Monday, July 10, 2017

Self Care, What is That???

Hellooooooooo!  It's been a little while eh?

So, "occasionally fit" doesn't even begin to describe the lack of activity and dedicated crap eating that I've been up to.  Some of it was enjoyable, some of it, not so much, but it's time to get back on track.  At school we completed an activity where we were supposed to write a letter to our future selves to remind us that we should be engaging in self care.  Well, sure enought, that shit came in the mail over the weekend and I've been doing such a poor job at it that I didn't even want to open it up.  This letter was well timed though, because I had been thinking of how to do better.  Five days of 12-14 hour shifts will do that for you.

They always say that you should put on your own mask before you try to help someone else with theirs.  Nowhere is this procedure more absent than at the hospital.  I have frankly been alarmed at the way that some of the hospital PAs and nurses work.  No wonder healthcare workers are in such poor shape!  High stress plus mostly sedentary work and long hours is no bueno.  It didn't take me long to look at that set up and say "Oh hell no!"  These people truly care about their patients and want to do a good job, but I can see burn out on the horizon.  How do we avoid this?  The only thing that I can think of is mindfulness and meditation.  If we try to take care of everyone, we won't be able to take care of anyone.  This is true personally and professionally.

So today, eveyone take a deep breath, take a long break, and step away from the McDonalds!  It's easy, and comforting in the moment, I know.  It's not a good long term survival strategy, IJS.  Oh, and the letter that I didn't want to open says this:

"Remember to keep time for yourself and your family and remember what's truly important."

Apparently my 6 weeks ago self was a little more in touch with reality than I have been these days. Here's  hoping that we can all come back to the middle, at least once a day, to gather our thoughts and renew ourselves for the next one.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Um... hi?

Hello, friends! I say that knowing that most of you have already forgotten about this blog. I blogged a lot between November and May, but given where my heart and head were during that time, I decided to not publish any of them. Writing is, and always has been, therapeutic for me... so sometimes it ends up being just for me. I'm sorry about that.

So, you might be asking yourself - What's been going on with Becky and Natasha? Well, Natasha has been treading water while trying to manage school, motherhood, and clinicals on her road to becoming a Phsician Assistant. Becky, on the other hand, has been working, traveling, and training, training, TRAINING! What does this mean? Let me fill you in.

Since the Lumiere's Challenge debacle in November, I have taken a bit of a running hiatus. The Lumiere's Challenge was incredibly humbling for me, but I'm glad I experienced it. And, in hindsight, I'm really glad I finished it. Running is such a mental game, and I'm pretty proud that I didn't give up after my fall. I do apologize for never following up with a better review about that race - I'll try to rectify that sooner than later.

Although I swore off races in 2017, I have completed a couple of races since Lumiere. I did a half-marathon relay with Maggie in December called "Santa to the Sea" that I really enjoyed. This fun Christmas-themed race took us from the farmlands of Oxnard to the Pacific coast. The city really came out to show their appreciation for the runners, and I ranked it as my second favorite for all of 2016. And despite not training for it, I nearly PR'd racing it! I haven't committed yet to doing it in 2017, but I'm teetering :)

I completed another easy 5K in Culver City in February (the Screenland 5K). It was just too cute to pass up, and I was able to get the Awesome Anushika to complete it with me. This was such a fun race! I also tricked Anushika into a rainy warm-up on the Culver City Stairs, so that was fun! If they have this race again in 2018, I'm totally there.

The rest of this year has been filled with hiking! I had the opportunity to lead or co-lead my hiking group for three group hikes this year, including hikes at Wind Wolves Preserve, Mill Creek Trail, and the Westridge-Canyonback Trail. While I served as the sweep guide for Wind Wolves and Westridge-Canyonback, I had great fun leading the pack through the many water crossings of the Mill Creek Trail. Leading, instead of sweeping, was so encouraging. Perhaps I'm not as slow as I always claim to be?

Hiking through the springtime greens of Wind Wolves with GWHLA

Watching the back of the pack at Westridge-Canyonback 

Leading the girls through my favorite hike in Kern County - Mill Creek!

I have hiked at least once/week for the entirety of 2017 so far, and I have loved every single step. I grew up with parents love to hike and spend time outdoors, so I guess you could say it's in my blood. I didn't get to hike much after graduating college and starting my career, so I'm very grateful to have found a group that encourages and supports this hobby of mine. It has truly been transformative for me physically and mentally. And it has led to so many adventures! Below are some quick highlights:

Enjoyed a cloudy morning hike with my bubba on his birthday!

Managed to hike Wind Wolves 9 (!!!) times this spring, most solo. Loved it!

GWHLA Malibu Wine Hike
The first time I got to meet most of the other moderators, 
and I got to pet and feed zebras and a giraffe!

Early morning sunrise hikes with Diego at Hart Park were awesome in the spring!

Finished a solo hike with bub in Morro Bay. Beautiful (but hot!)

Faced my fears and tried bouldering at the REI Force of Nature event in May

Completed the Towsley Canyon hike with some of my favorite ladies! <3

Overcame fear and anxiety to summit Mt Baldy with the Climb for Heroes
(I raised over $300!)

Hiked Unal Peak in Sequoia with my bestie in May <3

High above the clouds on a 2-peak summit hike with GWHLA in June

Two days of hiking with some of my favorite kiddos in Colorado and New Mexico during the 4th

In addition to the above, I completed two Whole30 challenges (losing 30 lbs) and finished my annual "Streaking with the Cool Kids" run challenge in June (over 70 miles in June!). 

Man, I owe you guys soooooo many updates. I suck! I am counting down to Kilimanjaro, with less than 22 days to go until I board my plane due east to Africa. For the next 22 days, I have joined a 4 Week Shred that was developed by another Girls Who Hike member, Erika (aka @mysocaledlife). I finished Day 2 today, and it is a butt kicker! Thankfully, I am doing this with my friends, Sharron and Courtney, so hopefully that will keep me on top of it!

I'll try to remember to update this blog more often. No promises that it will get done before my African adventure, but I'll see what I can do. In the meantime, I hope each of you is happy, healthy, and safe! I have a lot of living and training to do this month, so wish me luck! I appreciate all of you!

Until next time...