Overflow Youth Convention 2006

Disclaimer: This post is from the archives, and may not represent the current views of the author. It also may not be at all interesting to read. Continue at your own peril!

This past weekend was awesome. Awesome Possum. My youth group and I went up to Waterloo for the annual youth convention called Overflow. It was held in the Rec Centre there, and it seemed like a pretty good turnout, probably about 2,000 people or so. The stage took up probably about a third of the drained hockey rink, and the rest of the rink was filled with rows of chairs. Those filled up quite quickly, but there were also sections of the seats around the rink that people could sit in.

I came to this convention not really knowing what to expect, since I’ve never been to one before. Basically, we left the church on Friday night and, after having to find another route because of an accident, we arrived at the Rec Cetnre. Because the name of it this year was Famous One (obviously referring to the star of the show, Jesus Christ), the front doors had a red carpet leading up to them. There was a limo parked outside, and as people walked into the building, there were spotlights set up, and a bunch of girls who cheered for everyone. A camera was also set up that showed yourself on a big TV as you walked in. It was pretty funny the first few times, until after waiting around for about half an hour, when the constant cheering became quite tiresome. The doors to the actual auditorium weren’t open yet, so we had to wait outside. There was a huge crowd in front of those doors, which stretched down through the wide hallway leading up to them. We waited around until the doors finally opened, and then waited around some more for the masses to enter them. Once inside, we picked a spot in the bleachers – since by the time we got in, all the chairs on the ground level were filled – and sat down.

Overall, the worship music was quite impressive. It was a guy named Jeff Deyo and his band, and he had a really good voice. At some points I found them a bit too showy I suppose, but that’s just me. It was also slightly hard to follow them sometimes, just because they sang mostly songs that they had written, which I didn’t know. But overall, they were great, and the songs weren’t hard to pick up at all. The speaker for the weekend was Mike Pilavachi, a British guy whose accent just made everything ten times better. I quite liked his sense of humour as well, but perhaps that’s just because I’m weird like that. After he spoke on the Friday night, there was a concert put on by Sanctus Real, who were slightly above disappointing. I mean, they weren’t bad, but they weren’t good either. They were just kind of there. And loud. That’s about it. I was wanting to mosh, but I just wasn’t in the mood when I heard what they were like. Anyways, that went until about midnight, and then we drove home. I collapsed into bed as soon as possible.

Then my alarm went off at 6:30 AM. Ugh. I dragged myself to the shower and got ready, then was to the church for 8:00 AM. We drove down to Waterloo once again, and the festivities began. To summarize, there was a general session in the morning with Jeff Deyo on worship and Mike Pilavachi speaking again, and then there was a choice of four different workshop sessions followed by activities. Kyle, Rich, and I went to a workshop with this skaterboarder dude who was Korean but who grew up in Texas. Basically, he said that when he was younger, he had a thick Texan accent. When he moved to California, a Korean guy with a Texan accent wasn’t the best choice for a friend, so he lost it quickly. Anyways, his session was quite disorganized at best, and then it was off for activities. They had a skate park that they set up, plus a mechanical bull, basketball and road hockey tournaments, and stuff like that. Most of our youth group went to the mall instead. There Kyle bought a $30 skateboard at Zellers. Why? Who knows? I think he just wanted to fit in after that workshop put on by the skater.

There was a Chapters and Starbuck’s nearby, so we headed over there after a while. Kyle and I went outside to get some good stuff to videotape. Basically, it consisted of me doing stupid stuff on a skateboard. Considering that I can barely stand up on the thing, it was pretty funny. We found a roadway behind the Chapters that was an entrance to the parking lot, and it had a bit of a slant to it. So I got this great idea. I laid down on my stomach on the skateboard, headfirst, and then went down this roadway skeleton-style. There was a sewer grate partway down, which I skillfully avoided by leaning to the left. Then, I saw a car coming. Slightly disturbed by the thought of getting run over while lying on a skateboard going down a hill, I leaned even further left to try to get out of its way. In the process, I leaned too far and started heading toward the curb. The car turned around a corner, but by this time I couldn’t correct my path. I ended up scraping the back of my hand on the curb and getting a nice little scrape that has now turned into a scab.

But that didn’t stop me. Oh, no sir. There was also a little concrete wall near the roadway. It was only maybe about a foot and a half or two feet high, and it went parallel to the road, curving slightly downward as it went along. The very beginning of it was likely about two and a half feet, while the end was only about a foot high. At the very extreme end, the downward curve became more steep, slanting down to the ground. It’s hard to describe, but basically, if you think about a nice rectangle, take the top line and slant it down about ten degrees. Then, with the more triangular shape forming, chop the top right corner off it at about a thirty or forty degree angle to the top. That is pretty much what it looked like. Anyways, the width of the wall was just slightly wider than the skateboard, so Kyle got the great idea that I should go down the wall on the skateboard. Because of my lack of balance, I figured it would be easiest to sit on the board. I tried it once right near the chopped-off corner, and it was fun, so I tried it further up to get more speed. The skateboard actually stayed pretty straight, and Kyle got a good shot of me heading straight toward the camera before I fell off the end of the wall. And yes, to answer the question that’s forming in your head, I am stupid.

