Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Got 6 Under My Belt

Just a quick update on my Red Rock training status. Last Saturday, June 26th, I got up bright and early to meet my good friend and Red Rock team leader Cal for some running. We ran up the paths in Provo Canyon and back. By the end of the run I had successfully doubled the distance that I had ever run consecutively, from 3 to 6 miles!!! It was all thanks to Cal's encouragement and my knowing that I needed to up my game if I were to survive the 180 mile relay that I have coming up in September.

Here is a picture of me basking in my success just as Cal and I finished.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Tale of Two Adventures

ADVENTURE # 1

On Monday, June 14th, we had an extra spectacular FHE activity in my little family. A couple of my daughters told me about an interesting thing that they had once done with some friends down in Santaquin, UT about 45 minutes south of Provo. It was surprising, to say the least, to hear this sort of suggestion from my 2 only daughters. I would have expected to hear something like this from one of my 8 sons. Here it is...

Down in Santaquin there is a big hole. No one could quite tell me what it used to be or how it got there. Maybe it was an old mine shaft, maybe it was a sink hole, or maybe it is where a small meteor hit the earth... I'm not really sure. Anywho, this hole seems to go down forever and ever and ever. Id say the mouth of the hole is about 25x25 ft. Obviously, something dangerous to be around, a hole that seems bottomless, big enough to drive a bus into. Well, no worries. I wouldn't put my little FHE family into that sort of danger. The whole is covered with solid steal grating which is reinforced to the earth with concrete. The only place someone could actually fall in is a small place in the middle where someone has cut a part of the grating in order to fit things down there.

Does it sound exciting yet? Going to see a big hole? Sounds pretty fun huh? Well we weren't going there to just see the hole. The grand idea that my daughters had was to take some milk jugs, fill them with gasoline, light them on fire, and throw them down into this hole. And by George, that is exactly what we did.

After a little mishap (Dustin spraying gas all over himself trying to fill the milk jugs) we were on our way to the hole with 6 full jugs of gasoline. When we got there we found that there were already a couple of guys there taking their turn at the hole. They had lots of interesting things to light on fire and throw down the hole. Like the old mixer in this picture.
That should give you an idea of the awesomeness of the thing we had decided to do and the depth of the hole itself.

We decided to help the two gentlemen with the things they had brought with them until it got a little darker so our display would be that much more awesome. They had bats and a sword that they were using to beat an old TV to death and light the pieces on fire as we threw them down. We lit mailing tubes, old radios,... pretty much anything we could get our hands on and watched them go cascading down the endless hole in a glorious blaze of orange fire. It was great. But little did we know that things were only going to get better... or worse... depending on how you look at it.

We started our show and lit the first jug of gas carefully slipping it through the hole in the grating. As we peered with great anticipation at the jug going straight down into the endless hole it seemed like there was no bottom to this thing. After what seemed like an hour we couldn't see the jug anymore but felt a rush of air come out of the hole, set off by the exploding jug that had finally hit the bottom. It was awesome. Next we decided that we were going to tie a cord to one of the jugs, light it, and then swing it against the side of the hole. Here is what happened with that.
video
You'd think that would be it... oh no. The most amazing part of this story hasn't even happened yet. After using a few of our jugs we noticed that more people were showing up. They were shooting at phone books with a shotgun down by where we parked our cars, carrying on and having a good old time. Eventually, they came up to join us. They had brought a lot of things of their own to throw down this hole. Now I have to tell you, I did not think that high school kids like these existed outside of the south where I come from. I could have sworn these dumb redneck kids came straight from my high school back in Rudderville, TN. They told us that they were from Spanish Fork. Having been at BYU for so long I was kind of surprised to hear such colorful language. Ha Ha. Really felt like I was back in high school. Anywayz, they were lighting more of the TV, beer bottles, big jugs of chemicals, and bails of hay and throwing them down there. To make a long story short, eventually, someone came up with the idea of throwing the lit milk jugs down the hole and then shooting them with the shotgun as it fell. A truly redneck idea indeed. So we did it. The first time did it I was standing right over the middle of the hole and I thought I was going to die, literally be consumed by the flames that were produced. An enormous torrent of fire came shooting out of the hole, quickly giving way to a pillar of black smoke. We went crazy! It was awesome. We had to get it on video! At this point we were down to our last jug of gas and we were gunna go for it. Here is the video:

Note: It takes a little while to get to the explosion (skip to 0:52) and there may be some bad language in this video.
video
So with our adrenaline thoroughly pumped, our gasoline exhausted, and our ears burning from a slurry of profanities, we ended our FHE adventure and went home.

ADVENTURE # 2

On Saturday, June 19th, my good friend and former roommate Alden got married to a wonderful girl up in Rexburg, ID. My friends, and former FHE sisters, Laurie, Kali, and I decided to go up for the reception. Laurie and I left Provo around 9AM and picked up Kali in Lehi. On the way there we met up with Emily in Idaho Falls, another good friend and former FHE sister.
Kali - Emily - Laurie

It was my first time ever to enter the State of Idaho. This took one of the few states that I have never been to off of my list! Once in Rexburg we decided to grab some chow. The ladies got food at Jimmy Johns and tried a little calzone thingie from a place called Pickett's Bambino. It wasn't bad. We went and chilled in a park while we ate our food. After that we checked out the BYU-Idaho campus a little bit. We got lost trying to find the library but got there eventually. Its strange, BYU-Id wasn't nearly as much like BYU Provo as I thought it would be. It had a different feel. It was interesting. After chilling in the Library we decided to go see the Rexburg temple. It is a beautiful temple.
Walking up the hill
From the front

After seeing the temple Emily and I went and got ready for the reception in a local church building. Unfortunately, I somehow left a pair of my shorts in that church building with my student ID in the picket. Didn't realize it until it was too late. We still has some time to kill so I was able to look up a friend I had met on my mission. So we went to see her. After catching up with her for a while we went to the reception.
Alden and Ashley

The reception was great. It was in a big dance hall type place that was above a store called The Bed Place. Ha Ha... I thought it was kinda funny. Ahem... anywayz. My favorite part of the reception (aside from being there for Alden and all the wonderful people of course) was the food. They served more types of bread than I ever knew existed! It was amazing! There was sourdough bread, jalapeƱo bread, cinnamon bread, cranberry walnut bread, cherry cordial bread, olive bread, and many other types that I cant remember right now. And they had olive oil and spices to go with it... and... now I'm drooling. It was so dang good.



