Category Archives: Health and Wellness

Forecast

Letting things go is hard. Until, you do. I had a good childhood. I was never left without, and I was always surrounded by people who loved me. I had a childhood that doesn’t stand out, so much so that until recently I even haven’t had a lot of stand out memories. I used to always joke that I’ve repressed them. I had little things.. collecting caterpillars in pink rubber boots, pretty dresses I got to wear to church on Sundays, the stale, dusty smell of the old living room couch in the sun, snail shells in the river mud, frogs singing me to sleep in the spring and summer, leaves and straw bales in the fall, the red swing set. 
The last year or so, I’ve begun to get more. No coincidence this comes with the house my parents built being sold. I haven’t lived there in years, with frequent visits after my parents divorced becoming less as I grew up and had my own schedule to maintain. Me and that house have always been close, but at a distance. The oppressive energy that surrounds the place was both a familiar comfort, and a luminous being. Yet, it was still the house my parents built. It is still the house parts of me grew up in, and parts of me stayed in. The house has a personality of it’s own, and I both relished being with it and held apprehension about the ghosts I danced with there. 

A big part of me always envisioned living there as an adult one day, taking back the house and filling in the blanks I thought I missed from my childhood. My inner child still lives in those walls. Deep down I’ve known that that house isn’t for me, it’s a memory but not a future. The ghosts within it aren’t meant to haunt me anymore. But we hold on to what we’re familiar with, right? 

I heard the frogs tonight. They were deafening. As I drove away for likely one of the last times. All of a sudden all those years came flooding in. The good, the bad, the unresolved. I felt the childish innocence of running through the trees by the river finding glass bottles washed ashore, snails, caterpillars, crunching leaves, old horse shoes from the old farm yard. I remembered the childish fear I had of the basement, the spiders, and the curiosity of the space underneath the raised deck. The terror of the bees that hung out in the gardens along the walkways. The confusion I felt when my parents told me we’d be separating as a family, confusion mostly at the sadness I was feeling- I wasn’t exactly clear on the situation but I remember knowing that it was appropriate to cry, maybe more because I was picking up on the adult’s feelings. I remembered when I tried to scream louder then my parents, and I remembered summer nights spent snuggled between them both on the deck watching thunder storms roll past. 

In a span of 10minutes, with those frogs, I let all those different memories and emotions run through my body. And as a good friend told me once, I let it go. I took a recording of the frogs and took some pictures in my minds eye, and let go. I drove to my home, my new apartment that I picked for myself and have found my next story in. It was a piece of the processing I hadn’t yet done. It started after the initial shock and anger that the house was being sold, and was put on hold while I accepted that initial fact. Now, my inner child had to move out. My resentment to the hold the property had on me needed to turn into something more productive. It’s a part of me wherever I go, and fighting yourself isn’t progressive..is it? 

The last three months on almost every level have been about letting go of everything except the present. Reacting only to the forecast of the day- not to the forecasts of yesterday or tomorrow. What good does it do to dress for the weather that’s already passed, or that isn’t here yet? Dressing for warmer weather ahead does us no good if it’s still cool outside. A quote by TS Eliot has stuck in my head many days lately: “We must remember that at every meeting we are meeting a stranger.”..I think that applies to ourselves just as much as it does with others, and another by Osho: “An alive person has to be unpredictable. What is going to happen in the next moment cannot be forecast.”, along side the words love and gratitude. I’ve found myself sending love and gratitude towards any negative thought, or worry, or desire my monkey mind comes up with. Whether it’s a person, a memory, a fear, or a straight up thankfulness for an experience. A funny thing has happened with this practice. I get what I wish returned. Love, and gratitude. People and experiences step in where I didn’t even know I was needing a filler or a boost- and this only perpetuates the love and gratitude. 

Because of this- the flood of memories and grieving like process seem like a natural step forwards. Just a fascinating storm passing on a humid summer night sitting cozy between love, and gratitude.  

10 things I’ve learned in 3 years

About 3 years ago I started marketing my skills to a population I was familiar with. 

Within a few months I was running a small, client focused business. Starting with weekly fitness classes advertised to one specific group, and then a research project based on the same group. I found my first few regular clients- who have stuck by my side to this day. Then came doing workshops and seminars- a handy asset to working with niche populations. 

A year later I began marketing my practice as a Kinesiologist and Movement specialist, and soon after that branched from my niche market into my first location in a rural gym setting as the clinician. Then, not long after that, I certified as an Athletic Therapist and continued to run my rural practice and mobile based business. Last fall I found my first city location and cut down my mobile practice to settle into a set location. 

I messed up my first window decal. I was so tired a few times I napped on my table in between clients. I still spend almost as much time travelling to new rural contracts as I did when I was a purely mobile based business- just a little smarter now with my scheduling (most of the time). It took me 6 months to build a steady client base in the first location, and now at almost the same in my city spot I am building a steady base here. Within the first 6 months I was also lucky enough to take on my first associate,  a fellow AT to fill the empty space while I’m bouncing between locations. 

I knew early in my University career that I would be better of being self-employed. I already had a strong sense of what I wanted, and where I wanted to go (although, that has changed over and over again through the first few years already). The idea of taking my own risks and building my own successes never scared me, however I did learn much more then I thought I needed to know way back as a 2nd year. 

Approaching my 3rd year working for myself, I am proud that my own business is now my main source of income. This Spring will be the first spring I am my own contractor, having phased out my part time positions and only kept the contracts that allow me to do me, and build Integrative. 

The last few months I’ve been reflecting on my purpose and my visions- and with that has come some enlightening memories and lessons from the first few years in business. So, in no particular order… here’s some of the things I’ve epiphanied on.. 

Quadruple Check your Marketing Materials

I mentioned earlier how I messed up my first window decal. Before that, I messed up my first big order of business cards. Seriously- there is possibly no more humbling experience then excitedly opening your latest vista print order and realizing you’ve made a typo, ordered the clear backdrop instead of the white on (when your logo has a white square behind it), or put the wrong credentials in the wrong place. Check it once, sleep on it, check it 40 more times.. then press check out. 

