Dates with Confidence and Humbleness

Below is an excerpt from the blog I keep for UW’s AT program, as part of my final grade in the practical aspect of the courses. I thought I’d share that with you as majority of my time this past week has been spent on school related things- most of which I encompass in that post. I am working on another post to put up here in the next few days (maaaybe even today) that will cover some of the other things going on in my life! Patience!

“Ah, the life of a student- especially an AT student. There is one word we can all identify with, I’m sure, by this point in the year. Exhaustion.

Between classes, football, work (where I’m getting to do some clinical things as well), and a few other extra curriculars- I’m learning a new definitely of tired; physically, mentally, and emotionally. However, even while being completely exhausted majority of the time- I’ve had a great couple weeks experience wise!

Football has been pretty quiet the past couple weeks. Unfortunately I am only able to be there game days right now, but I hear all about the week’s practices on Fridays while doing the pre-game taping. Our game last week came with a tough loss for the team, but a thrilling 5th digit PIP joint dislocation and an interesting contusion to lateral aspect of the knee with some irritation of the sub-patellar bursa. This week’s game was even quieter, with the only coming off the field was a decent ankle inversion sprain.

I know you’re all dying to know how my heel-locks are doing. Last weekend, since I’d been making slow progress, I decided to spend a good chunk of time dedicated to perfecting my heel-lock. So I stole a friend’s ankle and went to work. I’m happy to report that this week at football not only did I absolutely nail my heel-locks- but also incorporated some very nice figure-8 heel-locks into my ankle inversion taping. Maybe some of Ron O’Neil’s magic rubbed off on me, or maybe my muscle memory is starting to finally wake up- but I’m not having near as much trouble with angles as I was even a week ago. Yay!

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The most significant AT related moment for me the past two weeks came not from the football field, but rather from working with a few clients at work with the AT there. When I’m on shift at the same time as Claude he usually has me help out with a few clients, one of which I’ve been stretching for the past 4-5wks as well as helping with some exercises. This client is a rugby player and quite a bit bigger than I am, and Claude had me start doing stretches with him so I could gain some experience with how to get my biomechanics right when pnf-ing clients who have the size advantage. It’s definitely a more challenging experience- especially with a table that’s not adjustable. It took me a few weeks to figure out what positions worked best for me and still got the job done. The past two weeks the client himself has pointed out how much more effective I’ve gotten. My favourite quote thus far has been “either she’s getting stronger or I’m getting weaker every week”. Claude’s response to that was “she’s just gaining confidence in her abilities”. Fist pump moment. This experience has also helped me in stretching some of my footballers pre-game.

A more embarrassing moment from the past couple weeks, comes again from the clinic at work, where I was observing a new assessment on a shoulder with Claude. We had just covered this in assessment and I was following along quite easily. Until Claude started quizzing me. Simple questions like “what muscle does this?” or “what am I pointing to right now?” or “what’s your IOS based on what we’ve got so far?”. While part of my brain was saying “supraspinatus”, “teres minor”, and “ RC impingement or bursa issues”, the other part which was connected to my mouth was going “uhhhhhh…crap.. I know.. just give me a minute…”. #awkward

So that was good.. There’s always something to keep us humble, right?

My goals for the next couple weeks are to obviously have less “@#$% I don’t know” moments both at work and on the field. I feel like the only way to have less of those is to continue pushing myself out of my comfort zone by saying yes to every opportunity I get to do an assessment, or at least be involved. Eventually my brain will hop on board the thinking train.”

 

 

A long post for a long week

Look at me, posting on a Sunday like I intended to!

I had another one of those weeks where it felt like a month passed in 4 days. And I really don’t think that feeling is going to go away any time soon. The amount of things I’m fitting in right now qualifies me for the hypothetical over-scheduling olympics. Hypothetical only because they won’t ever happen due to scheduling conflicts.

I believe I mentioned the opportunity I received early last week to work alongside three profs and a few other students teaching and assisting in an older adults exercise class and research project on campus this year.  I feel pretty lucky to have been in the right place at the right time with this one, as it will be giving me loads of learning experience (and connections) in exercise prescription and working with a different age group. To go along side this, the AT that works at the gym I also work at has delegated me his Thursday night assistant. Literally 10-minutes after walking in the door for my shift Thursday he had me stretching out a client for him. He taught me a few new stretches that I hadn’t learnt yet and informed me that I would be learning many more over the next week or so as he has a large client list for Thursday nights and needs an extra set of hands doing things like stretching, supervising exercise, and whatever else he deems me able to do. And my hands need the experience. So, there we go. I have a nice contrast going right now, between working with high school athletes, seniors, and now also the in-between aged clients.

To add to this list, I also accepted a volunteer position with Horse Connection This organization is based around providing inner city/high risk youth with behavioural and now also physical disorders or disabilities a chance to work around horses and learn new skills in a structured and challenging environment.  They combine the benefits of both sport and working with animals to help change lives. How awesome is that? I’ve been a fan of this program for a while, knowing one of the co-founders, and was so happy when she asked if I would be interested in getting involved. My position right now will range from exercising the lesson horses, to basic instructing/supervising the kids around the horses, and handling/leading horses during lessons. It seems like the kind of position that can lead to more opportunities down the road, especially with my educational background.

