Monday’s are not usually my strongest day of the week, as it tends to take til midday to realize that the weekend is over. However, today was a ridiculously productive start to the week, if I do say so. I got more than I anticipated accomplished between 8:30 and 3:00 today when I had to depart southern South Jersey for class in Philadelphia. And class tonight was interesting – discussing the various issues at hand between correlating primary medicine with public health to help educate communities about such topics as diabetes (becoming an overwhelming problem in this country – to the point that there is no pre-diabetes, of which 57 million people are afflicted with, and which will become full-blown diabetes in a few years time if behaviors aren’t changed) and obesity, two huge contributors to early death in this country. I was hoping to run this evening, but am not feeling 100% at the moment and figure I can give myself a break today – back to it tomorrow. And I am thoroughly looking forward to Friday, when I get to shadow one of the Philadelphia Health Inspectors on his/her rounds around the city. I’ll keep you posted on whether I ever feel like eating out at a restaurant after that experience! So, that’s it for tonight – nothing too exciting or new, but a good start to the week nonetheless.
For the last seven or eight years, I have struggled to figure out life. That is, I had no clue what I wanted to do with mine, and sometimes felt hopeless that that inspiration would never arrive. I knew that whatever I did, that I wanted to help people. I credit my parents with that being instilled in me, through the way they live their lives, and also from the numerous trips to Guatemala over the course of ten years. The first trip to Guatemala was during my 7th Grade year, and it was a time when I (and everyone at that age) was extremely into, well, me. And what boy I liked that week. And how much I desired to be a cool kid (I was not). So imagine the culture shock and reality check I got when we landed in Guatemala City. I didn’t know what to expect, other than that we were on a short-term medical mission trip that was to be based in Chichicastenango amongst the native Mayan people. What I had not expected was the profound impact that first trip would have on me. So….fast forward many years, and I was in undergrad….I still didn’t know what I wanted to do, and changed my majors a number of times before graduating with a BA in English. I will say that the bad rap that English majors get is not completely warranted. The ability of young people to communicated effectively has declined dramatically. Even something such as writing in cursive is considered archaic, and I had more than one professor tell my class that they were told to write on the board only in print, because of lot of younger students can’t even read cursive. I may not have great handwriting, but I can at least read it.
But I digress. So I graduated a little over a year ago, after changing majors and changing schools a couple of times. And since then I have applied and gotten accepted to graduate school in Philadelphia. My entire family works in the healthcare field, and so it seemed natural to follow suit, though I never had the desire to go into nursing or become a doctor. So I am enrolled in a Public Health Masters program, and I am loving every minute of it. I have an overwhelming desire to help those who can’t help themselves, and am considering all different possibly career options. I still don’t have an exact plan for my life, but it is really refreshing to know the general direction in which I am headed.
Yesterday was a semi-productive day. Was able to get some school stuff finished up for this week’s classes, ran almost 2 miles on the treadmill at an increased speed from a couple of days ago (not trying to overdo it, just gradually working up the speed intensity and then the time intensity), and then went out to dinner in town to celebrate my dad’s birthday. It is not until next Sunday, but it falls on the Superbowl (not that my family is big into football at all), and my sister has to work, so between everyone’s schedules, this weekend was easier to plan dinner for. The food was phenomenal – I had never been to this restaurant before, but I think everyone loved their food.
Crab Ravioli with lump crabmeat, asparagus, olives, yellow tomatoes, and grilled shrimp
I got the above, the crab ravioli. I couldn’t eat it all, because I also had awesome calamari and bruschetta to start. I don’t think there was anything to complain about food wise. And our poor waiter was new and obviously nervous about having to memorize like ten different specials, and then my sister asks him what the cooks can make that is vegan. The look on his face was priceless; kind of like he shit his pants or something. So I felt bad for him, but he got a good tip and everything else went smoothly. So, the first birthday dinner down for the year…only four more to go (and each of us is in a separate season, with the exception of myself and my sister’s boyfriend – both of us are summer birthdays).
Ended up going out with a girlfriend of mine and her friends for a little bit afterwards, and ended up running into some people from highschool. I also realized that I think I could be content just being a homebody. Though it would be nice to be a homebody with someone, but for the time being, school is the prime focus. And so today has been non-productive to start, and I really should get working on a mid-term project that I am already freaking out about.
