A Deep Decade

Well, it’s great to meet you here at the end of the DECADE.

I hope you have all had a Merry Christmas or happy holiday, whatever you were celebrating! If you did not get off work, I hope that you were able to spend some good moments with people you love at some point in the past week.

My family and I celebrated Christmas in NY, and then I went to a wedding in Nebraska this past weekend. Both were wonderful, and my soul is refreshed.

As we close out 2019, everyone is reminding me through social media that 2020 is not just a new year, but it’s a new decade. My friend Sarah Gaines did an exercise for herself last week in which she listed each year of the decade and described each as “The year I…”

I thought it was a simple yet profound idea — a good reflection exercise without having to write loads and loads of words. I tried it out myself on the plane ride back from Nebraska, and although it was difficult to remember how my life was 8+ years ago, once the wheels were turning, I got eMoTiOnAL with gratitude for how much goodness and positive change God has granted me in this decade.

Try it out and tag @sarahjgaines if you so please! Sarah would be so happy you did it too.

The way I did this: Although each of these years was filled with a plethora of people, places, and things, I chose the most defining event(s) or themes of each year. (I really thank my past self for taking so many photos — I do appreciate all the memories today.)

2010: The year I starred as Jasmine in my school production of Aladdin, Jr. and graduated 8th grade LOL


the “belly shirt” kills me

2011: The year I joined a dance company

Screen Shot 2019-12-30 at 1.51.44 AM.png

2012: The year I developed an eating disorder

2013: The year I started my recovery and my blog 

so smol and also loved taking pics of food in the palm of my hand

2014: The year I graduated high school and started college at Boston University 

the selfie reputation begins

2015: The year I realized that Christ-centered friendships are deep, rich, and real

a knife-throwing, canyon-dropping, alligator-holding good time

2016: The year I studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland (also met Us the Duo on a cruise)

the most adventurous I’ve ever been

2017: The year I fell deeply in love with God and started DPT school

perhaps one of the best years of my life so far

2018: The year I experienced the deepest emotions I’ve ever felt in my life

definitely the hardest year of my life so far

2019: The year I gave and received great mercy and experienced the Lord making all things new


the year I challenged myself more

2020: The year in which I want to grow in obedience to God and fortitude in all the values I learned this past decade

I wrote this with honesty, and then I realized that the word “deep” comes up several times throughout the years. I guess this was a deep decade, and I’m sure there’s much deeper to dive this coming year (and decade).

And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”   – Luke 5:4

People ask what’s coming up this year in terms of post-DPT school, and my answer is, “I literally have no idea.” It’s one-day-at-a-time kind of thing. The unknown is vast and deep indeed, but there’s a chill of excitement and anticipation in that. The Lord’s will be done.


I hope you all have a fantastic time ringing in the New Year! Thank you for your support from the beginning of the decade until now and beyond.

So tell me:

2019 was the year that you…? (or do all 10 years if you so fancy!)

How has your holiday season been so far?

Do you have goals / anticipations for 2020? 


The Great and Small Things I Learned This Semester {Last One Ever!}

Here we areeeeeeeee!

The learning never, ever stops, but dang it feels cool to be done with being a full-time student…. okay, technically I’m still a full-time student, but no more lectures and exams! All I have left is 22 weeks of clinical experience.

Here’s what I learned during my last semester of classes EVER (I don’t think I’m going back to school again, but who knows?).

1) Training up mileage too quickly may result in a stress fracture. And apparently my right femur is a weak boi.

2) Don’t give into peer pressure to run a race for which you didn’t really have a desire to train throughout a muggy St. Louis summer.

3) How to teach an inclusion hip hop dance class.

4) How to search the literature up the wazooooooo.

5) People LOVE podcasts. And I have also taken a liking to podcasts in order to stay a little more up to date with current events.

6) Living with three international students (one from China, one from Japan, one from Ukraine) has been an enjoyable experience. We all cook and live very differently but can still keep the kitchen a (mostly) clean and organized space.

7) I become my worst, most complain-y self past 11pm.

