wod in the park

My life has basically boiled down to school, workout, and study. I remember there was a time when I couldn’t wait to be a medical student and my only responsibility would be to study. Now, I miss for the nine-to-five routine of my job, and having entire evenings and weekends to myself. I always feel a little guilty for not studying when I’m not studying. We have an exam in 2 weeks, and I almost wish it would come sooner because the weekend after is pretty much the only relaxing time in the curriculum. This is what my life has come down to… pining for exams for the ensuing precious 2 days of freedom.

After studying, crossfit/working out is my second priority. Some recent progress:

  • Ran 8:07 track mile 2 weeks ago
  • Deadlifted 135 x 3, and also 145 x 3 (but baddd form)
  • Did a WOD that included 90 pullups, 45 of those without a band and 45 with a red band. Next time we get a wod with <60 pullups, I’m going to try to do them all unassisted! This one was really rough because they were in sets of 30. If they were broken up more, I might have been able to do more.
  • 100 burpees in 8:14. This was yesterday’s wod, and today my delts are killing me!
  • “Randy” (75 power snatches) with 33lb bar in 6:20 or so? Maybe 6:40? I finished first in the class, which has never happened before!
  • Failed a 123lb 1rm squat at the bottom. Tried it again, and managed to stand back up, but I don’t think I got low enough, so my 1RM is still 115.

Sadly I think I’m losing some endurance/running ability since doing more crossfit and running a lot less. I went out for 4 miles last week, and it felt really long and hard. I’ve decided I want to incorporate a little more running into my workouts to enjoy the nice fall weather while it lasts, so this was the wod I did today:

Run 1 mile on track: 8:20

Rest ~5 minutes while walking to playground/monkey bars


10 pullups (kipping)

10 pistols (left leg)

10 Toes to bars (kipping)

19 pistols (right leg)

Time: 16:18

Rest: 5 minutes while walking to track

Run 1 mile: 8:44.

I got to play on these!


There was some fall festival in the park where I work out on the playground, so there were a ton of kids running amok. I had a lot of toddler eyes on me while I was doing my kipping t2b and pullups, which made me feel both badass and self-conscious.

OOOH but something cool! I took my first patient history yesterday! I spend one afternoon a month with a doctor in a private practice to work on clinical skills. I took my very own patient history, and performed parts of the physical exam (blood pressure and weight and height, ….SHUTTUP ITS EXCITING OKAY??!?). It made medical school feel rewarding, not this self-subjected torture that is costing me $180,000.

Now back to studying all the muscles and neurovasculature in the lower limb…

crossfit and med school

Wow, school sure picked up fast. We just had the final exam for our first course (mostly biochemistry, cell biology, and genetics). It sucked that we had 72 hours to prepare for it, because that just meant 72 hours of drowning in cortisol and self-loathing and self-doubt (ie: WHY did I just pay $35,000 a year to torture myself this way?!)

But, it’s behind me, which means I get A WHOLE DAY to relax. On Thursday, we start anatomy lab! Which is super exciting, because it feels distinctly “med schooly,” as opposed to sitting in lectures all day like a super senior college student like we have been doing for the past 6 weeks… let’s go back to how I have A WHOLE DAY TO RELAX. Unfortunately, I neglected my part-time job last week to prioritize studying, so I am working tomorrow. And do laundry, and cook, and clean, and buy some groceries, and all these things normal people do routinely that I only do after a big exam.

In addition to school, I recently joined CrossFit.


If you ask Jason, he would say the saying is apt. I’m really enjoying it, and going there is one of the things i look forward to most everyday. I love pushing myself harder than I would otherwise, and learning new skills (double unders, kipping, rope climbs). I finally got the swing (har har) of kipping pullups, and can string together 5! Also, the feeling after getting kipping toes to bars was amazing. I kept on trying them again to make sure I actually had it.

Since it’s been a little over a month since I joined, we’ve cycled through a bunch of lifts in the strength portion. Here are some of my 1 rep maxes that I can remember off the top of my head:

Deadlift: 133lbs

Squat: 115lbs (or 125?)

Push Press: 83lbs

Strict Press: 65lbs x 2

Clean and Jerk: 65lbs x 3?