Am I doing well on the “not overscheduling” goal I listed last post? Ehhhh… not really… Basically gained another 3 jobs, to add to my current part-time job, as well as a full course load- this week alone. Oh and lets not forget football. Here’s hoping the universe is done offering me schedule fillers, because we all know I have a serious problem with saying no to things. But, I am doing better with my nutrition goals, and I did open a text book yesterday and read a few pages. Win some you lose some, I guess.

What else can I tell you?

Friday was our first season game in Brandon, and my first ever football game. Like I’ve mentioned before, it’s been a steep learning curve and a new perspective for me. As an athlete myself I’m not unfamiliar with the practice/game/team-sport atmosphere- but it is very different point of view as an AT student. As much as you are a part of the team, the AT is responsible for all things regarding player safety and because of this has to stay very objective in every situation. As much as you are involved, you are the one responsible for taking a step back and often making important decisions when it comes to an athletes’ well being.

We travelled to Brandon (thankfully on a coach bus, not a school bus like my high school athlete days). I had no idea what to expect going into the game, as I’ve only ever been to one football game in my life as a spectator- and never as a member of the team. True to my theme, Iearned fast on the go. On the bus my supervisor gave me the job of talking to all the athletes to find out what they needed, wanted, or felt they needed taped before the game. Her words upon handing me the pen and paper were “are you okay doing this?” and my response was “I’m going to be”. This basically sums up our working relationship. She hands me something out of my comfort zone, and I figure out how to handle it in a hurry. It’s comforting to know that she wouldn’t ever give me something out of my depth, but it doesn’t change the terrifying leap I end up taking out of my comfort zone. Great for learning.

So after roaming through a moving bus filled with football players, and arriving in Brandon, I set out on taping ankles and other pre-game tasks. Once the players were ready to go, we headed out on field and I was handed another unfamiliar task. Filling out the emergency action plan for the game location. This I was guided through, and it really isn’t too hard- just involves talking to the other teams trainer, finding out their qualifications (if any), and knowing the address and ambulance entrance directions in case of an emergency. Once that was done, and the game had started, I did a lot of observing. Thankfully there were no major injuries- the head trainer only had to go on field once for a bad case of bruised ribs. I watched a few assessments (bruised ribs, shoulder subluxation, wrist injury), and dealt with a few minor cuts and wardrobe malfunctions. Then the game was over, players showered, and we were back on the bus home. And I started breathing again.

Saturday brought a nice relaxing (what?!) day spent hacking with Lauren at the barn (got to hop on the by far biggest horse in the barn, Shakka), and then lounging around running errands the rest of the day. Sunday brought my first ever 10k run in the Winnipeg 10&10 for Winnipeg Harvest. When I say my first ever 10k, I mean it. I haven’t ever trained over 10k before. How’s that for spontaneous. I’m very proud to say I managed to finish in 1:01 hrs, a very respectable time for my circumstances/irresponsibility and ran the ENTIRE thing. 1184782_10151904625733086_220155402_n

That was week 1 of my the last 25% of my University degree. It is still so weird for me to be a third year. There are many moments when I feel like the jaded student that I am, but equally as many moments where I feel like I’m still a newbie. I guess that’s because this is the first year where all my classes are specific to my career choice, and much more challenging. Somedays it’s easy to imagine working in the real world, because I have already gained some experience actually doing it- and will gain much more by the time I’m done this year (or this semester even). All the things I’ve been planning for my future are actually starting to happen. Old goals and new goals are becoming even more clear. It seems like such a short time ago I was still unsure about where I was going or who I wanted to be, and yet I’m finding myself becoming more experienced in things I used to only dream about more and more each day.. especially when I fill the days up like I do. Time is flying, even when it feels like it’s dragging.

To end off, I’ll leave you with some pictures of the meals I’ve made to get me back on track with some good eating to keep me going and over scheduling (haha, I wish I was kidding), and some other random snapshots from the week.

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Shakka! Aka, elephant.

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Tried out Modern Taco Company, SO GOOD (and gluten free!).

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My creation- sweet potato and zucchini “pasta” cooked with basil, rosemary, onions and garlic- topped with farmer sausage and chickpeas.

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First in-class taping since last year. My football practicing is paying off!

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First day of school selfie. This is the last time I will dress this nicely for class until next September, it had to be documented.

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Blueberry Chai Muffins (grain free, dairy free, sugar free- but so delicious), recipe from http://www.paleomg.com!

It was hot, then it got hotter

Another season has come to an end in the hunter jumper world. And I have absolutely no complaints about anything that happened this season. It was for sure another up and down kind of summer for me, but the consistency I saw in my rides in the shows I was able to go to is truly encouraging- and the way my rides when this weekend at Fall Harvest sums up, as this show always seems to, how much I’ve progressed.

