Ahhhhhhhhhh (that's me exhaling deeply and happily). I survived my first semester of PTA school (physical therapist assistant…not parent/teacher association :))! I'm not gonna lie, it feels really good. I remember being warned by no less than five PTAs, that graduated from the same program, that the first semester could possibly kill me. One particular class, therapeutic modalities, would be the hardest class of my career. That one particular instructor's exams could be the end of more than a few people. I laughed these warnings off. Until I was fully submerged in the hardest semester of my entire life. And then I remembered their warnings. PTA school ain't no joke, and it's not for the faint of heart. Or the lazy. I still can't believe everything we did and learned. My brain aches. But it's a glorious, smart ache.
So, yes, it feels so freaking good to have that semester behind me, and to have made it through so victoriously. I just aimed to keep my head above water, not lose sight of the end-goal, and not forget how much I love running. I gave myself permission to sleep in more and rest the body after finishing Rio Del Lago 100 the first weekend of November. It was a little hard at first, and I felt a little guilty, but now I'm really glad I did. I've just been running when I feel like it, and keeping it pretty short. The inversion has settled in a tad early, so the pea soup air is an easy excuse to stay in. BUT, I've got a little bit of a challenge going with myself…run every day of winter break. We'll see. I'm not totally married to it yet, but I did push myself out the door this morning in the 10 degree chill and the worst air quality I've seen so far. But I only did a couple miles, and I had my nose and mouth covered :) Then I did some serious netty potting when I got home. (Yes, I boil the water first.)
Anywho, so I gave myself permission to ease back, and after reading THIS article yesterday afternoon I suddenly felt completely okay with it :) Sometimes there are just bigger priorities than running. These last 3-1/2 months were a true test of my ability to serial task, prioritize, manage my time down to the minute, and breathe. Once our goal race passed, I had a month before finals, and for the first time I put others things, a lot of other things, before my running. And it felt good. They say not to worry about grades now, just to make sure we're passing, because it's a professional program and no longer a competition. But I'm just not wired that way. I'm going to work hard and do my best. I'm also not going to lose myself over it. So I balance. I feel like I did a pretty good job of it most of the time…not always (Geof can attest :)), but a heck of a lot better than I ever used to balance things (which is to say, not at all). I don't feel like I've lost myself, or forgotten what I love to do. I feel like I've shifted focus to other important things…my husband, school, good health, sleep. It's pretty sweet.
Mental proprioception :)
Ski season is fantastic already. A lot of great storms up at Alta since November, and we got season passes this year…so the slopes and I are going to be very familiar with each other over the next four weeks!
Next semester is supposed to be "less insane", but I'm thinking it's just because we are so used to the insanity now that it won't seem so bad. We'll see. I'm not holding my breath ;) I absolutely lovelovelove what I'm doing and feel so fortunate to be on the path that I am on. It's pretty amazing, and I am grateful to Geof every single day for all of his support and overall greatness. Boom!
We have a weekend of holiday happenings, and a delicious stew (and homemade bread!) that I finally had the time to create for dinner. Oh sweet free time!