Max pullups: 5

Last friday, we did 10 x 100m sprints for our wod. I’ve never sprinted that distance before in my life. I didn’t even go very hard, but the next day, my left leg just felt completely torn up. Hamstrings, quads, and shins were the sorest they’ve ever been! It has been 4 days and I’m still feeling it a bit in my hamstring. Also, my abs. Owww.

So that’s pretty much my life in a nutshell: working out and school. I don’t get to see J very much because he works 12pm – 12am, so we try to make our time together count, which mostly means playing and goofing off outside, being homebodies on weekends, talking about weight lifting. I’m so happy I’m with J, because we have such well-aligned personalities and interests. I feel like there are so few people who would be able to tolerate my me-ness, but J somehow manages to, and sometimes I get the feeling he even enjoys it.

The seasons are turning once again, and despite my best efforts (seriously, I’ve been trying), it’s getting darker and colder. I might have to retire my flip flops soon, considering the low was in the upper forties last week. Before fall even ends, I start pining for spring. Since I’m so sensitive to seasonal changes in weather, I should probably consider getting a light box. Definitely need to move somewhere warm and full of sunshine for residency.

I’m a medical student now!

I seem to have neglected this blog lately, mostly because life has been really, ridiculously busy in the past month. Shortly after my last entry, I spent the weekend with my parents in Boston and Cape Cod, which was a bittersweet vacation because it might just be one of the last true summer vacations we take as a unit of three.


lots of beaches happened. Then I went to Cincinnati with J, and together with his brothers, his brother’s girlfriend, and his father, we drove to Norris Lake, TN, which is this gorgeous, pristine lake. It was also my first This place was ridiculously clean and serene. I tried jetskiing and tubing for the first time, and had a total blast. J said I never stopped giggling once I got on the tube or jetski. It’s definitely a memory I will hold for a long time! It was also nice to bond with J’s family, since I rarely get to see them. Image


See? I wasn’t kidding around when I said the lake was beautiful. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. J’s parents for bringing me on the trip!

The night that we were to come home, we drove 4 hours to the airport from the lake and proceeded to wait 6 hours in the airport for a flight that never took off. We ended up spending the night in a hotel by the airport so as to catch the earliest flight the next day. As if that weren’t enough trouble, I lost my phone. I ended up getting a new phone. I was just about the last person I know in her early 20s without a smart phone, but now I’ve joined the ranks, and it only took a day or two before I started wondering how I ever lived without internet, e-mail, and GPS at my fingertips 24/7. Seriously, how did I do it?

Med school orientation came and went, and the first week of classes is behind me as well. Medical school classes have been similar to college classes both in content and style (for now we are basically taking biochemistry and/or cell biology, from a slightly more medical perspective), except we only take one class at a time (as opposed to 4 or 5 courses at a time), so the speed at which we are given information to know is pretty fast. Since it’s been mostly review so far, it’s manageable, but I can definitely see how quickly class will escalate as the year goes on.

J and I are acclimating to our new lair. We are falling in love with our condo — it’s so perfect for us! The 2-bed, 2-bath plan makes it very easy for us to avoid silly arguments over neatness and cleanliness which were beginning to pop up way too often when the parents’ house was on the market and we were responsible for keeping it clean. I have great places to study, my room is brightly lit with a huge window that overlooks our parking lot, so I get to see and hear people when I study but it’s not a distraction. Our upgraded kitchen is a wonderful place to cook, and the open floor plan allows us to watch the living room TV while doing so, and we get cable TV now, so of course I end up watching entirely way too much bridezillas (seriously, does anything else play on WE?).

Oh, one more thing! I joined crossfit! I decided it was something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile, so I might as well try it out. I am only planning on joining for 1 month, at which point I’ll decide if it’s worth the pretty penny or not. If not, they terminate memberships at any time, and I can join the gym right downstairs from our condo for less than half the cost.

