Archive for Month: September 2015

Acting and Laundry

What’s up folks?

I’m actually about to tuck in for the night, but figured I’d have time for a quick post first.

Since last time we spoke, I’ve done huge loads of homework, gone to classes and…oh wait, I suppose that’s not quite what you were hoping to read about? The truth is, that most of my time is spent on doing just that: homework and attending lectures. Which I don’t mind, because this year, I don’t have any science courses! I think I mentioned it sometime last semester, that I’m absolutely not a fan of anything that has to do with science.

This year it’s all journalism, English and now — acting as well. I had my first acting class on Friday, and as with most things at Augustana, there’s no starting slow. On Monday already, I’ll perform my first monologue in front of the whole class, wish me luck! I also had to catch up with the rest of the class (since I decided I’d minor in theater a week late) So I read through one of our books from beginning to end today. It’s really interesting, and I can already state that acting is clearly underrated — there’s so much more to it than you think.

I also spent a good few hours translating and adding subtitles to the Norwegian documentary I made this summer. I have a hectic schedule, but it’ll be done by mid-October. (I apologize to the people who’s been waiting)

Anyway, after dinner we went to do some shopping, and then I did my laundry with Karen. We both kinda hate it, but since we watched “Friends” while waiting for the washing machine to be done, it was pretty okay.

Not the most amusing Saturday night, but we sure had fun!

 

This “beautiful” alien wishes y’all a good night <3
Maria Lavelle

Theatre and such

Howdy!

Right now I’m just chiling in my room before I’ll head to the pool for a late night swim. 8:30 PM is not really that late, but compared to my usual 6:30 AM, it’s definitely not early!

Today I’ve been running back and forth between classes and meetings all day. I might not have mentioned it, but I have a job this year! My very fancy title is “Section Editor of the Arts” in the yearbook. So far, I know absolutely nothing about layouts or spread designs, but I’m surrounded by a bunch of talented people, so I’m sure it’ll be okay.

I also added a minor to my major today. So from now on, I’m officially majoring in Journalism and minoring in Theatre. Pretty awesome ha? Some of you might shake your head and ask” WHY theater???” Well, the reason is very simple. I want to be a movie director, but since I don’t go to film school, I’m using a different approach towards my dreams. The Augustana Theatre department offers directing classes, which of course is very useful, but I will also take a number of acting classes. I believe that in order to be a good director, you need to be able to see things from an actor’s perspective. So I’ll have my first class on this coming Friday.

 

As with everything, I’ll put it in the hands of God, and see where His path goes from here.

Augustana Twilight 2015

As I wrote earlier, I was asked to make a film about the Augustana Twilight cross-country meet this past weekend. After a couple of intense days with editing, it’s now finally done. Wohoo!

Making this film was a whole different experience compared to everything else I’ve done in the past. This time I tried to capture the atmosphere of the event, rather than telling a story with an important message — which made the project feel like a vacation compared to the documentary I made in July/August. I guess this one is a little more on the artsy side, but y’all know I love everything artsy soo…

To actually “direct” was also a new thing for me. So far, I’ve gone solo with all of my videos — which definitely has its up and downsides. It’s great because I always know what every single shot looks like, and I can shoot exactly what I pictured in my mind – without having to worry about anyone else messing it up for me. On the other hand, it really sucks to do everything alone, because I can’t be several places at once. This time, I had three photographers with me, and they all did great, so it was pretty wonderful.

I did, however, struggle quite a bit while I was out shooting on Friday. It was so dark! Beforehand, I had fine-tuned all my camera settings so that I could show up being perfectly prepared for the lack of light. But the footage still ended up looking a little grainy here and there, but oh well.

Did I mention that cross-country running quickly turns into a workout — even for the director/photographer?  Despite of the fortune of having three other people in the crew, I still ended up running around from one place to another.. for three hours! (Something my injured foot is really unhappy about today, but it was worth it)

 

Anyway, the meet was a huge success, and the weather was great as well.

Or at least I thought it was great. 30 degrees celsius and 85% humidity. People think I’m weird for liking super hot and humid weather. The only time humidity bothers me, is when I try to dry my laundry – and it stays wet for two days. But for filmmaking, it worked pretty fine.

Well, I should go to bed soon. I have a ton of meetings and classes tomorrow, so G’night folks!

Bless ya,
Maria

First week

First I’d like to thank you for the thoughtful e-mails, messages and comments I received after I announced my “retirement” from track <3

I’ve now been back on campus for a little over a week, and have finally gotten all of my stuff moved into my new room. Yaayy!

The first couple of days were a little on the stressful side, because the battery of my dear Charlie (aka my car) went dead — which I suspect, is a consequence of the flood Sioux Falls suffered two weeks ago. But after what I’d call a tremendous effort, I finally had it fixed, and Charlie-dear is healthy again.

 

Then the following days, I picked up a number of my friends from the airport, helped them move their stuff, and then drove around to do grocery shopping with them. Had I taken charge for my kindness, I would walk around as a rich girl right now, just saying! I did however, get paid in scratches and bruises on my arms and thighs – from lifting boxes and fridges up and down everywhere.

