It hasn’t been easy going back to school and adapting to my new surroundings, but I know it is (and will be) worth it. I’ve had to manage my time and streamline my life a little (turn in the Comcast box – check!) as well as refine my focus on the important things in life. School, hubs and dog, my in-real-life friendships, and self-care are my priorities.
Self-care, a term that I have learned in occupational therapy school, means the ability to care for one’s self. Obvious right? Part of my self-care plan is not beating myself up for not being a world-class runner. Getting my first DNS after backing out of the Louisiana Marathon was rough, but, I concluded that I’m not meant to be a half-marathon trainin’, grad school learnin’ juggler right now. Maybe if there were more hours in a day…
I recalibrated my expectations for myself and decided that I just need to be consistent, holistic (prehab, run, and stretch), and realistic (5K/10K). Plus, I have a couple of other goals too (get stronger, less sugar, eat real food). So, with that, I’m ready to get moving and share along the way. 🙂
Well, I moved to Shreveport to start my grad school program. While I commute back to Ft. Polk to see my husband on the weekends, during the week, I am in full student mode and the past 7 weeks have been fascinating, humbling, and plain exhausting. I am sad (or a bit happy) to say that my brain weakened into an excess of fat and protein while I spent a year off. After all, I was no longer in the Army and could relish a simple existence of eating and running, with some housecleaning of course.
Nowadays, my time is filled with rote memorization of gross anatomy, cadaver dissection and concept rehashing of physiological systems. Biweekly, I show up to a test prepared to show what I know only to find that I don’t know as much as I thought. It’s like a BONK. Sudden fatigue and deeply disheartening. And I limp away thinking, what did I do wrong this whole time? Did I do enough? Surely, I didn’t, so… what do I do now?
When school began, I knew it was going to be like a marathon (or a half-marathon or a 5K) and that I’d have to “be here now” everyday in order to give it my best. Along the way, I got lost and worse, I was finding excuses not to run only to feel out of whack, out of shape, and out of confidence. When I did run and posted about it on dailymile or Facebook, my new classmates were amazed at my early morning one mile runs, calling me dedicated when I felt far from it.
I know that I can’t just give up. So Saturday morning, I went for a four mile run to restart my engine. I was with my husband and dog who are visiting for the weekend and although I was slower than I wanted to be, I felt better at the end and emphasized my resolve to improve at school with each day. With that, I need to pound the pavement again. Get my self-discipline back in line so I can finish the semester strong. I’ve been praying a lot, but I have to work diligently too. See you in a couple of days with an update.
Need a sign? Here it is.