kids use their fingers to scratch on the tablet screen and watch as the picture gets colored in. Or they can have the image hidden behind a color, and “scratch away” the color to discover the image underneath. It’s really fun! My younger sister loves it and she can spend hours just coloring in, and going from one picture to the next.  It can get addictive even for older kids 😉

Doodle Toy

This is another really fun app for kids! You can scribble and paint with your fingers, and add effects like like neon colors, funny sounds, mirror effect, rainbow colors and other stuff. You can also turn off the sound effects and vibration as you draw and doodle . You can save your drawings and post them on Facebook, or color on top or your own pictures in your gallery! Don’t miss out on the fun!

Doodle Color

This app is similar to Doodle Scratch- but you can also use your own pictures! You can color with your fingers, save the image, add sound effects. It turns a picture from gray and white to its original colors! All the busy mothers out there, I can tell you it will keep your kids quiet and occupied for a good while! I know this because I’ve seen it firsthand on my little sister.

Install the Apps Today!

So what do you think? I told you there was something for everyone! Visit the Doodle Family Google Play page and install the apps. Let me know which you like best. Share with your friends too, like I shared with you!

Don’t Forget to Rate  🙂

If you really like these free apps, give something back and put a nice rating on there so others know how neat they are.