Treat people honestly and with integrity

And they’ll be your clients forever. This seems super obvious, right? Unfortunately in the health care professions I’ve seen and been hearing from clients that it’s a rarity. And I’ll admit, sometimes it’s not easy either. Health care professionals are hugely prone to burn out, and we are human. However- does this make it okay to write of a patient because of a first impression, or forget to listen to their whole story and perspective just becuase we think we’ve heard it all? Not really. I’ve had clients in the last few years that frustrate me, throw me under the bus, or give me a certain impression right off the bat. Ultimately, it’s not your job to babysit clients… and sometimes you’ll get blamed for that. But you know what? 9/10 within a few sessions of dedicating an effort to hearing them out, giving them every chance, and guiding them towards what they’re really trying to express- the whole picture changes. No matter what business you’re in, or what kind of clients you’re dealing with… often giving them a few chances to really open up to what they need from you is hugely beneficial for them and for your business. For that 1/10 clients that wasn’t happy, caused an issue, or wrote off the plan… well, they were great learning experiences.. and just a part of this thing we call humanity. Roll with them, and you never know.. they sometimes show back up at your doorstep. I’ve had clients that expressed interest years ago, and are now just making the decisions for themselves to come see what I can offer them. Something they definitely won’t do if you also wrote them off. 

It’s okay to take a day off…

Adding to the above point… sometimes we DO get burnt out, or have a day where we just are not up to dealing with our day. Someone asked me not too long ago if I ever take days off. The answer was yes, but I don’t schedule them (except for Sundays.. step back from my Sundays!). Guaranteed if I schedule set days off those will be the day I get the most booking requests, or have a board meeting scheduled. I’ve noticed that days off come naturally. Either the weather makes it impossible to drive to clients, all my clients go on vacation seemingly simultaneously, or my body tells me I need a day. Listening to what is presented to you is HUGE, and nobody will blame you if you cancel on them with good reason once in a while. For someone who works generally 60hr weeks over 6 days, majority of the year… I have yet to have anyone write me off because I called off a day or two here and there unexpetedly. I love what I do, but in order to do what I do well- I HAVE to make sure I’m at my best. I am also quite blessed with great clients who make my day to day work an inspiring time. Rarely do I actually WANT to take a day off from that! 

Never. Stop. Learning. 

Yes, conferences are pricey and textbooks are boring, and there is always too much to read when it comes to articles, social media, and other professionals’ work. HOWEVER… when I start getting stale or bored with my treatment plans, or fall into a rut.. they only thing that drags me out is new material. I come back from workshops completely and utterly fascinated by what I do again, and refreshed. For a week or so I talk way too fast and regurgitate so much information into client’s ears they usually leave wide eyed and terrified.. but I have fun. It’s a great burn out prevention method… and an easy way to feed a travel addiction, with business write-offs ūüėČ 

Triple check your schedules and review your day the night before

My intern calls it the “classic Kathlyn” when I text her that I’m running late or have completely reworked my day last minute. I’ve been doing this since high school, booking myself silly and then wondering why I have days where I am running non stop and never on time for anything. I definitely still do this- I genuinely think it’s just part of my charm, apparently. I have learned that if I review my numerous schedules the night before, and remind myself what my motivations are for the next day. I also make sure I’m syncing my schedules every few days. Slowly but surely I’m less and less late for things… slowly.. but surely.. 

It’s okay to not have an answer, and it’s okay to not be cookie cutter.

There’s been so many times in the last few years that I’ve just not had a clear answer, or needed to go research, or had to explain something that I was still trying to understand myself. This is one things I’ve really come to appreciate from my University program.. they not only taught us thoroughly on the theory, but on having confidence in our explanation (even if we were internally freaking out). It’s okay not to know. And, it’s okay to be saying something different from what someone else has said. In the health care world, every specialist is likely going to say something different. If my decision doesn’t match theirs, it doesn’t mean that either one of us are wrong.. therapy, rehabilitation is all about trial and error sometimes. While balancing a patient’s mental state and keeping everyone involved motivated. There is absolutely no cookie cutter approach to this.. and that is perfectly fine with me. It wouldn’t be pretty blasais otherwise, no? 

Learn to decipher when it’s the pain talking, and when it’s your client’s real personality. 

I’ve begun working with more and more patients with chronic pain. The first few sessions with these patients is always a battle of “I’m pretty sure they hate me” running across my mind. I’ve realized that they probably don’t have a huge opinion on me as an individual. They’re coming to me in a place of frustration, exhaustion, and chronic levels of pain. They have bigger fish to fry. They’re short speaking style, closed off personality, and questioning is more then likely a defence against what they’ve already experienced within the system and through their injury or condition. My only job is to try and change they’re perception of the pain, and treat them as a fellow human being. It’s not my place to take anything personally, as a professional- only to listen to their reactions and adapt my treatment plan to best suit their state. They come around, they always do- some in less time then others. Some even without quick changes in their symptoms will appreciate your effort and care more then anything, and this usually is the key in unlocking the doors they’ve closed off against people trying to help. 

It’s okay to charge for what you love to do. 

This one is a constant internal battle. Probably my biggest insecurity is asking people to pay me. Or telling people pricing. I truly love what I do, seeing patients improve is usually my greatest reward (cheesy, shuddup). However, I also have aspirations and travel plans, and bills, and rent, and expenses like food and hydro to pay. Oh, and a car. And an affinity for Starbucks. I’ve also recognized that 95% of clients value my work and want to pay me for it. They don’t hesitate to pay for the service they’ve booked. If anything I’m always the one making it an awkward exchange. If you take pride in what you do- show it by pricing yourself accordingly. One thing I wish they taught us more in University was how to price our services accordingly to their value, and the standards in the province. Underpricing leads to undervalue, while over pricing gets missed in the market. It’s a fine balance. 

Connect Connect Connect!

We live in an age of word of mouth. Whether it’s shares on social medial, tagging, or regular face to face meetings.. other people’s opinion of what we do business wise is uber important to success (yes I said uber). This isn’t something that’s taught very often. I think it should be. About 15% of my current client base found me over social medial, another 30% or so found me through events and educational workshops.. the rest found me from word of mouth referencing. Every percent counts when you’re building, so don’t take for granted the power of a good social media presence, a solid networking plan, and impressing every client in some way. Being able to network comes from a place of having a sense of your purpose. Having drive and having a deep seated passion for what you do, and where what you do can take you. Big or small. People love people like that. People you want to network with, anyway. Learn how to sell yourself, and exude confidence in what you have to offer on any front- while remaining humble. Tough at first, especially for someone more prone to the intervertebral side of the spectrum- but once you learn it it’s like riding a bike. 

Stay professional, especially when people surprise you

As with anything there will be haters. There will be those mimicking and those trying to intimidate. There will be personal things coming into business ordeals. Humans will be humans. I’ve learned to take a neutral approach to everything. Rarely is something directed at you actually about you…. so why be effected by it? We’re all a reflection off the people we interact with, after all, so how they react or act is generally them expressing their own issues- not attacking yours. Beware of these people, but don’t engage. Engaging feeds a fire that is better left to simmer on it’s own. You do you, boo. 