After chowing down on bread they did all the normal reception things: cutting the cake, the first dance, tossing the bouquet, discarding the garter, and all that good stuff. Then we danced it up until we saw them off and released our balloons.


After the reception we met up with one of my mission companions at Coldstone and had some ice cream. A good end to a crazy day.
It was great to see good ol' Eric London again.

Exhausted from our journey, we packed up and started our 4 hour drive back to Provo at 11PM. It was extremely difficult to stay awake for that drive... especially seeing that I had almost fallen asleep a few times on the way up there that morning and hadn't taken a nap or anything that day. Luckily, I had the help of two great friends to keep me awake during the journey back to Provo. No... it wasn't Laurie and Kali, though they are two great friends, they were asleep pretty quick. It was my good friends Rockstar Energy Cola and Rockstar Juiced.
I am sure that my prayers helped even more than those two energy drinks to be honest. Point is, we made it back safely and completed our adventure. I finally got to bed at about 4:30AM. I still have not caught up on sleep since that night and find it very hard to stay awake during work and during my classes... but it was totally worth it.

L'CHAIM!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thinking


Things have happened recently in my life that have caused me to do a lot of thinking. Not that this is anything new to me. I have been an over thinker all my life. Growing up I would create amazingly perfect scenarios in my head when something exciting in my life was coming up and set myself up for utter disappointed every single time because things weren't nearly as amazing as I had imagined them to be. Eventually I had to come to the realization that I had the capacity to create scenarios in my mind that were far too perfect to exist. I had to come to terms with the fact that there wasn't going to be a time in my life when I would be able to make things like I could make them in my mind.

After I came to that conclusion I was able to start thinking less and living more, and that made all the difference. Limiting myself to being excited about something, I would try to keep possible specifics from my mind. This took years of practice before I got good at it. I still caught myself creating a world in my imagination where the good things that rapidly flowed into my mind would actually happen. I would quickly catch myself and make sure to put them from my thoughts enough to be able to be at least somewhat happy with reality and what was actually going on around me. I started to see a major difference in my life.

Soon the perfect world of my imagination began to fade; not because I began to become a grown up and mature and all that other nonsense that people try to use to explain away their lack of an imagination; but because perfection in general began to become less and less appealing to me. I had finally figured out how to love what life threw at me every day. I began to love not knowing what was going to happen next and not knowing what I was going to do about it. I started to love letting God be in control. I especially began to love seeing how other people would influence me and I them, especially when it was never planned, imagined, or thought of before the moment that it happened. For once I started to live now. And everything from that point on was different.

Now awkward moments only exist when I allow them to. Confidence is something that I can create within myself and use, not just wish I had more of. Opportunities are no longer just a thing that I watch pass me by like cars on the freeway that I have no power to stop. I can create them right in front of me and not only for myself but for others as well. All that being said, I am not claiming self mastery in any way. I have merely started my journey down that long and exciting road and have no desire whatsoever to look back.

My imagination is not gone. it isn't something that I have outgrown or done away with. Quite the contrary in fact. It is now more alive then ever because I live within it each day. I create it around me. You are a part of it. Whether you know it or not. The mere fact that you are reading this makes you a part of it.

The best thing about this post is that I was planning on writing something completely different. When I started writing I was going to hint at specifics in my life and let you take a guess at my imperfections and the tragedies that have befallen me as of late in an effort to vent out my feelings and hopefully make myself feel better about my life by thinking that someone reading would throw some sympathy my way... but I decided to let something besides the crazy over thought of my mind take control.

Sorry if you think this is strange. Maybe it is different and odd and unlike anything that I will ever post again... but then again... maybe all that is just your imagination.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Start


I'm guessing that my first post will be pretty similar to the millions of people who are just starting to blog all over the world. So, please forgive me for the lack of interesting things or awesome insights into my life in this first post... I'm still learning. I don't really know where to to start or what to put in here.
ME: Tyler Carter, 22 years old, born in Nashville, TN.

there we are. That's a good start right?

I returned home from a two year LDS Mission to Roseville, CA in December of 2008. Completing that mission faithfully has been the best decision and crowning moment of my life so far. I am currently a student at Brigham Young University, trying to figure out what to do with my life. I'm a little clueless when it comes to this whole college thing... even after having been doing it for going on two years now. I have been working in the Math Department as an Undergraduate Assistant since the middle of April, which is kind of funny seeing as math is my least favorite of any subject most of the time. Fortunately for me, my job doesn't really require me to actually do much math, so I am handling it okay so far.

Something kind of interesting in my life right now... hmmm...

In September I will be participating in the Red Rock Relay.
It will most definitely be the most physically taxing thing that I have ever done. I am going to start my logged training on June 21st. Hopefully by the time I run this relay I will be in the best shape of my life. Unfortunately, that really doesn't mean much. I have never been in really good shape before. To be quite honest, if I am not in the best shape of my life I will not be able to complete this relay. It's 181 miles split between a team of 12 people. My team consists of my younger brother, younger sister and her husband, and some coworkers. It is going to be an amazing experience to say the least.

Wish me luck.