Monthly Archives: December 2013

2013 Top Ten

It’s that time of year again! Another year full of ups and downs is coming to a close, and since I don’t believe in setting resolutions (especially not when they are only set once a year..), it’s time again to reflect on the most memorable moments of 2013. Of course in no particular order, below is the top 10 moments (some good, some.. a learning experience..) from the past 12 months.

  • Applying for, interviewing, and accepting a job at MORfit. I laugh at the thought that I almost decided to pass on sending in a resume to this kijiji job posting almost a year ago. How different would things have been? I might not have gained as much hands on clinical experience, nor been as surrounded by many ambitious, motivated, and some of the nicest, professionals in the fitness industry, nor have gotten the opportunity to design and run a program I’ve been dreaming of setting up for years now. Its common for me to go into work stressed, or tired, or just in a bad mood- however, no matter what happens during my shift, or how long it is, I’ve noticed a trend that I always leave a shift feeling happy and reminded that what I do is what I love to do.
  • Getting one more opinion on my health from a Naturopath- and in turn, changing my eating habits. The impact improving my nutrition seriously has had on pretty much every aspect of my life continues to astound me. I have no doubt that half of what I’ve accomplished this year might not have been doable without the improvement in health I got from these changes.
  • That fateful day when I got concussed. Probably not one of my favourite moments of the year.. however, it did bring along some great opportunities. Past the hellish symptoms that lasted for far too long (partially my fault), I ended up meeting my future football supervisor that day, and gained some insight to an injury that is common- but not commonly understood. I always seem to need to learn things by actually experiencing them… not sure I’m liking this habit, but I do like the results. It’s sometimes hard to really take injuries like this seriously, until you’ve experienced them first hand. So, crappy months of symptoms that followed aside, I am grateful for what I’ve gained from the experience too. It’s led me to a tonne of personal development, learning, and helped in my career endeavours.
  • Winning my first medal class. One of many riding highs this season!
Classy

Classy

  • Facing my football fears. Going from hyperventilating after almost every practice to feeling calm and much more confident on field by the end of the season. I got to see a new side to the field of AT, and got to fall in love even more with the profession. I also go to perfect my taping skills. Bonus!

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I had a lot of great rounds this year, and a lot of great results.. but this one was special. Not only was it a personal best score for me in a derby, ringside drama and politics aside, it was a round where I wasn’t nervous or overthinking a single thing– I was just in there having fun. All I really remember about that round was coming out of the final combination, my face breaking into a smile, and having to fight back tears as I came out of the ring hearing my team mates cheering. Unbeatable feeling.

  • Momma’s wedding. For sure a highlight to the summer, seeing everyone, especially Mom, so happy. Image 1
  • All the teaching and coaching I was privileged to do. Between 4H lessons, private clients, HC, CC basketball, and helping with the older adults class this past semester I benefited from the rewards that come from helping others achieve their goals. I’ve always loved to teach others, and many of the opportunities I took on in 2013 are turning into new opportunities come the new year. The older adults program is continuing, I am helping as a lab demo for a different prof, I am starting up my own conditioning program for riders at MORfit, and continuing to help with basketball and training of horses at HC.
  • Time spent with friends and family. This was a year full of love. From trail rides with barn friends, getting lost in the pembina valley hiking, wine and dine nights, weddings, adventures driving in torrential downpours, celebrating the end of the term, teepee bonfires, and the list could continue– it’s all been amazing.
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  • Last but not least, running. I’ve done a lot of it this year (except for the 2 months I had to take off due to head stuff). I participated in my first 5k (colour me rad) and 10k (Winnipeg 10&10) this year, and beat many personal bests. I ended up going into the 10k out of a month of zero training- but still made the top half of the group with a time of 1:01hrs. My competitive side may have come out a bit. I’m hoping to participate in the what is sure to be fun Ice Donkey in February, and then see what next summer brings for me in the way of organised running. A present to myself this Christmas was going out for a run, as the weather was finally in a acceptable range (-20) and there was no wind. I’m not a person that can run more than 3 times a week, but I’ve found that that maximum is all I need to do what I do and still love and benefit from it. So that’s what I’ll keep doing!
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So, there you have it! Another year flies by, full of new and terrifying things. I have to say, I liked 2013 better than 2012. There was a little more balance in my life, or at least I was better equipped to handle the chaos. Maybe I have 2012 to thank for that. Either way, I’m excited to see what 2014 has in store for me- and excited to take on new challenges!

