Thursday, March 29, 2012


I had to make a blog post just to share this video.

What an excellent interview with someone who exemplifies how CrossFit can transform you. I've only been at CrossFit for about 2.5 months, and in that short time, it has honestly made my life so much better. It's hard to be sad, depressed, or angry about crappy things in life after doing a WOD, even if you come in last (as i often, do, hehe); just the act of trying and pushing through makes you a stronger person everyday. It has not been a great past year, but CrossFit has helped turn it around for me ♥ . This guy expresses this wonderfully. 


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Still at it...

Still CrossFitting, still loving it. 

Jumping during the 7 minute Burpee's from open WOD 12.1 

Tuesdays and Thursdays at our box is strength training day. We use the Wendler 5/3/1 method and mix it up a bit each week. Usually, Tuesday is front squats and power cleans, while Thursday consists of deadlifts and push press.

I love all of the olympic style weight lifting, so it's hard for me to pick a "favorite," per se, but if I had to choose, it would be front squats and power cleans. There is just something about squatting with that much weight on the front of your shoulders that makes you feel strong. And power cleans? Yes, you do feel powerful if done correctly.

This chick looks roughly about my height/size and she's front squatting 185lbs!

My max is...85!
She rocks.

Our coach says he "loves" to watch me lift because I have "great form. " This is nice to hear since I don't seem to have much speed or stamina during the WODs, hehe. 

I am also continually working on getting stronger. I'm no where near where I want to be! 
Right now, my one rep max for deadlift is officially 160 (and my body weight is approximately 120lbs), but after our Wendler program last week, we calculated that I am probably closer to 175 at this point.

Ideally, I need to be over 200lbs. 

I asked our coach how I should go about setting goals, and he said it's really up to the person. He said I that I definitely have my form down, so it's all about building strength at this point. I'm not sure if it's too short of a time, but I'd like to give myself the following short-term goals.

By May 1st:
-Deadlift 200lbs
-1 unassisted pull-up
-Finish a WOD rx, and not come in last.

In general, I need to work on speed and stamina, but those will be continuous.

 For running, I'm still so slow compared to everyone.  BUT, I know that I do have speed in me. For instance, Saturday's WOD involved a ton of running. Here it was:
  • Run 200 meters forward
  • Run 200 meters backward
  • 25 push ups
  • 25 air squats
  • 200 m overhead plate walk* 45lbs/25lbs. bumper plate
  • 200 m run
  • 25 slam balls 20/10lbs.
  • 25 wall balls 20/14lbs.
  • 200 m. run
  • 200 m. overhead plate walk**(pick up plate you took the first time)
  • Finish with:
Run 400 meters
Looking at it, I didn't think it would be so tough, but man, oh man, I was dying. Carrying the overhead plate nearly killed me. I think I finished in 29 minutes, which was dead-last. Back to the whole speed thing--during the last maybe 200 meters, I GUNNED it. I ran as fast as I possibly could. It just shows that I can do it, but I just don't for some reason.

Other little things: sit-up time. I can do sit-ups just fine, but I seem to be a lot slower than everyone else. In fact, I find this odd because my core seems to be the strongest part of my body. I think I really engage my abs so much during sit-ups because they tend to seize, contract, and stay that way. It's painful!!

I also get winded fairly quick. I don't think I have such a poor cardio-respiratory system, so I'm not sure why I get out of breath so much quicker than everyone else. Or maybe everyone hides it better and pushes on through? ;)

As for pull-ups, I'm using a band now, but trying to "graduate" to a less-resistant band during WODs. I mentioned to our coach about wanting to do an unassisted pull-up, so today he had me working on a negative pull-up. This involves starting at the top of the bar with arms flexed and slowly lowering yourself down to arms extended. 


Or maybe I will just continue to make confused faces, like this...

This is my, "ugh, this bar is too damn high" face.

In other CrossFit news, I bought new shoes! Awaiting their arrival in the mail...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

On a mission...

After hearing all of my pathophysiology instructor's stories about her mission trip to Africa through a different university, my interests have definitely been piqued.

Since then, I've been on the hunt for my own medical mission trip. I'm looking for something short; less than 2 weeks, and during the summer time, probably 2013 after my own classes.

 The problem is that I cannot seem to find one that is not affiliated with religion. It seems like all of them are doing a wonderful job of helping the sick and poor in providing medical care, but then the underlying theme is to spread the word of Jesus Christ. Listen, that's all fine and dandy, but I cannot go along with that. I don't believe in any of that and I would feel incredibly uncomfortable, cynical, and annoyed if I had to sit around and preach, pray, or try to convert people to some superstitious ideology. Or even just listen to all. To clarify, I know that if/when I go to these countries, they will have their own religions and I may even participate in some way based out of respect for another culture. I get that.

Why can't people just want to help others out of the goodness of the heart because it is the right thing to do for mankind, as opposed to for religion? Hm?!

So, that being said. ahem.

