Strategies for a Southpaw’s Resolutions

Photo by Kolby

Photo Credit: Kolby Kirk

The new year brings with it new beginnings, new relationships, new goals, and those pesky goals we didn’t quite meet last year.

As a PT student, we’re learning how to write goals for our patients, and it is easy to apply those lessons to New Year’s Resolutions. A declared goal is an accomplished one–or at least a more likely to be accomplished one. There are a few components that make a good goal: S.M.A.R.T. Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.  Here are my three biggest new year’s resolutions, how I’m going to achieve them, and how you can use my strategies for yourself.

I have always been a big reader, but as the demands of graduate school grow I’ve found myself turning more to mind numbing television, which, while entertaining, doesn’t provoke as much thought as a good book. Continue reading


Try – Colbie Caillat

Every time that I listen to this song I either get goosebumps or teary-eyed. There aren’t many songs that affect me as strongly as this one does, and I wish every person could hear it at least once in their life. When I first watched the video, I had no idea what the song was about. It panned through a few women lip syncing, and I didn’t think anything looked strange or interesting. The women looked “normal” because Continue reading

Staying Sane in Physical Therapy School

If you read my earlier post on the similarities between graduate school and elementary school, you’ll recall the mention of a game called nine-square that my classmates and I play. My friends family members claim to understand the game once I’ve explained it, but I haven’t discussed how truly vital it is to out lives as DPT students. Without it, I truly think we would be lost.

The typical Monday of a first year PT student begins with traveling to class. Some have a five minute commute while others sit in their cars for over an hour. Then we sit down for our first two hour long lecture. Our classes range from two to four hours long, and we’re in class  for 31 hours a week. Some of those hours are spent standing in lab, but that’s a lot of sitting.

A big component of physical therapy is weight bearing. By putting weight through your bones and joints, you strengthen them. We need to stand, stretch, and weight bear regularly. That’s why our teachers have tricked us into playing nine-square at every break we get.

I’m not upset. Continue reading

Why I’m Doing NaNoWriMo Even Though I Know I Won’t Win


Last year was the first time I participated in NaNoWriMo, also known as National Novel Writing Month. You may have heard me talk about it personally or read one of the several posts I’ve written on it. NaNoWriMo was incredible.

I was dared to participate in the challenge to write 50,000 words in a month, and I exceeded that challenge. I ended on the 30th of November with over 60,000 words of a novel on my computer. Then I did the only thing I could think of–I kept writing. On December 27th, I typed those two fateful words: “The End.”
Since that day, I’ve been slowly but surely working my way through the draft, dusting plot bunnies away and putting dirt into plot holes. When someone mentioned NaNo to me a month ago ago, it got me thinking. Can I really do this all over again? The typical NaNoWriMo participant is tasked to write 50,000 new words during the month of November. This year participants can continue a work in progress, but I don’t have much new writing to do. I need to edit. To follow the rules, I’d need to begin a new novel.

The thought that keeps popping up in my head is this: I’m in graduate school now. My free time can be summed up in the moments I take to eat food while I’m studying. My goals have changed. Earning my doctorate is priority number one, but who says I can’t attempt  NaNo anyway? Start a new novel. Write 50,000 new words. The thing is, I don’t like to leave projects unfinished. Continue reading

The Pitfalls of Defensiveness

If there is one thing that my PT professors are trying to hammer into me it is this: don’t be defensive.

That advice is hard to take in when your initial reaction is “What do you mean defensive? I’m open to criticism, no problem.”

Guess what? Everyone is defensive. No one likes to be wrong or likes it when their choices come under scrutiny. I have a high tendency to be defensive instead of listening to what people have to say and taking their words into consideration.

This past weekend, I went to a workshop for Cantors at church. I’ve been cantoring at mass for years and singing for many more alone and with ensembles. The presenter for this workshop told us things we thought we knew but needed a refresher on. Tips like how to stand to get the best air flow and when to move to the ambo to sing the psalm. At the end of the workshop, I was given the chance to work one-on-one with the archdiocesan music director.

Notice how I phrased that. Continue reading

Any PT Guitarists Out There?

Touch is vital to physical therapy. A PT’s ability to palpate the body to determine illness and injury is integral to the profession and to the field of health care. To be able to feel these things, a physical therapist needs to develop their hands.

To do so, we’ve got a long list of tasks to master. One task is to feel 4 different coins in our pocket and pull each out heads side up without looking. This takes sensitive finger pads.

Anyone who has played guitar can tell you that sensitive fingers are not conducive to playing.

Callouses build up over time so that holding down strings is no longer painful. These callouses are immediate signs of a string instrument player. Once I even had someone feel my fingers after they didn’t believe me when I said I played guitar.

Those callouses are not helping me now. Continue reading

The Balancing Act


Imagine an old fashioned circus. The tent arches high overhead, and three separate rings are arrayed across the sandy ground. Acrobats are flipping and flying in one ring while clowns crowd into a car in a second. The third ring has something equally exciting and daring inside clamoring for your attention. You want to watch all three of them, but you can’t.

Or can you? Continue reading