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?
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.
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?
It doesn’t look like much on paper, but if you go heavy enough on the kettlebell and high enough with the box jumps, it gets spicy.
If you’re not sure what EMOM entails… Set a timer for 10 minutes (+ a few seconds of countdown to get ready). At 10:00, start the “even” exercise, completing it as fast as possible with good form. Once you’ve completed the assigned reps, you get to rest for the remainder of the minute. At 9:00, start the “odd” exercise and do the same thing. Etc…
These are all pretty high intensity moves, so that remaining time in the minute should be much needed! If not, first check form, then increase weight/height of box, then increase reps if still too easy.
“Chopped” salad. One of the many weird things I do is make chopped salads by hacking at all the ingredients together in a large container (e.g., last night I used my rice cooker pot because it’s the largest vessel I have right now) with kitchen scissors.
If you’ve ever been to a bougie chopped salad bar, they’ll often pour out all the ingredients onto a giant cutting board and use a curved axe-saw type of thing to chop-chop the salad so that you have perfectly proportioned bites vs. large, stemmy leaves that are unflattering to eat.
Well I don’t have those tools, but I still want the chopped salad experience sometimes. I do have a large container, and I do have kitchen scissors. So last night’s super easy salad at 9pm was spinach, avocado, deli ham, homemade maple mustard vinaigrette ➔ dump into clean rice cooker pot ➔ hack at all of it with kitchen shears while occasionally tossing.
I’ll post a video example on my instagram story today if you’re interested. And yes, I ate my salad straight out of the rice cooker pot.
p.s. I definitely ate more food after my salad, so don’t go thinking I eat 300 calories for dinner.
Avocado smoothie. Speaking of avocados, I went out to lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant with my friends on Sunday, and John ordered an avocado smoothie for us to share. It is literally just ice, avocado, and some condensed milk. I loved it. It was like a light, refreshing guacamole milkshake that had a subtle but sure taste of the beloved creamy fruit. I recommend it the next time you’re out eating pho!
So tell me:
Do you like to make “chopped” salads at home? If so, how? Have you/would you ever try the kitchen scissors+bowl method?
Have you ever done an EMOM workout? Do you like them?
Have you ever tried an avocado smoothie? Do you like to put avocados IN your smoothies?
I didn’t do anything on Monday due to time constraints. On Tuesday after work though, I needed to move because I was going MAD. I’ve gotten better at “tolerating” lack of movement (whereas in the past I would need to get up ever 10 minutes to walk or squat or something), but sometimes after a long day ya girl just feels like she’s about to implode. So a 9pm trip to the gym for a 45-minute assault bike workout helped immensely. It helped that I was off work the next day too.
Yesterday I did an upper body workout involving:
4 sets of pull-ups to failure (unassisted and assisted)
3×10 dumbbell clean and press // 3×16 stability ball scorpions
3×10-14 TRX rows // 3×10 TRX pike pushups
2 sets of dips to failure
3×35 double unders
Life. This past weekend I attended the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
My religious views are not a secret if you’ve been reading for a while or know me, and they inevitably and necessarily affect my political views as well. Politics aside though (I h a t e talking about politics), what I’ve reflected on personally this year during and after the march is that my chance to be pro-life is at every moment. On the one hand, to speak up for those who are the most vulnerable (e.g., the unborn, immigrants, victims of sex trafficking, people without homes, people who are non-verbal, to name a few) is a priority in the pro-life movement.
However, I do not think that anyone can be pro-life without putting in the physical, emotional, and spiritual work to love the most vulnerable people they encounter in their day-to-day. That may look different for every person depending on your job, geographic location, and circumstance in life. In essence though, my hope for every person at the March for Life, including myself, was that they were “walking the walk,” not just at the March for life (as important as that is) but for the person in front of them today.
Death. Rest in peace, Kobe Bryant, Gigi, and all others killed on the helicopter. BU’s chaplain, Fr. Barnes, had some beautiful words to say in light of the tragedy.
Meatballs. I bought and froze a pack of 80/20 (#FatIsPhat) ground beef the other week and put it to good use with this NYT meatball recipe that is superbly easy to execute. I was baking banana bread at the same time, so I decided to pan fry the meatballs instead, and that was a solid move.
Lunar New Year. Celebrated with lots of dim sum on Saturday with the fam and then hot pot with John and friends! It’s the year of the rat, and I was born in the year of the rat. Apparently in Chinese culture, that’s bad luck, but in Vietnamese culture, it’s good luck if it’s your year. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Italian cooking music. It’s a playlist on Spotify that my friend Ben is playing currently, and I am loving it. So sweet and chill. My dentist last week was also playing a tango playlist on Pandora, and that was also something fun to which I could see myself cooking/working.