That wasn’t the end of the fun, though. We headed back to the Rec Centre, and there was still about an hour or two before the general session in the evening. Outside at the back, there were a bunch of skateboarders, because there were three sets of stairs. The first set had about five or six stairs, then there was a little platform, and then another set of seven stairs. There was another platform, this one much larger, and then a third set of five stairs. Each of these stairways had railings spread evenly across them. So anyways, since I couldn’t really do much on a skateboard, I instead got a few shots of me grinding down the railings – only without the skateboard, just with my feet. It was pretty cool actually. Then we met Gopher. This guy was a kid from North Bay – his real name was Charlie, but we called him Gopher for a very good reason. Basically, him and one of his friends asked Kyle if they could borrow his skateboard. He let them, and they tried to ollie off the last set of stairs. The only problem was that Gopher didn’t know how to ollie. Someone told him to just go really fast and try to clear the stairs, and so that’s what he did. He tried probably about five or six times, and wiped out almost every time. There were only one or two times where he stayed on his feet – but not on his skateboard.

This kid was just getting warmed up. He had a nice big scrape from the concrete on the side of his shin, but he wasn’t done. He started following me around and doing what I did. On the sides of these stairways, there were square concrete blocks that held plants and dirt in an indentation on the top of them. These things were probably about five or six feet off the ground, but they were easy enough to get up onto at the top of the stairs. Rich told me to try to jump off one of these, over a wheelchair ramp and the curb, and onto the road – while doing a 360. So I agreed. I got as much of a run-up as I could, and then jumped off. I got plenty of distance, but I didn’t really get too much power to spin around. I ended up doing about a 180 and landing backwards. This propelled me backwards, and I skidded onto the road on my back. But that was okay. I was wearing a hoodie, so my arms didn’t get scraped up or anything. And more importantly, we got it on tape. My next challenge was to jump from one concrete plant thing to another one lower down, then over a five-foot gap onto a weird grate thing, and then down onto the ground. This I did without too much difficulty, and then Gopher did the same thing, almost jumping onto a couple kids sitting on the grate.

Looking for more things to do, we headed over to the basketball nets. These were those outdoor nets that have the big plastic bases on them – that are supposed to be filled with sand or something heavy. These, instead, had picnic tables put on top of the base. Kyle told me to jump and grab the net, so I pushed off of the picnic table and jumped onto it. However, the table didn’t really hold my weight. So we got John-Marc to sit on the table. Now it wasn’t going anywhere – since he probably weighs about two and a half times what I do. Gopher was next, but John-Marc had gotten up off the table by that point. He almost pulled the net down on himself. But then we found the next task. There was a streetlight on a metal pole. On this pole, there was also a stop sign on one side and a no parking sign on the other. I started to climb the pole, managed to get around the signs, and then stood on top of the stop sign. I looked up higher, but then the thought of falling and breaking my neck flashed through my mind. I got back down. Then Gopher went up. He did the same as me, standing on the sign. Then he spit on his hands, and went probably about ten feet higher than I did. Everyone was shocked, because he was probably a good fifteen or twenty feet off the ground. He tried to go higher, but people were telling him that he was going to kill himself. He eventually shinnied down, leaving everyone shaking their heads. Here was Gopher, the guy who was either very brave or very stupid.

Anyways, Saturday night was a bunch of the same stuff, with Jeff Deyo and Mike Pilavachi. It was good also. Afterwards was a John Reuben concert, which was hilarious. That guy is so pasty white that it almost hurts. And the funny thing is that as he does his concert, he’s laughing and smiling so much because he knows he’s white. It was great. Another late night, and another collapse into bed. I woke up at about 7:15 AM because of worship practice in the morning. That went quite well, and I was surprised that I didn’t fall asleep during the service at all. In the afternoon, we met at the church once again and headed to Waterloo one last time for an Israel Houghton concert. That was awesome. There were like ten black people on stage, and they had everyone pumped. I felt like I was in a Southern Baptist church service or something, or one of those outdoor revival meetings. It was amazing. It’s times like those that make me wish I was black. Why do they have to be so good at everything?

Anyways, that’s the weekend in a nutshell. There’s so much more detail that I could put in, but I just don’t have the time to mention everything. I’ve already been at this for an hour, and my fingers hurt. Today, it was hard to wake up. After being up until about 1:30 AM on Friday night, waking up at 6:30 AM on Saturday, being up until about 1:30 AM again on Saturday night, waking up at 7:15 AM on Sunday, and then being up until midnight on Sunday night, I’m pooped. I’m sore and tired, and while I wasn’t grumpy today, I didn’t say much. I just sort of sat there and tried to stay awake. That was particularly hard in Data Management class. But anyways, I managed to keep myself awake, and now I’m looking forward to relaxing and hopefully doing not much of anything for most of next week. With that said, not doing anything includes not typing anymore. So I’m done. Let’s just say that I give Overflow Convention three thumbs up. It rocked my socks off – and possibly even my shoes.

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