A random sick day vlog.

Boston University has officially made all learning remote for the rest of the semester.

The poor undergraduates who live on campus have been advised to stay home…but are also being asked to move out within 5 days. Good grief.

Yesterday I decided to film a random sick day vlog, mostly because I had very few important things to do.

Enjoy, if you so choose to watch!

The Blonde Ponytail 100s Challenge

Irish Apple Cake

So tell me:

What kind of activity do you like to do when you don’t really feel like working out?

What is your go-to food to use up a lot of milk / eggs?

What did you do yesterday?

Do you have your life together? I don’t.

Let’s stop talking about me; let’s talk about You, God.

I had a sick day yesterday that didn’t feel like a sick day, but I guess an abnormal day just feels normal at this moment.

I stayed home from clinical yesterday (and also today), because I must be without my sore throat and cough symptoms for at least 24 hours before returning to work. I was anticipating at least one sick day, and yes, I have symptoms, but I also feel 100% functional.

It’s the “abundance of caution” that is keeping me from work, which I totally get. But I don’t think these particular symptoms I’m having right now have ever kept me home from anything before. Hence a “sick day that doesn’t feel like a sick day.” Gotta do what ya gotta do though.

Additionally, our fridge/freezer stopped working yesterday.

What turned that around was the excuse to bake cornbread to use up some of the whole milk I bought this weekend. 🙂 Also, the fact that yesterday was a particularly cold day, so my roommates and I were able to keep our food outside on the porch to prevent spoilage.

Moves: this ab workout + this at-home HIIT workout from Natacha Oceane. I’m not usually a huge fan of just any fitness guru who puts out social media content, but Natacha was formerly a PhD student and chose to do YouTube instead. However, she still brings evidence to practice and makes the evidence very accessible and digestible, and I can get behind that.

Opportunities. Having a sick day and having more time to myself (#selfisolation) presents more opportunities to do things for which I’ve lost habit.

Exhibit A: FaceTiming my PT friend who had her clinical in Utah (hi, Elayne!)

Exhibit B: Prayer for 20+ minutes at a time. I went on a long solo walk to get some fresh air into these lungs, and just talked with God. I literally told Him, “I’m tired of talking about myself and asking what Your plan is for me. I want to know more about You… What was it like for Your people to turn against You and want to throw You headlong off a cliff?” (as that was the event of yesterday’s Gospel reading).

And that was the most fruitful prayer in a long time. It was a wonderful thing to focus on God for who He is and not myself in this time of chaos.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Say a prayer, wear green and eat something Irish. And don’t pinch anyone for not wearing green! Not because of coronavirus, but because that’s rude.

So tell me:

How are you finding “normal” in the abnormal of life right now?

What are some opportunities you are finding with the social distancing?

So…The “Future”?

We are in QUITE a bonafide shakeup, aren’t we?

And I don’t mean to make light of what is truly a serious situation happening in the world. I myself am actually sick with a cough and sore throat right now, so I’m trying to keep myself away from people (depending on how I feel this morning when this post goes up, I may or may not be going to clinical today). I hope the social distancing and/or quarantining has been fruitful and not too stir-crazy for you all.

some pretty clouds for you

The ~future~ seems a little blurry right now for most people, including myself. We had an additional 11 weeks of clinical experience lined up from March until June, but those weeks have been canceled for us physical therapy students, which is difficult to swallow in many respects, but also exciting because we technically have enough clinical hours to be DONE (besides the boards exam in July, and maybe some additional clinical experience as individually needed). Essentially, I have 11+ weeks to study for boards and just…do something.

Work a temporary (non-PT) job? Eh, doesn’t seem like people are hiring anyone right now.

Start applying for big girl PT jobs? Eh, I don’t know if I want to work in Boston or NY, and I need to apply for licensure in one or the other before I start applying.

Vacation? Nope, no traveling, please.

Hobbies or special skill development? I’ve been seeing ads for Zumba instructor training, and not gonna lie, I’ve clicked the links out of interest. Maybe this is the time to immerse myself back into the blogging world (perfect for social distancing in the physical sense!).

I don’t know.

Two weekends ago gave a Catholic youth retreat talk to a bunch of high schoolers who are planning on being confirmed this year on the topic titled, “you have a purpose, and God has a plan.” I wasn’t sure why I felt the need to speak on that particular topic, but little did I know even just two weeks ago how much I would need to pray deeply about the truth that God does have a plan through the convoluted madness of this spinning Earth.

So, if you’re also feeling lost today, you’re not alone. But you still have a purpose in your isolation, in your working from home / still working when no one is giving you business, or in whatever your situation may be.

Moves and grooves have been limited due to a stressful week, being sick, and now my gym is closed for a month. I was just getting into increasing my squat weight, but that’ll be on hold for a bit. Home and outdoor workouts are the name of the game now. I’ll take this as an opportunity to get creative and hopefully more flexible (re: both muscles and plans). Solo walks will also continue.