I did find one organization that goes to Africa, specifically for nurses. I'm not going to give away the name of the organization, but a google search will provide immediate results. Based on their website, it doesn't seem religious. Of course, now that I've received the application, it does contain some quotes from the bible, which...fine, whatever. They apply to the situation, I suppose. I can deal with that. But then the application asks about our willingness to attend a "Christian worship service as part of the experience...if not, explain." Ok, well, it seems as if they're giving me a way to opt out. I mean, I could be Jewish or Muslim. I doubt they would accept the whole atheist thing, though.
I have emailed back to inquire further into their religious affiliation. Awaiting a reply.

There is still hope for my dream of going on a medical mission trip.

I happened to email my instructor and ask about opportunities through the university, and she reminded me that every summer, as part of the undergraduate Community rotation, they go to Panama for 3 weeks.  I remember this! I wanted to go so badly, but alas, I was broke. She did mention that a few graduate students have gone in the past. Score!! A way in?
I emailed the director.

(the same woman who "pinned" me during our graduation ceremony...)

I spoke with her by phone a few weeks ago. Before we spoke, I looked at my schedule. During summer 2013, I will be in my Women's health rotation. PERFECT. I know that they provide tons of women's health services when they go to Panama. Perhaps I would be able to fulfill some of my clinical hours?
She thought this sounded like a wonderful idea, and even better, the Women's health instructor had expressed the desire to go, as well. Maybe she could be your preceptor? Even better!

Since the time is so far away, and I'm still so new in my graduate classes, everything is up in the air. But I'm going to hold out hope that it works out.

Also, the Africa trip is $3200. The Panama trip: $1200. And I could get credits for clinical hours, so that's even more of an incentive. I have to admit though, going to Africa just sounds way cooler. The downside to the trip to Panama is the length--3 weeks. That would be difficult with taking time off from work.

If anyone reading this knows of a medical mission trip that is not religiously affiliated, please comment! Or, if you've been on your own medical mission trip, I'd love to hear about it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Nursing stuff

I've been wanting to update the ol' blog here, but feel like I have "nothing worthwhile to say."
I'm just going to write.

Right now, I'm in the middle of my spring break. I coincided my work schedule with school, so I would have 7 glorious days off. Of course, during this break, I need to study for a pathophysiology quiz and write a paper! If I ever become a teacher (not likely), I will make sure all papers and quizzes are due the week prior to spring break, so the students can actually get a break. What a concept!

Work has been good. I'm precepting a student for her final semester of nursing school. This is my first time precepting someone for this many hours (180), and it's been good, but challenging at times. The thing is, this student is pretty good. She isn't afraid of doing basic nursing skills, not afraid of patients or families, etc. It's great. She is confident and should be proud of the work she is doing...but there is a fine line between confidence and over confidence. It can be dangerous. The experienced nurses will know what I mean. As for me, precepting a student has been a real eye opener as far as my own knowledge and skills. I found that I almost had to brush up on a few things. At first, I felt kind of embarrassed if trying to explain something, and realizing, hmmm, maybe I need to look this up, but I have to remember: I do not know everything, and never will. However, with nearly 4 years of experience under my belt, I am a damn good nurse, and I have come a long, long way. Lately, I've felt my own confidence levels shift. I am no longer worried in certain situations and while I still ask tons of questions, I'm definitely feeling more seasoned. It is a lot less stressful to go to work in the ICU because I feel like I know what I am doing. The whole critical thinking thing has definitely matured. I love how I can totally see and feel this shift in myself.

Nursing is cool like that.

The best part about precepting: for every 70 hours, I get 3 credit hours at my university. Um, hello free money! Since I'm doing 180 hours, it's approximately 2.5 classes!! Graduate school classes.

While on the subject of graduate school, as I mentioned in my previous post, I've been thinking about changing to the Family Nurse Practitioner track (from Adult). On March 2nd, I went ahead and submitted...

I was also required to write a letter of explanation. It has not been officially approved, but I don't suspect this will be an issue. Hopefully...because now I am 100% certain about my decision!

While I love working in the ICU and being a "critical care nurse," I do not see myself doing critical care for my entire career, or even working in the hospital!

 Critical care was always my goal as an RN, and for awhile, I even saw myself working in the ICU as a Nurse Practitioner, too, but...not anymore. The ICU is awesome. I would never, ever want to work anywhere in the hospital besides the ICU. I'm still learning and growing as an RN, and the ICU has afforded me huge opportunities in developing into an autonomous nurse. I did not have this autonomy on the floor, and I doubt I would have grown much in that environment. When I graduate in May 2014, I will have 6 years of nursing experience, with 5 of those in the ICU. When the day comes that I can no longer call myself an ICU nurse, I will be sad. I love the ICU.

But, I see a huge need in the community for preventive primary care. Long term, this is where I picture myself as a nurse practitioner. I see myself working initially in a tough environment--like a rural or inner-city community health center clinic providing primary care to those who cannot afford it. I understand this environment will be rough, but something about it calls to me. The whole public health about a stark difference when compared to the ICU.

My school of thought is that no one should go sick or die because they cannot afford healthcare. If you don't agree with this, then I honestly think something is wrong with you morally and ethically. Yes.

I would love to move somewhere that is lacking in medical care and open up a small practice, operating as the sole primary care provider for that community. I know I'm being pretty idealistic, but I'm a student, so that's allowed, right?

We will see where my career leads me!