Author Archives: Tyler Johnston

About Tyler Johnston

I am from Lyndhurst, Ohio and went to Charles F. Brush High School where I played soccer, wrestled, played rugby and I played trombone in the band. My major is Athletic Training and I am on the wrestling team. I am also a Student Ambassador, member of SAAC, Preview Guide, Athletic Training Club and numerous intramural sports.

Lose an activity, Gain another

Lose an activity, Gain another

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High school to some people seemed easy. You could be dedicated to so many groups and organizations and it wouldn’t be too much of a burden. If anything, it really kept you motivated and it was usually fun. I was in the band and I played multiple sports, so I was always busy with something. I even auditioned for the musical my senior year and got a back up part … but then I realized that High School Musical is only a movie, and I couldn’t play a sport and be in a musical at the same time.

What I am getting at is that sometimes you are unable to do something you once loved. Athletic training is my major, which means that is my first priority. This alone takes up a great deal of time, which means I have to let go of a few things I love. Playing trombone in the band was tons of fun, but it is something I can’t commit to right now. I’ve played soccer since I was able to run and now I can’t do it anymore simply because I don’t have the time.

I’m not the only one in this position. I have friends from other schools that are unable to play a sport because their bodies are just unable to take the demands of the sport, they didn’t make the team, or their majors just take up all of their free time. Some others aren’t able to be in Student Senate like they once were or they might just not have the heart for that activity they once had.

If you can’t do an activity you once loved, get involved in another. I don’t play multiple sports like I once did and I don’t play for a few hundred people at a halftime show, but I am doing things I never thought I’d even think I would once do. I have two jobs, one as a student ambassador and the other as a student blogger. This is something I never thought I would do, but I am so glad I am doing it.

You need to occupy all the free time you have because the more free time you tend to have, the more time you slack off (usually). The more activities or events you may have going on, the more organized your time will become, and this will help you from feeling useless and sorry for yourself, since you can’t do what you once did.

I still do miss playing trombone with a whole band and I miss playing soccer with friends I have grown up with, but college is the time to open up to new experiences. You have to let go of what you once had and find a new niche that is hidden inside of you somewhere. Everyone is different, so find whatever you know will suit you best.

Pen Pals

Pen Pals

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Dear Readers,

Technology is getting better and better when it comes to communicating with people. Sometimes I get bored with technology though. Everything is so convenient that if you don’t get a call, text or Facebook notification all day, you feel unloved or unpopular. Lately I have been writing to a friend, with paper and pen. I am going back to a time without Internet and telephones, but I am not going as far back as to delivering the mail on a horse.

I used to check my mailbox every day hoping for any pointless random mail. I like the feeling of expecting something being in my mailbox like it is Christmas morning, but usually there is nothing there. I have recently started writing letters to my friend, Anna, and I have finally begun to get mail. I still check my mail every day although I know that I mailed her a letter the day before and I really doubt she even got it and wrote one back within a day.

I easily have the convenience of calling, e-mailing, texting and even video chatting her, but I don’t. I like the anticipation of getting a letter. Sometimes I am just having a rough day. Getting a letter takes me away for a moment and I feel as if I am in my own world while reading it. When you read a letter, it is more than just paper and ink. You have to imagine that the person that wrote it, is right there in front of you and he or she is reading the letter for you. It’s nice to just zone out of the real world for a moment and just focus on something so simple.

Letters are much more personal. You are able to say whatever you feel like saying and you know that the other person is going to take the time to read it. It means a lot when someone takes the time to read something you’ve written for them and then write back another two or three pages just for you. Writing is a lot different from having a conversation every day, simply because you have time to think about what you want to say. When you read a letter, you have more time to just think about everything that was written.

So how long will I keep this going? I am not sure, but I do know that I am not even slowing down. I’ve started getting more and more of my friends school mailbox addresses. Most of my friends go to colleges that are simply too far to visit on a weekend, so writing a letter is an alternative to keeping in touch. Letters are a great way to stay in contact with your close friends and it is an excuse to buy awesome postage stamps.


