So I’m officially in my third year of University. Does that trip anybody else out, or just me? On the outside I look like a put together jaded 3rd year student, scoffing at first years and way over waiting in lines for anything. On the inside I’m still trying to figure out how I’m almost finished my Bachelor’s degree, and what the real world is. Things are getting real. Fast.
Besides the fact that it feels like my summer was a week long (oh wait, it was), it feels nice to be back on campus. It’s a very familiar place to be, and seeing all the familiar faces of the faculty makes it even better. I am getting the feeling, however, that this year is going to be more focused on dealing with the unfamiliars and the new rather than the comfort of a classroom or lab. Third year is the year legendary for AT students. It’s make it or break it time.
It’s going to take some effort to get my brain back into full school mode. It’s still thinking concentration is optional. Which is less than ideal. I do have to give it some credit, though, as it’s handled many new experiences the past few weeks with regards to football and life in general- and for the most part taken them in stride. During said experience, anyway. My ability to deal with a laceration to the thigh of a player, or tape an ankle, or assess a new injury has grown so much over the past couple weeks. In the moment not much can phase me. I’m hoping that eventually the time it takes me to resume a normal thought process after practices comes down- as right now I’m pretty much a zombie for the remainder of the day. My big happy dance moment for today’s practice was absolutely nailing my ankle inversion tape job. I’ve been practicing it everyday as I tape a couple of the players on a regular basis- but today after a weekend off taping all together, the stars aligned and nothing could get in the way of my heel-locks. Heck yes!
We have our first game this Friday, and while I’m excited for yet another first experience in the AT world, that excitement also comes with an overwhelming sense of nervousness. Again, mostly because it’s new and a big first in my career. I’m so lucky to have a great AT supervising and teaching me, as well as a great Faculty behind me. Here’s hoping I’m able to keep my cool during and after Friday’s game!
I’ve been in the process of setting a few goals for myself for this school year, most of them are focused around my basic survival- some are just for fun.
1) Keep my nutrition on track.
This is going to be an interesting one, mostly because it really will require me to be a big girl about buying groceries, planning meals, and cooking. Like, really cooking. Why is this important for my survival? Other than the basic human need to eat, I will function so much better if I put a little extra effort into eating the right things for what my body needs. I’ve learned the hard way that nothing goes well for me if I try and live off KD. The fact that I have scheduled Wednesday evenings to try new recipes with my bestie is going to help, I think. There won’t be any KD cooked on those nights, I can guarantee that.
2) Not over schedule my already over scheduled schedule.
Say that one 5 times fast.
But seriously. Within this week, I’ve already said yes to one, potentially two (equally awesome) opportunities that while giving me great experience and connections have completely filled up my time table. One is still on the table, but the one I’ve said yes to came up sporadically, but was impossible to say no to (in this situation I need to really think about how nothing is impossible). Seriously though, I couldn’t really turn up working with three prominent profs, and researchers, teaching and assisting in their older adults exercise class… could I? Not only am I gaining clinical exercise prescription experience, but I’m getting to hang out with three talented and influential professors. The other opportunity would be volunteering with a local riding program, assisting with inner city and troubled youth while they learn how to care and ride horses. I’m meeting with the coordinator tomorrow to talk out some details before I make my decision on that one. Again, it’s going to be hard to say no to an opportunity like that!
3) Follow the work out program I designed
This one is just for fun. You may remember the case study I did this spring, focusing on a exercise program for the elite equestrian athlete. It’s based around an transition (off-season), pre-season, and competitive phase program, and loosely follows the school year (seeing as I designed it loosely based off my own schedule). I got an A on that case study, and I have a bad habit of training too hard in the off-season and burning out, or not training enough and having old injuries reappear (where I’m at currently). I figure seeing as I already put the effort into designing a progressive program, why not see how functional it actually is by following my own advice?
4) Use the text-books I spent a lot of money on.
Students are notorious for this. I’m saying that because I’m in denial about the fact that I may be the only one who does this. Buying textbooks, having all the intention of studying from them and doing extra reading.. and then they never get opened. I honestly plan on not doing that this year- mostly because I think I wouldn’t get very far in many of my courses if I didn’t. Also because I am legitimately interested in all the topics they cover. It’s going to happen. Seriously, it is.
5) Ask questions
I tend to be the quietest person in class- and then end up emailing the prof asking a bunch of questions I could just have easily asked in person in class. Every year I seem to get more and more confident when it comes to speaking out in class- so maybe this year I’ll finally put on my big girl pants and not be afraid to engage in discussions as much. It will probably help that one of the profs I have for quite a few classes knows me well enough to call me out if I’m avoiding eye contact. Or looking confused. She also knows that I’ve had enough injuries of my own to have valid first had experience, which is nice when in classes like taping or assessment. Long story short, I think I’ll be learning to talk more this year.
That’s a very short list of some of the goals I have for myself, starting now. One of the biggest goals for me is to not burn out as hard as I did last year. That goal will be achieved by making an honest effort at the goals listed above, and some not listed. This year is going to be a challenge, mentally and physically. Day one was all that and more, and it was only day one. I never knew I could love something so much, but also just want to curl up in a dark place and hide/nap from the real world too. I’m interested to see how this plays out, and how I go about achieving the goals I have and am still in the process of setting. I always make them happen one way or another.
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