When I picked up my third group of people at the airport, I noticed an elderly lady dressed in African attire by the entrance. She was desperately trying to move a large suitcase and a duffel bag over to the taxi area — while supporting herself on a cane. Of course I felt bad for her, and offered her some help. It was a rather heavy bag, and how she’d even managed to carry it as far as she did, before she dropped it, is beyond me! Anyway, I noticed a funny smell reeking out of the bag as I carried it, but I didn’t think much more about it. Later however, I’d learn that it probably was some kind of seafood, and that by the time I got back to the car, both my shirt and shorts were soaked in it. Fun!

Other than that, I’ve completed this semester’s first week of classes. They seem interesting so far, and I’m excited to learn more about the field of journalism.

The first week of the semester is always a little overwhelming, but this year I’ve tried to be a little ahead of time, by putting everything into my schedule right away. I still managed to get too late for two of my classes though… Not because I overslept or anything, but because I went to the wrong classroom. **That awkward moment when you’ve introduced yourself, participated in the mandatory “ice breaker exercise” and everything, for only to realize you’re not even supposed to be in that class… heh.** I guess I could’ve made it less “embarrassing” by sitting quietly on my desk and just waiting for the lecture to be done. But obviously, I had another class I had to get to!

 

Now I’m about to head out to my first “directing” job. There’s a big cross country meet in town, with more than 1500 runners and 6000 fans, and I was asked to be in charge of four photographers, and then put together a video about the event. In the past I’ve only mostly just been in charge of “myself” when working on a film project, so this will be a new experience — and I’m excited!

Bless y’all,
Maria

I’m letting you go.

For those of you who have been reading the blog for a while, this does probably not come as a big surprise. The people who are close to me, have known about my decision for a while already, but I have hesitated with “making it official,” because then it suddenly gets so real…

I have, after 10 years, decided to quit track and field.

I didn’t even tell my coach until a few days ago. Because I was still, deep inside, hoping everything would just suddenly work out — so that I could pick up the training where I left it a few months ago. Anyway, my ankle wanted it differently, which is why I’m writing this post.

To any new readers, I was diagnosed with a stress fracture of my navicular bone in early April. And because of what the doctor referred to as the “Female Athlete Triad minus the eating disorder-part,” the bone has not healed as well as it should have.

http://www.fixmyfeet.co.za

Anyway, back to my point. Of course I knew the day where I’d have let go of track would have to come sooner or later, but I guess I was just hoping it wouldn’t have to come this soon. I truly believed I still had some decent performances stored inside me, and I’ve been waiting for the moment where I’d be able to re-feel that rush of setting a personal best. Because, even if I haven’t been able to show it in competition, I have over the past year, jumped (significantly) further, ran faster and lifted heavier than ever before – but only when I popped painkillers before and after every session.

 

 

A couple of weeks ago, I had a long talk with my doctor, and I’ve come to the conclusion that my track and field career is over. Two stress fractures, arthiritis in both my knee and ankle, chronic cartillage injuries under my knee-cap, a misniscus tear, plantar fasciatis, damaged heelpads in both feet, jumper’s knee, runner’s knee, shin splints, Sinus Tarsi Syndrome, countless bouts of tendonitis and cortisone injections in my foot.. just to mention a few of the reasons why I’ve made the decision to “retire.” It also turns out I’ve had a very low bodyfat percentage for a long time – to the point where I was putting my health at risk (!) I guess that’s the prize to pay for having a ripped six-pack for years.. heh.

I’ve been training six days a week since I was ten years old, so to quit exercising completely would be too much to ask from myself. Instead, I’ll switch my focus over to staying fit – without taking it too far. Which I admit, is pretty hard — I’m so used to giving 100% at all times.

When I took a break from track in 2012, I transfered all my discipline over to the sport of fitness/bodybuilding, where I had great progress in a very short period of time — Simply because I went ALL IN, and that was not exactly healthy either.

Over the past three months, I’ve instead tried to find some kind of enjoyment in swimming. Even as strange as it sounds, I find it quite therapeutic. Because it allows me to take a time-out where I can just forcus on my stroke technique, breathing, rhythm, feel my heart rate rise and at the same time push myself towords new personal bests – without pain in my foot.

So even if I’m done jumping, sprinting and lifting at a competitive level, I still hope my foot will allow me to jog without pain in the future. Next week’s MRI will help figure that out.

This post caught a little bit of a sad vibe right now, but that was not my intention at all. There is no disappointment, bitterness or anger behind this decision. I simply believe that it’s time for me to move on, and follow my heart.

Photo: Tumblr/kaazpran

I feel truly blessed looking back at all the memories I’ve collected at the track over the years. It’s been a journey I would never have been without.

  

And even if I never became an Olympic Champion, the sport has opened up other doors for future dreams to become true.

I’ll continue my journey at Augustana Univeristy, and I’m excited to see what God has in store.

 

Peace,
Maria Lavelle

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