Our warm-ups Friday went by with ease. We warmed up in the hunter ring first, and were probably done in about 20 minutes- everything went so smoothly! C and I were wondering how it was going to go, as the night before during my lesson Willard seemed to have taken the equivalent of 50 caffeine shots. It was a little bit crazy. But, I guess either the heat took some of that out of him Friday, or he actually just chilled out a bit- because he actually acknowledged the human on his back this time. After jumping around the hunter ring, we headed over to the Jumper ring.. Our first jumper school at Bird’s Hill (or anywhere.. usually there either isn’t a jumper schooling or I miss it..). It was pretty intimidating, even with Lauren and Megg there with me. Lauren is an old pro at jumper schools, and Megg was there for the first time on her new horse. My horse surprised me with how well he handled everything. I expected him to be good for the jumps, but wasn’t sure how he would handle the natural obstacles such as the ditch and the bank/table top jumps. The ditch took a couple tries to get him to gallop down and jump out with confidence, but not as long as I thought- and the bank, well, he just loved that! Loved it so much that when we did the table top ride (jump up, three strides, jump down), he decided that it was so much fun he need to buck his way across- hop down- and buck away. Hokay pony. That evening Megg and I went out for a lovely supper. One of my favourite parts of shows is getting to spend time with the amazing friends I’ve made through training with M&C.

Saturday came bright and early with Jumpers beginning first thing. Will and I were competing in the .85m divisions. We went into the ring with the mentality of “ride like it’s a lesson”, and had no major issues. Will loves jumpers. Saturday we placed 4th in our .85 Junior Ami division, with a rail and a time fault. Later that day we moved over to the hunter ring for our Child/Ami Non-Pro Hunter division. We put in some good rounds and ended up top 5 in both over fences and the under saddle. Quite respectable for the competition there, and the fact we’d just come from Jumper land! C was happy, I was happy, and that’s what mattered. It was a great feeling to get out of the heat that night, I can say that much!

Our Sunday jumper rounds were even better then the previous days. In our Open .85, Willard decided to have a good long look at jump 6- so long that he forgot to jump it the first time. This provided us with a great set up for our JA round right after, as it was over the same course. That round was perfect, except for a lazy rail early in the course. Click here to watch it. I decided to drop our Open Low Hunter that day, because it was so hot (+40 degrees, crazy humid, and zero wind), and I could feel my horse’s energy (and mine) starting to dwindle. I wanted to save something for the $500 Hunter Derby later on that day. It was so hot my sunglasses would fog up while I was wearing them. I would be able to cross competing in a sauna off my bucket list, if it had been on there in the first place.

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So, finally came time for the Derby to get started. As myself, a fellow McMullan teammate, and M&C were walking the course- I was informed that I had been misinformed earlier and the class was a sign up order of go (I thought it was posted order, in which case I was in 5th). Since I hadn’t signed up they had listed me as first to go, and were taking no excuses- if I wasn’t at ringside, with my horse (who was still in the barn, untacked) in 7 mintues then I would be disqualified. I am blessed with amazing teammates on my side. Megg and Lauren sprinted ahead of me to the barn and by the time I had also completed the ~1000m sprint (thank god I’ve been doing interval training this year) my horse was ready to go. I had time to just barely take a couple warm up jumps and get to the ring, where M&C instructed me to gallop into the gate (not usually hunter style) and gallop straight to the first jump, which was about 50m inside the gate. So, that’s what we did. The video unfortunately missed the first couple jumps- but the rest was caught- it’s definitely worth a watch!

No time for any second thoughts, we had one of the best rounds I’ve ever ridden. My horse left it all out there for me, and I could not have asked him for anything more. As we came over the last combination, a two stride, I couldn’t contain my smile- and it was so cool to have everyone at ring side burst into cheers. We achieved a score of 88/100 that round, a personal best! After the class of 10 finished- all very competitive rounds, we ended up 4th. Another personal best for us when it comes to special, classic, or derby classes. If there is a way to end a season, that was it!

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So what else have I been doing in this heat wave? Since getting home from the show on Sunday, I’ve been spending my mornings at football practices taping ankles, thumbs, and fingers, covering blisters, abrasions, lacerations, and assessing injuries. Oh, and learning. So much learning. I’m learning quickly to trust my instincts when it comes to this stuff, and more often then not they lead me in the right direction. Classes begin next week, and I’m pretty ready to get back into things. This year is going to be one giant challenge, but I’m excited to take it on. The other thing I’ve been doing a lot of this week is writing- obviously not on here, but a lot of it stemmed from topics I have covered here. One piece was for a scholarship entry, another an article for Horse Country on the EC Hunter Classic, and one more piece as a writing contest entry- all focused around how riding has impacted me in one way or another.

Other events happening next week, my first time covering (or being at really) a football game. In Brandon of all places. From what I’ve heard game days are pretty crazy, but if there is one thing I’m good at- it’s crazy. But, right now, I’m heading into a long weekend. I had the entire afternoon to myself yesterday- which I spent going for a ride with Lauren at the barn (I’m going to miss those this winter!), then with my old friend Netflix at my dad’s. Today I had the entire day to do exactly nothing, and I’m just about to head for another ride while my horse is still this close to me. He moves home tomorrow, where I’ll only be able to hack now and then when I’m out that way and time allows. Sad face. Saturday I do my one work shift for the weekend and then more freedom until Tuesday. I have no solid plans for those days- which is a new concept for my over scheduling brain- but I’m also looking forward to have some time to just chill out before the crazy train hits my life next week.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Spring is in the air?