Readers: What stands out to you from the past year? What do you look forward to in the New Year?

"The extraordinariness of an experience doesn't just reside in the destination, or the itinerary. It relies on the identity of the experiencer..."

“The extraordinariness of an experience doesn’t just reside in the destination, or the itinerary. It relies on the identity of the experiencer…”

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Train like you mean it

I’ve been riding for a while. I’ve also been an athlete in many other sports for a while. I used to spend countless hours defending the sport of riding to my gym teacher, who didn’t want to let me count the hours I spent riding as hours towards my credit, this was the same man who coached me for 4 years in countless soccer, basketball, and badminton matches- and watched me participate in volleyball, track, cross-country, and awarded me athletic dedication awards in both my Varsity years.

The defending didn’t stop there, of course, the equestrian sport is not always highly regarded as the image of athleticism (on the rider’s part anyway). Those who don’t do it, don’t understand it. Yet, even those who don’t play basketball/football/gymnastics/etc consider those who participate athletes. You can clearly see the sweat dripping off those athlete’s bodies, you see the tole a performance has on them, and often through media you get a glimpse into their intense training regimes, nutrition, and the prices they pay for their sport.

Unfortunately, often the way the media represents the equestrian culture is questionable- and the most prominent image is one of catty drama on lesser known reality shows, the latest fashion craze, or as a sport exclusive to the wealthy and upper class. I can’t say that all of the above isn’t true, I’ve seen it all first hand- even the truly questionable “fashionista’s” on campus wearing “hunter” boots with, get this, fake spurs attached. However, I also know the other side of the lifestyle, one where sometimes success doesn’t only come to the ones wealthy enough to buy it, but also to those dedicated enough to work for it.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to write another one of those oh so popular posts about how equestrians should be held up to the same standard of athleticism as all those other athletes, and how it’s a tragedy how we aren’t thought of as super-human athletes. After all, we are in the Olympics, and “we put our lives at risk”, and blah blah blah “it’s just as hard as football”. It’s been said before, and all those rants are out there to be agreed with or argued with already. The world doesn’t need another.

I’m not going to rant on that, because to be honest, so much of this sport is unique to many others. And I know how hard other athletes work, I see it all the time in my career, and I’ve experienced it as an athlete in other sports myself. Every sport is a little bit different, and I don’t think it’s fair to complain because equestrians aren’t considered the same athlete as an athlete in another sport. Especially when often those who complain the most are the one’s who act least like an athlete.

Equestrians aren’t at the same standard as other athletes, nor are they above or below that standard. I’ve spent a lot of my University career doing projects on how aspects of what we do as riders takes serious athleticism, and changed many a doubter’s mind. The farther I get in my degree, the more people I run into that don’t need convincing- they have had experience working with or talking to equestrians that take themselves seriously- and therefore are taken seriously by others. That is what I would like to talk about. Why riders need to take themselves a little more seriously, and spend a little less time trying to convince other’s why they’re worthy of being called an athlete.

I believe in order to be an athlete, no matter what your sport, you have to earn that title– its not a label that should be freely given as soon as you sign up for a team or pay a certain amount of money for the equipment. It’s a mindset, a lifestyle, and a dedication to yourself and to your chosen purpose. It’s hard work.

In the last case study I did, on how to train an elite equestrian athlete (a project I had to fight to get permission to do), I originally thought I would spend a lot of time focusing on why a trainer should take the sport seriously- but instead ended up writing about why the rider who choses to go above and beyond just the training done in the saddle has the potential to do so much more in the saddle. A rider who trains like an athlete (in all definitions of the word), considering aerobic, strength, agility, and other types of strength training as a regular addition to time spent working directly with a horse as well as proper nutrition and a balanced lifestyle is often the rider who has more success then one who does all their training in the tack. Don’t get me wrong, a considerable amount of time working in the saddle is also a necessary part of being successful- but developing total body strength, awareness, and increasing overall self-confidence need to be developed off of the horse as well.

Why is functional strength valuable to a rider? To start, you’re on a 1200lb animal often moving at a decent pace toward large objects. If you don’t have the strength to hold yourself in position while that 1200lbs defies gravity for you, good luck sticking in the tack- let alone lasting around a full course. C often uses the phrase “Don’t pull, resist” when training. It takes more strength to patiently resist a horse pulling at your hands then it does to get into a tug-o-war with the same animal. You’re more likely to make your point with steady, consistent enduring then by fighting a losing battle. Strength is necessary, and a strong patient rider will over and over again be more effective then one who isn’t. Riding shouldn’t be a power-struggle, and developing the strength to effectively use your body in the saddle and develop a functional relationship with a horse will long-term prevent unnecessary conflict, mistakes, and injury.