So in conclusion, med school is great, I love my kitchen, I am frugal, and I watch too much bridezillas,

End of an era

Friday was my last full day of work. I cleaned out my desk, got up to date my ongoing tasks, went out to lunch with the group at this awesome Korean place, said good-bye to everyone, and was out the door by 3:30pm. I’ll still be working part time throughout medical school, but it won’t be the same, because most of the people I see on a daily basis are moving next week because my bosses were recruited to a different academic institution. Thus, Friday was the last day I would see most of them for a long time. My boss (the one I work with most) wasn’t here on my last day, but he sent me this e-mail which moved me deeply:

“It has been wonderful to work with you over the last few years in so many different respects. You have been an excellent colleague and a pleasure to be with in so many ways. It has been amazing to spentd time with such a dynamic person and I look forward to hearing about all your future successes in Medicine. It has been an honor to work with you and you have made it so much easier to make it through the mazes of [company name] and I do truly appreciate that. I wish you all the best and thank you for all you have done over the years. You’re one of the best and you will be missed.”

I feel like I’ve learned and grown so much by having this 2-year chunk of work experience between college and med school. I’ve learned a lot about science, of course — bench skills, scientific thinking, scientific writing, physiology, biochemistry, etc — as well as business and the pharmaceutical industry. My previous stint of research in college turned me off to the idea of a career in research, but I’ve found new interest after having worked here. I will certainly continue to be involved with research in med school.









In other news, I purchased a MacBook Air, which costed $1222 when all was said and done, a price that included the $100 iTunes and app store gift card. It’s so light, fast, and gorgeous, but it’s hard for me to justify spending that much money considering each of my previous laptops have been one third the price and all lasted me 2-4 years. Granted, by the end of the second year, battery life is pretty much completely shot, but outlets are so commonplace nowadays that keeping it plugged in never bothered me. Oh well, I am sacrificing a long vacation by working almost right up till med school starts, so spending that last paycheck on a little three pound computer is justified, right?

I’m actually on a bus to boston to visit my parents. We’re going to cape cod for two days. I can’t wait to go swimming, play basketball with my dad, lounge by the pool, read books, eat good food, and hang out with my parents and cat. When we get back, J and I are going to Cincinnati and then Tennessee to vacation with his family. They go there to wakeboarding/jetskiing/water skiing almost every year. I’ve never done that, so I’m excited to make a fool out of myself and continuously belly flop into the water.

The next 10 days are going to be my most relaxing 10-day stretch since that time after college finals before college graduation.

And then, moving.

And then, medical school.

lifting weights & basketball love

I seem to go in and out of phases with different workouts. For awhile, I was really into running, but chronic shin splints pretty much made me stop. In fact, I was running around 15 miles/week throughout the spring, but as of last month, I had to stop because OMG SHIN SPLINTS EVERY DAMN SUMMER EVERY TIME I START RUNNING A LITTLE MORE.

Anyway, pretty recently I’ve been running a lot less (and a lot less cardio in general), and lifting heavier weights more often. I am trying to do body weight stuff (pushups, pullups, planks, etc) as well as heavier functional lifts (squats, deadlifts, etc). This, coupled with less cardio and a more paleo-ish diet (fewer grains and sugars, more animal meat and fat, lots and lots of vegetables), I feel like I’ve gotten leaner and stronger. I have a bit more definition when I look down at my arms, and when I touch my sides I can feel my obliques. Definitely never noticed them before.

I realized very recently that lifting heavy and forming some lifting goals has really made me focus on being strong, instead of being thin. For the first time in SO MANY YEARS, I considered whether I should deliberately try to gain weight, so I can put on a bit more muscle. Granted, I’d want to lose the weight eventually and shed some body fat in the process. For so many years in my life, a big reason for working out was to look better, so for my priority to shift is pretty remarkable. It’s much more admirable and much more fun to be strong.

I’ve been trying to do 25 pullups twice a week, which is broken down into a set of five and 6 or 7 sets of three. I’ve only recently started working on pullups, so I’ve been getting better at them pretty fast. My new goal is to be able to do 10 chin ups at a time.