I know, I know it’s been basically months since I posted last. To be fair, not much has happened except for the same old burnt out student thing.

The mountains of snow are finally starting to shrink. Slowly but surely this long winter will melt away into what is sure to be a disgusting, sloppy spring. The most exciting thing that has happened in the past few weeks is my momma bear getting engaged, and beginning the flurry of dress shopping and wedding planning. This excitement will, I’m sure, hang around for the next few months leading up to the big day. It gave me some excellent excuses to not go to research methods lecture a couple times. Who could refuse dress shopping over 2-way ANOVAs and factorial design??

Classes are FINALLY winding down this week. Which means I have to, need to, must must must stop procrastinating with my papers and final assignments. My exams are all spread out throughout April, kicking off with my Prev and Care practical this coming Saturday, and kinda average out to one per week. Which is nice. Since I got a regular shift at the gym and AM MOVING MY HORSE TOMORROW SO I CAN START RIDING. (!!!!!)

I’m not excited though. No way. Nuh uh. Totally could wait longer. Totally.

This week brought a surprise Naturopathic doctor appointment (I wasn’t supposed to go until May, but due to a cancellation I got in much sooner). After recreating the last year of crazy health issues for this guy, as he scribbled notes and gave me some classic “you’re-life-sounds-nuts” looks, he came to conclude that my symptoms match up quite perfectly with having a parasite.. of some sort. Which actually might make sense, as I did originally start having symptoms while travelling and working at LC (not the greatest living conditions), and parasites can often mimic appendicitis. It was encouraging to at least have someone give me an answer with confidence. However, further tests are still needed to confirm before going about treatment- all tests which I send in myself (and pay quite a lot for unfortunately). But hey, if it turns out this is what it is, it seems like an easy fix- without any sort of surgery. I am keeping my GIT specialist appointment as well, as it falls close to my follow up with the ND anyway. Definitely grateful I didn’t have my appendix unnecessarily taken out. Getting closer to some answers.. finally!

Good Friday took me out to Brandon for the RMWF. I don’t know what it is about that show- but it feels like coming home every time I go. Especially now that I know so many of the people involved in the competition- and have competed there myself. While it kind of sucked being on the sidelines this year, and only able to spend one day up there- it kind of kick started my riding brain (more so than the withdrawal symptoms I’ve been experiencing all winter). There are many other riders out there, I know, who will relate to the feeling of a kind of magic while watching those lucky enough to compete in that long week of classes ride their courses. Every day is different. One day can go perfect and the next will be a disaster. I’ve always loved the atmosphere of RMWF. It’s a tradition for many of us, whether it be riding or just watching.

Speaking of riding. The season is finally starting! My brat of a horse is about to get that worked out of him. It’s been a long winter for us both- with him bored out of his mind gaining weight and growing a more than adequate winter coat, and me working my butt off in the gym and in the class room. Going into this season I feel more than ready. Last year I was anxious to get back riding but I had the pilonidal sinus surgery on my mind, looming on the future, taking away from the excitement of a great show season. This year I feel completely different. I’ve worked hard to keep my body and my mind on track, throughout a tough school year and lingering health problems. Whatever this year brings, it doesn’t feel as intimidating as it could. I’ve handled so much the past while that it doesn’t phase me much when life throws me something else.

Today we moved the now 3-yr old (and much more grown up) Felix out to another facility where he will start his spring training tomorrow as well. He was such a champ. Walked onto the trailer as if it was something he did everyday, and got off at the new place with dogs running around and a pen full of bison close by in sight and hardly gave more than a snort. I’m quite excited to put a little more time in the saddle with him this summer as well, even though Mom claims him as “her horse” lately.

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Now that I’ll be back in the saddle on a regular basis, I will make an effort to update this blog more often with what are sure to be many fun moments getting back into training! Also I have done surprisingly well keeping my Fitness page updated, so take a look and ask some questions if you want to get you’re own pre-season training started!

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Tuesday night rambles

To continue my trend, check out where I was a year ago!

Usually, on a Tuesday night, I’d be in bed by now. But since I somehow ended up consuming WAY too much caffeine today.. I need to do some typing to burn some energy.

This nice weather we’ve been having is making me want to kick into gear on the riding front- unfortunately school is getting in the way! I’ve been really upping my work-outs to compensate. And watching a lot of youtube videos, like this one. And studying.. of course. But seriously.. counting down the days, minutes, seconds, until I can get riding!