Tyler J.

P.S. I don’t know what P.S. stands for, but I use it anyways.

Bieber Fever

Bieber Fever

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Justin Bieber, a name that became famous pretty fast. I honestly do not have any Bieber fever thank goodness, but I have to admit I do like his music once in awhile. He’s young, blonde and he has the right connections to become more and more successful every day. He is only getting bigger with his new headphones called JustBeats Solo, which are a special edition of Dr. Dre’s beats headphones. There are different types of Beats headphones but Justin has the Solo model.

I don’t have a pair of either of these headphones, but JustBeats Solo come in purple and white (Mount Union’s school colors), which just happen to be Justin’s favorite colors. Coincidence? I think so only because Justin Bieber isn’t old enough to go to college yet, so he hasn’t considered Mount Union as one of his choices … but that is besides the point.

The point is the actual headphones. What is better? I have always been a fan of Bose. Every speaker, headphones, etc. that it makes seems unmatchable. My brother bought a pair of Bose over the ear headphones more than seven years ago and they still work perfect. Is it the fact that Beats headphones look more stylish or do people actually prefer one over the other? The prices are all jacked up on steroids on both companies headphones, so will Dr. Dre be able to hold up with the quality of Bose? I am pretty sure that no matter which company you buy from, you won’t be disappointed. Dr. Dre loves his music and the quality of the sound is sure to be heard with both headphones.

I will always prefer Bose, only because that is what I own and I have a heart for them now. People still buy Beats and soon they will be JustBeats. I am not sure if we will be seeing them at Mount Union, but the colors will definitely fit well. I am almost hoping people do buy JustBeats solely because the color. Purple is rare these days, so if you decide to buy these purple headphones, you might have to go to the health center because you got Bieber Fever.

Just Dance

Just Dance

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What is one thing people love to do, but they usually aren’t good and hate doing it in front of other people?  Dancing!

Let’s be serious, who doesn’t sing and dance in the car?  I do!  I also dance in my room when nobody’s watching.  I am pretty decent at Dance Dance Revolution and Just Dance, but I’ve always been eager to learn how to dance, any kind of dance.  I can Bernie like nobody’s business. The running man is an easy one. Every day I am not shuffling, and I can dance like any other person at a club, but that’s all too easy.

The dance class I am taking is PE 140 and it takes place in the multi-purpose room in The MAAC.  I’ve learned Foxtrot, Swing and Rumba.  It is a 1-credit course, although we meet twice a week on Monday and Wednesday.  My class is small so we are personally taught, which definitely helps a great deal when you’re doing something you’ve pretty much never done before.

My favorite is probably swing simply because it is upbeat music and I can’t help but smile when I am doing it.  This is easily the only class I have taken where I am smiling and laughing nearly the entire time.  Simply put, it is fun!  Foxtrot is meant for slow and smooth movement across the dance floor.  I feel classy while I am dancing and I feel as if I should be in a tuxedo.  Rumba is all in the hips.  I am no Shakira but you have to be sexy to say the least while dancing.

What have I learned from this class?  The man is the leader and the woman follows.  Dancing and haunted houses are possibly the only two things where the man leads and the woman follows.  Mount Union doesn’t only offer the traditional academic classes like high school, you have a chance to let go and have fun.  When I am just having a stressful week, I honestly look forward to dancing.  It takes my mind off of all the stress and I just focus on stepping in time and making sure my partner follows my lead.

If you want to add another class for next semester, I highly recommend PE 140 or PE 141.  It is only one credit but it makes it feel as if you are taking less classes simply because you are having more fun than you normally would.  You also have to learn to keep up the beat with the music, and it requires some coordination. But don’t worry, even if you don’t have the best coordination, that’s what this class is for … teaching you how to dance.  So go for it, just dance!

