December! Wowzers, does time certainly fly...it's already week 1 of Advent and our US Speedskating National Trials are coming up in 3 weeks!
|Jeffrey's abstract study of Cubism|
People always wonder what we do in our free time...to be honest, when speedskating is full-time, we live, eat, and breathe speedskating. I cannot speak completely for Jeffrey, but though I have put a great effort into having a social life, it sometimes becomes overwhelming to try to meet up with everyone and stay in touch when I am home in Wheaton. Not being there for my friends when they need me or sharing great moments with them often pains me. It's what God has convicted me of lately: that I cannot please every one of my friends (I am a people pleaser if you didn't know by now) and that my focus shouldn't be on that either...that is what I've been teaching myself to slowly let go. Our Lord calls us to put our focus first and foremost on Him, and though I am daily striving for that, I fall into the habit of relying on tangible things of this earth to please. At the same time, this all might sound selfish with refocusing time on myself. And one can take it to the extreme in that sense, so a balance is the key; balance seems to be the key to everything in life. Finding that perfect balance? Hmm, that might take our whole life, but that is what is exciting about life: you never know which road you'll be taken down. Therefore, these last couple weeks I have been staying at our sponsor house all week here in Milwaukee instead of driving back home with my mom/coach and utilizing my off-day with errands and dates. Giving myself room to think, ponder, read the Bible, brainstorm, recover physically and mentally, email, sauna, bike around town to flush my legs and breath fresh air, journal, etc., has been much needed. I've been loving it and letting worries go...and at the same time, I have found that my mental state in skating/training has improved, boosting confidence and bringing back the joy in this sport that has been wearing me down recently. 1 Peter 5:7
|My Cakes :)|
|Christmas Card 2010|
Going off on a tangent...art/drawing/craftiness (if that's a word) are examples of things Jeffrey and I tend to do in our 'free' time that doesn't take away from our training. We both have been blessed with a gift in art and imagination, though Jeffrey more-so (note: Jeffrey does major in Art at Wheaton College). My areas of focus tends to come out of necessity: our annual Christmas card/drawing, cakes, homemade crafts/projects, decorating, photography while Jeffrey is the hardcore artist (and saying 'artist' in a French accent, ha). He has some mad skills and I have attached pieces of his work and some of my random creations!
|Christmas Card 2011|
On another tangent?! Jeffrey and I are still looking for a major Team Swider-Peltz sponsorship that could be through this next Olympics and/or beyond...if anyone has ideas or is interested in supporting us, let us know! Or, if you are wanting to help us in a small way, you can donate to our journey by clicking on our 'Support' page above. Thanks!
1 Corinthians 9:25
|A painting Jeffrey did of grandpa Swider|