 I think the biggest lesson that’s come out of all these little ones is that staying true to myself, and what I value as my purpose, has to come above all other things. Doing my job when I’m not in top form doesn’t do anyone good. Not only do I lack energy and intuition with my clients, they don’t draw the same value from my side of the deal. It’s okay to step back and rejuvenate once in a while, and it’s even more important to do regular maintenance on yourself to prevent burn out on ongoing fatigue. Self care is a huge enhancement to your business! 

Living and learning, everyday. I’m still completely enamoured by my career and excited to see what’s coming in the next few years. Every year comes with new exciting developments (every week, sometimes!).


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“Sit with the pain; be with the pain” Hindsight Blog: The Descent

I jolted awake at 2am,at  5200masl, and noticed I had drooled blood all over my sweater (lululemon took a beating on this trek). Had my lip split? Was I coughing up blood in my sleep? Did I have a pulmonary edema as a result of altitude sickness?

With no other symptoms,¬†my hypochondriac brain was mildly too tired to overreact¬†and frankly well past caring- I let myself drift back off to the oxygen deprived sleep I’d come from. Living in the alternate reality of the Diamox dreams. What was I going to do about it anyway?

The rest of my group trekked to Kalapathar that day, starting at 4:30am. I was too sick and too tired to bother- knowing that the point of the hike was to see a panoramic sunrise view of the Everest range, and it was dead cloudy anyway. By the time they got back around 9am, I had only been awake for an hour, but seen the Everest range from the bathroom window. My body said no, and my mind followed suit. The stories of hallucination from my trekking mates were entertaining, but I was happy I continued hallucinating within my dreams that morning instead!


After breakfast that day we began our descent. Our head guide was very anxious to get us down to lower altitudes, as every single one of us was starting to suffer- including himself. I only remember pieces of this day, but I do recall this being where I really started feeling extremes of emotion and pain. Also where I began using the “Om Mani Padme Hum” mantra in my head. Compassion for inner and outer struggles, compassion for the journey- “the jewel within the lotus”, the light in the dark, the blessing from the curse. Moving slowly down from over 5000 back to around 4000 was physically challenging in a whole new way. Descending was always difficult in that it’s hard impact on all your joints- but now, after 10 days of trekking, every joint was a little bit louder. And, descending we were- but that doesn’t mean there weren’t any hills to climb. We stopped briefly in Lombouche for lunch (4500), but most of us had lost all appetite. I think I fell asleep at the table for a while. Then we carried on down to a small tea house a few hours down. I am currently calling this place “Yak House” because A) I can’t remember most of this day, B) I misdated my journal and skipped this day, and C) it was where we saw our first yak on the way up.


We spent the night here, and it was here where we experienced the first bathrooms we refused to use (we being Lisa and I), and instead used one of the many surrounding boulders. I believe it was this day that I began listening to music for the first time while trekking. The first day I did this on the descent I couldn’t stop smiling. This was likely a combination of increased oxygen to my brain and a good playlist.

The next morning we carried on towards Tengboche. The hardest part of this day was the incline up to the monastery which was about 30-45min. Again, more oxygen and music kept me pumping all the way up. Before we joined a worship with the resident monks, we had a few hours off in which we got to each lunch and I TOOK MY FIRST SHOWER IN 7 DAYS!!!!!! Finally, I started to feel human again. I also had my first “steak” here- which was basically ground meat in the shape of a steak.. Regardless.. protein and iron.. two things I was definitely craving.


That afternoon we joined in on a worship in the monastery. Since it was a Saturday, they did a 2hr long meditation. This was very different from any meditation or worship I’ve experienced. Complete with chanting, horns, drums, and silences (usually ended with startling blares from the numerous horns). During the periods I was able to meditate I transitioned between flashbacks to a conflict I’d had a year or so prior to this, moments of pure calmness, and moments of unsettledness. Flashing back to memories of feeling isolated, alone, scared- but also calm. A conflict that had never really been resolved within myself or the other person within it. Then during periods of the loud music I saw colours.. red, yellow flashes. Warm, but chaotic. It was a very cyclical process, and I can’t say that I came out of it feeling peaceful or settled- rather quite the opposite.

We were now sitting at just over 3200masl, a much nicer altitude then what we’d become accustomed to. That night I dreamt I was being circled and chased by a darkness. It was always watching, always waiting to attack- completely out of my control. I woke up periodically shivering, even though it wasn’t cold.

Over the next few days I would learn that I was not the only one to experience that dream at that monastery.

The next morning I woke up with an anger I hadn’t ever experienced. I couldn’t spend any time in the guest house, and as soon as breakfast had ended I took myself outside to pace. I felt suffocated and a deep need to get away from everyone and the monastery.


As soon as the group started our descent to Namche that day, I had my ear phones in and didn’t talk to anyone for the next 3 hr trek. As much as some parts of this trek are hazy, the pure rage I felt this day is still clear as day. I don’t know where it came from, but I do understand it was something I probably needed to let go of. Since my return home there’s been some interesting revelations and emotional adjustments that I can only explain with the rage I felt on this day, and the calm I felt after letting it out.

We spent a few hours back in Namche, shopping and what not, before continuing our way down to our final tea house on the long trek. It was here I tried some Nepal home brew- which tasted like watered down Kool-Aid and Antifreeze (really, still confused about that). At this point everyone was a strong mix of unbelievably fatigued, but also so excited to be pretty much done. We had a celebration that night, complete with dancing.


The next day, the last trekking day, we returned to Lukla. This was our first day of constant rain, and our “waterproof” gear failed every test. So did the zippers on my backpack a few days prior. So, completely soaked and entirely empty- we landed at the tea house where we started it all. When my football coaches saw the picture of me below- they stated “holy sh** we’ve never seen you look that exhausted before…”. They knew me in University as an AT student. Everest you win!


That night Lisa and I taught the Australian in our group, Noah, how to line dance in a shady “Irish Pub” underneath a “Starbucks” in Lukla. The trekking was done, but the adventure was FAR from over!

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Between Serenity and Rage

What a weekend in Long Beach!

The title, which has not much to do with this post, is stolen from a line at the summit this weekend.. One of the final presenters- Brian Nguyen- an ATC in the NFL, and then for celebrities like Mark Wahlberg- he hit home with his talk on the chaos and the calm of our industry (fitness and health). After a presentation built around the ups and downs and his own coming to terms with his vulnerabilities- his close athletes dying on field, his bond with his niece, his choices to leave jobs and personal epiphanies when it came to work and life. He used a scene from the X-men to show that sometimes the best moments and best abilities come from that place just before chaos, but not close to calm.

