But before he can move on, Gabe's Middle School requires him to give a 'Life Presentation" of who he is up to this point. He gets to invite family members to attend his presentation that he gives to 2 of his teachers. So today was Gabe's presentation and I am going to paste his talk here. He also showed a slide show that I hope to figure out how to put on here as well someday! ;)
by Gabe Gilleland
I’m going to use my dirt bike as a metaphor for my life.
The frame- of my dirt bike is who I was when I was born. I was fabricated in Durango and have lived here my whole life. Everything is built on my life here. I am the oldest of five kids. I have 3 brothers and one sister. There names are… my mom and dad have been married for 16 years and I have been apart of there live for 14 of those years.
The wheels- I have a large extended family. All of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents are like the spokes on my wheels and they keep me grounded when I need them to. Each summer of my life we have a huge family reunion. We learned about our ancestors at our last reunion. I learned that I am related not only to pilgrims, but to the wamponags that welcomed them. I also have some royal European blood in me from 1000 years ago.
The engine- on my dirt bike is all the things that keep me going all the time. I am involved in lots of fun activities. In school I play football, which I was starting receiver and starting defensive end. I played basketball in 7th and 8th grade and made A-team both years. If you didn’t guess I was the big guy who played under the basket. I also ran track where I set the distance medley record with my team and won high jump every meet. All of these sports helped me develop my physical power and endurance. Even though I wasn’t always the best I learned to push my limits and become stronger. I also love to snow ski and snowmobile in the winter and every Saturday in the summer you will find me boating with my family. At the lake I love wake board, surf, and hang out behind the boat. We try to go to lake Powell a lot in the summer because that’s where my mom is from. These are all the things that keep me energized and going.
The handlebars are my religion. They keep me going in the right direction. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, sometimes called the Mormons. I have a strong belief in God and in His Son Jesus Christ. I believe that God is my Heavenly Father and that Jesus Christ atoned for all mankind’s sins. When I was 8 years old, I chose to be baptized and become a member of the church like my parents and grandparents before me. Every night I study the scriptures and I pray every morning and night. I am very involved in my church. Every Sunday I go to church for 3 hours. We sing and we have different lessons during that time. Then during the week I go back to church for various youth activities. I get to help plan what we do. Sometimes it is fun and sometimes we work on Scouting or Service Projects. At age 12 I got the Priesthood, which means I have responsibilities in my church to teach and help the members of my congregation. All these things help me stay on the right track.
The brake and throttle on my bike are like the rules and privileges I have in my family. Our family has a lot of rules. I am expected to keep my room clean and help with chores in the house and outside the house. I have to watch my little brothers and respect my parents. I have to let my parents know what I’m doing and who I’m hanging out with. My parents are strict. But they trust me as long as I earn their trust. I also get to do lots of crazy things that not all parents would let their kids do, like hold a job at our gravel pit. I clean the shop and operate equipment. I get to earn money for things like movies and stuff I want. I get to have a lot of fun doing different recreational activities. So I do have rules (brakes) but because my parents trust me, I get to go and do lots of fun things too (throttle).
Service is like the oil in my dirt bike because it gives me lots of opportunities for me to help the people in my community. Without oil, my dirt bike will run for a while, but not very well. After a while it’s no good, and stops working. I believe that when I serve others, it makes my life run smoother because I forget about myself and start thinking about other people. During 6th grade, my family went to a small island off Venezuela called Tobago. My grandparents were serving as missionaries for our church. Before we went, we gathered supplies for a School for the Deaf and lots of clothes for a Home for Abandoned Children. We had fun on our trip. We went to the beach and got to scuba dive in the ocean for the first time. But the best part was meeting the kids and seeing how happy they were to get stuff they needed. It made me feel grateful for my blessings and made me happy to help others that needed my help. Another way I have been able to serve is through our church youth group where I participate in the Boy Scouts of America. I have been a Boy Scout since 3rd grade and I am close to earning my Eagle Scout Award.
The last thing I need for my dirt bike to run is Gas. I am comparing gas to school and my friends. I went to preschool, elementary school, and middle school here in Durango. I have been able to participate in sports and music where I learned to play the cello and I learned lots of things. My friends have been there with me every day. Some I have known since preschool and some since 6th grade. All of my good friends have been there for me even when the times were rough, so I tried to be there for them too.
Because I have all the necessary parts, I have been able to do a lot of things so far in my life. I hope to keep my dirtbike running well for a long time. I hope that for the rest of my life I will be able to keep improving and upgrading my bike so it will run at it’s maximum potential. That way I will always have what I need to go and do whatever I choose in my life. The world is wide open to me and I am excited to go and ride it!
I know I am his mom, but I thought it was SO GREAT!!! He came up with the dirtbike metaphor himself and John and I loved talking through it with him as he fleshed out his ideas.
I am proud of the young man that Gabe is becoming. He is a kind person and a good friend. I am so grateful to be his mom!