As I sit here on my flight from Denver to Philadelphia I can’t help but think about how much I have learned in the past four months. About myself, about the human body and how it works, and so much more.
In late August I started my journey towards my doctorate in physical therapy. The first day of school during the orientation the dean told us about the academic policy. We had to keep a cumulative average of over 3.0 and had to get over a 77% in each class or else we would be on academic probation which could lead to expulsion from the program. “I totally can do that” I said to myself. I did really well in undergrad and although I knew this was going to be harder, 3.0 seemed doable.
Then classes started. Many of my classmates have backgrounds in physiology, athletic training, pre-physical therapy…and then there was me. The girl that could put together a set of financial statements but couldn’t tell you squat about physiology. After the second anatomy lecture I went home and cried. I didn’t know what a spinous process was, or how many ribs were in the human body, or where your radius was in relation to your ulna (I know all of those things now). It was then that I was sure that I was going to be the student in the class that didn’t make it to second semester.
I studied hard. I read the books. I googled things I didn’t understand. I talked to professors. I watched YouTube videos. I spent many Friday nights in the cadaver lab. I did whatever I could to try and get a grasp on what we were learning in class. Before midterms I went and talked to a professor about feeling overwhelmed and scared of failing. She told me “Lauren, it is impossible to know every detail of everything that is being taught in every class. You have to get comfortable going into tests knowing that you don’t know everything but that you studied hard and understand the bigger picture.” Those were very true words. Midterms came and went and I wound up doing well on them which gave me confidence for the rest of the semester. Maybe I wouldn’t fail out after all.
After midterms, on the one weekend that I didn’t have to do any homework, Phil and I planned a trip to the mountains. We hadn’t been spending much time together and a relaxing weekend away was exactly what we needed. On our way we decided to drive over Loveland Pass and enjoy the view. We got out of the car and walked around enjoying the amazing views of the mountains. Phil turned to me and said “Do you know what today is?” I replied with “Friday?” Phil then told me that on this day (October 19th) last year (2011) we left DC pulling a Uhaul trailer on our way to Denver. We talked about how amazing the past year has been (moving, Ironman, school, work, friends). He then grabbed my hands, said some very sweet things and dropped down to one knee and asked me to marry him.
If you have been following my blog since the beginning you know that Phil is my biggest supporter and always encourages me. He encouraged me to apply to PT school, he encourages me to study hard yet demands I take a break when he knows I need one, and he will still give me a kiss when I came home after hours of being in the cadaver lab. We will be getting married in August 2013 during my summer break and I could not be more excited.
The rest of the semester came quickly and before I could even grasp that classes were over, studying for finals began. With the snap of a finger, finals were over and I survived my first semester of PT school. Not only did I survive, but this accountant turned SPT did quite well. I now have the confidence that I know I can do this…even if I didn’t know anything about anatomy on my first day.
Reflecting back on the past several months allows me to really comprehend everything I have learned and achieved. And you know what? I am really proud of myself! While I may be homesick and miss east coast friends while I am living in Colorado, I finally feel that where I am in life is exactly where I am supposed to be.
Oh, and on the triathlon front…I did the aquabike for a 70.3 in September and took 3rd in my age group which was my first time placing. Since then I have struggled to even get to the gym to run on a treadmill. Endurance sports are going to just have to wait but I do think I will sign up for a half marathon or two this spring just to give me motivation to stay in shape and a finish line to look forward to.
Ok, enough reflecting…time to drink wine, get back into shape (my goal next semester is to make time for the gym!), plan this wedding, and enjoy time with family and friends! I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday