Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bison Bound: From Recruit to Commit

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How did I end up at Lipscomb?
That's a question I get a lot. 
Considering that and the fact that I had a BLAST and want to show people all kinds of stuff that I got to do and see, here it goes. 
A virtual tour of my official visit where I was hosted by freshman Clare Losito!
The first night we got a late start because of my race and the other girls arriving on late flights. We had dinner at my mom's new favorite place ever, Taqueria del Sol. Yes, it's Mexican, but the best food there is shrimp and corn chowder.
After that we headed back to the dorms. A group of students, both athletes and narps (what I now know is short for non-athletic regular people) were having a bonfire complete with singing and smores!  It was a little chilly for me, so Clare let me wear her sweatshirt. It won't be long before I have one of my own!  I found it really great that everyone was having so much fun together and singing fun songs as well as Christian songs. We also did some other "adventurous things" after that, but that is our fun little secret!  Don't worry; nothing harmful. It's a bit of a joke, but true and comforting that at Lipscomb "we don't drink and party; we have bonfires, roast marshmallows, and [insert secret fun here]!"
Sunday morning was a beautiful day!  It's also their long run day, so we got up and headed outside to get on it. Again, it was colder than I expected, but Clare came in clutch with some gloves and half tights. I didn't have a way to carry my phone on the run, but I wish I had!  It was an out and back on the roads, but the surrounding areas were beautiful!  There were places of great nature and scenery and places of extravagant houses and buildings. It was also a special time because I met a girl who I think will be one of my closest friends when I get there!  Her name is Bridgett, and she's about my size, just a few inches taller. Also a freshman, we share a lot of the same struggles, likes, dislikes, and faith!  It was great getting to know her. I know for a fact that God brought us together on that run for a reason. I haven't seen her in person since the visit, but she still texts me every once in a while to see how things are going!  Her in was a few miles shorter than mine, so I got to finish up with the one girl from the team that I actually kinda already knew, Avery Franklin. I had raced against her several times while she was at Maryville a few years prior.
After the morning run the group of recruits and our hosts cleaned up and headed out to this awesome little restaurant called Frothy Monkey!  Sadly, it was packed, and we didn't have time for that. Instead we headed to this literally hole-in-the-wall place that Sally knew of called The Barista Parlor. There is no way I would have ever found that place. It was basically hidden!  Those are some of the best places, though.
It sure was fancy!  I mean, look at the name of the coffee I got (Above is the menu description). Another joke:  Don't you dare call that a flavor of coffee!  "We don't flavor our coffees; they are good enough on their own, but there is milk and sugar on the table in the back if you need it," said the barista-man with a very condescending attitude. So I corrected myself, pointing at the menu and said,"So can I have that kind of coffee?" with a tad irritated emphasis on the "kind."
I never drink my coffee black, but this one was that good. Not a thing needed. FLAVORful enough on its own. The food was also really great!  I chose the baked apple oatmeal and added some cinnamon, maple syrup, and blueberry compote.
After brunch it was time for church!  Ethos offers 3 services on Sundays so there is a good chance one will work for your schedule. This is where many of the girls on the team attend and where I think I will go, too. We went to the 11:00 service. This was crazy. The message was perfect. I was shocked. I'll have to go into detail on that in another post because it is just too awesome not to share!
Another awesome thing is how open the team and coaches are about their faith. That is something I love about my current team family, and gets me excited for all the new team family friends that I wil have!
  A couple of us had never been in a Whole Foods but always wanted to, so they took us in there to explore!  It has become my new favorite store!  I will be stopping in there quite often, that's for sure.
Not only is the grocery shopping section humongous and has so many unique and awesome things that I will/did buy, but they also have almost any food ready to go that you could imagine!  Hot, cold, drinks, fruit, veggies, cereal, breakfast, lunch, dinner, sides, entrees, snacks, meat--yeah everything--even a coffee and gelato bar!  There are plenty of places to sit and relax, microwaves, wifi, and the whole upstairs is for cooking classes. Again, new favorite place.
The next thing on the agenda was the tour of campus. It was a beautiful day, and campus isn't too spread out, so we got to enjoy it all on a walk!

Another unique thing that I am really looking forward to at Lipscomb is mission trips!  I've never been on a mission trip, but it's something that I've always wanted to do.  To make it even better, I'll get to do it every year with my teammates and maybe even more with the school if I choose.  This will be like living out my dream!  I've always pictured the life of Ryan and Sara Hall as my dream life.  They are professional runners who spend their life traveling, training, racing, and sharing the love of the Lord in everthing that they do.  Each year they also spend a good amount of time on extended mission trips where they also get in some great training.  While we're gone on our trips, we get our training done, too.  This is seriously the life.
This is a beautiful fountain that has one of my favorite verses on it!  Another sign from the Lord!  "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26
That night we hit a winner for dinner!  Not fancy, but super popular and even more tasty!  Martin's BBQ is right down the road from campus. I have said before that Dickey's is the best barbecue place, but this one passes it up.
That night the girls took us to explore downtown!  We parked across the river and walked across the bridge for fun and to see the sights from there.
Someone had gone and written encourage notes and drawn cute pictures along the walk!