What does body awareness have anything to do with riding? The horse is the one doing all the moving and balancing, right?

As a rider you gain an extra four legs, two floppy ears, and a tail. Being able to balance your own body through time and space is highly recommended if you plan on guiding that 1200lb addition around a large obstacle course. Knowing how to apply a precise amount of pressure in your ring finger, calf, or how to effectively shift your body weight in the tack to rebalance your mount and communicate the next move-  are all tools in the rider’s tool box, tools that are only sharpened with increased body awareness.

Yes, you could get away without the above two skills as a rider. You’d have a tougher time working with difficult horses, making it through week long competitions, and achieving the necessary precision to be the best.. but you’d get by. The confidence thing, though, is kind of a make it or break it thing. Confidence is the difference between a run-out at jump #2 and a clear round. Confidence is what trains a horse, and what makes a team work. In any sport, confidence is a trait found in every successful athlete.

What helps build confidence? Knowing your body’s capabilities, strength, awareness, countless time spent practicing, both skills directly related to the sport and developing those skills away from the sport as well.

Over the past couple years I’ve had a shift within my own mindset. The reason behind that was partly through education, but also through experience. The last few years have brought a huge increase in my own skill as a rider. Much of that I credit to joining a team of dedicated riders, under two of the most dedicated coaches I’ve met, in any sport. The drama that floats through the horse world doesn’t interrupt the patient process of skill development that takes place within this group. The results seen each season speak for themselves.

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I also credit that to an increase in confidence that I am doing what I need to be doing to be the best I can be in every aspect. I started paying less attention to if others took me seriously, and spent more time taking myself seriously. I started applying the training I did in other sports to training outside of the saddle. As my fitness (physical and mental) improved, my riding improved. I didn’t need to prove to others how riding should be taken more seriously. If I took it seriously, and trained like any other athlete, people started to take it seriously too.

In the New Year I will be running a training program for riders. Not only is this a first for me, teaching a class of this type, it’ll be something new for the MB riding community. I know many riders who do train outside of what they do on a horse- and it shows in their riding. Riding does require athleticism, more then many people realise, and the best way to demonstrate that is by being the best you can be. I am hoping to pass on some of my own experience both in riding and in the training industry to fellow riders through this program which is designed to enhance the skills we already have from being in the saddle.

A rider who is strong and balanced will create a strong and balanced horse.

I am hoping to periodically write bits of info about different aspects of training as an equestrian for readers as well, based on things that I incorporate into the training program, and things that I do in school. Stay tuned for those.

To all the riders, or athletes, out there reading this- What do you do to be your best? Is what you’re doing going to get you where you want to go?

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Focused assessment

Holy crap that semester flew by! As of yesterday I was officially DONE all 9 exams, and the first semester of my 3rd year. Half done the legendary 3rd year (aka the year of 9’s). Now there’s time to do not a lot of anything for a couple weeks…

I’m already bored.

I figured since I have nothing really super exciting to write about, since my last two weeks has been completely encompassed by exams and work (aka studying for exams), that I’d take a look at how I did this term on the goals I set at the beginning (in this post).

My number 1 goal for this term was Keeping my nutrition on track. Why was this important? Evidence has shown that I do so much better when I eat right. What’s right for me? All the veggies/fruits, lean proteins, and minimal starch/processed foods (no gluten, minimal dairy, minimal sugar). So, how did I do?

There was a couple iffy points throughout the term.. The first being when I decided to try adding oats (gluten free oats) and dairy back into my diet. It worked great for like a week, until I started feeling like crap again. It only took me a couple weeks after that to clue in that maybe that was why I was feeling awful and tired all the time. Then there was the “I am lazy and I just want to eat all the things” week where I gave up not eating gluten and ate way too much of it. Again, horrible outcome. But then there came the lead up to exams, where I got real serious about all things healthy again (serious enough to basically cut out Starbucks- going from once a day to once every two weeks…), and switched back to exactly what I know makes me function the best. After making those transitions, I was back in the good books with my body- I concentrated better, slept better, had better energy, was happier, and everything fell back into place. So, all in all, I didn’t do horribly- even if it was just proving to myself that nutrition is still important- and this remains a huge goal for me for next term.