This was one of many challenging seminars- ranging in focus from clinical tools and research, cutting edge methods, workouts (holy moly Todd Durkin), hands on practice, ¬†business focused lectures, and motivational kicks in the ass from the top in the industry. The conference turned into so much more then just a fitness summit. It challenged me in every realm: physically, mentally, and emotionally. I went into the conference with a urge to know more about business practice, finances, and some extra motivation- and I came out with them all..not even expecting to find them at this event. I am still a little sore from the combo of Pete Twist’s and Liebenson’s fascial patterning work and Todd Durkin’s workout, and my hike on Monday.

Now I’m home for another week or so, before flying to South Asia.

All of a sudden things are moving and shifting so quickly.

That’s they way fall happens though, isn’t it. One day you’re lazing about, floating through summer- and the next the Universe shifts you into high gear and turns on the productivity centre in your brain.

California was amazing. I learned so much at Perform Better, more then I can justify with words. My clinical practice shifted and will be shifting so much in the next few months as I try out the new ideas I was privy to in Long Beach. I’m sure the patients and clients I’ve already thrown these new things were only mildly thrown off by my Wednesday morning enthusiasm.

On my day off in Cali I ventured into Hollywood and did a 6.5mi hike in the Hollywood hills. Starting at the Wonder View Trail I hiked the peaks to the wisdom tree, then across the peaks to the Hollywood Sign, and then down, up, and around Mt. Lee to the Griffeth Observatory. I was pretty done by the time I finished, with temperatures ranging around 30C- I noticed some mild sun-stroke symptoms the next day. Majority of my hike I was thinking “I’m sure glad Everest won’t be this hot”. Needless to say I survived!



The interesting thing for me, as always, with all the bouncing around I’ve done this summer, is how I can leave in one headspace and return in another. This time I did kind of a roundabout with my head space. As usual I didn’t really want to get on the plane home, but this time it was because I knew I had some hard work to do with my arrival here.

Most of the summer I’ve floated ideas about where I want to be. I vetted moving to Calgary, moving to the states, moving to Ontario, before finally getting the gut feeling I needed to stay put for a bit longer. There’s still things I need to learn and process here. And, Winnipeg is really a good base for someone like me who spontaneously hops on planes. For now. Upon making that decision I found a second location (besides my rural spot) in the city to begin taking clients at. This is exciting and an amazing opportunity to take my business to the next level. Another decision that hit home as I flew over Denver the second time. If I’m staying here I have some work to do. I am ready, deep down I am ready, to do some serious building on my professional life. Freelance writing opportunities have come along too with the new location (more here later)- and my professional realm is expanding quickly. This isn’t where the hard work is for me (other then getting on top of proper invoicing schedules.. this is not a strong point!). The work for me lays in my 20-something brain. It has been bubbling away under the surface and isn’t quite ready for the fall to hit yet. It’s enjoying the summer holidays.

Yesterday, after two long days simultaneously recovering from the Cali hangover/sunstroke/jetlag, I got home and started cleaning.

If you know me, you know I don’t clean.

I re-arranged my entire apartment, cleaned out my closet, folded clothes, and organized. I set up a new administrative program, and I creeped myself on facebook for approximately 5 hours.

Seriously.

The creeping wasn’t really planned (is it ever?). But, it served a huge unexpected purpose. It was like someone sweeping out the gutters of my brain. As I flipped through different pictures from the last few years- I relived the moments hidden behind them. The parts of the memory that nobody else knows, the perceptions I had at the time, and the person I was then. I can honestly say year to year that I look like a different person each time.What reflections did I have here? Well, for one- I’m super jealous of 2013/2014 me’s¬†physique.. paleo body was on fleek (is that what kids say now?). Secondly, I saw the toll certain things took- no matter the smiles. I also saw how much I’ve grown, and evolved. Sometimes looking at yourself as a different person allows you to straight talk to yourself as if you were actually another, hard hitting, honest person looking from the outside in. That’s something we all need sometimes.

Last night was the first semi-dreamless night I’ve had in a while. I dream a lot lately- sometimes about realistic things, sometimes about flying bears on bikes. The realistic things hit closer to home- and reflect the inner workings of my head- though, not always in a way that brings closure for my conscious brain. They make me think. I can’t say I woke with mountains¬†of energy this morning- but I woke in a state of calm¬†that only comes after some emotional sweeping.

As I prep mentally and physically for Nepal (9 days!), the physical challenges I’m facing seem less intimidating. Even my bum leg has shaped up. When it comes to mentally I feel confident about the endurance challenges- but have a intrigue over what emotional hurdles will come up. As I’ve found with travelling, I’m hit with the unexpected emotional regurgitations (usually the ones that I plan to “forget” to pack on my way out the door). They always find a way into the suitcase, though, don’t they. This is part of the reason I feel so drawn to this trek- because there’s no escaping anything internal on the side of Everest. I’m only beginning to get used to the feeling of mixed apprehension, optimism, avoidance, grief, and enlightenment that I’m sure is only going to get stronger. Yes, it would seem I need to literally climb a mountain to figure the mole hills out in my head.

But hey- I wrote tonight! And I wrote almost every day in California. This is progress for someone who has been fairly blocked writing wise for a year or so. Yay me!

 

Indian Food for Breakfast

I found myself in the mountains last week on a much needed vacation. I realized how therapeutic the mountains have been to me in the last year. I’ve found myself there twice, first last year around this time in need of an emotional reset.. and now this time around in need of a total recharge.

Both time, I got what I needed.

I haven’t written as much as I used to. Not necessarily because of a lack of inspiration, but mostly because of a decrease in the need to write out my thoughts. I realize now how much this blog has been a kind of therapy for me.. and will continue to be in the coming years.. but also how much the last year has seen me develop other releases and ways of organizing myself.

We left for BC, my significant other and I, both of us quite burnt out- even if we didn’t fully realize it, from our respective falls. For me I’d had a year of preparing for my CATA exams (results still pending), figuring out my next steps, and constantly working on my business and promoting myself. No, it wasn’t 10 courses/term and multiple exams and practicals.. but it is a new territory for me.. this life outside of student life. A week away was exactly what I needed.. and it couldn’t have been better.

We drove through the night and arrived at our destination at a ripe 5am (we aren’t the best at getting up early to leave early).. and had a lovely sleep in to wake up to some gorgeous weather and a mountain view from our rented condo. From there we spent the week rotating between visiting close by hot springs, breweries, hiking, and watching movies on the couch. Rising each morning to a beautiful combination of coffee, local organic eggnog (so good), and a bit of whisky (best combo imaginable). It was amazing to just be able to turn off from the rest of the world, not worry about alarms or wearing a watch, not having any reason to check our phones or emails.. a whole week of just being in the moment and not worrying about the rest of the world. Something the both of us needed!