In all of this, I also realize how much of a physical touch person I am. Even just a little hand on the shoulder when I’m laughing or elbow touch when I’m saying hello/goodbye. I have to internally scream at myself, “NO, ALISON. CONTROL.”

In other news, St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow! In honor of the feast day, I baked this Irish apple cake yesterday and it was one of the most delightful things I have ever baked. Staying in never tasted so goooooood. Skipped the custard sauce only because I ran out of vanilla extract and didn’t feel like going to the grocery store for, like, the 4th time this week.

I live for crispy crunchy crust with soft, buttery cake inside. It’s like apple pie in cake form + extra flavor of a buttery scone. OH my goodness, I miss it already.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend Mass (in either Boston or NY) for the foreseeable future due to city-wide efforts to “flatten the curve” of infection cases. Totally necessary, but definitely a bummer. Bummer because, of course, I would l o v e to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, but also especially a bummer because of all the beautiful feast days this week and next week (St. Patrick, St. Joseph, Annunciation). We shall celebrate and be in communion with Christ and others in different ways this time around though! Our creative minds are being challenged here.

The “future”? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ← that’s all I have to say about that. I trust, though. He’ll pull us through He’ll walk with us through this; He always does.

I am well overall, and I hope you and your loved ones are too. If not, drop a comment and I’ll pray for you especially.

So tell me:

What are some emotions you have experienced due to the changes in the world as of late?

How are you feeling about the ~future~?

What is the best thing you’ve cooked/baked in 2020 so far?

Day in the Life {Third Clinical of DPT School}

Whoopsie, I didn’t mean to duck out of here for so long. No excuses to share!

To get back into the swing of things, I think it’s fine time for another “day in the life” post, given that I am over halfway through my third of four clinicals here in physical therapy school. February is also over halfway over, which is somethin’ to chew on. Lent is coming!!

I am currently working four 10-hour days (Mon-Thurs), and each day looks a little different after I leave work, but here is a typical Monday.

a super close up selfie of me on my very first day of clinical (6 weeks ago)

5:40am — Wake up. Kick a leg off the bed, then the other, then (sometimes literally) hit the floor to say a morning offering prayer. Go to the bathroom.

6:00am — Make bed, get changed, and put on a small bit of makeup. Get my lunch box packed.

6:15am — Leave apartment and walk to a farther train station than necessary to get the blood pumping. I like to breathe in the fresh morning air and say a rosary.

6:40am — Arrive at the train station and get on the train.

7:00am — Take a shuttle from the train station to work building.

7:15am — Arrive at work. Change my upper garments because I always sweat walking to the train station.

7:30am — Start pre-charting while eating breakfast. On Mondays, we technically start work at 8:00am, but I like to get there slightly earlier to have more time to chart review and plan for the day.

8:15am — The first slot for seeing a patient. Some days it’s filled, others it’s not.

Occasionally, I’ll scarf down a nut bar if we have a free moment and if I’m really hungry between breakfast and lunch.

12:00pm — Lunch break! Depending on how many notes I need to write, I’ll either stay in my cubicle documenting while eating lunch or take some time to go down to the cafeteria where there is 10x more light and warmth than in the office.

1:00pm — Back to work. Technically, our lunch break is 30 minutes, so half is for actual eating and relaxing. The other half is for documenting.

4:00-5:00 pm — Sometime in here I’ll likely have a snack for the final push of the work day.

5:30pm — No more patients seen after this time, but time to finish up notes and prepare for the next day!

6:30pm — Leave work (if all goes as planned). I’ve been walking from work to the train station instead of waiting for the shuttle, unless it’s already there. It’s another nice way to unwind from work and just enjoy the fresh air (if it’s not raining, that is).

7:00pm — Take the train to the gym. Usually I just sit and stare to let my mind rest. Often will say some prayers. Occasionally I’ll listen to a podcast. John suggested I read a book when I’m commuting, which seems obvious, but I have not done it yet!

7:30pm — Arrive at the gym, change, and do a quick workout. Usually, since it’s quite late already, I do a warmup + 20 minute HIIT workout.

It’s a victory in and of itself for me to get my butt to the gym after a long day, and that’s coming from someone who likes to work out. Holla at everyone who struggles getting to the gym after a long day of work. The gym does not open early enough for me to go before work… but I doubt I’d go at 5am anyway, even if it was open at that time.

The worst part about the gym at this time of day is that many college students are like me and don’t go to the gym before classes; they go AFTER classes are done for the day. So it’s a mad house. Utter mad house. The beauty of a HIIT workout though is that I need limited space, so I usually gather myself in a corner and get to work.