Goal number 2… Not over scheduling my already over scheduled schedule. Who wants to wager a guess on how well I did with this?

Yeah, I sucked at this one. HOWEVER. The positions I was outlining in the original post (aka the Older Adults Class) turned out to be one of the highlights of my semester. The other opportunity I said yes to way back then (Horse Connection) also turned into a great experience (and a nice source of extra income when it turned into a paid position). Actually both those turned into paying position, as I accepted a research student position with the Older Adults program and a trainer position with HC. Did I stop at saying yes there? HA. I did learn to say no, too, though. Or at least balance my opportunities better. I learned (the hard way) what burn-out feels like  few times, how to predict it, and how to prevent it. Or at least be proactive about it. So while I did kind of fail at not over scheduling, I did get better at choosing the most proactive way of over-scheduling… Does that make sense?

My third goal was following the work out program I designed. This was a success. Mostly because the initial phase of my program (offseason) was basically not pushing it in the gym. This was easy, as I hardly had time to make it to the gym most of the semester (see above goal comments). I did quite a bit more riding then usual for me during the school year with HC and at M&C’s, consistently went to yoga, and did my best to get to the gym at least once or twice in a week. This is basically exactly what I had designed for an off season program. Chilled out work-outs to recoup from the competition season and stay in shape.

This goal is getting amped up a little for the next couple months, as I’m finalizing the programming for the newest MORfit Training Centre class: Function Conditioning for the Equestrian Athlete. That’s right, I made it into a class and am getting paid for it. Because I have the best boss ever and I love my job. I was amazed by the interest within the riding community I got through my preliminary feelers, and really hope that interest sticks around once it actually gets rolling.

Next was.. Actually using textbooks. Another goal I did not half bad on! And saw some results because of. Of the 4 textbooks I bought, 75% of those I read front to back, and the other one I did read the important parts of. First responder text saved my life, and Assessment (all one billion pages of it) was a huge help as well- same with taping.

I still can’t believe how fast this semester went. And how much I’ve learned in what feels like a very short time. Was it really only a few months ago that football practices were a huge source of anxiety for me? Lets not even talk about how I felt thinking about practical exams earlier in the semester. I started the semester absolutely freezing when asked a question, or asked to do something in front of someone. Now it’s become something I do everyday without a second thought. I’ve managed to become fully comfortable within the things that used to terrify me.

The day before my practical assessment exam, Claude at MORfit had me do a full assessment on a real patient… alone (well, he was in the next room listening and watching my every move). Even a couple weeks ago I probably would have freaked out at him even asking me to do that (he used to joke around about having me run an assessment alone). That night, I somehow flowed right on through a half decent assessment without any problems- and my exam the next day went quite similar. If you had told me three months ago I’d be designing a class to teach this winter, a class that I’ve been dreaming of designing for years, I would have laughed at you. If you had told me that I would feel confident dealing with injuries of all kinds both alone and in front of peers (this used to terrify me most)- again- I would have probably just thought you were hilarious. Yet, here we are. Almost every day at school, or at work I’ve found another reason why I love my job and future career (#nerd).

I managed to face all the challenges I predicted (and some I didn’t) head on, with some freaking out, but always with confidence (often acted). I put into action the theory of “acting confident to become confident” quite a bit this year, and thankfully the acting did become real confidence (insert sigh of relief).

And now to wait impatiently for marks to be posted…..

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First Response

A year ago I was writing a post around this time about how I had finally finished all 5 of my final exams. And how insane it had been. Well, happy to report I’ve finished 4 out of 9 of my finals this year, and somehow none of it seems insane anymore. I’ve stopped fighting it, and have succumbed to just rolling with whatever crazy comes next.

My life this week has literally consisted of eat, write or perform exam, eat, ride, study, work, sleep, repeat. It’s been a pretty good system, but this weekend I’ve been all about the turning my brain off. I’m making feeble attempts today to restart it to prep for the 3 exams I have coming up this week, but like anything in the -40 temperatures, it’s a slow process. Luckily none of my exams this week are too rough, and the most stressful one isn’t until Friday.

