All a blur

This week went by too fast. Stupid short week. I’m having to look back at my Facebook newsfeed to figure out what I crammed into my days lately, because my brain isn’t functioning so well at the recall. And you all thought I post things just for you’re enjoyment, HA, it’s really just because I need some sort of tracker for my life.

What I’m getting so far from my week is that I practiced a lot of first responder scenarios. Like, every day a lot. I am very comfortable with a spine board now. First with Nikki, my football supervisor, and her study partner as they prepared for their CATA exams which took place this weekend (so glad I have another 1-2 years to fret about that one). From this we learned that I am a horrible actor. Unless I actually have had the injury in the scenario (good chance of that). Otherwise it’s clear that I made the right decision to leave my theatre minor when I did. Other practicing took place with some of my classmates, as we prepped for a scenario presentation taking place this coming week. Only a 5% version of our actual 45% final practical. It was very, very interesting going from practicing with two basically certified therapists, who have miles of experience in the field, to practicing with other rookies. There was a lot more awkward silence and panicked looks in the latter.

Wednesday night I attended the Clansmen’s end of season football banquet. Where I was initiated as a team rookie. Apparently its tradition for rookies to be told that the banquet dress code is game attire (jeans and black collared shirt), when it is actually more of a dressy event. Since I am a newbie, I was told just that. I got ready at Nikki’s house, and she went as far as to dress in her game attire, only to change last minute and fill me in on the joke. Didn’t really bother me, I was happy to be going and I was definitely not the only rookie on the team. Also, as a resident kin student, jeans are pretty much my dress-up anyway.

On Thursday apparently the only thing I did was change my profile picture.

Just kidding. We all know my Thursdays are never that simple!

I’ve been picking up my regular evening shifts at MORfit again, both of which with Claude. Tuesday was the crazy day, due to a significant increase in clientele both in the gym and in the clinic, as well as a staff meeting in the middle of it, I was running between the clinic and the desk all night. Thursday was much the same, however I was able to spend a bit more quality time in the clinic. I got to observe and input on an assessment, as well as massage two clients. The second client was my first deep pec massage, and I got to do it with Claude standing over my shoulder. That wasn’t intimidating. However, he gave some really good advice- and soon I was much more effective for both myself and the client. That evening ended with Claude first making sure I was working with him next week, as he had booked extra clients already, and then giving me a legit pat on the back and a “great job tonight” before going on his way.

I remember last week writing something about not knowing what to fill my Fridays with, now that football is over for the year. This week I found a worthy replacement, as I got to have a flat lesson with C on Megg’s horse Justinian, our favourite import over at McMullan’s! I love it when she goes away and asks me to exercise him! Mostly because I get to avoid studying..

Anyway, flat lesson! Probably the most out of shape I’ve felt all year.. It’s definitely my off season. After huffing and puffing my way through a warm-up, I started to get back into “the zone”, if you will. Justinian is a completely different ride from my own Willard. And completely different shape, and has a completely different attitude. But it didn’t seem to take long to adjust to his style, it definitely helped that I’d hacked him a few times this summer. C tuned up my equitation, and reminded me how much I’m missing being in training. Stupid school, stupid career goals.

It was nice to have some guidance with the very minor details in the equitation of working with younger horses, though, especially to gain some exercises to throw good ol’ Sonny into next time I ride at HC. I fully believe every rider should have a few lessons a year on a horse that isn’t their own, just for the added benefit of learning the adaptivity needed to be a well rounded rider. When you’ve been working with one horse predominately for a while, the ability to just think something and have the horse respond instantly because he can pretty much read your mind and you his, can be taken for granted. Getting on a less familiar mount, things change. You have to be crystal clear with your questions, because if you aren’t you for sure won’t get the answer from the horse you wanted or expected.

And then here we are at the weekend again. I actually did get some studying in, but I also spent a good chunk of time with my brain in park. Which is what my weekends turn into. My crazy weeks turn my head into mush, and it usually takes me to just before I write my weekend blog posts on Sundays to recover. This weekend I had some delicious home cooked food, as always, visited with my grandparents over grandpa’s massage, and got to spend time with a good friend. Old fashioned slumber party and all. Thank you bad roads!

This week is bringing more practicing, working, studying, and hopefully eating better then I did last week. I really started to notice how much I’d fallen off the “not eating gluten/sugar” wagon when I just couldn’t keep my energy up no matter how hard I tried. So half way through last week I reevaluated my eating habits and started getting myself back on track. With exams coming up I really have to keep the right things for my body available, because nothing is possible without that piece of the puzzle. I’ve also started adding a few more gym days to my schedule. My body is much happier when I eat right and actually use it.

