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).

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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).

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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!)

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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?

 

 

 

 

Spontaneity

Moves.

  • Core and grip strength work at rock climbing (no actual wall climbing for now) + 15 min single leg assault biking on Thursday
  • Rest day Friday
  • 20 min HIIT workout Saturday
  • Swimming and aqua jogging yesterday

Less pressure. Because I have limited options with what I can do for my workout, I feel less pressure to choose the “perfect” workout each day. It’s very literally a matter of, “whatever I can do, I will do, and I’m happy with that.” It’s freeing, and I’ve found it to be a blessing in disguise with this femur fiasco.

MRI. I got one on Friday morning at 6am and I swear I was falling asleep in that large, loud tube they put you through. It was my first MRI ever, and what an interesting experience it was! They gave me a blanket to stay warm, large headphones to block out the noise (with the option to play music for you but I declined because I wanted to try to nap for the 30 min I was in there), and the machine is a painless, loud as heck, gentle giant. I’m glad I went in feet first though, because I think my slight claustrophobia would have freaked me out a little bit. Results will come back tomorrow I hope!

Spontaneity. I made a spontaneous trip to Providence, RI this weekend to visit my friend Zoe, who was hosting essentially a Catholic women’s brunch at her apartment. It was totally off brand for me to make a decision like that so last minute, but I was feeling good about the amount of work I had to do, and how often do I get to do spontaneous things like this? Making plans also helps me to actually get work done rather than derp around because “I have soooo much timeeee.”

Brunch was a blast! It was a super girly Pinterest-y thing to start, but then we started talking about farts and that’s when the real party started. I made little ham and cheese crescent rolls, and boy do I love pillsbury crescent rolls. Buttery, pillowy goodness.

Also spontaneous? Getting burgers, fries and shakes last night with my friends Abby and Joy. It was good for the soul.

Monday, here we come!

So tell me:

What was the best spontaneous thing you’ve done recently?

Have you ever gotten an MRI before? Did you enjoy the experience?

What did you do this weekend?

Troublemaker, People Pleaser

It’s been a minute (five whole days seems like a long time to not blog now)! I had a midterm ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Doctor’s orders. Regarding my femur, I had an appointment with the orthopedic specialist on Friday, and he told me, point-blank, “You need to get an MRI,” as well as, “Even if it’s just a stress reaction [vs. a stress fracture], I’d like you to be on crutches for about a month.”

Me: “But…can it be partial weight bearing at least?”

Him: “If you want this to heal quickly, it needs to be non-weightbearing or maybe toe touch for balance.”

Hmph. It’s not so easy being on the other side of the patient-provider interaction…

Troublemaker, part 1. Putting little to no weight through my right leg has proven to be challenging, both mentally and physically. Physically, I carry a CRAP TON of stuff throughout my day, and holding all of that with mostly my arms is like its own form of training (at least I have some alternative form of cardio?). Mentally, it seems silly because my right leg does not hurt at all when I walk short distances. So I can crutch on the sidewalks and then walk completely normally when I get home. I feel…fraudulent. But I know that it’s not about the pain; it’s about the process of healing. I do miss my usual moves and grooves as well.

I’ve been a troublemaker at times, weight bearing and walking on my right leg when I’m in class or in the Catholic center (my argument: “Doc said I can walk household distances without crutches!!”). But alllll my PT friends + John are on my TAIL about using my crutches as often as possible. As they well should be (and as I well should know to do).

People have been incredibly kind though. Strangers offering to carry my bags, people offering their seats on the train, friends walking slowly with me and opening doors for me, John helping me get groceries. The list goes on and on each day, and for that I am grateful. How can I not be happy!?

Physical therapists everywhere I turn. That was this past Saturday at the American Physical Therapy Association of Massachusetts annual conference!! I learned oodles and now have an ignited flame to advocate for PT in new and #innovative ways. PT is so much more than little Alison could have imagined when she entered into this program almost 6 years ago.

Troublemaker, part 2. Over this weekend, I for some reason felt acutely aware of all the times when I have failed others, either my friends, family, or strangers. I felt heavy and ashamed for all of the times in both the far and recent past when I have hurt people out of ignorance, selfishness, accident.