I had my first shift at the new job yesterday. I am working on a casual basis, so any shifts I have right now are as covers for other employees- I don’t have a permanent shift yet. Which is actually perfect because it basically means I can pick and choose which shifts I want. What student with my schedule would complain about that? It became very apparent yesterday that I am going to learn a BUNCH from this job. Whether it be in interacting with clients, managing a business, or, of course, everything else related to the fitness field. Only had one embarrassing moment yesterday (surprising for me), where my boss was going through a mock start up program (new members are guided through a basic fitness program by the staff on duty) with me (where I was guiding him through the program) and I couldn’t figure out how to work the treadmill. Awkward. Thankfully he switched roles with me and helped me out. He seems very committed to thoroughly training his staff, and helping them gain knowledge in every way he can in this career path. Looking forward to my next shift on Thursday, where I’ll be flying solo for the first time! Eek!

Today I got some more news on my health (or lack of) diagnosis. I had a voicemail from my GP letting me know that my CT was clear, and my appendix was/is healthy and there is no need for it to be removed. Great to know I was literally minutes away from having an unnecessary surgery. I owe the anaesthesiologist who put a halt to the procedure a big thank you! Only downside to this is that we still don’t know whats causing my symptoms. At least now that is ruled out. I am meeting with my GP tomorrow to move onto the next step- a referral to a gastroenterologist (spelled that right the first time, heck ya!). Can’t say I’m too excited about meeting with MORE doctors. This has sure been a year full of them. But, I don’t control life; I control how I react to it. So, we are going to keep thinking positive and take it as it comes.

In my last post I think I mentioned I had a pretty off week of exams, two marks around a C+ in courses where I should have been getting much higher. Crediting that to bad symptoms of the mystery ailment, and bad head space because of it. The week after that I wrote three more exams. The marks for two of which I got back, and both were A- (prevention and care of athletic injuries, and intro kin)! That definitely is a boost! I feel pretty good about the last one I’m waiting for too.

In other news, I really just want it to be riding time. 5 more weeks! Let the count down begin!

Here are some fun pictures, just for fun!

Sunrise on Ness Ave

Sunrise on Ness Ave

Zoo day anyone?

Zoo day anyone?

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I'm sure the staff at Value Village love us..

I’m sure the staff at Value Village love us..

 

Etc.

There’s a classic Manitoba blizzard blowing around outside, this was yesterday, a few hours before it started raining/snowing/blizzarding… luckily I got back to the city before that occured.

Ice road trekking (aka highway 2)

Ice road trekking (aka highway 2)

AND it’s the first day of reading week…I think it’s time for an update, don’t you?

First off, a year ago I was doing much crazier things then I am now. Well maybe not crazier, but very different. Click here for a blast from the not so past. Or check out my archives really from anything before April of last year.

It seems like more than just a year ago I was planning all those exciting things! At the same time it doesn’t feel like it’s already almost been a year since I landed back on Canadian soil! Most of the past year has been spent with the plan of returning to the other side in the back of my mind. It’s happening. Don’t worry. This blog will get interesting one day again.

Okay, so what has happened in the past few weeks? Well, I’ve experienced what many students experience during February leading up to reading week. Complete burn out. Along with some unpleasant symptoms of whatever is going on with my health (hopefully answers soon on that). There was a week in there where I was unable to really eat much because of lack of appetite and over the top nausea- which did have a great effect on the two exams I wrote that week. Thankfully, I guess, those symptoms mysteriously disappeared for my remaining 3 exams the next week- and I’m hoping for better marks on those ones. I debated going to the hospital a couple times when I was home in Ctown, but didn’t feel up to facing the surgeon I had before- so waited it out. What would they do anyway? I had a CT scan this week, and go in for results next week. If there are any. Not sure how I’ll feel if I find out it was actually Appendicitis all along. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there I suppose.

In other random news, I’m inching closer to dead-lifting my bodyweight (165lb)– got up to 150lb last week!  There is a video of that here. My gym time has been slightly less this semester. Well, I shouldn’t say that. It’s just been different. I’m staying active in other ways, besides strictly just the gym. I’m pretty sure I’ve only been to the gym at school maybe 5 times this term? But I’ve been at the “Homewood gym” pretty much every weekend- so those turn into my weight days. During the week I’ve found myself doing yoga, who my friend Michelle teaches, which is usually a solid work out. Also been taking a intro dance class twice a week- finding muscles that haven’t been used in a while. Yay for fitness groupons! This isn’t close to what I was doing in the first term, where I was in the gym around 5-6 days a week. However, the rule of quality vs quantity is coming into play right now. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

 The closer we get to spring, the more I’m starting to itch to get on my horses. One of which resembles a white, furry, house at the moment. The other one has near doubled his size since fall (height wise). Come the end of March, boot camp begins. For both Willard and I. The first few rides will, I’m sure, be America’s Funniest worthy. They always are.

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OH! I have other news! I almost forgot!

About two weeks ago, I think, I went to a job interview. A interview I really only went to because I was surprised to actually get a reply back to my original application. An application I sent after seeing an ad on kijiji which I almost didn’t even apply to, because, really.. do I have time for a job? No. No is the answer. But anyway, went for this interview for the experience of going for an interview. But the interview, which was for a gym assistant at a small gym in St. Boniface, went very well. It even involved a testing of my knowledge of kinesiology (which I rocked, thank you first term). And after discussing what kind of hours I was looking for, etc, it was revealed that not only would the hours work well with my monster schedule- there would also be a chance for me to gain working experience with the Athletic Therapist they have situated in the gym. Uhm, no way! Yes way! So I left the interview, not knowing whether or not I had gotten the job- but now with a new excitement about the possibility of getting it. Completely different from the “meh-whatever-don’t want a job right now anyway” attitude I went into the interview with. Skip ahead a couple weeks, and I GOT IT. So, I’m hoping that it turns out to be as great a experience as I think it will be! It’s definitely a foot in the door of the AT/Kinesiology industry, anyway.