     
 Coming home and back to reality was something we both procrastinated on.. starting the 16hr drive late on our last day, stopping for a night outside of Calgary at a friends, and then re-starting the now 13hr drive late the next day.. then making a extended stop at Costco, we found ourselves driving through SK at 1am, both exhausted, grumpy, and sick of being in the car. So.. on the hunt for a motel we went. After a whole week of no worries, I started to notice now, in this moment of pure exhaustion and annoyance at having to return to real life, how fatigue can effect our ability to make choices about how we want to react to a scenario. After bickering about something around Moosejaw, we both ended up laughing and breaking the mood.. realizing we were choosing to be annoyed and didn’t have to choose that.

We ended up finding a motel in Indian Head, SK.. a town where there really isn’t much. Somehow they were open at 2am when we rolled in and gave us a key to a room. Typical of a small town highway motel, the heat wasn’t turned on in the room and the window was broken and covered with cardboard. When it’s -15 out… even turning the heater on, there wasn’t much hope of this room warming up. So we trundled back to the desk/bar/restaurant and got another room.. this one with a intact window, but no heat again. So turning on the small heater in the room we left for a nightcap at the desk/bar/restaurant to let the room warm. After a long chat with the bartender/owner (one of a family from India), we headed back to the much craved bed. Only to find the heater in the room really not doing much heating.

Not having any better options, imagining we were camping in the late fall, 10 degree weather, we had a few hours of sleep. That morning, we decided to try the Indian restaurant within the motel.. owned and ran by the Indian family. After a lengthly talk with the bartender (the brother) about how they prepared the food, and how it was the best in the greater area.. how could we not? We weren’t disappointed.. and as we sat there eating breakfast, again leaving late on our still 5hr drive home.. I felt a small bit of anxiety creep up over how we still had a long drive, and I was tired, and real life was coming back upon us… then.. mid bit of butter chicken at 9am in the middle of SK in a trucker motel.. I chose to let that anxiety go and enjoy the moment I was in.

That simple act of letting a emotion float across my consciousness, observe it, and let it pass is an ability it took me years to develop. It’s more accessible in some moments then in others, but what I noticed in this particular instance was how much easier it has been becoming for me as of late. A skill I think I’m going to use quite a bit in the coming year. I’m predicting this year to be a year of unpredictables, and am grateful to have begun developing how to live in the moment and enjoy the here and now as much as possible.

  
Happy Holidays everyone!

 

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Revival

We’re always given what we need.. isn’t that the way things shake out?

The last week or so I struggled a bit with my old friend impatience. After a busy couple months of seeing and experiencing my business and professional image develop and blossom seemingly non-stop, things stayed consistent. Consistently great I have to say. April and May I was booked every weekend here or there doing clinics and work shops for facilities, and busy with one on one clients outside of my other shift work. As invigorating as it was seeing all that growth, when things get consistent.. I start to get bored. Not in a bad way, but the impatience crept in again. My mind had time to start craving the next step. More. Always more.

This is a staple of my personality. I live for constant improvement, learning, and change.

This past long weekend (conveniently the first show weekend of the outdoor season here too), I found myself with 4 solid days off. Off shift work. Off clients. Off teaching. It was great. I got to spend time with the guy and old friends. I got to sleep until 1pm two days in a row and not be bothered about it. It provided the perfect opportunity for me to start thinking about what I wasn’t doing yet. There is always a “yet”. Come the start of the regular week, I was full on craving for new and exciting things. Feeling already bored with what I had just started.

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Luckily, I’ve done a fair amount of personal development this year so far.. and I recognised this in myself. While acknowledging the impatience didn’t make it disappear, it did calm the fire slightly. I realise now looking back that sometimes my cases of burn-out were probably self-induced cases of letting the impatience and unending desire for more right now take over. Patience, gratitude, reflection have been my themes this year… and they are fantastic lessons to bring into motion for preventing that desire from turning into an unquenchable agitation with the pace of the Universe.

On Tuesday I all of a sudden had the drive to plant some plants. Which, if you know me, is soooooooo out of the norm. But, since I’m learning more and more to trust my intuition.. I went out and bought some little things, a bag of soil, and some cute containers. I came home, got my hands dirty, and planted some mint, rosemary, and a series of succulents. I’ve always had a thing for succulents. Probably because I know I can’t kill them easily.

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The simple act of planting those plants immediately settled me. I found myself sitting on the floor of my parking garage slowly designing where I wanted my succulents sitting and centring everything in each container.

The next day after a a great workout, and then a long afternoon of tutoring anatomy, I headed out to meet and work with one of my long time clients on her horse. I’ve been so in depth with my consulting work with riders and loving it that I haven’t A) had time to miss my own riding or B) thought that I did miss it. I ride Felix here and there, but the deep seated drive for my own riding hasn’t been around lately and I haven’t been worried about that.¬†If I’ve missed anything lately it’s been the time spent with Lauren and Megg at the barn chatting and riding together. I do honestly miss the feeling of community there was at M&C’s barn with those ladies. While we three stay in touch, Megg is off pursuing her dreams in France and soon UC Berkeley for a PHd. and Lauren is as busy as I am most of the time. When I got to my client’s barn I got that same sense of community, and while watching and working with her on her horse, and the others around riding, I rediscovered the challenge and passion for my consulting work that I thought I was losing the last few weeks. I got my edge back for my work. I also felt a stirring of the riding bug deep down. I met a horse at that facility that stole my heart a little.. and it awakened the desire to get on. I came home from that evening feeling so revived and fulfilled.

My hard working client and Moe.

As I’m assisting a long time prof with First Responder again this year, I am getting the chance to continue my ongoing review of AT coursework preparing for November’s Certification exams. On Tuesday I was informed that I’d be teaching Thursday’s lecture/lab on boarding and wound care.. as well as reviewing a quiz the class had written, solo as the prof was away… It was a ohhhhkay here we go moment for me. The class came and I got my way through teaching boarding techniques just fine.. but it’s the first time I’ve gotten to lead a class alone and been the sole one responsible for their education. It was quite the experience and definitely reaffirmed not only my own abilities but my desire to be in this field. Just when I was starting to get anxious and impatient. Just in time.

Today I noticed my succulents had grown new bits (blooms? extensions? pods?). It was the perfect symbolism for how I feel after the last couple days. There is always growth and new things happening.. just not always so drastic as to be seen by the impatient eye. It’s sometimes enough just to slow down enough to listen to all those little worries, anxieties, and impatient thoughts zooming around… sometimes if you listen you’ll be provided with a solution to those feelings. Maybe it’s planting some plants. Maybe it’s cleaning and organising your apartment. Maybe it’s reaching out and touching base with some old friends. We are always provided with the tools.. often not easily noticed tools or solutions.. but life always gets us where we need to be at just the right time.