8:30pm — Arrive home and eat dinner! Try to not occupy my mind too much, but maybe FaceTime a friend, maybe text some people.

9:15pm — Shower.

9:30pm — Pack food for the next day.

10:00pm — Soooo…. what I should be doing at this time is winding down, praying, reading, etc. But I often will be texting people or busying myself with pointless things that are unproductive at this hour of the night. But the goal is to be in bed around this time and getting my snooze on.

Recently I’ve been getting to sleep closer to 10:30-10:40pm, for whatever reason. I need to work on cleaning up that nighttime routine, let me tell ya.

That’s about it though! Some variations include bible study on Tuesday nights instead of the gym. Mondays and Wednesdays I start at 8am, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30am. Some nights I get off earlier from work. Wednesdays I’m often tired and don’t make it to the gym. Thursdays I usually try to push through to work out since I have Fridays off. It’s all just a general routine with lots of flexibility, for which I am grateful.

I hope all those who have today off (President’s Day in America) have lots of fun and relaxation! For those like me who are working today, I hope it’s still lots of fun 🙂

So tell me:

What does your daily schedule look like generally?

What do you typically eat for breakfast?

Do you go to the gym before or after work?

Four Things I Pray For Every Work Day

Moves. The gift of movement is something for which I feel more grateful with each passing day. From the times when I don’t have the opportunity to work out to seeing the ways in which my patients struggle with movement, I see each step and workout as a blessed thing. Since it has been quite a few days since my last post, I will highlight only a few of my favorite workouts from this past week.

Last Thursday: Yoga online

Last Friday: Outdoor play time + rock climbing with Janice and a couple more friends!

Saturday: Lower body

  • Squats (warmup ➔ 1×8 at 135# ➔ 1×5 at 155# ➔ 3×3 at 165# ➔ 4×4 at 155#)
  • 3 rounds: 12 KBS + concentric to eccentric deadlift to squat jump x10

Monday: HIIT workout (30 sec work/30 sec rest x 4 rounds)

  • Dumbbell burpee to push press
  • Bent over dumbbell rows
  • Bear crawl plank to kick through
  • Wall balls
  • Plank jack climbers / crossing mountain climbers

Yesterday: Upper body

  • Pull-up practice with and without band // 15 second flexed arm hangs
  • 8 devil presses + 10-12 dumbbell chest press on ball
  • Wall walks focusing on weight shifting in handstand position
  • 10 TRX rows + 6-8 dips
  • 12 scorpion ball planks / 8 ball pike to pushup + 40 double unders

10 hours. That’s how much sleep I got last night because I have been terrible at getting at least 7 hours of sleep for the past couple weeks months. I went to sleep at 8pm like a baby, and oh how I wish I could do that every night.

Chipotle rice. Last Saturday a few friends and I helped out another friend with her high school retreat at the church where she is a youth minister. Most importantly, the theme was forgiveness, and it was beautiful to see so many high schoolers respond to God’s Mercy that night. Second most importantly, I discovered how much I really love Chipotle’s lime cilantro rice. I know it’s old news at this point, but DANG that is some buttery flavorful goodness. I took home some leftovers and enjoyed every last bite of it this week.

Brunch and generosity. Also last weekend, I grabbed brunch at Cafe Landwer with my friend Sabrina, and it was just lovely. I had shakshuka with halloumi cheese and the best bread. She had a breakfast platter that included tastes of lots of little dishes. We both didn’t know each other very well before the brunch, but we ended hoping to catch up again soon.

What struck me was her generosity in treating me to brunch (and an Uber from one crowded brunch place to another). She is a young, relatively new grad who could probably be frugal like the rest of us, but she realized her position of having a job and my position of still being a student with zero income, and she without a question treated me to brunch. It’s small and logical, but I felt that the gesture was filled with so much love and consideration. Thank you, Sabrina!

Four things. It’s been a busy but good week at clinical, but the current and impending challenges of becoming the best new grad PT I can be is a little daunting. Since my first clinical in summer of 2018, I have prayed for two things: honesty and humility. I wanted to be very honest in what I knew and did not know, in what I needed from my clinical instructor, and in who I was as a clinician and a person. All while being humble in accepting criticism and in failing at times.

Since the start of this third clinical, I have prayed for an additional two graces: clarity and competence. As I am approaching my doctorate, it’s not just about passing to the next step of my education; it’s about exceeding expectations to give my patients the very best care possible. I know I need to be clear and intentional about what I do for treatment and why, and it needs to be backed by solid evidence and clinical reasoning.

Honesty, humility, clarity, and competence. My H’s and C’s. It all seems obvious, but they don’t come easily all the time, so I pray for them.

So tell me:

What was your favorite workout this past week?

Do you like Chipotle rice?

What is a kind gesture that stood out to you this week?

Do you have a daily prayer / mantra to get you through the work week?