ALSO!!!! My other addiction recently has been basketball. Today was the third time I played with people at work, and I was able to make 5 or 6 baskets in total. One person on my team remarked that I had been practicing, and someone else commented on my hustle, which just made me so proud. Basketball is something I sort of suck at since I’ve never really played it (and being 5’1” and 115lbs doesn’t help), but these past few weeks I’ve been practicing shooting, ball handling, defense, layups, getting around people, etc. J has been so patient, spending hours with me at the outside court behind our house, chasing my loose balls so I can shoot the same shot 10, 20 times. Yesterday, I went out to the court alone to practice. After my work game today, I stayed a bit later to practice again. I’m really looking forward to practicing with J a bit more, maybe finding some games, and playing with J’s family when we go on vacation this summer, and playing with my dad when I go see him.

After bball today I wanted to keep moving but it had gotten too dark to shoot around, so I went out on an impromptu 2 mile run. It took me around 20 minutes, but this was after 1hr of bball playing and I wasn’t trying too hard. It felt so good, to run in the cool night breeze. I haven’t run in over a month due to shin splints (which aren’t going away since I’m doing so much running in basketball, and also walking so much at work). Of course, the run made my shins ache a little more, but it was worth it just then. At one time, J told me his ideal day would just be filled with sports and throughout the entire day. I thought he was on crackkkkkk because my ideal day would involve at most 1hr of “exercise,” but I think I can now sort of relate. It’s not a matter of looking at workouts as “exercise,” – that pretty much ruins it – but rather, as activity and fun and sometimes silliness.


Like a boss

I really didn’t want to work out today. The past two days were relatively hard days workout wise, and combined with my awful habit of never getting enough sleep on weekdays because the damn book I’m reading is too good to put down, and the fact that I somehow always start reading 30 minutes after I plan to go to bed…..yadda yadda yadda.

TL;DR: I didn’t want to work out today because stuff hurt and it was easier to herp derp on reddit.

But I did! And Of course, within 10 minutes, I was bathing in endorphins and so happy I had a relatively empty gym, good music was playing (I can’t seem to get enough of this song), and 10pm on friday nights meant lifters with way more gym etiquette and way less bro. People actually re-rack their weights!

I realize I’ve seldom written about a huge aspect of my life: working out. I’ve written about running before, but I don’t enjoy running as much as I do the time in the gym lifting heavy things. Running also gives me ridiculous shin splints any time I go over 15 miles/week despite how careful I am each time with increasing mileage slowly, replacing my shoes, stretching, etc. Lately I’ve been focusing on lifting heavier stuff, doing more functional lifts, and I feel like I’ve seen improvements already with body composition and strength. I’m also frequently the only girl lifting, which used to intimidate me but now just makes me feel like a boss. This is roughly where I am currently:

  • Chin-ups: 7, the last few with a slight kip
  • Pull-ups: 3, with a slight kip
  • Pushups: >20? Actually I have no idea.
  • Pistols: around 5 of them on each leg at a time, but imperfect form
  • Squats: 105lbs x 5
  • Deadlift: 95 x 5, probably more
  • 5k run: my PR is 25:32 in 2009 when I was running a lot. Last october I ran a 26:40, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s closer to 30mins now.

J and I checked out a crossfit class a few weeks ago. I loved it, and can definitely see myself joining. It’s too bad that we’re moving soon, because we have several CF boxes close to us. It’s pretty expensive, but I would like to try it for a few months at least. After we move, the closest crossfit is ~8-10 miles away, but they do offer a student discount of 25%. Even with the discount it would cost me around $100/month to go to 3 WODs/week, but I think I’ll try it out once I get settled with med school. I want to join to really learn how to do some of the olympic lifts, and do some of the things I can’t really do at a conventional gym.

Two days ago some of us from the lab played some 3 on 3 basketball after work. It was so much fun despite how much I sucked and dragged my team down, haha. Since I’m 5’1”, everyone else playing was a at least 6” taller than me, and the only other girl played basketball in high school, so needless to say, half the time I didn’t really know what to do or where to be, but nevertheless it was awesome and the experience really made me see the people I work with under a different light!

Also, I think people who are good at basketball are ridiculously hot. Maybe this is because J is really good at basketball and looks so graceful and effortless when he moves. I find the way that good basketball players move to be so beautiful. 

Ughhh now I’m itching to go play basketball…