Halloween Work Out

Halloween Work Out

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The video is of our work out.  Enjoy =D

Halloween is a time for trick-or-treating, not for wrestling. There is no break in wrestling, but there is time to joke around.  Every year the wrestling team has a Halloween work out. After a long and difficult hell week, we still have time to dress up and have a good time. But in all seriousness, we still got a good work out in too.

The practice consisted of pictures and being judged by the indoor track team. The categories we were judged in were overall best costume and best group costumes.

We then ran around campus and in all the academic buildings to show ourselves to Mount Union’s faculty and staff members to brighten their day. They definitely appreciated seeing everyone in ridiculous costumes. This year’s costumes consisted of Sasquatch, Wayne’s World, White Chicks, The Village People, marching band leader and a sexy female nurse. I was Jacob Black from Twilight, and even our coaches were a bunny and a black cat.

After all the judging and running, we eventually would run our way to Gulling and do a circuit lift. The baseball team was ending their work out in there and they just had to put a smile on their faces. Usually people would say this is just crazy, but everyone gets a good laugh out of it.

If you would like to see more pictures, check out the Purple Raider Wrestling page on Facebook.

What’s the purpose of this?  Our coach likes to have a good time just like any other person, but he takes things seriously too. We are trying to be the best. How can you be the best if you can’t laugh at yourself once in awhile? It’s a perfect balance and it shows that we can still be the best and have a good time.

Trick-or-Treat with the Raiders

Trick-or-Treat with the Raiders

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Once you’re in college, most people would agree you are too old to trick-or-treat. I disapprove that thought, but none of my friends want to go trick-or-treating anymore so what did I do instead? I helped hand out candy to kids with the wrestling team and the rest of the athletic teams on campus in the Peterson Field House during Trick-or-Treat with the Raiders.

This was the first year this event was held and I’d say it was a success. All of the sports team were dressed in their jerseys, game wear and even singlets, and each team had their own station. The kids couldn’t simply just say trick-or-treat for candy, they had to earn it.

The children could kick a soccer ball, shoot a basketball, hit a baseball, bump a volleyball, swing at a golf ball or complete an obstacle course to get their piece of candy. Every kid there was enthusiastic and stubborn toward getting their candy, nothing was going to stop them! For wrestling, we had an obstacle course where kids had to scoot, hop, run with weights as big as them, army crawl and then hit a giant muscle beast as hard as they can. All of this effort was for a piece of candy.

For a college student, all the work doesn’t sound worth it, but for the kids it is. That was the point of this event, to make kids happy by getting candy from their athletic role models. It really did make me laugh seeing kids in their costumes struggling to hold and run with a weight and getting to hit someone with a ball. It was also interesting seeing my professors and other coaches with their kids. It was a reality check that professors aren’t just professors, they are parents that love to dress their kids in embarrassing costumes and watch them eat candy.

If this event is held again, I am definitely going to do it. I might even dress up to scare the kids just a little. If you’re an athlete and you didn’t help out this year, I recommend doing it next year. It’s nice to get away from all the studying and interact with kids once in awhile.

Hell Week

Hell Week

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Wrestling is a sport that demands every aspect of athleticism, from pure strength to the most refine technique.  It was the first sport ever, and the purpose of it back in the day was to literally kill your opponent while competing naked in oil. Today there is a different reason why it is popular and for me, it is an addiction. I can’t quit because I need it to function normally, but at the same time, I can get so tired I question myself “Why am I doing this to myself?”

Hell Week is what it sounds like … hell! Football has two-a-days, but our coach went one step further and is doing three-a-days. One practice at a time isn’t bad, but it is the continuous practicing three times a day for five days of the week that will get to you.