Other things that have happened the past few weeks:

  • Learned some basic massage techniques, which I’m sure my family and friends will take advantage of. I know Leah already has. 
  • Began some taping techniques, and learned that it is NOT as easy as skilled people make it look. I never was good at arts and crafts, turns out that skill hasn’t developed over time either. Definitely going to be a lot of practicing for that going on.
  • My hair can ALMOST completely go into a pony tail. The day is near, my friends.

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  • I have almost made it the entire winter without putting on a parka. Stupid right? Don’t worry, I still wear a jacket. Just one that doesn’t have a tag saying good up to -50 or whatever. And I still have my parka with me, in case of emergency. However, this also means I’ve made it through the coldest days (-45 degrees Celsius, approx), which now means that all the other days feel like t-shirt weather. No point giving in now.

Well that’s my 1000 words. I’m now on reading week, 3 days of which I’m at the school anyway learning first aid and other school related things, hoorrah for being a good student. The other days I’ll probably be doing one or more of the following: eating cake, reading non-school assigned books, re-watching Grey’s Anatomy, working out, sleeping, napping. If only I could get paid for doing any of that.

To any students out there, make the most of zombie time.. To everyone else, hug a student!

B for Brrr

Biomechanical Analysis of Rising Trot

Above you’ll find a link to the paper version of the project I worked on over the fall term for my Biomechanics class. If you have a moment, give it a read!

My winter term started off quite quietly, but soon enough reminded me how crazy my life can be. The most exciting part of the past week or so for me was getting back my marks from last term- passing stats (with a C even!) and most of all my big biomech project! I got a B in everything (except stats), and on the project we got an A.. plus my prof said it was one of the better presentations she’s seen. And that I was on the top end of the exam marks wise. Happy dance!!! Biomechanics is definitely one of the courses I had to work the hardest at, but it’s also the one I miss the most right now. My favourite class this term is definitely Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries. Mostly because yesterday we were learning massage in class- which meant practice time in lab. Nothing wrong with free massages.   It’s a good thing I like this class, as it is my Saturday 9-2:30. Exhausting, but awesome.

It didn’t take me long to get completely exhausted by my new schedule. Six days a week of classes, while being better then having evening classes, is still unbelievably tiring. Sundays I usually sleep. All day. I’m usually a zombie by about Thursday. So if you need something from me, talk to me before that. My life has literally only consisted of school lately, so I really don’t have much to write at the moment.I just wanted to post a link to that paper so anyone who is interested could take a read! To all the riders out there reading this, maybe it will help make sense out of why your coach tells you to do certain things! Or why you should listen to those suggestions. Working on this project definitely shed some light on a different perspective of the sport for me. It’s amazing what tweaking one seemingly little insignificant movement can do to improve or hinder.

Here’s me making a crazy face. Just for fun.

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Maybe I’ll come up with something interesting to write about one of these days. Until then, stay warm (if you’re in Winnipeg), and stay cool (if you’re somewhere warm).

 

 

Turbulent 2012

Similar to previous years, seeing as I don’t make resolutions, here is a list of some of the most memorable moments of the past 12 months (in no particular order)!

  • Meeting the people I met overseas. Especially all the distant relatives. To be made to feel at home in a country that is so far away from home was something truly awesome. I am very lucky to have had that experience, and those people surrounding me during part of a pretty rough year made some impossible situations very possible. 
  • The last few weeks of travel in NZ. Working for a grand prix rider, glacier hikes, bus trips, amazing scenery, living on trail mix and instant noodles, being broke, sitting along the coast and listening to the waves crash to the shore, scenic train rides, busing through, unbelievable landscapes, and everything else. Pictures don’t do it justice, and no words can describe it. This post has more detail on some of what I did those last few weeks.