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Intention and the questions no-one can answer

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I have this vague memory of driving to the city with my mom when I was 5 or 6 (ish). Being a typical kid of that age, I was asking non-stop questions, and when given an answer.. my response would be “but.. why?”. Whatever answer I got wasn’t enough to satisfy the questions I had in my head.

I’ve been feeling a lot like that kid lately. Though, my questions aren’t as black and white.

Last week I wrote about working on being at peace with things. One of those things is accepting that sometimes (quite a bit of the time) there won’t be answers for the questions I have. As someone who is fairly open with my personal dilemmas, whether it be via blogging or long discussions with those close to me.. it’s clear that more often the not, nobody else can answer or solve certain things for me. I’m rarely happy with the answers I get, anyway. The discussion can offer great insight and further opportunity for reflection, yes, but it won’t bring a clear cut set of directions or a guide to the next step. There isn’t a handbook for growing up, another fact both twenty-something me and mature, young professional me are equally upset about.

What does give answers?

Time.

Following gut feelings. Trusting intuition.

Reflection.

That’s what I’ve come up with so far, anyway.

What I’ve noticed is that life seems to put us where we need to be, if we are able to pay attention to it’s directions. Whether those places make sense or not at first, time and reflection allow for the reasoning and answers to become a little clearer. The directions for the next step are those subtle little gut feelings. The intuition is developed via those gut and heart guidances. It’s the learning to listen with patience that’s the hardest part.

I struggled at first when I began my University career and began falling in love with my profession with how I would have room in my life for two all-consuming passions. My sport and my career. I had two deep down feelings: I would have to give up one to be successful at the other, or I would have to find a way to make them both work. It took years for the answer to become clear. Answers I didn’t even know were answers until now.. where I am living the dreams of my past self.

As cheesy as it sounds, setting an intention on what you want in your life, and then going about your daily life- making effective and conscious choices that are best for you at whatever stage you’re at- can lead to you being where you wanted to be all along.

In a different example.. I spent a lot of years¬†complaining and making criticisms on the way my sport (and many sports) are run. Yesterday I was voted onto the board of directors for my provincial association. My intentions (roundabout) for change and evolution in the equestrian sport came about in a way I didn’t necessarily predict, but in a way that I have a feeling will give me some interesting opportunities.

Choices. Change. Letting time pass and having patience. These things come a long with fear, frustration, disappointment.. but also knowledge, gratitude, joy. You can’t have one without the other. Positives cannot exist without the negatives.

Nobody can say what the future will bring. Nobody can answers the questions of your deepest desires and hopes. You can set your intentions in motion. You can reflect on what you’ve been dealt. You can decide how you’re going to learn and wait for the next clue. However you’re doing, don’t be blind to the choices in your control and the doors opening toward opportunity.

Philosophical post complete. Now for a quick weekly update.

As noted above, I am officially a part of the Board of Directors for MHJA. I will be running for the chair of athletic development, for which I am already brainstorming ideas for. February is here and I have a busy month of writing up my research and submitting it for a national writing award, putting together presentations for the seminars and clinics coming up quick in March, and a few other articles on the go as well. I’ve hit a great rhythm in my internships and in my personal life. I have at least two evenings off a week with which I actually take off. I even read a novel this week, between work and school.. “A Scientific Romance” by Ronald Wright (definitely a ¬†must read!). This is probably the most sane I’ve been during a winter semester.. ever. At least I figured it out before I finished my degree, right?

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Re: 2014… An open letter to myself

I usually do a Top 10 of the year to bring in the New Year, but this year I thought I’d do something a little different. In place of a list, here is a letter written to myself on the past 12 months.¬†

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Dec 31, 2014

As 2014 comes to an end, you are reliving countless moments from the year past. Most of them good, some of them not so much. 2014 began for you with fate halting you in your tracks (quite literally), with a broken leg and a ambulance ride (this post has more detail). You probably won’t ever forget that night.

The year continued as your leg healed and your eyes were opened to new things and new experiences. 2014 was a busy year for you, in almost all areas. You began work on your own brand with Katmah Training, starting out with a strength and conditioning class for riders- and, now at the end of the year, you find yourself promoting biomechanics and position assessments, booking group clinics for riders on biomechanics, and working on your own research project. Not a bad progression. As spring came and your leg continued to mend- you had to deal with some fear around getting back in the saddle. By refusing to let fear control your season, you pushed through and got yourself through one of the toughest competition seasons of your life which brought true meaning to the saying “sweat, blood and tears”- and even made the transition from hunter land in the the jumper ring (why you chose to do this while recovering from a broken leg and nerve damage is still up for question).. all the while having great support from your teammates and now close friends M and L, your coaches, parents and boyfriend. As the show season ended, and your fear became less- you faced another hurdle when you made the decision to sell your long-time teammate Will (see When you know, you know¬†for more on this). This meant letting go of yet another fear and letting yourself let go of the belief that taking a break from the sport meant giving it up forever, or that it made you any less of an athlete. Again- the support you had from those close to you was outstanding. Without these people- what you did this year probably wouldn’t have been possible. One of 2014’s biggest marks was likely showing you how much you appreciate the people in your life.

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Academically, you faced the most challenging year yet. However, you surprised yourself with your dedication to your studies and the profession of athletic therapy. You realized you’ve found your calling, and you began to see your own potential. You took on a leadership role in your student association, and a few teaching assistant roles. Early in the year you even applied to go to Mayo Clinic in Rochester for their AT-student internship, but fate had it that you were meant to stick around home this year. Instead you began your own research and focused your in class work towards the equestrian sport. In the field you spent the spring covering the MB Winter Games (click here for more on that experience), and football. Summer brought working at the Winnipeg Folk Fest, the Morris Stampede, and then more football, basketball and hockey in the fall. You were the main therapist with your football team this year, and got to see a truck load of injuries. Unfortunate for the kids, but excellent for your confidence levels in the field (this and this are good reads on how your football seasons went.¬†)! You even got published again by CATA with your post Meet Your Athletic Therapist. As an executive¬†of the student association, you were also lucky to attend the first annual Gupta Faculty of Kinesiology and Applied Health Fundraising Gala. This event inspired you and kept you in love with the ever growing profession of kinesiology in Canada. The passion of those involved in it is slowly but surely making it a well-respected part of the health care system.