This week consist of 6 a.m. cardio/sprinting for about 45 minutes. During this time, the sun isn’t even out yet and you can see the stars, Jupiter and shooting stars. After class and maybe a few naps, we have 4 p.m. practice for two hours in a constant 80 degree wrestling room. This consists of drilling, live wrestling and you guessed it, more sprints, which can easily be added on for people who are late, not wearing their headgear and other various reasons. It’s pretty simple, if everyone does what they are supposed to do and not what they aren’t supposed to do, then no sprints.  That’s never the case, so we run more.

After dinner, there is a little over an hour that I am able to get homework and studying done until an 8 p.m. lift.  These lifts aren’t meant for the weak, they’re meant for the insane. I mean, 3-4 sets of anywhere between 1-20 reps, and why not, let’s just throw in 100 pull ups in the middle of the lift to add a little flavor. By the end of the day, you’re ready to pass out and just enjoy your sweet dreams…until they are disrupted by your alarm telling you to wake up to go run.

This week sounds bad, because it is.  But in the end, you feel like you’ve accomplished something the average athlete would never want to do.  It is obviously a little harder since you have to worry about studying, homework and tests, but that’s just a part of being a student-athlete.

I have respect for all college student-athletes. Everyone puts in their effort because everyone wants to be the best. I still keep hearing from athletes that they think wrestlers are crazy and they could never do it. I always thank them for that compliment (yes, being called crazy is a compliment sometimes) because you have to be a little crazy if you want to be a good wrestler.

Hell Week is an animal that chews on you.  It is an animal that swallows the weak but spits out the strong at the end of the week, and if you are able to withstand it then you are able to withstand any other challenge put in front of you. After just one week, you’re more conditioned, stronger, smarter and you know your physical and mental limits.  And there is a reason why Hell Week is at the end of October … Halloween Work-Out.

Deactivating Facebook

Deactivating Facebook

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The video is obviously exaggerated but still gets the point across.

Did you know there are more than 800 million Facebook users and 50% log on every day?  Who thought this would get so big?  Why didn’t Myspace get this big?  Facebook was desgined by college students for college students, and it is something I once had, but not anymore.

I’ve been Facebook-less for over two years now and I love it.  Why didn’t I just limit myself to Facebook?  Well, I couldn’t!  It is so addicting and my only solution to the problem was deactivating my account.  There are obvious reasons to why everyone loves it, but there aren’t many reasons to why people would just completely deactivate their account.  Social networking takes out the fun of meeting people and interacting with people in person. It isn’t productive toward studying at all, and I need as much studying as I can get since I am the average guy that cannot just simply digest knowledge after I see it once!

Facebook, Myspace (if that is even used anymore), Google+ are all networking sites that are not meant for me.  When I did have one, I easily spent more than three hours a day on it just creeping on people I never knew about and then I would find out about their entire life.  It is something I found actually creepy and I didn’t like it since I judged people before I even truly knew them.

Let’s be serious, people might be friends on Facebook, but they are barely even acquaintances in real life.  I had more than 500 friends on Facebook and only talked to about 200 of them (if that).  I didn’t like barely knowing people and being friends with them on Facebook.  It seemed like a fake friendship to me and I want to truly be friends with everyone. I don’t want to have to fake it.

So how’s life been since I deactivated it?  Well, my grades have gone up. I have more time for friends, exercising, talking on the phone and discovering new hobbies, whoa!  I try to make every second count, and being on Facebook was just a waste for me.  Sure it was nice seeing and talking to people I haven’t talked to in years, but that was a very small portion of it to me.  I am a social person just like anyone else, and I’d rather be social in person than over the Internet.  I like hearing the sound of someone’s voice and seeing their face when it isn’t smiling in a frozen moment.

So here’s my challenge to you readers.  How long can you go without your Facebook account?  A few days, weeks, months?  It truly is hard to remember what life was like before it, but see how long you can go.

