Alana Loveys

Alana Loveys
Past Leadership Events!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

TED Video.

            The video that I have chosen is called “3 things I learned while my plane crashed”. I chose this video because it made my mind take in a million thoughts with every word that Ric Elias said as he told his inspiring story. Another reason why I chose this video was because exactly a week from today, last Sunday, thoughts similar to Ric’s went through my head. Before I explain the video, I will briefly tell you about what happened last Sunday.
            I woke up and started in with my Sunday routines. Stayed in bed until 12 doing homework and studying and then went to my Nan and Pop’s for dinner. I had the Carbonear Santa Claus parade today, so I went to meet my dance group at the Hospital to begin. The parade ended up taking a different, and much longer route than ever before, and the weather turned from light snow to heavy winds and hail. Finally when the parade was over, my friend called her dad to come pick us up. He said there was no way he could get to the area that we were because all the roads were still blocked off. We started back tracking the parade route to meet her dad to pick us up. As we were walking in the cold we were complaining about having to walk, how long the parade was, how tired we were and how we wanted hot chocolate after to get warmed up again. Suddenly, while walking past all the floats of the parade, we heard a man speak who must have overheard us complaining. He said “Girls, cheer up! You did a great job dancing, and I know it may be cold… But smile! It is Christmas!” We smiled, thanked him and kept walking until we reached the car to go home.
            In the video, Ric talked about how life can change in an instant. He talked about how people take things for granted sometimes and how certain experiences can change your view towards many situations. Ric had been on a plane that was in the process of crashing. After viewing smoke and noticing the plane changing direction, he heard the pilot say three life changing words “Brace for impact”. Thoughts shot through Ric’s head and at that instant he thought that this was it… Life was over. This one emotional experience changed his life. It was then that Ric learned 3 things about his self….
The first thing that Ric had learned was that he had a whole new meaning for the phrase “it all can change in an instant”. He thought about what he wanted to do in his life, the people he wanted to reach out to but could not, and the things that he wanted to do but never did. He realized that he no longer wanted to postpone anything anymore.
The second thing that he realized was his one regret. He regretted the time that he wasted on things that did not matter. As he thought about his family he reflected back to things that had happened. Ric decided to eliminate the negative energy in his life. This made him see his life as being better. He never had a fight with his wife in a while and said that he no longer tries to be right… He chooses to be happy.
The final and third life changing thought that impacted Ric’s life was that dying was not really that scary. He felt that he was preparing for it his whole life. He did not want to go because he loved his life and family and found thinking about it very overwhelming and sad. He had only wished that he would be able to see his kids grow up. A month later, while attending a show of his daughter’s it made him very emotional, and things started to make sense to him. He then realized that the only thing that matters to him is being a great dad… that is his only goal.
Ric claims that he was given a huge gift throughout his terrifying experience. He simply states that this gift was seeing into the future that day to be able to come back again living differently. He was thankful to be alive and thankful to receive the huge impact that his frightening experience had held on his life.
By now you have probably forgotten about my story about Sunday past, but it will all tie together soon enough. About an hour after the parade was over the news about a horrible accident spread around town. My friend called to tell me  that it did not look to be good. He said there were white screens up blocking the road and a lot of emergency vehicles. My stomach suddenly dropped as I thought about the accident. My mom came through the door and told me it was a man from the motorcycle float dressed as the “Grinch”. She told me that on the way home, after winning an award for the best float, he fell through the bars of his wooden cage on the float while the truck was driving around the turn and got ran over. He was killed. Hearing this drew tears to my eyes and made my stomach drop even lower down as I began to shake. He was the man who told us the message; “Girls, cheer up! You did a great job dancing, and I know it may be cold… But smile! It is Christmas!”. This was my first time hearing this man speak, seeing him and responding to him but it held a great impact on my life.
With the shocking news in my mind, many more thoughts, similar to Ric’s filled my head. I began to think about how fragile life is. The man woke up in the morning just like I did, thinking it was a normal day. The thought of his death probably did not even cross his mind… But life can change in an instant. Thinking back to my dance class and complaining about the coldness and the extra few kilometres that we had to walk made me feel stupid and selfish. I realized that there are major things in life and there are minor. This was minor. I realized that there are people suffering with worse situations than sore legs and cold shivers. I came to the conclusion that I overreact a lot of times and set a goal for myself to stop and think whenever I am in a situation that I feel is horrible. I concluded that everyone will face little problems and stresses everyday but they are not the end of the world. For this man it was the end of his world. I began to direct my thoughts to his family. I knew of his son, a boy in grade nine. It was so close to Christmas and the boy would never be able to be with his father again. The man’s wife would now be alone raising her kids. It seemed all so unfair and unreal to me. This was not a minor situation for this family… this was major. It all happened so quickly with no notice to anyone. I wished that I could turn back the time to prevent this all from happening…  But I could not… No body could.
I also came to realize that in life there are many things that can change how you view the world or even change how you feel about something, if it is your experience or just hearing about someone else’s. I was impacted by this horrible event that I wish I could put out of my mind but I can not because of the changes it has made to who I am. I try not to think negatively as much as I used to and I try to wake up, thinking “this will be a good day”… thinking more positively.
After clicking this video and hearing the first few sentences I knew I was in for an emotional ride. I knew it would impact me. For some of you, you may not connect as well to this video as I do. Maybe you have not had an experience that made this video impact you like it did to me. Try putting your self in a life changing situation and think about the answers to these questions. How would you as a person change? How would your feelings towards other things change? What would you have done differently in the past? Like Ric, I now learnt to appreciate the things and people in my life even more. I thought back to all the times in the past that I wasted being upset over minor things and realized that if only I had changed the situation, or not allowed myself to make a big deal out of the little things, I would not have had as many bad things in my life. Instead my life would have been filled with more things that were good if I simply would have thought positively, looked back and realized that the situation is not all that bad and I will get through it. If only I had thought about the people suffering from much harder and unbearable situations than the ones I was going through. I hope after reading this and watching the video, Ric Elias and I have made you think. I hope we have made even a little impact on your life. You only have one life… Make the best of it and live it to the fullest. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

All About Me!