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Other then being swamped by football, you were also working in the clinic(s), manning the student association, teaching, and taking the four final AT courses, and then hockey. While the entire year had it’s ups and downs, the fall took a lot out of you. While the summer made you feel like you were living a double life, being both the athlete and the therapist, the fall flew by until sh** it the fan for about 2 months straight. This is usually how you experience burn out, and you’re finally starting to understand the pattern. First your car got broken into (and all of your ID and medical supplies stolen). Then you got some marks back that demonstrated a clear case of burn out, and your leg began acting up more then necessary. Then your car got towed (you hoped it’d been stolen). Following this, and numerous breakdowns, you headed into final exams while simultaneously facing the end of your first major relationship. Oh, and then your car broke down and completely died. Ya think the universe was sending clear enough message?¬†This post gives a longer summary.¬†Here, again, you got a front seat view of how much support you have within your different circles. M and L, your riding teammates, didn’t just stop being your friends when you left the sport- they stepped up in a big way for you this fall and winter. Your parents were endlessly supportive, as well as all your friends and colleagues at school. Even through closing the chapter on your relationship, J remained a big support and friend for you too.

When you look back at 2014, it’s easy to see that it was a year of learning (as every year is) for you. Learning took place in new areas. You were forced to deal with many emotions and feelings you either hadn’t given time for (love), or had locked away (fear). You proved your ambition within your career, and that is paying off looking into the new year. Before the year ended,¬†your research took off and you began to form your own biomechanics program for riders. While it’s in the early stages, it will come in handy for the few clinics and talks you’ve been booked for early in 2015. It was very much a year of growing pains, in pretty much every aspect of your life- whether it be sport, career, or personal life. After getting through December full of exams and focusing on your research before taking some time off around Christmas, you road-tripped out to Lake Louise with your cousins. You definitely couldn’t afford this excursion- but your head thanks you for it. It was a great way to hit reset and bring in the New Year.

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As the clock nears midnight, you’re sitting in the Fairmont Chateau watching rich people in velvet suit jackets get progressively more confident on the dance floor (it’s as entertaining as it sounds). You have a fresh mindset on many things, and are looking forward to 2015 as a exciting year for you. Right now you have plans to work the Scotties tournament, the National Badminton Championships, and are starting in a few new clinics. You will continue with hockey, now with a younger student shadowing you, be a teaching assistant in two new classes, continue your own research, and come spring return to you beloved football team. You are done course work now, with just two humanities left to finish- which means your schedule is much more flexible and coordinated to your AT life. You will return to MORFit, after a month off, continue running your own business, and tutoring. With a little more wisdom when it comes to scheduling (we think) you will get back into the gym and yoga on a regular basis, because you know it’s what you need– that time for you– to stay sane and keep the Universe off your back. Since you aren’t riding competitively anymore, you need to find other ways to keep your body moving and your mind settled. Hopefully you’ll make it to this years CATA conference in Halifax, and surely you’ll find some new adventures to fill your summer with. This will be the first summer without a heavy training and competition schedule to keep you busy- but also the summer before you challenge the national certification exams. ¬†After reflecting on 2014, you’re grateful for all the things it’s shown you- and are welcoming 2015 with a smile!

For future reference- practice gratitude everyday, it’s one of the things that kept you going through the low points of 2014.

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Driving in White Out Conditions

The usual driving condition for those of us living on the cold, wide-open, wind blown prairies during the winter months.. could it be a metaphor for life?

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In the last few weeks I’ve found myself feeling emotions I don’t know if I have felt much before, going through a few personal stressors that both surprised me but then didn’t. I’ve found myself at the funeral of a long time mentor and former coach, dealing with a new up cropping of feelings and re-instillation of the fear I thought I was making progress on with riding, and finding myself lost within a myriad of personal relationship stress. This lead to a week or so of not eating properly, and the gains I’d made on rehabbing my ever persistent leg and nerve injuries back slide as I wasn’t about to slip down the overtraining slope on zero nutrition (plus side.. lost some weight?). Most recently having finally thought I was getting myself picked up and well on my way to being done this semester (only two exams and one paper to go) to have my car hit what may be it’s final bump, and finding myself driving through white-out conditions in a car that’s not mine (dad if you’re reading this from your warm location.. I’m borrowing your car) pondering what the last few weeks have dragged me through and wondering what could possibly come next.

While over the last few weeks my go-to answer to the question “how’s it going” has been a very simple “oh.. it’s going”. Somedays profs would find me sitting in my office literally banging my head against my desk.. and unfortunately for them dare to ask how I was. His only response to the half hour long rant he got was “how are you not an insane person by now? You always seem so calm and collected.” Thankfully, my profs and mentors are all unbelievably compassionate and understanding human beings.. and every day I’m grateful for what they’ve done, said, and taught me over the last few years.. especially this year. There’s been a lot of rough days in the last few months for me.. hence the “it’s going” response.. but, the more I go through, the easier it is for me to just adapt and move on from all those little personal stressors. Time rolls on.

I’ve always liked driving through winter storms. Maybe it’s because I was raised doing it, but if we get a little more deep- maybe it’s the feeling of not being able to see where you’re headed.. but having to trust you’re on the right path anyway.

When I began this semester, just shy of turning twenty-two, I foresaw what was likely going to be the most challenging academic year yet. What I didn’t see was non-stop challenges from ¬†every other aspect of my life in between the demanding school life.

I feel like I’m coming out of this semester with more then just 4yrs of education in kinesiology. I’m coming out of it with a better understanding of who I am, and who I want to be.

While at the funeral last week, I expected to feel sad.. and finally snap out of the shock I’d been feeling at her death the week leading up to the funeral. Instead, I found myself, once again, feeling inspired by the life she had lead. From having a successful career in more then one area, chasing her dreams relentlessly and achieving whatever she set out to achieve, having a loving marriage and family, and travelling to her heart’s content. She lead the life I see and dream of for myself. She wasn’t slowed down, or if she was not for long, by all the bumps and bruises life can bring.. and she was always smiling. You could tell by her passion and enthusiasm that she was fulfilled in every way, and had passion for everything that she did (and she did pretty much everything). I grew up with women and men like her in my life. People who have gone through hardships, but have chased their chosen paths without being held back. I left the funeral both still in shock, but mostly grateful to have known her- and to be blessed with her inspiration even now that she isn’t humanly here. I was also overwhelmed with the people I have surrounding me now. All filled with their own passions, stuck with their own challenges, and moving down their own paths. While we all have different reasons for doing what we do on this earth- we all face many of the same challenges, fears, and “white out conditions” if you will.

Things are not always going to go smoothly. Actually, I’ve come to learn that if they seem to be going smoothly.. you must be doing something wrong. Life is full of challenges, big and small, and different for each person. Growing up and figuring those things out and learning how you react to stress is sometimes the hardest part. But being able to follow that path even when it’s completely blown over and visability is crap.. that’s sometimes where you just gotta trust in your belief, your support systems, and keep your head up.