College Eating

College Eating

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My cheat codes in life include winning the lottery and marrying someone rich who will cook wonderful healthy food for me.  Chances are those both won’t happen, so I guess I’ve got to learn to cook and choose the right food.  I took cooking classes in high school and that taught me how to read recipes and something about a pyramid.  But we are in college and there are so many options of where and when to eat.  Here are some easy tips on how to eat healthy.

1.  Ask yourself four questions.  Am I really that hungry? Will I regret eating that?  Do I need to eat that? Would a caveman eat that? Some of you might be confused by the caveman question.  Well, would a caveman eat deep fried food or would it just be cooked over a fire?  I think you know the answer to that and you can apply all of these questions to everything that you might eat.

2.  Taste the rainbow. Not Skittles, but a colorful plate means you are getting all different kinds of energy, vitamins, minerals and all that jazz.

3.  Eat balanced meals throughout the day. Breakfast should be the largest meal of the day.  After that, you can have anywhere from five small meals to two big meals at lunch and dinner.  For a faster metabolism, it is recommended you get six smaller meals throughout the day, but make sure they are balanced and it isn’t the same thing at every meal. Change it up.

4.  Limit your caffeine. Caffeine is a drug and you might be dependent on it if you drink it over and over.  Aim for a caffeinated drink once a week, not every day.  Too much caffeine dehydrates you and when you’re dehydrated, you’re tired.  Just drink some juice or water and if you get enough sleep, you won’t need caffeine.

5.  Avoid deep fried food. Fat may taste good, but it doesn’t look good … if you know what I’m saying.

6.  Eat fresh. If you are buying and cooking your own food, don’t buy microwaveable food just because it is easy.  Chances are it doesn’t taste as good as the real thing and it is full of preservatives.  We are in a time where we look to do things as fast as possible, but when it comes to cooking, slow down and take your time.  It is definitely worth it in the end.

7.  Pill popping. If you are lacking vitamins because you don’t like certain food or you are a vegetarian, then make sure you take the right vitamin pills.  A multi-vitamin can generally cover for the lack of vitamins you aren’t getting.

These are generalizations that I try to follow for cooking and eating (when I am not in season). When I’m in wrestling season, I have to be able to diet in a healthy manner to lose weight and still have energy to perform.

You must know your body and how it reacts to different types of food.  Everybody is different and eats different types of food and different amounts.  I didn’t even mention carbohydrates or protein or any of that, so obviously if you do a little research, you can find what is best for you.

Lose The Stress, Find Your Escape

Lose The Stress, Find Your Escape

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This photograph was taken in Hawaii.

Stress is something that hits every student. Knowing how to deal with it or just how to avoid it all together is a big thing. Finding something that gets your mind off of your school work and grades is important when trying to live a balanced life. Nobody likes to just live in stress, so knowing that you are able to turn to something to turn off that stress is important. Find something you enjoy doing.

I turn to wrestling because it’s a great way to exert all of my physical energy and all of my emotions that might have been running through me throughout the day. It’s just seven minutes my opponent and I trying to figure out who truly is smarter, stronger and faster.

When I started writing poetry my junior year of high school, I didn’t think I was good. I still don’t think I am good at it but that’s not the point. Writing down a poem about how I may have felt that day was something I had never done before. It was a way for me to literally see what was going through my mind. It’s as if I collected all the junk from throughout the day and sneezed it on a piece of paper. I finally saw what was going on. Everyone feels better after they sneeze, and I felt better after writing a poem.

Sometimes talking to friends or listening to music just wasn’t enough for me. If what you might turn to usually isn’t there, try to have alternatives. For some people, simply screaming at the top of their lungs makes them feel better. Breaking things is always fun too, just make sure it’s not something you might have to pay back. Sleeping and dreaming is another great way to get away from reality, but that never lasts long enough.

Hopefully you have found something that helps you relieve stress. If you are stressed out about it, just talk about it with someone. Chances are he or she is freaking out about something and needs to let it all out too. Even if it is a five-minute conversation, at least you got it out.