The Great and Small Things I Learned in Physical Therapy School

I just made the title of this post and now I’m intimidated by it.

It’s a tall order to list all the great and small things I learned in all three years of physical therapy school, but I’ll try. It’ll be good.

(BTW, I’m a doctor now! I still need to take and pass my boards exam in July to be licensed, but I got the degree.)

This is my last “great and small things I’ve learned” post from my time at Boston University, and thinking about that just made my heart sink. Here are the ones I’ve written during my time in DPT school:

Let’s take a stab at reflecting on some of the great and small things I’ve learned throughout all of PT school, now that it’s over. I’m not going to look at any of my previous posts, so as to make this as candid and #raw as possible.

1) I am totally an external processor. Whether studying or figuring out the inner convoluted workings of my soul, talk talk talking is MAJOR KEY.

2) Starting a relationship while starting doctoral studies is challenging.

3) I truly had very little idea what was happening during my first semester of PT school. So much of what I thought I knew about physical therapy flew out the window, and I struggled greatly with the lack of context as I learned about so many different pathologies and interventions in a classroom setting. But it got better.

4) I learned how to embrace failure and let go of perfectionism.

5) It will always be worth it to reserve time and energy to pour into my faith and the community surrounding that faith.

6) That being said, I learned how to set boundaries between study time and my faith and social life. Not without a lot of struggle, strife, and sometimes hurt feelings, though.

7) I learned a lot about walking, and I can say with conviction that it is my favorite form of physical activity. It is one that I never want to take for granted.

8) Physical therapists help others to help themselves, and I love that about the profession. We want YOU to do the moving as much as possible, and we will help you get there.

9) My thoracic spine mobility is crap.

10) The answer to any of my personal problems is probably that I need to sleep and pray.

11) Having a diverse and loving group of friends in PT school is a blessing both in and out of the classroom.

12) In one instance, I cannot see myself doing anything but physical therapy. But in another instance, I can see myself doing something totally different.

13) Weaknesses really can become strengths, and often do.

14) I can spend a whole year with my friend, Janice, by my side and not get sick of her.

idk if it’s reciprocal though

15) The brain (and the whole central nervous system) is an absolute enigma and something that I wish to learn more about, regarding its relationship to and necessity for movement. Maybe one day I will pursue a neurological clinical specialty.

16) America runs on Dunkin’ and I still run on peanut butter and banana every day.

17) I have come to appreciate my family and my life situation more and more as time goes on.

18) Finding deep and abiding freedom, peace, and joy is of utmost importance to me, even if it hurts at first.

19) Many walls of pride have been burned down in different areas of my life, and that is exactly what I prayed would happen in January of 2017, well before PT school started. It has been a painful but very good process, and it never stops.

20) I think I’ve finally learned to try new things that are either neutral or good for me. Trying new things is not naturally my jam (see #16).

21) I can get close to running a half marathon if I don’t almost break my leg in the process.

22) I have learned how to have healthy confrontation and disagreement. I hate confrontation, but it can be extremely fruitful when done with respect, clarity, and charity.

23) It’s really nice to be in a class of people who want to help each other up the mountain.

24) Expect the unexpected.

25) Everyone always knows more than I do. I don’t mean that in a self-deprecating way, but in an honest way. There will always be something someone else knows that I do not know. There will always be something that I can learn from any given person, whether that’s intellectually, academically, spiritually, emotionally, experientially, or physically.

our first Christmas / holiday season together as a PT cohort 🙂

25 is enough. It’s late now and, like I said, the answer is sleep and prayer. The true list of great and small things I’ve learned is inexhaustible, because the fruits of my experience in DPT school will continue to appear throughout my life.

There is nothing but gratitude and joy looking back at these last three years. Good grief is an appropriate phrase to describe it.

Thank you to all who made this possible, and thank YOU for reading along throughout this journey. I appreciate you.

Ice Cream Sundays + Start of Grad School

Two very different yet equally important things.

I’ve been meaning to post this for the past two days, but here we are on a Wednesday. Now that I have to fill my days and nights with studying, blogging will probably be reduced to once a week again. C’est la vie.

It’s been a blessed past five days though!

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even my pineapple was smiling at me! (but this was a terrible pineapple)

Friday

Friday was my last day of work as a gross anatomy teaching assistant, and I must say that I had a great time working that job. (Definitely a better time than the students were having. What troopers.)

I kicked off the weekend with Colby! We picked up our pottery that we painted last weekend, and they turned out so well.

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Afterwards we walked over to Shawarma King for some Mediterranean goods.

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I got the falafel wrap, which totally hit the spot.

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Then we went to Paris Creperie for dessert, necessarily. I got the petite sized bear claw crepe (cinnamon and cookie butter), which was not really worth the price (I was hoping they’d have vanilla ice cream to top it with – negative) but tasty nonetheless.

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As always, time with Colby was the best part 🙂

Later in the night, I joined some friends at Rachel’s place for a Princess Diaries movie night. If it were any other movie, I would have gone to bed instead, but the original Princess Diaries is so worth it.

Saturday

I was suuuuuper tired getting up early Saturday morning, but I was still so happy to go to a 7:30am “Cardio Core Fusion” class at Exhale Back Bay with my friend Elayne!

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She had told me that ClassPass (a membership that gives you discounted prices for fitness classes throughout the city) was having a 4 classes for $4 deal for their 4th anniversary, so we jumped on it. This Cardio Core Fusion was a great, involving lots of planks and punches and fun beats, but my body was NOT having it after a week of less-than-ideal amounts of sleep.