8) I should avoid bringing up serious topics with anyone past 11pm.

9) I should probably just sleep at 11pm, but I still have a poor sleep schedule.

10) Eye masks are a GAME CHANGER for being able to sleep longer in the morning.

11) I truly should never take my family for granted; they are the bees knees, cream of the crop, top of the line. I love them and cannot thank them enough for what they have done for me and continue to do for me day in and day out.

12) Make the phone call home or to a friend. Don’t let phone calls die.

13) Focusing on form and using my b r a i n during each rep of an exercise (i.e., thinking about the energy, power, control, speed, external/internal cues necessary to perform the exercise properly) makes all the difference in how fatigued I get and also in how quickly I gain strength (not a research project; this is just how I perceive it).


14) Everyone experiences some privilege, but everyone experiences some sort of marginalization as well. “Treat others the way you want to be treated” is never too cliché.

15) The fight to remain steadfast in the good practices and truths (e.g., always pray, working out will probably make you feel better if you’re stressed, it is good to look up and sit in silence on public transportation sometimes) that you know is a never-ending fight, especially if you’re like me and you have very little self-control and you tend to form poor habits more quickly than good habits. Fight that goooood fight.

16) Avocado egg toast and overnight oats still haven’t failed me as staple foods in a pinch (or every day, honestly).


17) Swimming was a big fear of mine (not because I can’t hold myself up and move in water, but because I had no idea what I was doing…literally how do I put on a swim cap), but I have found it to be a fun challenge and a killer workout that I enjoy even post-stress fracture healing. (Thanks, Abby!)


18) I can make time for the things that matter. I like to make excuses to not see a friend, for example, but there usually aren’t any good ones when it comes down to it.

19) In some moments of my life, I am the person who I never thought I would be (for better or for worse), which has taught me to be more understanding and compassionate towards others in their points of weakness. We should all call each other higher but without judgement, because I could be you and you could be me by the flip of a circumstance switch.

20) Nights never used to be a huge issue for me but these days I need to CHECK MYSELF when I get home exhausted after a long day, because all ya girl wants to do is eat and go on her phone, which is fine, but sometimes I turn my brain off and do too much of either.

21) I can tolerate finely diced red onions in my tacos. I used to despise raw onions, but I can appreciate the little sum’n sum’n they add.

22) This crew is loyal and I love them.

23) How to guest lecture (thanks, Evan!).

24) People say that I am a good teacher and a good public speaker. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ just some info for the ~future~ I guess.

25) God’s delight is to be with you.

I’m distracting myself with youtube videos and can no longer think of other things to type, so this is the end of this post. Thank you, as always, for reading along and for your support of this blog, even as it ebbs and flows.

So tell me:

What are some things you learned this fall?

Do you have plans for the holiday season?





The Giving vs. Receiving End

Moves. An upper body workout!

  • 3×10 modified pull-ups // 3×10 hanging scapula circles // 3×10 push press
  • 3×12 weighted squat jump to squat hold // 3×10 weighted pushups
  • 3×10 TRX bicep curls // 3x max # dips
  • 3×12 DB bent over rows // 3×6 lateral bear crawls to kick through

For the modified pull-ups, I did them at the squat rack like this, and I think this helps a lot with my wide grip form. Also, my forearms got toasty with the first set of exercises!

Ended with 1000m row, which was not as far as I thought it would be but I was ready to be done.

The end is near. PT school (classes, at least) is coming to a close in less than a week. I have an assignment, a huge presentation, and one final left, and I am just bewildered. I’m amped yet in disbelief that we are almost done, but no matter what, I will miss these precious days with my PT family.

I’m not even hugging anyone

Giving vs. receiving. I think it is good to gently remind myself that a human will constantly fluctuate between doing both of these things. There are times when I am able to give advice, be physically present to support my loved ones, give energy and time, be thoughtful and proactive. And there are equally as many times when I need others to remind me of my responsibilities, to give me advice, to tell me everything is going to be okay. I think it is easy to be proud in the former state and to be ashamed in the latter state. Neither pride nor shame is good. Rather, humility in both states is key, and it is something that I seek to grow in as I toggle from the giving and the receiving end on a week-to-week, day-to-day, hour-to-hour basis.

