Never Quit

Some of you know that I help out at the girls’ summer practices and open fields. It gives me an opportunity to help support an organization I believe in while getting to know the coaches and students better so we have fun with the photos I take during the season. On Wednesday, the girls were faced with the dreaded Cooper Test.

Based on what I’ve read, we do a variation of the test. We run three laps on the track, rest for 60 seconds, then sprint one more lap. On of the students needed a partner to track their time, so I decided I’d jump in and run it as well.


In the second group, one of the other students was hurting pretty bad by the end of her three laps. We all encouraged her to give it her best shot. She needed some extra rest, then she went to walk the last lap with a few of us to make sure she was alright.

But then something really cool happened. We got to the last 100 meters, and she says out loud, “I’m finishing this,” and she took off on a sprint. I hollered, “I’m right there with you,” and we sprinted out the last part of that test.

The interesting thing is at this point, the coaches and the rest of the team was already moving to the next part of practice. She didn’t have to do anything other than walk it out. But instead, she wanted to finish…and finish strong.

I’m so proud of these girls.

Thanks for reading,
Jon Cole

The Next Stage of Life

You never know what God is going to do with you.

I met Joe Rubino 12 years ago at camp. I had just graduated high school, and Joe was starting into his first youth ministry. One of my friends was in his youth group, and they were preparing to run a week of junior high camp the following summer. She kept telling Joe, “You’ve got to get Jon Cole to work camp with us,” as they were looking for extra help, especially in the worship band. It was a fun experience. I found out how much I enjoyed getting to act like a 12-year-old and have a real purpose for it. 🙂 Not long, after that, other friends of mine from camp that were also in Joe’s youth group started to lure me across 2 counties into Wooster to start spending time with them. What happened after that was nothing short of amazing. Continue reading

Season’s End

Sometimes I wonder if I could ever be a father because of how emotional I get. I watch my nieces and nephews and think about their young lives, and I wonder if I can handle it. I get really attached to people really easily. This is especially true of the local high school soccer team I’ve been a part of.

For those who don’t know, at the end of the 2009 season, I was given the opportunity to put my photography skills to work to see if I could raise some money for a mission trip. I attended the 5 tournament games they played that season and took photos at their games. Over that summer, I keep thinking about that experience. I like to take good photos, I like to give high fives, and I like to bake cookies (which is something else I started doing for the team in the meantime). Is it possible they’d let me come back?


The girls got knocked out of the tournament playing in the regional final today, which I believe is the third time in school history they have made it that far. They played their hearts out and gave everything they had. I’m so proud of them! This marks the end of my second full season with the team, so I’ve gotten to know a lot of the girls really well. Soccer allows me to adopt 40+ little sisters each season, and I love it! It was so hard to watch them get beat because of how hard they have worked to get this far. The team they played was really good, so they have nothing to be ashamed of.

I’ve taken several thousand shots, and I have many more to post to the main web site. Check them out at Most images are available for purchase as well (shameless self-plug). Here are some shots I’ve taken over the course of the season:

As you can see, I kinda like these girls. 😛 They’ve become a huge part of my life. It tough to see the season end. Real tough, actually.

It’s kinda funny how you think you have your life figured out…at least what direction you want to go once you finish high school or college, and then you get to that point and realize that life can be nothing like you imagine it. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing at all. The other night, after the girls rallied from behind to win the regional semi-final, I sat on the edge of my bed thinking about my life. If anyone would have told me as I left high school that I would be painting my hair green while hauling a camera around and jumping and cheering for a high school soccer team because I would be passionate about being a positive influence on a younger generation and would love them pieces like they were a part of my own family, I would have told them they were crazy. Yet, here I am…and I can’t imagine being anywhere else. I firmly believe God has me right where He wants me right now, and my heart is overcome.

Being emotional isn’t a bad thing. You get to experience life…raw and full.

Thanks for reading,
Jon Cole