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?

Habits and Obedience


Tuesday was leg day, starting to get some more movement back into the right leg!

  • Superset x3: 20 Bulgarian split squats right leg, 10 pistol squats left leg, 20 KB deadlifts
  • 2×20, 1×30 light leg press
  • 3x 1:30 kneel to alt step up (18” box) no weight

Yesterday was 36 minutes going fairly easy on the assault bike because my legs were sore (right more sore than left lol), followed by 8 minutes of core work.

Peanut butter. I had at least 5 tablespoons of peanut butter on Tuesday. That is 500+ calories from just PB, people (no regrets, baby). That being said, some of it was in my overnight oats, two were part of my lunch snack (a packet of nuts ‘n’ more), and two were eaten as late afternoon snack since I have a late class Tuesday nights from 5:30-7:15 and I was lacking other types of options because I did not prepare well. Maybe I was so hungry because I’m walking a lot more again. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I know a couple guys who carry around a jar of pb during the day and honestly I would not be a poor candidate for that lifestyle.

When I first met John he told me he would sometimes eat a whole jar in a day (when he was into a body building type of routine). That’s when I knew I liked him.


Habits. Forming (or renewing) good habits is something that I, along with most people, need to do constantly. I have been praying a lot about obedience to God in the little things, and I think that translates to the building of good habits in practice.

Several discussions and resources have popped in my life in this past week that have encouraged me to take action, and here are those nuggets of wisdom:

  • Spend most of your time in “important, non-urgent” tasks (vs. “important, urgent,” “non-important, urgent,” and “non-important, non-urgent” tasks). Plan ahead to make this possible.
  • Work for the purpose of finding quality rest time, don’t just rest to get back to work. And don’t work til you’re so burnt out that you can do nothing but collapse and have no energy for quality relationship building.
  • If you make promises to yourself, keep them, no matter how little they are. The small things that you do with relentless commitment and consistency matter!
  • Be persistent with all of the above but also understand your humanity and move past points of failure quickly. Assess, make changes, try again.

I feel like I’ve been talking about habits and self-improvement a lot these days, but I guess it’s the nature of my life stage right now magnifying the need for it. I’m about to leave school for the first time in my entire life, and although I know the general gist of adult responsibilities, I don’t know enough. Additionally, good habits of the body and mind relate to holy habits of the spirit, so it’s also something I want to work on for the sake of God.

Friendsgiving. Some friends and I had an epic pre-thanksgiving meal (what North Americans call, “Friendsgiving”). My heart and tummy were mighty full. I made corn bread with maple butter, and I don’t think I’ve danced so much after baking something as I did after baking that corn bread.

On disposable Domino’s plates like bosses.

Everything was so skillfully made and utterly delicious! I am spoiled by my friends.

Happy pre-Friday!

So tell me:

Are there any mantras or nuggets of wisdom that help you form and maintain good habits?

What are some habits you are working on?

Have you ever had a Friendsgiving dinner?

Have you ever eaten as much pb in a day as I have?

The Ways in Which I Still Struggle

Whoops. I did not mean to take a whole week off from blogging but I got a little lazy (and busy too, if I wanna give myself the benefit of the doubt).

Moves. I’ll just start with yesterday’s – fresh new week.

  • 3 rounds: 15 bicep curls, 10 push-up to renegade row, 12 Arnold presses
  • 20 min boxing

Booked. I made way too many plans this weekend, but it was a jolly good time. Sleepover with my friend Lauren, Thai food lunch with my friend Christina, dinner a la Trader Joe’s with Lauren and Elayne, spontaneous night of MarioKart and Uno, dim sum brunch with PT friends… ugh I love dim sum. And friends. In which order, no one will really know.

The end is near. What I really should be doing is focusing on the last assignments, odds, and ends of this last semester of classes. FOREVER (hopefully). Thanksgiving is coming and then it is pretty much home stretch, baby!

The ways in which I still struggle. A big theme of my life in 2019 has been the daily cross (as in, the cross the Lord tells us we must carry).

I am grateful to say that I don’t currently have very heavy crosses (e.g., family deaths, serious illness, social injustices inflicted upon me, etc.) to bear, but I have prayed a lot about the daily cross of my failures and also of just…my more negative tendencies in thought and deed.

I said a few weeks ago that these blog posts are for me to reflect, but perhaps they can also be for you, to know you’re not alone.

The ways in which I struggle:

  • Procrastination late at night
  • Poor sleep schedule
  • Overeating / emotional eating, followed by subtle squishing of my body fat, not feeling terrible, but still feeling “not ideal”
  • “Pendulum syndrome” is what I’ll call it. My mind often goes from, “I’ll do all the things, and I will do them well! Things are great!” To, “It’s not worth doing anything, I’m probably not cut out for this.” And it’s hard to find the in-between. Although this is an over-simplification of how my mind sometimes work, it’s true that I’m not very good at living in messy/unclear situations, and I’m not very good at moderation in pretty much anything. I’m an all-or-nothing perfectionist at heart (a blessing and a curse), so living with the discomfort of little failures or mishaps without losing hope and perseverance is something I have grown to learn a lot through these past few years and still continue to learn every day until I die.

I’m not beating myself up about these things, but I do think I can form better habits (which I learned in class just 10 minutes ago). Everything is a work in progress, and we shall keep on keeping on!

It’s a rainy Tuesday here, and I feel like I could sleep FOREVER. Hope you have a great one 🙂

So tell me:

What are some ways you struggle with negative tendencies of yours?

What did you do this weekend?

Have you ever had dim sum?