This week my only focus was reviewing some notes, and doing some practice- but above all else staying stress-free. The week started off kind of sketchy with a lot of head-aches and dizziness, which I know are a result of some neck issues (linked back to concussion fun times). Another reason I’ve been careful not to miss out on sleep, or stress too much. Thankfully I have an amazing AT who helped resolve some of that before my first written. She is on standby the next two weeks! While I did do some studying (there is no escaping..), I did more sleeping (dreaming of first responder scenarios every night.. seriously…). Wednesday was probably the day I spent the longest actually studying (11hrs), but besides that I tried to avoid hitting the books too much other then quick refreshers here and there at work, or in whatever free time I had. I honestly didn’t feel the need to cram too much, and valued the extra barn time, and sleep I got as a result. While written exams in the past sometimes caused me some issue, I’ve so far been a bit more relaxed about them- trusting that I know the right answers and going with my first response to the question. Heres hoping that pays off!

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I’m 100% positive that the reason I’ve been making it through the jungle of exams, work, and life in general lately is because of all the prep I did coming up to exam season. After midterms I realized I had to step-up my game, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt as prepared as I did going into the exams this week. Especially my First Responder practical. This exam is somewhat legendary among the AT student population. It’s probably one of the more stressful ones an AT student faces during this degree, until they take the national exams. In the weeks leading up to this week, I spent a lot of time practicing with some classmates, took the advice of some graduated students and read the text book front to back a couple times, wrote out A LOT of thought processes, and did a lot of rehearsal in my head. While I was nervous waiting to go into the exam (I don’t think anyone couldn’t be), as soon as I walked in all those nerves disappeared and everything I did just kind of flowed along. Hopefully it flowed along well enough to get me a pass! The fact that my “casualty’s” vitals went from high and somewhat shock-y at the beginning of my scenario to completely normal by the end tells me I couldn’t have done too bad.

Between all that, and working extra hours, I still found time to get out to the barn and ride my new friend Shakka a few times. Such a great study break, and he is such a fun horse to ride. Besides the fact that he makes me feel like a peanut on top of him (he is well over 17hh), he is just a big sweetheart to be around.

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Even though temperatures dropped below the -30 Friday we had a great ride with Megg and Justinian, and then again Saturday when temperatures were even more frigid, we champed it out for a whole 15 minutes in the arena (lol), but it was a much needed break for me from the week. It wasn’t until Friday and yesterday after my First Responder did I realize how much exams took out of my energy. My whole body hurt, and I was completely wiped (likely a result of the adrenaline rush I got after my Responder scenario). Even today I’m still recovering, although I don’t hurt as much- and I did feed, blanket, turn-out and muck-out 6 horses today to help out a friend. The cold temperatures probably don’t help either. You’d think I’d have adapted by now after living in MB my entire life, and having used to train full time over the winter months!

The coming week brings a measly 3 exams, another somewhat stressful practical on Friday. My strategy will remain the same: good food, sleep, and studying without stressing. Don’t mess with what works!

Stay warm out there!

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What day is it?

Yesss I realize I skipped a week… forgive me.

I’ve had a busy two weeks, as usual. Classes wrapped up this week and am now in full blown study (procrastinate) mode. I’ve realised thought that preparing for exams is a lot easier when you’ve studied consistently throughout the term. No panicked cramming for this kid.

The past two weeks also brought me wiping my diet slate clean again. Gluten and processed things were sneaking their way back in and it was definitely having an impact on my energy, and when my energy gets impacted- keeping up with my 14hr days gets a little crazy. So I got strict. And I actually stuck to it. It hit me that if I don’t have energy on my side, exam season is going to be a lot harder then it needs to be. In the last two weeks I’ve gone back to straight up clean eating. No gluten, no dairy, no processed sugars (I went from Starbucks almost every day to only twice in two weeks, and one of those times it was tea). I also made a point of not being lazy and buying food as often. My University has an absolutely amazing cafeteria, all organic and local foods, and when I do buy food there it’s always food that is good for me. But it’s expensive, and too easy. And my style is never the easy way.

So, did all this actually make a difference (asked my Naturopath yesterday at a follow-up)? Of course it did. Nutrition is everything (not that I had bad nutrition before, but it wasn’t the best nutrition for me). This got me the “uh-huh, uh-huh” knowing nod from the ND. Since getting serious about eating my energy has pretty much tripled, I sleep much better, and I’m a little quicker with my thoughts. I’ve also noticed that since taking dairy out again, the headaches have decreased. All good things with 9 exams starting Monday morning.