As weird as it is, the last two months started out as having an effect on my marks. Big time. But even though exam season came with a whole new wave of the Universe laughing at me… I was able to just throw myself into full AT mode as it has been the one constant for me this year. Studying, writing, working with clients (exciting research has happened here.. I’ll really write a post on this like I’ve been promising soon!!!), even doing practical exams.. it’s become my happy place. That and spending time with my spectacular friends and family. Yes I rant a lot.. but it’s times like these when having dreams that are becoming a reality keeps you going. Everything falls into place.. just not always at the same time.

The same prof that found me banging my head against the desk a few days ago just walked by as I was finishing this post and tentatively asked how I was doing.. and when I told him “I’m doing okay, you know, I’ve decided that I’m letting all the stress go and just gonna roll with whatever happens next”. He kind of chuckled and said, you know.. we should have you teaching classes at that skill- you are unbelievably good at it!

So as I finish my final week of my last full-on semester.. I find myself blasting Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” (don’t judge me) and realizing that being stressed is overrated when you have been doing it for months.. all I can do is control the controllables, and mainly.. my reaction to what I cannot control.

 

 

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Uphill climb

I can’t lie to you, oh faithful readers. The last month or so has been rough. As optimistic as I was about champing it through this final overloaded semester and managing to avoid burnout- I didn’t make it. As usual, I naively strolled right into a massive crash and burn, and just like every time before- the Universe rubbed it in my face in almost every way possible.

The first signs were pretty obvious. My still recovering leg was acting up constantly, and during a few weeks in october I was still in a battle with WCB to receive more treatment (which I finally did get). I re-started rehab, but stepping back into that place (mentally) even though it’s what I do for other people on a daily basis– kind of brought back frustration for the injury, and for the time it’s taking to heal. I consciously know that nerve damage can take a long time to heal… but my subconscious I think is still resentful towards the fear towards my sport, the struggle I had all summer with riding, and the pain I still often feel on a daily basis. The fact that I’ve let this injury take me from an athletic, motivated person to a unmotivated on-a-break athlete who frequents the gym to train others.. but not herself.. hit me hard in October.. and was just another stressor. Then…Getting two midterm assignment marks back that were WAY below my expectations. An exam where I mixed up two words, which lost me 8 marks on the major long answer question (on a topic I know backwards and forwards), and a paper where upon rereading it, I realised that I didn’t even make sense through most of it (and fully deserved the mark I received). I reacted to this in the most usual way, by sobbing uncontrollably on the phone to my guy while sitting in a parking lot outside of work.

The next sign was partly just the universe being a jerk, but mostly my fault. Since moving downtown (like super downtown), I’ve been lucky. Unfortunately, since my brain stopped working through most of October, the weekend following the initial signs of burnout lead me to forget my wallet, passport, chequebooks, and medical supplies in my car while it was parked on a street a few blocks away from my building overnight. I had specifically planned this weekend where I was stuck in the city covering football and basketball to be a weekend where I could try and counter the effects of burn out I could feel coming on. Saturday was going to be a girls night, and Sunday would be a clean and finish unpacking and take a break from stressing about school day. Saturday went just fine, after spending the day with my mom, covering a basketball game, and then making pizza with the girls. At about 2am I realised I’d forgotten all those items in my car 3 streets away, but decided to exercise street smarts and not walk by myself through downtown to retrieve them. Forgetting about it in the morning, I went out to get into my car to drive out to the barn for some saddle therapy on Megg’s horse.. only to find my lock pried open and ALL of those above listed items gone. Serves me right, I know. And so, the weekend began and ended with me sobbing uncontrollably on the phone with J.

This is how burn out works. You neglect the little things. The little things you miss pile up and form a few big things- which send you over the edge.

The Universe continued to throw things in my face.

A few days after all of this, I woke up to my entire car being gone. My first thought was (honestly) “It’s been stolen… thank god.”. Turns out it’d just been towed. The sign saying “street work, tow away zone” was at the end of the block, and I didn’t see it. Since I still didn’t have any ID, or credit cards.. ¬†my loving father bailed me out of that one.

So, within a week, Life showed me that my balancing act was no longer working. I realised that if I was going to get through this term in one piece, it was time to reorganise my priorities- seeing as having all my commitments as a priority was only causing my blood pressure to spike and my emotions to run high. I’m pretty sure both my mom and J were getting sick of listening to me lose my mind too.

What have I done to fix it?

It’s hard to cut off from most of my commitments, but what I have done is start taking away things that are important, but not as important as kicking the rest of this semester’s ass. First to go has been work. While I probably won’t be able to get rid of my remaining November shifts, I’ve requested that I have December off- definitely the two weeks of exams. Football ended right as burn out was at it’s highest, so that freed up 3 hrs every day where I’ve been able to put time into either school work, cooking, or catching up on sleep or brain rest. This has been immensely helpful! I’ve also tried to move as mush as I can to earlier in the day.. so I’m not working our out and about until 10pm every night. Also a huge difference.

I’ve also made the conscious decision to get myself back into shape, regardless of the frustration stemming from my leg. I’ve been motivated and back in the gym (as well as rehab as needed for the leg) training myself 3-4x a week for a few weeks now.. and while I’m sore almost all the time- it feels good to be back into that mindset. Yes it adds something to my already stupid schedule.. but it’s something that makes me feel whole, and to me that has to be a priority. I feel I’ve been tested a lot lately by the universe.. with getting questioned almost daily as to if I am still riding, and then having to explain why I’ve taken a step away from the sport I’ve been so committed to. The first few times I got asked these questions it caused doubt and fear to arise- but after taking time to think about it, I recognised that I’m happy doing what I’m doing, and that is more important then worrying about my future in the sport that will wait for me. It definitely wasn’t an easy decision, but I know in my heart it was the right one.

For now my biggest goal is getting through the remaining couple weeks of this semester without any more major break downs. I’ve done it before, I will do it again. Soon I’ll be done course work and another giant step closer to my career. Since I’ve made these little changes, the Universe seems to be slowly getting back on my side. My balancing act is once again getting better- all I had to do was take a few things out of my hands, and juggle some other things around. A prof the other day commented on me looking tired, to which I replied that I was trying to cut back on my commitments.. but wasn’t doing so well. His response was: “No.. you are a person who needs to be involved in everything. It’s what makes you tick. Be patient, you’ll do alright”.

2 more weeks, 3 more papers, 1 more presentation, and 4 more exams.

See you on the other side!

PS: I’ll write an update on all my more uplifting moments soon- I’ve been kept busy with KSA milestones, personal research, and new teams even while being burnt out! Stay tuned for more on that!

The KSA execs (girl power!) at the inaugural Gupta Faculty of Kinesiology and Applied Health Fundraising dinner.

The KSA execs (girl power!) at the inaugural Gupta Faculty of Kinesiology and Applied Health Fundraising dinner.

 

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