The Worth of the All-Nighter
Friday morning, October 31st @ 8:30am. I dragged myself out of bed, already dreading the 3am feeling with 200 kids that would be happening later that night. That feeling where you hit a point of delirium that you aren't quite sure you're still awake, or that the event is really happening at all. Your eye vessels ready to burst, all you want to do is put your head down in a bowl of candy and take a nap on your Jolly Rancher pillow.
It was the morning of our Youth Group Halloween Overnighter and all of those feelings are true to how much I was dreading the event upon awaking. However, it ended up being my favorite overnight event I've ever ran and I got to Saturday morning with zero blood vessels bulging out of my eyes, all kids accounted for, and sweeping success in the fun category. Much of that success is thanks to my teammate, Charlie Merritt for being awesome and organized throughout the event.
Throughout the night I kept repeating the mantra in my head that, "they love this. this is for them. they will remember this. I love them. I will remember this. this is a good thing." The most beautiful part of the entire night happened around 2:30am. I walked into our youth room to see one of my good friends and the PLHS Young Life Director, Elise, choreographing a music video. She was pacing up and down explaining the beat through snaps and excited coaching. The 20 or so girls were riveted. It was more than a music video for me. This was the Kingdom coming together. This was how its supposed to be. The stories and the layers that exist that made Elise be at this all-nighter with a group of girls from The Naz are too long to tell but its a beautiful story we get to live in and be part of here in the Point Loma/OB youth ministry collaborative. Check out their finished work here
An all-nighter is more important than how I feel the next day. This is for the kids. However, for my physical needs to put my body through an all-nighter with 200 kids I took several measures the day of the event that helped me a ton and I hope you steal some of them for yourself!
1) I ate a big breakfast. 4 eggs, a cup of coffee, and an acai bowl. I ate my breakfast and went for a prayer walk through OB until late morning. This was made possible because the deadline for forms was a week before the event, this helped the day-of to be far less stressful than normal and allowed space to take care of myself in the morning.
2) I drank 12 ounces of water every hour throughout the day. Stay hydrated! Around noon I started adding vitamin mixtures into my water to get a boost of calcium, vitamin C & D.
3) I ate a safe lunch. No cali burritos, no pizza, just a deli sandwich. I approached the entire day as trying to ready my body for the marathon of 7pm-7am of activities and excitement. Eating well and hydrating was the biggest key.
4) I went easy on the candy and pizza at 6pm. The temptation is to binge eat because you've made it. The event is about to roll and the pieces are in place. Why not celebrate with 2,000 calories and a tall coke? I had another deli sandwich for dinner and chugged a vitamin water. At 3am I was going strong and full of life. At 8am I was ready for bed but I wasn't destroyed.