Valentine`s Day and this week in exercise

Well, hello, friends.  Happy Valentine`s day to every one of you!  As cheesy as this holiday is, I actually really love having an excuse to shower love on my friends and family.  So I`ll start out by sending some out to all of you.

valentine meme

(A little Harry Potter humor never hurt anybody…)

This week was the first week of my new workout program.  And it is tough.  I feel like I felt back in November when I first started meeting with my trainer…  totally awkward and intimidated by all of the new exercises I`m supposed to be able to do.  I will share my leg day and upper body day routines with you in my upcoming posts.  They`re hard.  I miss squats and lunges and bicep curls.  I do not like one armed pushups and sprints…  just when I was getting comfortable…  BOOM.  Welcome to hell, body.

So I`m sore every day and pooping the Advil again.  The fun part is that I know my body will adapt over the next couple of weeks, and I`m going to get great at this stuff.  Except maybe the one armed pushups, which I may never be great at.  We`ll see how that goes.

I`ve been at the gym every day this week except yesterday.  I`m on nights at work this week, so today is a recovery day for me.  I`m about to spend it on the elliptical doing 45-60min of cardio.  I may even throw in some deadlifts and squats, but that has yet to be decided.  It depends on how much exhaustion-nausea I still have once I`m at the gym.  It`s days like this that remind me why I love running/cardio so much.  I am already looking forward to that feeling that I’ll have after a good sweat.

I rang in my Valentine`s Day by admitting a little patient who was in a house fire.  He and his cousin came to our hospital with some bad smoke inhalation.  They were transferred from a smaller hospital, and arrived by plane just after midnight.  They are perfect little boys.  Chubby little toddlers who are just growing into boyhood.  They are very sick, but I have hope that we`ll help them get better and this will all just be a crazy nightmare far in their past one day.  It was a crazy shift last night.  But seriously, guys…  I don`t care if you`re in a relationship or not, I know there are people in your lives that you love.  Parents, sibling, nieces, nephews, best friends…  Do me a favor and ask them to be your Valentine today.  🙂  (Or at the very least, say something nice to them.)

So after I go to the gym and show myself some love, it`s all about quality time with the husband tonight and with the girlfriends tomorrow.  I wish all of you a fabulous weekend.  here’s to taking good care of yourself and of the people around you!

Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, and an essential truth about Nursing

I know this blog is primarily about fitness.  But sometimes, I like to talk about my work as well.  Mainly because there are a lot of similarities between having a challenging fitness schedule and having a challenging job.  It`s almost impossible not to apply the life lessons I learn from nursing to staying fit, and vice versa.

This past weekend was a great weekend at work.  It was tough and scary at times, but utterly satisfying in the end.  My patient went from being crazy unstable to being sort of stable…  three days of solid work by a great team of surgeons and ICU doctors and nurses and RTs.  It was one of those weekends that makes me love my job.  It`s absolutely humbling being entrusted with such fragile little patients, and it`s a great feeling to know that I can help them get stronger.

What does this have to do with anything?  Well, it’s made me reflect on how far I’ve come in my career as a nurse.  When I was a new nurse, this patient would have terrified me.  And I’ll be honest, we had some pretty intense moments with this little patient over the weekend, and it was still pretty scary at times.  But somehow, in the past 5 years, I’ve become comfortable with being uncomfortable.  That stress that I feel when I see something going wrong and I need to act fast is actually a very good thing.  I’ve gotten to know that feeling, learned to act on it and live with it in my work at the bedside.  That feeling is part of being an ICU nurse.  Instead of trying to avoid it, like you do when you’re young and inexperienced and everything in the hospital scares you, good nurses learn to use it.  That “oh shit” feeling is your friend in a lot of ways.  It makes you act, and take control of the situation.  You learn to love the discomfort.

I could apply this lesson in a thousand ways to other parts of my life.  Let’s talk about the “oh shit” feeling you get when you hit a wall during a tough run.  I’m pretty sure we’ve all felt it.  How can I learn, as a runner, to get comfortable with being uncomfortable?  Well, I’m pretty sure I know the answer to that one.  And I know you all do too, because it’s kind of obvious.  Practice makes perfect.  The more unstable patients I have, the better I get at taking care of them.  The more I push myself past my comfort zone when I run, the better I will become at dealing with it.

As obvious as all of this seems, it’s nice to have a reminder of it every once in a while.  I guess I`m having an “oh yeah” moment.  This is why I train hard.  So that when I’m uncomfortable during a race, I’ll be ok with it.  I’ll know how to take control. 

I’ll be honest, I’m still learning that lesson when it comes to my fitness.  I used to really just run for fun, so if I wasn’t feeling it, I didn’t have much motivation to push through and keep going.  But if I’m serious about running longer distances, I’m going to have to learn how to be uncomfortable.  Eeesh, this doesn’t sound fun.  But I’m pretty sure I can do it.  If I can adjust to caring for critically ill children, I can probably adjust to anything, right?

So that’s my essential truth about Nursing.  If teaches me how to be better in all areas of my life.  And I think that’s probably true about running, about loving, about doing anything that’s actually worthwhile.