Hi, my name is Alana Loveys. Throughout my life I have been involved in many activities that allowed me to develop leadership qualities. Along the way, these qualities have helped me become involved in many leadership and volunteering opportunities. Growing up I was a member of Girl Guides. Besides becoming involved with my community and volunteering with various events, Girl Guides had helped me obtain many new friendships and gave me the chance to discover new interests. Later, I joined the Poseidon Swim Club. With many years of swimming experience behind me and after completing my Bronze Medallion, AWSI and WSI courses, I applied for a job as a swimming instructor. The experience of working at the pool has helped me learn how to communicate with parents and children and has also helped me learn how to get along with co-workers and respect authority. Having a job along with balancing my many extra curricular activities has also helped me learn how to manage my time properly. My love for swimming and teaching gave me the opportunity to become involved as a volunteer coach for Special Olympics. Every Wednesday night for an hour I would help children and adults with special needs learn how to swim. This was such an amazing experience. I learned how important it is to have respect for others. It was touching to see that the Special Olympics athletes had their own special qualities and all they asked was to be treated equally. It is an amazing feeling to know that you have contributed to making a positive difference in someone’s life.
Recently we had a presentation at our school about volunteering as a part of the Career Development course. The speaker mentioned how people do not volunteer for money but they still end up getting paid. At first this confused me. As I thought a little harder, I soon realized exactly what the speaker meant. The good feeling that you get from volunteering and the knowledge that you made a difference is your reward… not money. Being able to relate to this with my experience of Special Olympics, I discovered that it was then that I became inspired and interested in volunteering. Along with swimming and Special Olympics, I volunteered at many swimming events, banquets and even swim meets. My interest and involvement in cross country running resulted in my participation in a 10 kilometre race to raise money for the Terry Fox foundation for the past three years. Through my involvement with dance at Danceworx studios, and also cheerleading, I also get to perform at several important community events such as the Relay for Life and Annual Fashion show to raise money for the Trinity Conception Health foundation.
For as long as I can remember, I have attended the Burry Heights Church Camp every summer. My love for camp, the “magic” and the high energy that it brought to me each year kept me going back for more. It was there that I gained confidence, became less shy and could be myself. This past summer I was finally old enough to be a volunteer councillor at camp for a week. The feeling that counselling brought to me was even more positive than the feeling that I experienced as a camper. It gave me butterflies to see the kids open up and bond with me. It was such a great feeling to know that I was helping bring the magic of camp that I once felt into the lives of many other children. The way the kids looked up to you as their role model, thanked you for the fun that they had, and cried on your shoulder before they left that week saying how much they’ll miss you was enough to make me feel that good feeling of volunteering yet again. I love the smiles the kids bring to their face and mine as I see them again outside of camp, and the way that they run to you to give you a hug and say how they wish you could council them again. These opportunities, along with many others have also helped me become more and more involved with leadership.
Besides the many sport teams that I have been a part of throughout the school years that have helped me learn to work as a team, school has offered me a variety of educational activities that permitted me to get even more involved with leadership and volunteering. At school, ever since Jr. High, I have been a member of the student council in many positions such as Class Representative, Vice President and President. Being involved in student council opened me up to many new possibilities to volunteer and gain leadership skills. I discovered out how much I loved public speaking, not only in front of the school for many events, but in speak off competitions in French and English too. I became interested in making school more fun for everyone by volunteering to organize many school events and activities, such as dances, and themed weeks. A Provincial Student Leadership Conference and even a Canadian School Leadership Conference were yet other positive outcomes of being involved with Student Council. These conferences have helped me develop even more leadership skills by making many new friendships and learning from other leaders. The conferences brought an experience of a life time that I was grateful to be able to take part in. Events such as choir gave me that chance to participate in a student music exchange to Ontario where we were able to visit many schools outside of Newfoundland and show them our type of music by singing Newfoundland folk songs. We also had to chance to hear other choirs and bands perform their music to us. Drama and Improv at school also helped me develop leadership skills. I got the chance to act in many Christmas concerts, plays and take part in the Drama Festival where I attended many workshops that were both helpful and fun. How can I forget the MOST AMAZING opportunity that school has given me? School gave me the chance to apply for HORIZONS where I became a Horizons student and was permitted to take part in the Leadership Development Weekend where I got to meet many new people across the island that had similar interests as me. The many enjoyable activities that took place that weekend helped my pre-existing leadership skills to grow. It was an amazing experience which had a huge impact upon my life in such a short amount of time.
In the future I am still not one hundred percent sure which career path I will take. However, I have already learned that the best things in life are worth working for and I will put one hundred percent into whichever career path I choose. I am also sure that I will continue to seek opportunities that involve leadership and volunteering. I value the difference that these two elements have made in my life thus far and I look forward to future opportunities to share my enthusiasm with others.