2 weeks til Finals! Ah!

“The young do not know enough to be prudent- and therefore attempt the impossible- and achieve it- generation after generation.”

Carrot at the end of the stick

“You’ve got that ‘march glaze’ about your eyes.. its that time of year for you students”

Yep.

Talk to any student right now and they’ll either give you a zombie-like reply and/or mumble something about “only 3 weeks left.. so close”. I know pretty much all my peers, as well as myself, are pretty much over the whole classes, assignment, school idea.

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Totally burned more calories on my run then are in this dish…. Totally.

It carries over to other things as well- like running. Tonight, for instance, the only reason I convinced myself that doing my run was a good idea was by bribing myself with cake and ice cream. Productive? No, not really. But, hey, it worked. And it was better than sitting on the couch and eating cake anyway. Right?

But in all seriousness- I’ve been working really hard at keeping my motivation levels up. 2 weeks ago now I started a self-designed “pre-show season bootcamp”, which I have been sticking to as best I can. I’ve been putting all the fitness programming knowledge I’ve learnt this year into action (anybody want a trainer?), and feeling the results. In a good way! Since I’ve made so much progress with my back and hip issues- much thanks to the great AT/Chiro that helped me get on this track, Dr. Notley – I want to go into this season as best prepared as I can to not back track. There is definitely some fear there that it will all kick up again as soon as I start riding full time- but I’m trying to keep my thoughts trained on the fact that I’m in great shape and stronger then I’ve ever been. And if it does, then I know how to work through it. Anybody who has had a lingering injury will know how tough that can be sometimes. If you’re interested in seeing some of my workout plans, I post them all on my Fitness Log, so feel free to take a look!

It’s been a pretty quiet few weeks for me, school wise. Well. Relatively speaking of course. It’s kind of the quiet before the storm. The storm being finals. The quiet being me still running around 6 days a week not knowing what I’m doing half the time. But hey, I’ll take it. The last big project I worked on and finished (B), was a group presentation on “Norms in Athletic Therapy” for psych skills in sport and life. Past being frustrated with my fellow group members for most of it (apparently none of them had really done a presentation or public speaking before…(thank you 4H)), it was a pretty fun project. Instead of sticking to boring classic research for our references- we decided to interview two practicing ATs from the community and use their answers to support our points. Norms was a pretty tough concept for us to present- and there were definitely aspects we lost marks on because of that. Norms are the things you do in life, but don’t think about really.. ever. For an AT it would be something like showing up before a practice, having a certain set of personality characteristics (naturally or taught), or being the type of person people are comfortable talking to. Its things that aren’t in the code of conduct, but things that are often past down through peers or teachers you have along the way. What norms do you have in your career, or daily life? In groups/organizations you are a part of?

The next big paper I’m writing is on (hopefully anyway, proposing the idea to my prof tomorrow) the Canadian Eq. Team and the Tiffany Foster situation at the olympics- mainly on how Eric Lamaze and the other members of the team reacted relating to the topic of “leadership” in sport. Should be a pretty interesting topic, I think!

In health news I’ve finally got a date with a specialist… unfortunately not for another month or so- which I guess isn’t bad for wait time. I’ve also started looking into seeing a naturopathic doctor- so here’s where I ask you lovely readers- does anyone know of good names in Winnipeg?

As I alluded to in the opening paragraphs- I’m in the homestretch for the semester. What’s my “carrot at the end of the stick”? Besides cake.. it’s getting on my horse and starting spring training! Everyday I get through is one day close to riding season. Assuming I can get my saddle on the white buffalo…

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Do what you love. Find it. Do it well. If you don’t know how to do it, learn. Know that it will rough you up a few times, and occasionally bring you to tears. Do it anyway, to the best of your ability. You’ll have no other choice. There is no end- only the journey. It will be a long one- but know this: You will be forever changed.

Intro to Summer

As usual the past few weeks have been a blur. Between studying for exams, showing, working, and finally writing exams- I’m now realizing I feel quite lost not having anything to study for.. until September anyway. I’ve filled that gap by trying to plan out my courses for next year. A task that is actually impossible, seeing as I’ve been given a VERY late registration date because somebody in the office screwed up and lost my paperwork along the way, so most of the sections I’m hoping to get into will most likely be full by the time I register, which means I’ll be rearranging this schedule a thousand times over no doubt. Luckily, I have a friend on the inside (my AT) who is always there to help pick the right courses and answer any questions! Can we say hero?

