September 9th, 2014 | Uncategorized
Anyone who knows Sport Changes Life knows that they take a lot of pride in their online presence. Whether it be their website or various social media accounts, they cut no corners when it comes to content and quality. They’ve expressed many times that, as Victory Scholars, we are some of their biggest tools in getting the word out about the organization and its purpose… and they do use us! Since I’ve been here I’ve had my picture taken more times than probably all four years of college combined! A funny guy named Aaron brightened up our first few days here, running around with his professional camera capturing candid shots and video interviews of the thirteen of us. Just last week we had a surprise shoot with Wingfoot, our clothing sponsor, at the T13 complex in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast. It was the first time I’d ever had my picture taken under professional lighting with wardrobe changes, props, and a creative director before! This organization really knows how to make you feel like you’re not a nobody.
Anyway, when I’m not busy being a SCL celebrity, I tend to spend a lot of my time on Loughshore Park, a beautiful area just a block from our accommodation. It’s made up of a long path, a beach, a giant playground, and fields of green grass. I’ve gone out there many days with the intention of running through my workout playlist, but I find myself continually stopping to take pictures. The sunsets are so beautiful every night, almost always bright pink, and the way it reflects off the water is just stunning. Last night the Maguire’s (with the exception of Gareth, who’s currently in America) ran into us while walking their dog Pippen, and Deirdre treated a couple of us to ice cream. They live just as close to Loughshore as we do, and I don’t think they ever get tired of the scenery. Almost every day I see pictures on Facebook of either Gareth or Deirdre enjoying the sunrise over the water with Pippen.
Today, one of our new Irish friends, Stephen, took Caroline and I to the top of Cave Hill. In my opinion, the climb is treacherous, but Stephen hiked along like he did it every day before breakfast. It was a wee bit agitating. The view at the top made it all worth it though… and I was very glad to have brought my Nikon! You could see Beflast on one side, our university on the other, and even Scotland far, far off in the distance ahead. He took us the easy way down, and even then I found myself stopping every few feet to snap a picture. The landscape was so beautiful. I came back to campus with aching legs, and luckily enough, Stephen is also our basketball coach so even though we had practice almost right after, we figured he’d have mercy given what he knew our muscles had been through. Nope. After two hours of running, jumping, sprinting, and conditioning drills, I think I’ve had my first fallout with an Irish boy.
And to think my mother was scared I wouldn’t keep her updated enough on my experiences while abroad… I haven’t gone a single day yet without sharing a picture or being tagged in one. I don’t know how photogenic I am, but there’s no doubting the potential in my surroundings. I’m happy enough that a lot of my time here will be spent on one side of a camera or the other, because the result will help keep these memories with me for a lifetime.