Down to 133lbs today! Woke up early and was running by 6:30. I felt like I was going to die half way through, but I am assuming that was because I forced myself to literally sprint through the latter half of the work out last night. I am happy about where I am at weight-wise, but am still working towards more results in terms of muscle development and tone. Though, as with everything else in life, that will come with both time and effort. So I push on, hating every step on that treadmill, but feeling great at the conclusion of the race.
As a much younger person, I despised the morning. I lived for the warm comfiness of my bed, especially on cold winter mornings when you’re chilled to the bone as soon as you set your feet on the floor. But now, as a latter-20 -something, I love the morning. I have done a flip-flop from being a night owl to a morning person. I enjoy watching the sun rise (on mornings I drive to work) and seeing the siloughette of the bare trees as the sun comes up behind.
The days I have time in the morning, I enjoy the work out too. Though staring at a wall in the basement is less zen-like than a sunrise (really, no comparison). But the morning run gets me going – the endorphines start running around and getting me energized for the day. Though the end of day run has its positive points – as in running off the stressors of the day. I still prefer the first, though.
What a busy day! To start, I was intermittently woken up at 1:00 AM (not sure who was up around here at that hour), and then I woke up again at 4:30 and laid in bed until 5:30 when my alarm went off. A busy day at the office – lots of new people in today. Had delicious Pad Thai from Somsak (reheat) for lunch, and then headed up from Vineland around 3:15 to head to my class in the city.
Tonight we learned about the Health Belief Model and the various constructs that it is composed of. We also took ‘case studies’ and broke each scenario down to address each construct and design a health intervention to address said problem. Sounds complex, but it wasn’t too bad. And it was actually quite interesting. Group discussions are (for obvious reasons) helpful in bringing to light perspectives and/or questions you may not have thought of yourself. I tend to spend most of the discussion period asking myself why I don’t think of all these awesome comments. So class was a success – as it is my favorite of the two classes I am taking this term. I seem to change my mind on a weekly basis on what I think I would like to do career-wise in the public health field. Luckily for me, there is such a plethora of opportunities, at this rate I probably can afford to switch plans once a week. 🙂
Onward to home, I spent a bit of time on the treadmill. I have a love-hate relationship with the machine. I get excited when I think about running (because I think about the long-term effects), but then I hate it for making my legs burn while I am enduring the workout. Either way, I keep on forcing myself to run. Not for extended periods of time, as I am not looking to become an exercise junkie. But it is a good way to run off the day and whatever may be on my mind can go mute for a half hour or so. And in addition, it will help me become a little more toned. It would be nice to actually be able to outrun someone if I have to and not have to stop and ask them to hold up so I can catch my breath.
So, tomorrow begins a new day, starting with an early morning run before getting to work. I tend to look forward to the weekend, but those two days are always less planned out, and therefore I have more a propensity to procrastinate. I have to set deadlines in my head and convince myself they are real in order to get shit done. I strangely have a desire to do something in the city – like walk or go to dinner, or to the comedy club….but most likely that won’t happen. I guess we’ll see, eh?
and just because….
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Today is the second day of my new plan to get into shape. Not that I am overweight, but I being skinnier than I was doesn’t necessarily mean I am in shape.
This is currently where I am. Though if I had to outrun something at a jog, I could probably last about a mile or so. However, that is if I were outrunning something on a treadmill. God know I would last about 5 blocks of real life running. But, that is besides the point (or is it?). The point is, I have to start somewhere. If its 15 minutes running and 15 running (split on either side of the running), then that is where I will start. I’m not trying to run a marathon. I just want to feel fit, and not just like I lost weight.
I am also enjoying the fact that I got all my school-related homework and reading done and it was before 4 PM on a Saturday. I did some last night and finished the rest today. If I knew now that I had the capability of getting shit done in a timely manner and actually absorbing the information I was reading/studying, I could have saved myself a lot of grief at the beginning of undergrad. But that is in the past and I am not dwelling on that. I just like moments when I realize how different I am from about 6 years ago. And how much someone can change. For the better, of course 🙂