As you may recall, I was at Summer Smiles horse show over the past weekend, and it was definitely summery and full of smiles! I got into Winnipeg from Regina at 8am (getting up at 3:30am was really fun), and made a fast transition from half asleep, grody commuter to semi-awake student and managed to get to the University by 9am to catch my last review lab. After that I had a quick study date at Olive Garden with my favourite study buddy Michelle, and then squeezed in a quick nap before heading out to BHP for warm ups. Because my mom is awesome, my horse was already there and all I had to do was check in at the show office, put numbers on tack, and head out to the ring. Will was a star, very concurrent to how he’s been all spring. So after going over a few jumps, having pizza with Mike and Charlene and a few others from the barn, braiding, and making sure everything was good to go for the morning- I made it back to my apartment, only almost falling asleep on the way back to the city a couple times. Back at the park for Day 1 by 7:30, I quickly realized that Mr. Willard had waaaaay too much energy for the hunter ring, or any ring. So, since I had hours to spare, I set about working his energy levels down. Generally I’ll hack for about half an hour on show mornings. I spent an hour and a half on him that morning, and believe me- one of us was worn out. Nevertheless, it was the right choice- as he was perfect for all our rounds that day! We won our 2’9″ Jr/Amateur class, and placed top 5 in all our Sr. Low rounds. Mike summed it up perfectly later that day by saying “you have to do what’s necessary to be successful”, so if that means spending almost two hours hacking- it’s worth it. My original plan for this weekend was to spend the extra time I always have at shows studying and reviewing for exams. I have no idea why I thought that was going to work. I really tried hard on Saturday to focus on studying, but when I’m in horse show mode- trying to memorize the origin, insertion, actions, and innervation of the pectineus muscle just doesn’t work out. Plus I was extremely tired. So I decided to give up on the day time studying, and focus on studying after the show day was over. Again, why would I think that would work? By the time I got back to my place at 7:30pm, I sat down to study and woke up an hour later with metal ring imprints across my cheek from passing out across my notebook. After that I decided I should maybe just go to bed, at 8pm. That 14 hrs of sleep was worth it though, Sunday was another great day, without excess energy thankfully. We pulled off a reserve champion in the Jr/Amateur Division, and again top 5 placings in the 3ft classes. I even had enough left in the tank to do a little studying that night.

Patti, Charlene, Alison, and I rushing to wait some more..

Monday morning began with the last quiz of the course, and it went very well! That gave me a little bit of confidence to roll with for the exams on Wednesday and Thursday. The bell ringer on Wednesday wasn’t my best work, I don’t think anyway, but Thursdays written portion felt really good. Either way, I’m done for a couple months! Now what?

On Tuesday this week, I had my second consult with a sports med regarding the old reoccurring back injury that never seems to leave and also opinions on if and how the cyst on my tailbone could be affecting it. A couple weeks ago I had a consult with a doctor at Pan Am, on the same thing, who x-rayed my back and found nothing and ordered a MRI which I’m booked for later in July. She was pretty unhelpful, in the sense that she couldn’t really give a definitive answer to anything I was asking other then saying that the pilonidal sinus could be related, but there were too many factors to be sure, and that SI joints are tricky and the best thing she could suggest is cortisone shots and discussing other invasive treatments outside of the therapy I’m already doing.  The doctor I saw this week, at Legacy, is also very interested in seeing the MRI and hopes to be able to give me a better answer after those results. Although his initial diagnosis, without the MRI results, isn’t the best (mechanical back pain, likely chronic), he seemed pretty proactive and willing to help me try out more treatment options such as acupuncture/dry needling to go along side therapy – seeing as I’ve tried everything else. My AT, who I trust more then anyone, is thinking that this upcoming surgery on the cyst is going to make a big difference. There is a structural problem that keeps reoccurring, and we can’t quite figure out why. Basically what happens is my SI joint slips out of place, causing the left part of my pelvis to rotate funny- in turn causing lower back muscles, hip, and thigh muscles to do really painful things. Bending over lots is usually what really sets it off, which is a good reason that I’m no longer working in the manual labour field- because that’s all I was doing. As much as I’m frustrated that nothing is fixing this problem long term, I’m very glad I have such a talented AT on my side- keeping me functioning and somewhat sane.