But any opportunity to move and groove with friends is a good time!

I made sure not to book anything else for Saturday so that I could nap (for 2.5 hours thankyouverymuch), clean the apartment, do laundry, pray, cook, FaceTime with the fam, and go to sleep early-ish. I hadn’t forced myself to have a (nearly) commitment-free day in a long time, but after Saturday, I was reminded of how valuable those kinds of days are.

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meatloaf + arugula salad

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banana bread mug cake + greek yogurt while FaceTiming the fam

Sunday

…started off with THE BEST smoothie ever. On Saturday night I threw together in a bowl:

  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/3 c. greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c. oats
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • big spoonful of peanut butter

On Sunday morning, I poured the whole mixture into a blender with a little more milk and about 2/3-3/4 of a frozen banana. And voila! The thickest, most luscious pb banana smoothie of all time.

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I miss it.

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I walked to a church downtown for confession afterwards and then met up with Ben for a workout on the esplanade. It was a hot and beautiful day, so it seemed like all of Boston’s humans and domestic and wild animals were playing outside.

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We utilized the equipment and came up with this fun workout that also made me feel like I was working out on top of a stove. The rubber flooring of this thing is a heat sponge.

3 rounds:

  • 20 tricep dips
  • 15 goblet squats (with a random cement block we found there)
  • 20 decline situps
  • 10 burpee bench jumpovers
  • 10 step up hops each leg
  • 10 side to side uneven pushups
  • 10 lateral hopover burpees
  • 25 double unders
  • 20 reverse rows

We drank oh so much agua afterwards and walked over to a different park to hang out with more friends!

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We picnicked, frisbee’d, read, jumped rope, and made fun of each other. Quality friend time ♥︎

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I packed and ate this sandwich for the park – pepper jack, ham, arugula, bacon, sriracha mayo *squeal*

After playing outside for a few hours, I walked back home while FaceTiming my friend Briana. Then I showered, ate meatloaf and veggies in record speed, and rushed back out the door for Mass back on campus.

My friends and I have unofficially decided that we now have a post-Sunday-Mass ice cream ritual. I really just kept bugging people about ice cream all day, but who was gonna say no? We went to White Mountain Creamery last Sunday, so it seems like it’s “ice cream Sundays” should be a thing now.

This week we went to Emack and Bolio’s, which has been known to just be “meh,” and for me it was still just that, but it was ice cream. It was also my fault for ordering too chocolatey of a flavor for my taste.

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chocolate salted peanut butter cup + bananas foster (the latter was delicious though!)

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some of my favorite humans

Rachel invited us over to her place to hang out/watch the Cardinals v. Pirates baseball game, but I was there for the hanging out, popcorn and beer. The baseball was nice white noise.

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Monday

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I’ve been having overnight oats 5/7 days per week probably, and I am never mad about it.

I worked through the morning at my side job and then headed to the gym for a very short but efficient workout (read: my legs were jello by the end).

Supersets (3x)

  • 10 pistols each leg + 20 KB swings (12kg)
  • 15 weighted jump squats (10#) + 20 hamstring ball curls + 20 jump lunges

I warmed up before and stretched afterwards, but this was IT.

Sidenote: I was fueled by this bomb sandwich I packed with me.

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avocado, arugula, two eggs, bacon, sriracha *angels singing*

Sandwiches make the world go ’round.

After the gym, I went to the bookstore to pick up a textbook for my class and then headed home to cook, eat and FaceTime with my dear friend Emma for THREE hours! There was apparently a lot on our hearts that needed to be said. Praise God for wonderful friends.

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dinner – more meatloaf with brown rice and veggies sautéed in sesame oil and rice vinegar

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post dinner – leftover green pancakes from the freezer, warmed up and topped with pb and maple syrup

I ate this dinner and snack kind of early (finished at 6pm) but ate a chicken drumstick at around 9pm after FaceTiming Emma. So I was full going to bed, but for some odd reason, I woke up starving at 3:30am. I hesitate to use the word starving for fear of overdramatizing my hunger, but I really was hungry to the bone and felt like I could have eaten a large burger with fries and milkshake in the middle of the night.

Of course, I got up and ate bread with pb&j. But when I went back to bed, I was still so hungry and ate half a frozen banana with yogurt. And then third times the charm, I got up again and ate several handfuls of sunflower seeds.

It was a very odd occurrence that I did not like at all, but I just honestly, inadvertently didn’t eat enough before going to bed. Happens…but I’d prefer if it didn’t.

Tuesday

First day of PT school!!!

We had orientation at 8am, followed by class from 9-12 and 1-3. Five hours of classes in one day is not my cuppa tea, but alas, summer school is here.

After our long first day of Functional Anatomy, our program directors kindly set up a fun social event for all of the post-bacs and continuing undergraduates (like me) to mingle and meet one another. We bonded over bowling and lots of delicious food (praaaaaaise)!IMG_9250

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I helped myself to half a ham sandwich, chips, salsa, egg rolls, chicken wings, fried mac and cheese(!!!!), lemonade, and, like, a couple veggies.

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new and old friends! (shoutout to Erin who always hypes up my blog around new people haha ♥︎)

Now I have things like homework to do at night, so I think I’m going to read a textbook, pray, EAT A FREAKING HEFTY SNACK, and hit the hay.

Hope you are all having a marvelous week!

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So tell me:

Do you have a fun weekly or monthly “ritual” of any sort?

Two things you did this weekend!

Do you ever schedule in a full day off?