Communicating the Super 8

For the second story of this series, Nina Gayleard volunteered to take us through how faith, family, sacrifice and discipline have impacted her path into the ‘real world.’

There’s not much more to introduce about Nina, she does it all and explains it beautifully. Enjoy…

“I tried to think of an interesting way to introduce the fact that I am a master’s student studying Communication Management at Towson University, but this will have to do. To understand how the Super 8 apply to my life, it’s helpful to introduce what I’m doing now and how I am involved in academia as a whole, as it is a large chunk of my short and long term goals.

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Chop Wood, Carry Water

This is the first story of eight for our Super 8 Stories Series. Tonight’s account comes from a very talented baseball player, but an even more compassionate human being. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Max through the baseball community, and have always been impressed with his view of the world and how he strives to make it better.

Maxwell’s writings focus on discipline, because it took his own discipline for him to climb the ranks of Baltimore R.B.I. program baseball player to projected MLB 1st-Round pick next spring. I knew Max would give us something short and sweet to chew on from his own experiences in his life. Tonight, in the leadoff spot for the story series, is the University of Maryland’s clean-up hitter…

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Hope Requires Action

It has been a little while, but I’ve been at a loss for words recently. I’ve had trouble organizing my thoughts into a way that can tackle the world’s issues and personal issues as well. Although this year has felt dismal at times, there are lessons in everything. Some we see on our own, others we don’t understand until we live, and most we can’t grasp at all. As I’ve been thinking about what to post for days on end, I’ve realized most people are concentrating on hope.

Hope is a powerful feeling, ultimately synonymous to faith and prayer. It’s a feeling of wanting more, wanting betterment, wanting peace. But it is only a feeling until it is acted upon.

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We Need Us

When I started this website I obviously did not foresee a global pandemic and so many more struggles deterring us from what used to be normal life. I had anticipated being able to share experiences as they happened, writing posts on the buses to a weekend series, and being able to share both successes and frustrations. But today, I write frustrated with the concept of being a student-athlete right now.

In a world of such uncertainty, universities, schools, staff, students or athletes don’t really have a grasp on what’s going on. None of us have been here before and it’s uncomfortable and weird. I personally have no idea how things are going to operate in the next few months. Some schools are remotely learning, some are hybrid, and some are still trying to meet in person. So let’s break down all of the perspectives involved.

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How Did I Get Here?

I was six years old throwing a rubber baseball off of the brick wall at Warren Elementary, right across the street from where I grew up. I was waiting for my dad, who was inside the school chatting with the director of the Cockeysville Recreation Council. I had only played one year of coach pitch baseball to this point, but I had started to develop an affinity for the game.

On our walk home from Warren, I asked my dad if I could play travel baseball. Little did I know, just moments before, the rec council director had asked my dad if I wanted to fill the last roster opening on the 7-8 team. Dad originally shook off the question, concluding that it was too soon for me and assuming that I wouldn’t be interested. So, when I coincidentally asked about playing, he was stunned.

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Slow it Down

It’s been a little over three weeks since my last post, but with good reason. My last post was a meaningful one for the world today, and I wanted to give it room and time to resonate or marinate in people’s minds before writing again. I also don’t like to force new posts if they’re disingenuous because that hurts the authenticity of what I believe. These last few weeks have been very overwhelming to watch newscasts and stay up to date with all of the information in the world, as well. Anything that I have had to say is nowhere near as important as some other educational resources right now, so I’ve given it some time before deciding to post again.

As we transition into the changing times and lifestyles that 2020 has ushered in, handfuls of people feel increasingly overwhelmed. I wouldn’t say this year has been particularly easy on anybody. So how can we take all of the world’s stress and control it in our lives? Just slow down.

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Let’s Get Real.

I am genuinely not sure where to begin. I have never chosen to get involved with politics on social media, but I don’t feel like we are dealing with a political issue. The unrest and the divide of our country directly relates to all eight values of what this blog is based upon, and it’d be ignorant of me to not address the current events. I am not concerned with my own image, or my “brand,” because I do believe there is a morally correct choice here – and it is not to sit back and remain silent. To be silent right now is to be complicit with the issues at hand. I am sorry if you disagree, and if such a statement turns you away from this blog entirely, then I’m not sure you’re living by these eight values anyway.

First and foremost, I cannot even begin to act like I have understood or will ever understand what it is like to be an African-American in America. I personally have been absolutely moved by the protest and unrest of the previous handful of days, and it’s time for me to listen and to seek understanding. Yet, before jumping on Twitter or hurrying up to type a new post, I’ve tried to educate myself on the right ways to go about sharing my thoughts.

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Level the Paying Field

If being a student-athlete is a part of my identity, then it’s only right to explore the controversies that come with that. The most heated conversation throughout the last few years within the realm of the NCAA has been the ordeal on paying players. Let me be clear in that paying players does not constitute salaries or contractual agreements. Paying players entails allowing student-athletes to monetarily benefit off of their name, image, or likeness through endorsement deals.

In April, this news broke regarding compensation for players, and the debate fired up once again:

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The Power Of

There are a couple things I want to get into before I dive into this post. The first being that it’s been a relatively busy two weeks with transferring paperwork and finals, so I’m sorry it’s been some time since my last post. The second being a review of the concepts this post explores, the first three values of the Super 8. In my first post I explained God to be a universal higher power, prayer to be an expression of the goodness of life, and faith to be belief or hope. This way, these concepts can apply to anyone.

One thing that I believe transcends all religions, or lack thereof, is prayer. I feel that people subconsciously turn to prayer no matter what they believe in, especially in times of difficulty and stress. These times, ironically enough, are filled with stress, anxiety, and emotion, and a lot of us are having trouble escaping those feelings. We don’t have a grasp on everything that is going on, and we don’t know where to find answers. To that I say, turn to the power of prayer.

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