I’m a people-pleaser at my core, which is good in some respects, but my people-pleasing attitude has often been a BIG source of pride for me. Almost 3 years ago, I begged God to help me break down the walls of pride in my heart — to make me more humble. It’s been a slow and grueling process (that can’t stop, won’t stop, baby) of constantly learning humility through my own failures and shortcomings (along with all the usual embarrassments of my life). And of course, God humbles me in the best ways He knows how.

He has allowed (but not caused!) me to make mistakes and see the effects of my vices, which unfortunately results in others being hurt sometimes, in big or small ways. This has made me really dang familiar with big apologies and the sacrament of confession. But this has also made me realize that I cannot perseverate and bang my head over my failures. It’s easy for me to think it’s the end of the world if someone is mad at me or know that I hurt someone. But what ought to be the reaction? Sincerely apologize, make appropriate amends, and do better. Move forward. It’s not about me.

What does “doing better” mean to me? My people-pleasing tendency has not disappeared, but the way I view myself in relation to others has shifted… On the one hand, I understand more the effects of seemingly small instances of laziness or neglect in loving others. This brings me low in knowing my weakness as a human. On the other hand, it helps me to have a healthier sense of what loving others means. It’s not the big, “WOW THANK YOU ALISON” moments. Sometimes it’s silent refrain from certain words or actions on my part — things that the world will never notice but that are truly better in the end.

Food. To lighten things up here…

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I’ve been using leftover beer cheese dip in a lot of my dinners (perks of potlucks). On toast with an egg on top. In leftover rice with egg and sriracha on top. On a spoon.

The photo got cut off, but I tried a pumpkin mochi muffin for the first time with Lauren and Joy last week, and it changed my life. Gooey, underbaked-kinda-vibe that is what baked good dreams are made of. I want to make some!!

One day last week I ate, like, two bananas and 3 tbsp of PB total before noon.

Moves. Besides crutching everywhere (exhausting!):

  • Swimming with Abby. Also aqua jogging without a floatation belt — that’s WORK.
  • Upper body strength
  • Lots of yoga
  • Single leg strength on my unaffected side (my left butt is sore and my right side is just chillin)
  • I tried single leg rowing and that was doable but felt kinda weird
  • Core work up the wazoo

Whatever works!

Halloween costume? Janice may or may not have a boba costume made for me today. We shall see. If not, I’ll be a pirate or something with my crutches.

Wednesday already, what fun!

So tell me:

Have you ever had to use crutches or follow a protocol for something to heal in your body? Was it difficult?

Are you a people-pleaser? Has this affected you in any particular way?

What is a weird way you’ve spiced up leftovers?

Have you ever eaten a mochi muffin?

Do you dress up for Halloween? If so, whatcha gonna be this year!?

 

Ya Ever Wanna Crush Things With Your Bare Hands?

Moves. 45 minutes on the assault bike (a fitting name for it). I basically did my own spin-class-style workout to my “werk” playlist on Spotify, doing a variety of sprint intervals, recovery songs, and endurance/tempo songs.

I ended with songs from the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack, and I felt like I was INVINCIBLE. My favorite songs are “Memories” (a slower, moody, lyrical hip-hop type of vibe) and “What’s Up Danger,” which I have expressed to my friends is a song that makes me “wanna break things and throw boulders while wearing a Mulan-in-armor-esque type of costume.”

…Which explains the title of this post. Side note: Highly recommend the movie if you have not watched it yet — a very well-done cartoon!

Femur felt fine after the workout, but I still need to make a doc appointment to get it checked out for real.

Spontaneous conversation. My friend asked me if I wanted to hang out / study with her on campus yesterday. When I got there, we initially had our laptops open to do some work, but she asked me how I was doing and asked specific questions about my life, opening up a lovely, spontaneous conversation about deeper things than I was expecting for a rather normal Tuesday afternoon. She showed genuine interest in me, which was so touching. I forgot how much even a brief heart-to-heart can refresh my being. Thanks, Lauren ♥︎

Punctuality. I was late to ^^^said meet-up with Lauren, about which I NEED TO BE BETTER. I am punctual for class, work, and meetings with professors/bosses, but when it comes to casual meet-ups with friends, it’s like my brain cannot get my body to move and think fast enough to be on time. I always leave too late and overestimate my ability to get done what I want to get done. But I do not want to keep taking advantage of my friends’ / family’s time, because that ain’t right.