Follow up on podcasts. Thank you to those who gave me podcast suggestions several weeks ago on Instagram! I’ve listened mostly to The Daily (quite biased but I like how easy it is to understand) and Global News Podcast, because my main concern is just keeping up with current events. Sometimes TED daily talks are fun too!

Secret Santa vs. White Elephant vs. Yankee Swap. I think white elephant and yankee swap are the same, involving buying small gifts that do not have a predestined recipient, whereas secret Santa involves giving a gift to someone specifically. Which do you like better? I’m doing both this year with different groups of people. I guess it depends on the group, but I like secret Santa by nature, because that means it’s with a tight knit group of people who know each other well enough so that you would be able to get anyone in the group a gift.

So tell me:

Secret Santa or White Elephant? Do you call it a White Elephant exchange or a Yankee Swap?

Do you feel like you’re in a giving or receiving phase right now?

Virtual Breakfast Date

I was doing well with the blogging semi-daily thing until I got busy and then went on vacation and got busy again.

Blah blah excuses. Why don’t we sit a minute for a virtual breakfast date to catch up!?

you would see me eating overnight oats out of a large, almost-empty, Costco-sized peanut butter jar 🙂

…I would wish my American friends a happy belated Thanksgiving! Whether it was a dreamy one with loved ones or a hard one for whatever reason, I hope you found an abundance of reasons to be grateful and felt loved in some way.

My favorite part of Thanksgiving break was spending time with my family and friends (cliche but true and something I don’t want to take for granted!) and NAPPING, oh my lanta.

…I would tell you how excited I am that I am almost done with classes (at a university) forever. Last class of PT school is next Tuesday. I will be leaving school for the first time in 20 years!!!

…I would tell you that I got to work out at a gym owned by a high school friend last week, and it was so fun! They kicked my BUTT (and triceps). My friends Paul and Mathias gave me simple strength circuits with relatively light weight, but they were like hawks watching my form, and I truly believe that made all the difference. I know good form, but no one ever watches me or tells me in the moment to do better. It was a great experience having them there to push me, and I am motivated to continue improving and executing the best form possible for each rep!

I would say that the weather in the northeast has been quite wintry. Snow boots and hats are in full swing, and my (literally) rusty umbrella better hold up these next couple of weeks.

I would talk about how crazy easy it is to get lost in the sauce of adulthood, money matters, and future plans. AND I HAVEN’T EVEN STARTED YET. Like, I can begin to understand why people need to be told, “It’s not all about the money.” As a fresh PT in one year, there is so much to consider regarding salary, geographic location, goals, benefits, etc. The profession is struggling to advocate for reimbursement as is, so the stress of all the personal factors on top of that can be overwhelming. But trust is the name of the game at this point. Do the homework, put in the effort, live life, and trust. God will provide.

…I would tell you that I attempted to track macros for one day, because my mom has an old food scale at home, so I thought it would be an interesting one-day experiment. I say attempted because then I saw my mom’s food that she was offering that was Asian and not really good for tracking, so then I just stopped LOL. It was successful for most of the day, and let me tell, it takes fOrEvEr the first time you try to weigh all your food. I liked tracking and knowing what and how much food was going to come later in the day (it made me think a little less about food in that sense), but I don’t feel the need or desire to continue doing it. I don’t think I would be really disordered if I started at this point, but I just like flexibility and spontaneity, so I don’t think it’s the right fit for my eating habits currently. I also do still associate any sort of tracking (especially in that much detail) with my past eating disorder, so that in and of itself makes it less appealing.

…I would wish you a happy Advent if you are someone who is preparing for Christmas! December, baby. Time FLIES.

So tell me:

What’s for breakfast?

American friends – How did you spend thanksgiving?

What is one thing new you have learned or tried recently? Has this enlightened you in any way?