And so now I get to enjoy 2 weeks of summer before I go under the knife and spend most of July recovering. I’m loving my new job, although it’s quite a transition going from outdoor work to a office job. What’s on my list of things to do during the next two weeks?

1. Ride (duh), as much as possible! I had an awesome ride tonight, even though it was nothing more then a simple hack in the ring here at home. It was one of those rides where I felt completely ‘in the zone’ the whole time, and like my horse could read my thoughts, and I his. Every rider will know that feeling, and know how great (and addicting) it is. With the MHJA Beach Party show approaching this coming weekend- I’m grateful for every ride I have like this. There is no better feeling then feeling that focused in competition!

I’ve also been coaching a local girl for a few weeks now, and I’m loving watching her progress! It’s a great challenge for me trying to explain the simplest parts of riding to someone who doesn’t necessarily understand them yet. It’s not always easy to explain something that has become second nature to you. I’m getting better at it though, and by the improvements I see every week in my student- she is understanding at least some of what I say! I’m happy that at least if I can’t be riding most of the summer, I can be helping someone else build skills in the sport!

2. Run, bike, plank, push up, pull up, lunge, squat, lift, press, work out! I’m seriously going to miss the gym, almost as much as I’ll miss riding during recovery time. The changes I’ve seen in myself over the past 6-8 weeks of consistent training are amazing, and I am so excited to get back into it as soon as I can.

3. Work. Because my student life has taken a serious tole on my bank account. The fact that I’ve been in between pay cheques for quite a while now doesn’t help either. Luckily for me, my next pay cheque should come through.. right after surgery. So my two weeks of real summer will be spent doing the cheapest activities I can find. AKA, hanging out with my parents.. a lot 🙂

All that makes for a very, very busy couple weeks. But, I usually function better when I’m kept busy- so I’m glad for that! There will certainly be some crazy days, where I’m not quite sure how the schedule is going to fit. Example being, next thursday when I have my pre-op/anesthesiologist appts all afternoon at Boundary Trails in Winkler, and then warmups at the RRX grounds in Winnipeg. Everything always works out though, in the end- so all I can do is keep right on going- one day at a time.

Somebody told them they could grow up, graduate, and make me feel old!

Go

So my weekly posts have quickly turned into monthly posts. Such is life.

As I mentioned before, I’m pretty busy (understatement) lately. Between school 3 days a week, work, riding, studying and keeping myself in shape- I really don’t have many spare moments. I can honestly say I’ve never been more tired then I was the past 2-3 weeks. Last week about 20 hours of my life were dedicated to just driving. Kudos to everyone out there who commutes long distances to work everyday of the year, I am already pretty tired of highway 3. But it’s worth it, I’m loving my class and hopefully retaining everything I’m learning; midterm is on Monday. And I’ll have a place to live in the ‘Peg as of June 1st, so that will cut some driving down. Or at least provide a place to nap between drives.

On the horsey side of things, I cannot get over how well Will is doing. I’ve probably said it before, but I feel like I came home to a completely different horse (more then just the extra weight). After those first couple weeks of ADHD and wild horse syndrome, he’s been absolutely perfect. Both of us are more confident, and although I was initially worried about how much his winter off would set us back- I’m now realizing how much it benefitted him. The things we struggled with last year seem easy now and we’re able to focus on progressing further. I’m very excited for our first show, which will be the Summer Smiles show in mid-June.

I wrote a post not too long ago about upping my fitness level- and that is also going extremely well. After 4 weeks straight of almost everyday work outs, I was feeling so much stronger in the saddle. At the 4 week mark I took two weeks off heavy work outs as I had a brutal cold and a few injuries arise.. strained tendon in ankle/foot (serves me right for not buying new running shoes earlier-still paying for that one) and some minor alignment issues with my shoulders and hips- easily remedied with some rehab and stretching- which I’m all too used to by now. I’m back into regular work outs now, and feeling great! The tendon in my foot is still not 100%, so no high impact (running, etc) for a while. Good thing I like the rowing machine! Tonight is interval night (4x1000m rows), my favourite.. In all seriousness though, the difference I can feel in my riding ability is amazing. Can’t wait to see the improvements after 12 weeks!

My mid-term on Monday consists of the entire skeletal system from head to toe. And is worth 25% of my grade, a grade that must be above a B for me to progress in my chosen degree. Needless to say that I have quite a bit of memorizing to do this weekend. With that being said I’m going to head off to the gym, and then bunker down for a crap load of bones, ligaments, and joints.