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  • Flying into Vancouver, and then Winnipeg. After what seemed like ages away, the sight of the Rocky Mountains covered in snow and looking glorious brought an unexplainable feeling, and was the best thing I’d seen yet. There is no better feeling than coming home after being away. If even where you were became like a home away from home. All those things I experienced, good and bad, were solidified as my plane landed in Vancouver. A journey was concluded, and another begun. I came home both the same, and completely changed. DSCN0373
  • Choosing a career path, and making relevant goals. I battled with myself long and hard over what I wanted to do with my life. Pretty much exactly a year ago I decided that athletic therapy was where I wanted to be, and set some goals for myself. It was definitely the right choice, and accomplishing the goals I’ve set has been unbelievably challenging and terrifying- but also fantastic. It’s nice to know that I’m doing something with my life that is always going to present me with a new challenge to keep me motivated.
  • MHJA’s Fall Harvest Show. I believe this was in last years list too. Coming up to this year’s show, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. After a surgery in mid-July on my tailbone- I wasn’t able to ride up until 6 days before the competition (approx 6 weeks off for both me and my horse). Challenge accepted. I definitely pushed my recovery a little far- but I rode everyday for those 6 days and against the advice of pretty much everyone went to Fall Harvest. I’m sure we only survived that weekend on pure adrenaline (sooo out of shape). It was at that show, same as last year, that the difference in my riding ability really was shown. Mike broke his gruff exterior more than once at this show, saying “we might make a rider out of you one day”. A huge compliment!
  • Similar to the above, the Hunter Derby class at Fall Harvest 2012 (Check out this post for more!)
    . This was the first year doing a derby was realistic for me, and I got the okay from my coaches to enter. I wish I had a video of it! But any rider reading this will understand- it was one of those courses that presented so many new challenges and tests for both horse and rider and somehow, by some luck, we got around it and were rewarded the greatest feeling of teamwork and accomplishment. Best way to end off our short season!

    Not from Fall Harvest, but from Beach Party 2012.

    Not from Fall Harvest, but from Beach Party 2012.

  • Getting to know the people I ride and compete with better. I realize this is more than one moment in time, but over the past year I’ve really gotten a chance to spend more time with my coaches, Mike and Charlene, as well as other riders who train with them. It makes the sport so much more fun to be surrounded by people like this! I’ve learned a lot just by being around them, and they’ve helped me to gain confidence in myself and as a result ride that much better.
  • Kin-3201 Biomechanics. From day one this course terrified me, as well fascinated me! The study of biology and the forces acting upon it. Anatomy and physics combined. Being someone who never really excelled in physics- this was a challenge. But I found the math part of things much easier to understand when it was put into a athletic/movement perspective. I liked this course way more than I thought I would. And the final project, which was one of the hardest academic things I’ve done so far, was so cool! My post Critical Instant has more detail on the project and what I did my research on. I learned so much from this course, and loved the challenges it presented!_DSC0315 _DSC0317

 

2012 was a challenging year for me. I saw some pretty unbelievable things, on both ends of the spectrum. I experienced some of the worst physical pain, and emotional turmoil I ever have- but also had some great accomplishments and good times. I am positive 2013 will present new challenges, tough times, and good times to rival what 2012 threw at me. After facing what I’ve faced the past 12 months, I don’t know what else could be better preparation for whatever 2013 has in store. Here’s to the New Year, and may it be what it will be!

 

Pre-Exam Update

Ahhh it’s been a while. This is going to be short and sweet.

It’s been a pretty stressful month, what with finishing classes of my first term and all that good stuff. But, after 5 exams.. I’m done! Until January. I have survived-so far- what many thought would be the killer of all semesters.. five courses, four labs.. so pretty much 9 classes.. INSANITY. The past few months flew by. Last time I wrote I believe I was getting ready to do my presentation for biomechanics, on the posting trot. That went very well, I think, we have yet to get our feedback for that. I got asked my all time favourite question “is rider fitness important in the sport” Uhh, let me think.. YES (of course followed by a suitably intelligent sounding explanation). We finished our paper this week, and will hand it in sometime next week once it’s been proof read a few hundred times. I had Charlene read it tonight, and she seemed to think it was good. Hopefully our prof thinks the same thing! If anybody is interested in reading it, let me know- the more proof readers the better!

Tonight is the eve of what is going to be a crazy week (do I have any not crazy weeks?). Four finals await me, two on tuesday (nutrition, and stats), and then scientific principles of fitness and conditioning (I did my final case study (worth 25%) on a program for a equestrian athlete!) on Wednesday, and the big scary Biomech final exam on Friday. Biomech is definitely the only exam I’m worried about. I’m pretty determined on getting a good mark, so the pressure is on. The midterm was created by the devil, so I’m sure the final will be of the same calibre… but at least we have double the time to write. And then next week I finish off with my A&P midterm (this is a full year course). I basically have spent the last 3-4 days buried in my stats text book. Hypotheses testing, inferential statistics, and data analysis, are all things I will be very happy to be done with!

In other news.. well.. I don’t really have a life outside of school at the moment. Maybe I’ll think of something interesting to write about in the coming weeks, after my brain has recovered from what it’s about to be put through.. Wish me luck!

 

The Student Games

A thought popped into my head today while I was trying to decide between the $1.89/lb apples that I wanted, and the $.99/lb ones on sale that looked half as good (I picked the cheap, bruised ones), and again when I was watering down my cranberry juice (that I got on sale)) as to make it last longer,  that students lead quite interesting lives.  And as my roommate just pointed out, in between mouthfuls of carrot, that her supper is just that. A carrot. “With dirt on it”.

“University doesn’t test your knowledge and the amount you have learned, it tests your stamina, study skills and sanity. What will you give up to keep up?”

That quote makes it sound like we live in the Hunger Games trilogy.