This past week has probably been my favourite. Last Saturday I went to a basketball scrimmage  in Carman, and was introduced to the girls (both JV and Varsity teams) as a training resource for the upcoming season (no I don’t have time for that, yes I’m going to do it anyway). Monday brought the Older Adults fitness class, which is for sure always a highlight of the week. I’m going to be sad when it’s over in a couple weeks, it’s truly a very rewarding experience. One of the co-ordinating profs came up to me as I was watching a few of the participants at the core station, and told me that his “favourite part about this class was not only seeing the progress in the older adults- but even more in watching us students smile as we work with them, and have just as much fun”. After that I headed out to Carman to basketball practice, where I ran the warm-up and a 15 min block of conditioning. I’m really loving the chances I’m getting to teach/train others. Between the older adults and the basketball team I worked with Monday, I was on cloud-9. I even got to help with actual skill work and scrimmage with the girls at the end of practice, and find out I can still play like I could in high school-maybe even better (although I was killer sore the next day!). It’s becoming clear that I picked an appropriate career path, every time I turn around I’m finding something that I love more within this profession.

The rest of the week was pretty standard. Classes ended on Wednesday (seriously, already?) and since then it’s been all work and study. Oh, and riding. I rode two on Thursday at HC, one on Friday (Shakka), and two Saturday (Will, and Shakka). Shakka is a project horse at M&C’s that I’m hoping to be able to hack every now and again, especially throughout December.

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I had a great work-out on Wednesday, which somewhat bit me in the ass on Thursday when after 3 hrs working at HC (2 rides), and then 7 hrs at MORfit brought some very sore arms and some less then light legs to stretch out. Needless to say I was pretty tired. On Thursday Claude had me teach all the lower body stretching to a client, which was interesting. It’s not something that’s particularly hard in theory.. but (and maybe it was the fact that I was exhausted) I found myself stalling out more than once on simple explanations. Luckily, Claude is very good at pushing me to the point where things actually stick, and after stumbling through the evening I feel much more confident in what I know. Again, that push off the deep end learning strategy is working.

This week I also began working on (actually putting pen to paper) setting up my Functional Training Class geared towards equestrian athletes. This is something I’ve been thinking about for so long, and I’m finally getting the chance to put those thoughts to action (courtesy of my awesome boss at MORfit). I sent out some feelers early in the week to the riding community, and got a fantastic response of interest back. My progress on this is definitely going to be hindered by exams for the next couple weeks, but the gears are turning. Some things that will hopefully be sorted soon are pricing, timing, and specific goals and progressions I want to aim for within the class itself. I’ve found a love for helping others discover how health and fitness can make a difference in their life and goals in so many places this year, and I can’t wait to explore how I can do that in the sport I already am highly involved in.

I’m absolutely loving how I’ve been able to get creative with my goals in this career so far. Every side I see of where my future can go is very exciting, and I always have an answer for one of the most popular questions I get: “What are your job prospects post-grad?”. I almost always say that there is good prospects, especially for those who are willing to be creative with how they go about things. I used to say that because it’s what I’d heard from other graduates, but now I’m learning how many little windows of opportunity there are. Like I said earlier, sometimes it’s like every time I turn around there is a new idea forming beside knowledge I already have.

So, here we are on the eve of exams. 4/9 this week…Tomorrow I start off with my massage practical, and then Tuesday is First Responder written. Thursday brings pathology and Friday is the big First Responder practical. It’ll be a busy week for sure, that will go by way too fast. I’m feeling strangely prepared for everything. It’s almost harder not to overpressure myself then it is to review and relax at this point. If that makes sense? I’ve noticed that students have a way of working themselves into a complete freak-out over finals, when really, it does them no good. Especially when it comes to First Responder. I’m lucky in that I’ve found myself surrounded by recent grads, or working ATs through practicums and work, who, although sometimes have horror stories, also come with tips, advice, and reaffirming words in regards to all the exams up ahead. I stocked up on all the essential foods today, lots of fresh (as fresh as you can get in Winterpeg) fruit and veggies too cook with over the next couple weeks and keep me going. #brainfood

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The saddest part of the above picture is that that basket is completely full of all things healthy, spinach, kale, eggs, apples, blueberries, onion, green beans, vegetable protein/vitamin powder, etc etc = $110. This will probably last me a week ish, feeding just me. The guy in front of me, shopping for a family, had a cart full of household goods and food (some healthy, some not), and  total of $80. While I fully believe that money spent on one’s health is never money wasted… but it does make me wonder how different the world might be if the good for you things were priced like the not-so good for you stuff. And of course, which is more expensive long-term: health, or sickness? I’m sure it all balances out in the long run, but I know my bank account misses the living off KD and ramen days.

Think studious thoughts for me this week!

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