This was something I'd never seen before. These tourists were having to pedal their own way through the tour!  It was pretty neat, though. It worked like a bike and had skittle table-counter thing in the middle.
 

There are some really neat restaurants and shops downtown!  We got to see and go in several of them, but I have compiled a bucket list of things to do and places to go while I'm living in Nashville. That's another thing I love about it; I'll never get bored.
This is inside Savannah's Candy Kitchen!  There are some of the coolest and unique sweets in there!  At the bottom of this display, they spelled out Nashville. There's also tons of ice cream flavor a in the back.
I plan on buying and trying some of these things in the near future!
These two above were unique for Halloween.
Last stop of the night:  the best ice cream ever. Mike's Ice Cream Fountain blew my mind. Look how many flavors. Everyone knows it's the best, too, as it was constantly lined up!  They guys brough their recruits in, too!
I triend any and every flavor that I wanted, and these are the ones I got. 
mint chocolate chip
coffee fudge
Tennessee Fudge
Mocha caramel almond chip
chocolate peanut butter cup
almond joy
rocky top road
and pumpkin!
A nice lady in line took this for us.  Now here we are selfie-style, featuring the guys.
Idk what's so special about this building that they made it like Batman, but it is one of the most well-known buildings in the area!  Picture-worthy then I guess.
The view walking back across the bridge at the end of the night.
Adventure night number two.
Official visits fly by so fast!  At each school, I was always surprised at how fast Monday morning came. At Lipscomb they observe "No-Run-Mon," but my friend Jennifer and I went on a short run that morning before leaving for breakfast. Due to popularity of the restaurant and our schedule for the day, we left campus at 6:45!
I was thrilled to mark another place off my bucket list-The Pancake Pantry!  It was DELICIOUS!  The team and coaches love it too, so I'll get to go back.
I wasn't sure which ones I wanted most, so I got one each of sweet potato and Swiss chocolate chip. They have more than just pancakes, but for my first time I thought pancakes were the best choice!

 

Photo credits: Coach Taylor
On visits you also go to at least one class so you can see how the academic side of things goes. I actually got to go to two this time, one in the health field and another in public speaking.
I am really excited to get to know some of these girls better.  I've been adding them on Facebook and following them on Instagram as I come across them (and the guys) ever since. They seem like some of the most awesome people. This is a picture I loved by one of the hosts, Sally!
I'm also following a lot of places around Nashville now, too. This ice cream shop is one of those. It's on my bucket list, too. And that flavor? Omg I can't wait to try it.
We got to try out the dining hall, the Bison Cafe, for lunch on Monday. This is something that is very important to me!  This will be my daily life, therefore I must have good food!  The caf passed the test. I love it. 
Here is the dessert section that is always available: scoop and soft-serve ice cream with candy toppings. There is also always cereal and milk, so I can use that for dessert, too!
I also like how there is a sign above everything that tells you what it is. That way if I can't tell by lookin at the food, I can just read what it is!  And if I really like it, I can remember it for another time, know how to fix it on my own, buy the ingredients for myself, or request it for dinner at home.
A couple soups are also always available!
The last thing on the agenda before departure was a meeting with the coaches in their office. This was really nice and actually fun, too. We had some great laughs and talks. The coaches are so easy to get along with!  My parents really enjoyed talking with them over the weekend and feel that I will be in great hands. 
The coaches offices are in the basketball arena, which gets used for all kinds of events that the school hosts, including The Dove Awards, which is for Christian music. While we were on campus, they were setting up for this event which would be the following couple days. During our meeting, I heard one of my favorite songs, My Story by Big Daddy Weave, so Coach Taylor told me to run out there and see if I could see him singing it!  So I took a snap of Big Daddy.
This weekend was so much fun!  I did not want to leave!  The school and town left me with so much excitement and things that I want to do. As each day goes by, my motivation for life grows as I picture my future. I don't know how it will all play out, but I know that it is going to be great.
Tabouli and succotash...funny words...delicious foods.
Again with how I'm now in love with Whole Foods...I was so amazed that I made mom and dad take me back so I could show it to them. I walked mom up and down every isle!  There is just so much!  Over time I'll be able to make use of all different things they offer, but it will take a while!
Before we left, I got a hodgepodge of samples from the food bar to try another night at home. Food is one of my favorite things about traveling, especially if it's dessert. (It's a good thing I'm a runner.) dessert for the ride home this time was chocolate mousse from the foods bar and a few flavors of gelato from the gelato and coffee bar!
These were two fancy chocolate bars that I got on the trip the girls took us on Saturday. 
 
 
Look like fun to you?  Well, it was for me!