It’s not all that bad. Usually. Most of the time.. Actually, we do tend to be hungry a lot… But it definitely is an acquired lifestyle, between study sessions turned into tv show marathons, screaming “I don’t waaaaannnt to studddddyyyy”, flash cards, notes, bus passes, cramming information into your head (even if you don’t understand any of it), debating which subject needs your attention most based on the due date and complexity of the assignment, writing blog posts, yelling at printers, and Facebook.

“I’m going to get a cupcake, and then I’m going to study….. I’m probably not going to study…. yes I am…maybe…” – Christine

Every year we enter into our respective schools, quickly spend all our funds on books, of which 50% of which are actually used in classwatch our care for personal appearance dissapate, wish we were at Hogwarts, procrastinate, somehow get through midterm season- relax, panic, write finals and finish final projects, anxiously await marks, and repeat. Public naps happen often. There are rooms at our school where every person inside them is napping. It’s like that scene from Inception where all you can hear are people sleep breathing.

I’ve had friends who aren’t in school ask me what movie I want to go see, and I’ll have absolutely no idea what is playing, or what has played for the past few months. The outside world doesn’t exist to a University student, especially from 2nd year onwards, and for those having more then 4 classes. We get our news from Facebook, our ideas from Pinterest, and as a result lose a lot of sleep on news and ideas. 

Grocery shopping is put off too long, at the same time as cleaning the fridge is put off. I think there is still left overs in our fridge from the first week of school- which I am now afraid to touch. There a numerous empty granola bar boxes in the cupboard, which I still reach into every morning hoping that there is one in there. We learned quickly that IF we buy fresh vegetables, putting them in the crisper drawer is NOT the best idea. Because they get forgotten about. Then, 4 weeks later, we are left with a very unspeakable things that are not crisp, or fresh. Whether or not you are a vegetarian, sometimes that is what you’re diet turns into. Let’s face it. Meat is expensive, not always on sale, and time consuming to cook. Sidekicks are a fancy meal, because they are the closet thing to a complete meal you’ll be eating all week. Whenever I do find myself relaxing into thinking I have free time, it is quickly overcome by a fear that I’ve forgotten something. In lieu of having a can opener, I’ve been know to try desperately to open a can of soup with a screw driver (it doesn’t work, by the way). I’ve also been known to bribe myself through papers by making the deal of one paragraph, 5 minutes of nap time. Sometimes that same bribe gets me through 3 hr lectures. Listen for 5 minutes, sleep for 5.

If you want me to go somewhere, mention free food, and I’ll fit it into my schedule.

We live in a world where skipping class is reasonable for two reasons- being extremely sleep deprived, or staying home to do homework for said class. No matter how excited you get over a great midterm mark, beware, because the higher the class average, the harder the final will be. Do not try and communicate with a student who is pre, mid, or post- midterm or any other exam. Never underestimate our ability to write a 15 page research paper the night before it’s due, and still somehow get a decent mark. It IS possible.

I’ve found that school and travelling (my kind of travelling anyway) have a lot in common. The views are certainly less spectacular, depending on how you define spectacular, but there is a the similar money and food scarceness, and a equal amount of dirty laundry.

I start somewhere around the 3rd phase..

However, there is not as much panic, while travelling, as there is as a student when you forget your pencil case at home and you have 3 lectures and a lab to get through on no writing utensils, protractors, calculators, or rulers. There is, though, a great deal of wondering what you’re doing, where you’re going, and various other universal questions, in both areas of life.

I can go from feeling like I’ll never be out of school, ever ever ever, to holy sh** I’m already half done a degree in 2 seconds flat. Same amount of time about that it takes me to open and close the fridge in the morning and see that I have no juice to water down, therefore I’m stuck with just tap water.

As students we learn what each prof wants to see from us, and how to adapt to their varying personalities. Know which classes to come wide awake for, and well rested, and which ones are okay to maybe nod off for a few minutes in the middle (they do exist). Mix those two up though, and you won’t know what hit you come exam time. Some like to fool you into thinking they teach an easy class, and then test you on everything they said, posted, and thought.

**Holds up text book full of post it book marks* “Look at it, isn’t it pretty?? It’s like a rainbow”

“Christine, study.”

Somehow, no matter how hard we will ourselves, we cannot help procrastination. Sometimes we procrastinate in ways that indirectly could possible sort of maybe relate to our studies. Grey’s Anatomy episodes taught me some stuff about Anatomy.. It has anatomy in the title anyway. And I’ve also convinced myself that gym time is equal to study time. But by some miracle, we make it through. We don’t melt into the puddle we would rather be come exam time, usually, anyway, and our brains sometimes help us out with exams, but even when they leave us as blank as the answer sheet- we come up with something and live to write another paper. Then, by who knows what cause, we come back for another semester. The will to make something of our lives is greater then the will of Facebook. In the long run. Procrastination does eventually lead to getting things done. In the most stressful way possible, but they do get finished. Being a student would be just too easy otherwise. And, those hard earned marks wouldn’t feel as good if we did the work and had no stress going along with it. Right now I’m wondering how I managed to write 1300 words this quickly, when it takes me a week to do the same for something much more important.

 

It’s an vicious cycle.