Stuffed cabbage rolls. I made these babies for the first time ever, which was super random; I’ve literally never eaten a cabbage roll in my life, but I had beef… I had cabbage (#cheapestveggieindaclub)… Cabbage rolls! My Ukranian roommate saw me cooking them and said, “I have never seen anyone in America make these.” I enjoyed them! Baby meatloaves in a blanket!

Quote. I pray every day, but it has been a long time, it seems, since I smiled during prayer from the depths of my soul. But yesterday, I could not help but (soft) smile, and this quote was part of the reason:

Prayer is nothing more than a friendly conversation with the One whom I know Loves me. — St. Teresa of Avila

Hump day already, baby! Let’s get it.

So tell me:

Do you ever feel like you could crush things with your bare hands because of a super intense workout song?

When was the last time you had a refreshing spontaneous conversation?

Punctuality — great at it or struggle with it?

Have you ever eaten stuffed cabbage rolls? 

I Would Like to (Actually) Blog Daily

I mean…this blog is called DAILY Moves and Grooves, is it not?

Here’s the thing: I have not blogged consistently for the past two years thanks to grad school. I am deterred from blogging because I feel like I need to have perfectly-themed and cohesive content in every post, and that takes TIME. But maybe that’s not entirely necessary…

I believe in the power of creativity, whatever that may be, as an outlet; it can be a tool for both personal growth and for fostering social connection. I also don’t want to let this hobby of mine die, not now at least. I’ve got less than a year until full-time, real-world work, baby, so I’m gonna soak up this time.

So how about some shorter posts? Posts with snippets of potentially relatable content that help you and I start a conversation, casual or deep. Or for you to just feel like you’re not alone. Or for me to process my life. All of the above?

I’ll try it out.

(Unfortunately, there will likely be limited to no photos in posts to come because ya girl has very little media storage space left. But perhaps take this as a break from image overload that you get on Instagram and Facebook anyway.)


Moves: If you watched my day in the life vlog from yesterday, you might have picked up on the fact that I was supposed to run a half marathon this past Sunday but decided it was in my best interest to NOT run it due to a (self-diagnosed) stress fracture in my femur. I’m walking, but running is not a happy time. I’ve been focusing on low impact workouts lately, and that’s just what I did yesterday.

20 minutes (5 rounds, 30 sec on, 10 sec off):

  • KB sumo deadlifts (50#)
  • modified v-ups
  • push-up to renegade row (15# DBs)
  • plank ➔ step to stand ➔ deadlift (15# DBs)
  • tabletop sit throughs
  • mountain climbers

I do not actually know if I have a stress fracture, but I will get it checked out ASAP because it’s been over 2 weeks now, and it hasn’t really made much progress. No worse, but no better either. (So…do not take this workout as something I would necessarily recommend based on the diagnosis of a stress fracture; this just felt good yesterday.)

Crying out of nowhere. I’ve been going through waves of feeling like I’m great and then feeling totally ashamed of all the crappy things I do in my life. Very clearly in my heart when I was feeling the latter yesterday (I was packing my backpack or something mundane like that), I felt like God was saying, “Hey, stop that. Stop. I love you.” And I started crying out of nowhere. I didn’t want to cry because I had just put on makeup, so tears were extremely inconvenient, but when the Spirit moves, He moves.

Hibachi. I had a date at a hibachi restaurant last night, and I think my sodium levels skyrocketed so much that I must have been borderline hypertensive. They squirt soy sauce on everything as if it’s the water that will put out the little onion volcano fire. I also couldn’t catch whatever the chef threw at my mouth. But it was fun and the company was lovely!

Family. I realize that I should call my family more often (hiiii, mom and pop and Ben).

Day off. Due to schedule shuffling thanks to the Monday holiday, I actually do not have classes today either! That just means catching up on all the things I should have done earlier this weekend.

Have a great Tuesday! Happy feast day of St. Teresa of Avila ♥︎

So tell me:

What do you think of this format of blog posting? Yay? Nay?

When was the last time you cried out of nowhere?

Have you ever gone to a hibachi restaurant? Do you like the food?

What did you do this weekend?