It’s so hard to imagine that it’s been 3 years since I started this little blog. I was a freshman in college, still trying to figure out college life. Now, I’m a senior. I can honestly say that I’m a completely different person now than I was when I started my blog. New struggles have arisen, but more have been resolved. This blogiversary is especially bittersweet solely due to the fact that I am a senior, and I will be graduating this year (well, fingers crossed-still plenty of time to fail a class!). Having a blog through some of the life shaping years has been a blessing. I love being able to peak into my freshman self’s mind on a day to day basis, although some of the things I find certainly make me cringe!
(Also-look how far iPhone technology has come!)
In the theme of my blogiversaries past, I’m going to go through the 12 things that have changed in the past year.
- My career path. As in, I have one. This time last year I was just starting to figure out I wanted to go to veterinary school, but had yet to take any steps to get closer to that goal. Between then and now, I’ve worked at a veterinarian, taken animal physiology, gone to pre-vet conferences, gotten a better sense of what I need to do, and am actually considering what specialty I might want. And I’ve never once doubted that this was the right decision.
- Gotten really sick and totally changed what I eat and how I view food. In February, I developed what I lovingly call a mysterious stomach condition. From February to May, it was very severe and majorly impacted my life. From May-August it was significantly reduced but would occasionally flare up pretty bad, with the climax flare right before school started leading to a last minute endoscopy. Since then, I completely cut out gluten and it actually helped a lot—there are times I still feel off but I haven’t really had any all out flares. As a result of all this though, when I choose food more often than not I don’t choose it for the nutritional value, I choose it for how I think it’ll make my stomach feel. Choosing crackers over brussels sprouts may not always be the most nutritionally sound, but if that’s what I think is going to make me feel the best, I’ll go with that. I’ve also been forced to be super in tune with my body. I have certain senses about specific foods and I trust my body that what I feel won’t make me feel good is not something I should eat. That being said, I definitely don’t always listen to these because this girl likes her desserts too! At the senior welcome during a flare up.
- I have become head over heels obsessed with cows. I realize this is a little less serious of a change, but everyone who knows me knows this. I studied them quite a bit last winter and think they have the coolest physiology. Maybe it’s because of my interest in nutrition or my complicated stomach issues, but their 4 stomachs are the coolest thing ever to me. At this point I’m not sure if/what specialty I would potentially want to go into, but I would tend to say either large animals or gastroenterology.
- I turned 21. I’ve officially passed all the big adult milestone birthdays! In all seriousness though, this is a big one. While I’m not a big drinker by any means, being legal allows me to socialize and network in important ways that I wouldn’t otherwise. For example, at the IDEA conference, had I not been 21 I would not have had to opportunity to meet and talk to as many people.
- I got a puppy and watched her grow up. This may not exactly be a change for me directly per say, but as someone who wants to work with animals as a career, it was a really good experience to raise a (difficult) puppy. I learned a lot and got some insight into the behaviors and changes to expect in a dog’s maturation. What a baby—and those huge feet!
- I suffered my first serious injury. At the beginning of September, I did something bad to my shoulder. It is quite likely I partially dislocated it. It was really bad for quite a while. I could’t do ANYTHING. It’s still not 100% but doesn’t hinder everyday life and I can do most of the things I want to in Crossfit. This was a frustrating, humbling experience, especially since I spent the summer getting really strong; I went from PRing almost all my lifts to not even being able to lift a 2 lbs dumbbell overhead. This forced me to take a step back and reevaluate how I approach fitness. Feeding goats post-injury with my little left chicken arm because it hurt to have my arm straight.
- Sort of a result of 6, but I reevaluated my fitness and training. I came to the realization that if I continued to put the stress I was putting on my body, I wouldn’t be able to do all these things I love 20,30,40 years from now. With my exercise physiology project training for a 400m sprint, I realized I could train more efficiently. I needed to run with fewer footsteps, and I needed to stress my body less with weightlifting/Crossfit. I decided I didn’t need to run as many miles, especially if I focused on speed and quality. I limited myself to only 3x/week of Crossfit. I did more spinning (see 8). My body responded amazingly. I felt so much fitter. My times on everything were improving, and when I went to my home Crossfit, I felt so light on my feet. (The irony of this is I feel tired/heavy/sore right now because I didn’t listen to my own advice last week!) I busted out the Turkey Trot 10k 30s faster this year, without killing myself. I also started doing my everyday runs faster just these last couple of weeks, and I’m actually able to do them. Less fatigue makes it possible for me to choose to run faster, and apparently when I choose to run faster I can do it! Yesterday’s run. Definitely didn’t know I had this in me.
- I took a bit of a step away from the blog world. This was somewhat intentional and somewhat not. Part of it is other things have become more important. Part of it is I’ve gotten less motivated. But honestly, a big part of it is I feel like I have nothing to say or add. Because of said health issues+the college lifestyle, nutrition has gotten less important to me and talking about it on here sometimes feels inauthentic. I still struggle each day to eat well, and still haven’t totally solved the ideal way to eat in college. Or in life. And sometimes food is the most frustrating thing in the world to me, because either I want it and can’t eat it, or I feel terrible and think it’s from food but it’s so complicated and I have no idea why. I’ve also gotten really lazy about commenting on other blogs. This is mainly just because I’ve switched to almost exclusively reading them on my phone though!
- I started teaching spin classes regularly. During this time, I got my own classes at 2 different gyms (one of which I had to give up this quarter due to my school schedule). I’m now teaching 2x/week at my school gym, and it’s been absolutely incredible. The first day, I was so nervous despite the fact I had been teaching at a smaller gym for almost a year. It’s hard to imagine that those nerves will ever go away, but now I’m definitely in my element. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching completely full classes, and I have regulars. The most rewarding thing to be though is all the first time spinners that have come to my classes. A lot of people will be a bit tentative and nervous at first, but I see them come back week after week and the difference is stunning. Clearly I was comfortable enough to wear a turkey hat to class.
- I came into my identity as a leader. I truly think that a leader is in my personality, but I wasn’t always confident enough to take charge. The development of this characteristic is incredibly important in what I hope is my future career. I think a lot of this confidence comes from teaching spin and commanding a class. I love encouraging people to work harder and get better. I also find myself taking charge in other aspects of my life. Even with my friends, I have no problem planning an event myself (or inviting myself over). This summer, I went to IDEA World Fitness conference. On my own. The conference was incredibly rewarding and I had no problem flying myself out there and taking advantage of the workshops, the workouts, and the people. Even with my job this summer when I definitely didn’t know all the ins and outs, I happily talked to clients and led new employees through the ropes. As seen at IDEA World.
- I saw more of the world. This summer, I travelled a lot! I went to DC with family (and reaffirmed that this is where I want to spend the year after graduation), I went to downtown LA for the first time (I had been to other parts of LA and SoCal a lot thought), I went to Hawaii, and I went to New York City for the first time! New York was awesome just because going is a key life experience that I had never had. It was fun to see all the things I had heard about and seen many times in movies. Friends fountain
- I started to really appreciate my school. My first couple of years were demoralizing as I struggled through my biology and chemistry prerequisites. I questioned everything. I didn’t have much time for fun. My junior year was much better, and since then I’ve enjoyed my academics a lot more. Because I’m a senior, everything is becoming more real for me and I’m struck with the awe of an admit. I’m finally realizing how truly amazing it is here and how lucky I am. I’m appreciating all my schools traditions and quirks, and I made the most of football season this year! It’s crazy to think that in a few months it will all be over, so I’m trying to embrace the little time I have left. PAC 12 CHAMPS!