Thursday, July 27, 2017

Wipe Out!

I’m tumbling through the water, I have lost all control, I’m wondering what I got myself into, and then I wave down a boat! Now pause just a moment, this was me just two weeks ago. My team and I were all excited to get to go to our teammate Natalie’s house on the lake to give skiing, wakeboarding, wake surfing, and tubing a shot. We slept over the night before with the plan of getting up bright and early to get out on the water. Well 7:30 rolled around and the guys were awake and ready, but the girls were nowhere to be seen. So, Natalie’s dad said, “Let’s go,” and we started off without them. Now let’s rewind the first scene to the beginning. As we motored away from the dock he asked us who would like to give it the first shot, so naturally I jumped up. I put on my life jacket and skis then jumped in the water. As I felt the boat pull my rope tight, I ever so gently began pulling myself up, then everything went wrong. I had no idea what I was doing and went head over heels face first into the water. With my teammates laughing at me, I decided to try again. However, this time I did even worse and ended up with water up my nose, both skis knocked off my feet, and I had to regain my bearings. So, a third time, then a fourth, and even a fifth, but they all ended up the same. I was so frustrated when Wyatt told me to watch him do it (He skied often.) Then what do you know, he got up first try. I then watched Cole and Grant both try, now neither got up for very long, but none the less, they got up. At this point I changed my goal from getting up on skis to simply getting up on something. Fast forward 10 minutes to when Mr. Taylor asked if we wanted to try wakeboarding. I once again jumped up. Well you guessed it, the first two times I ate it, but something changed the third try, I got up for about 10 seconds. Now I had hope, I felt confident that I could do this, and on try four it happened. I was gently pulled above water, rotated the board so my right foot was forward, and bent my knees a little bit and I was up for a fair amount of time.
After this we ate breakfast then headed right back out. I watched my teammates conquer their challenges as we all eventually succeeded on one thing or another. Now these successes didn’t come without quite a few failures, but that is what made them so much sweeter. We all had fun, got our fair share of wipeout photos, and gained hundreds of stories through our weekend out, but the lesson we walked away with was also well worth it. We realized that some of us are going to be better at certain things than others, some may take longer to learn, and even if we fail time and time again we should always focus on the bigger goal. Failure should be used as a learning curve to get to success, and I am so glad that I got to fail next to my teammates and best friends, because we helped each other up until we could do it on our own. After that experience, I was more excited than ever to see what our year had in store, and how we will help each other accomplish that overarching goal.


Owen Coon

Your 2017-2018 Northern Region V.P.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Dream Teams

“Are they all yours?”, “Do they all belong to you?” These are a few very typical questions my mom and dad would get just about anytime they took their 6 kids to a public place. When those questions were asked, my parents would both grin from cheek to cheek, look at all of us kids and then respond with an enthusiastic “Yes, they are all ours!” Those 5 other individuals that I get to call my siblings and best friends have also been my teammates for the past 18 years of my life. Jessica, Melanie, Daniel, Andrew and Peter have all given me so many me so many wonderful memories to cherish. What wonderful adventures we have had! From playing with Lincoln Logs on the stairs, to our homeschool adventures, all the way to making life-sized teepees and homemade swings out in the backyard, we have been blessed with some of the most unique opportunities as a team of siblings. That team has most definitely helped me grow into the gal I am today. Little did I know, while I was living the dream with my 3 brothers and 2 sisters, the good Lord above had a plan to put another team of  wonderful individuals in my life. 

At the 88th Indiana FFA State Convention, 6 other people officially became apart of a new adventure in in my life: Claire, Emily, Owen, Wyatt, Cole and Grant.  After moving in and working with this group of people, they have not only become my teammates, but also some of my best friends. The past few weeks, I have transitioned from the family team that I have grown up with, to a new State Officer team that I get to grow with. This transition may not have been the smoothest, but by golly has it changed my life and I’ve loved every minute of it. I am beyond grateful and overwhelmed with joy to get be apart of a team in multiple areas of my life. There is a sense of joy and pride you feel when you talk with others about your team. Whether that team is made up of your siblings, co-workers or fellow State Officers, you can’t help but smile from cheek to cheek when talking about them. I imagine that may be the way my parents felt when people asked questions about their 6 kids. Now when I am out with my 6 teammates and people I know ask me, “Are they all your teammates?”, I will be the one smiling from cheek to cheek saying, “Yes, they sure are!”

Yours truly,
Natalie Taylor

Thursday, July 13, 2017

30 Days, A world of Difference

This past Sunday, July 8th, 2017, was my first Sunday home as an Indiana FFA State Officer. Not only did I try to cram every single thing I wanted to do with friends into these two short days, but I realized just how different my life is now compared to how it used to be. Looking back to just 30 days ago, it’s difficult to fathom every change that has occurred. June 8th, 2017 marked yet another 20 hour day spent planting the last of the soybean crop on my grandpa’s farm. Our day started around 4:00 AM with the long trip in the tractor to some of our furthest fields and little did I expect the slow day filled with equipment failures that lurked ahead. However, as always, I anticipated the work to come and appreciated the sense of satisfaction that farm labor instilled in me. As my day went on, problems continued. The soil was too dry, the planter was malfunctioning, a tire was going flat, and I was leaving for vacation the next day. It was safe to say that I was a little stressed out. Yet, to top it all off, I had just one week to prepare for State Officer interview rounds at the Indiana FFA State Convention where my fate for the next year would finally be revealed.

This was a fate that I had been wrestling with for weeks. I was constantly asking myself if I was qualified enough to be a state officer or if I would be better off going to college. Either way the uncertainty of what my future held was tearing me apart. Every time someone asked about my plans after high school I was faced with the reality that I still wasn't sure.

But finally, on the 8th day of the month of July, as I sailed across on Lake Monroe, I realized just how much had changed. I was no longer worried about early mornings in the tractor, breakdowns or flat tires. I had achieved my goal of state office, and knew the path that I would follow for the next year. Finally, I had gained the certainty of what was to come that I had desired for so long. Although my life as a state officer may be more focused and routine, I don't think that I would have given up a single minute of my busy life before. There are things that I miss such as the sunrise over Indiana farmland, and the smell of freshly turned dirt on a warm breeze. Just as one of my favorite lines of the FFA creed says, “for I know the joys and discomforts of an agricultural life…,” I too have many positive and negative memories from my life on the farm. Without all of these memories, good or bad, I can undoubtedly say that I would not be where, or who, I am today.

-Wyatt Law