CI 4 First Week

This last week was the first of my fourth and final clinical internship. I’m working at an inpatient hospital as part of my requirement for an internship in a neuro setting. The clinic is in York, Pennsylvania so this is my first time being out East, which I’m pretty excited about.

I got to York just over a week ago and up until the day I got here I didn’t actually know where I was going to be living. They had sent me a packet of information for this clinical several weeks ago while I was still in Houston. Since I was pretty busy in Houston I was way behind on getting things set up for this internship. There were a few people that offered housing through the clinic, but they were either unable to take someone or not exactly ideal for a studying environment. So when those options didn’t work out my next best option was to turn to craigslist. It’s a little bit scary to look on craigslist to try to find a place to live in a town you’ve never been to. Of course when I started looking one of the very first ads I came across was an old man looking for a “female friend to share a house with, you wouldn’t even have to pay rent”. This was very appealing since I’m trying to save money this time around after breaking the bank living in a hotel in Houston, but it was just a little too skeevy for me. I found a couple of options, but needed to see the place and meet with person before committing to it. I wasn’t way too worried about things working out until the day or two before I was leaving. I really realized how nervous it was making me when I couldn’t sleep at all the night before I got to York. Apparently my brain is good at shutting out anxiety, but eventually my body catches up and reminds me that I should probably be freaking out. Anyway I got to town and everything worked out and I was so happy to officially not be homeless in Pennsylvania.

I'm not living in a box!

I’m not living in a box!

Pennsylvania is now the 8th state that I’ve lived in; I’ve got the midwestern states covered with Michigan, Indiana, and Iowa. The west (ish) with Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona, and Texas takes it for the south. As much as I’ve liked (most) of the other places that I’ve lived, I’m really excited to finally be in the eastern part of the country. One great thing is small the states are; when I drive west I spend an entire day driving through Nebraska or Kansas. Coming here I was in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio all in one day. York is also really close to a lot of cool places that I want to visit; 4 hours to Pittsburgh, 2 to Philadelphia, 3 to NYC, 2 to Washington DC, and only 45 minutes to Baltimore. Even though I know I’ll be busy my next few weeks here I definitely have a lot of places that I want to get to.

Now about this internship…it’s only been one week and I don’t want to be negative this soon, but neuro is not my thing. Rehab in general is not my thing. I didn’t really find neuro that interesting in school and there’s a reason I put this internship off till last. Some people really seem to enjoy being in an inpatient rehab setting, but I don’t think it’s the place for me. One of the big rules of being in inpatient rehab is that each patient has to complete 3 hours of therapy a day, 5 days per week (or 15 hours over 7 days per week), anyway, it’s a lot of therapy. This time is usually divided between physical and occupational therapy, possibly speech therapy for those who need it. This means that most patients are seen in PT for 90 minutes per day. The people that come to rehab are there because they’re not good enough to go home, but probably need more help than they can get in a SNF. Basically what this means is that people are generally at a fairly low physical level. Now what do you think you do with someone who can’t really do a whole lot for 90 minutes a day? Now that’s the trick and honestly I just don’t find it to be that interesting. Also, like I’ve said before I really like using manual therapy, and it just doesn’t really fit in this setting. Overall I think this clinic is a good place to be; it’s part of a larger corporation and they consistently have students so they are very organized and great at setting goals and how to plan to reach them, which is great. I think this will be a good learning experience for me and maybe I’ll end up working in another similar setting at one point, but not everyone is meant to be great at neuro.

Could not get a good first day pic, bad light or blurry and I finally settled for this

Could not get a good first day pic, bad light or blurry and I finally settled for this

Now that my first week is done I only have 7 more weeks of this internship. That means less than 6 weeks until I take my board exam and just under 9 weeks until graduation! I can’t believe how close it’s getting and I’m so excited for it all to be done so I can start my life without any more school!

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Houston

Will there ever be a time when I don’t start with an excuse of why I haven’t updated in forever? Hopefully. When will that be? When this last internship is over and my board exams are done. Is anyone still even reading this because I haven’t posted in months? Probably not. My bad!

Anywho… I spent January and February in Houston, Texas for my third clinical internship. I loved being in Houston and had a great time on my internship there, meeting people, and exploring the city. I had some great experiences in Houston and might even try to get back to Texas one of these days.

Since my internship was the whole reason I was there I’ll start out with that. The place I was working is local to Houston and works mainly in sports medicine. I was really excited to have a chance to work in a sports med setting. A lot of PT clinics will be outpatient ortho/sports medicine, but they actually do mainly ortho. Plenty of therapists are qualified to treat in sports med, but you really have to be able to find the right market to get into to be able to have a lot of sports patients. The clinic I was at was very focused towards sports medicine and that’s mainly what we treated. Lots of volleyball girls and other younger patients in almost every sport (soccer, baseball, football), there were also MMA fighters and football players (like the big, crazy football players). The PT that I worked with and the chiro that was one of the owners were both awesome and I learned a lot of cool things from each of them. They are really good with manual therapy and use it a lot, which I really like because I love using manual therapy.  All the techs and trainers that worked at my clinic were great and it was way fun getting to know them. It was always laid back and a lot of fun to be a work. It had its moments of craziness, but it was a great place to work. I got to work with some awesome patients and really enjoyed getting to know them. I don’t usually get too attached to people that I work with, but I was sad to say goodbye when I left this time.

While I was in Houston  I was lucky enough to have the chance to get to know one of the trainers pretty well and got to hang out with him a lot. He showed me a lot of great things in Houston and even in Dallas. I like to do a lot of things by myself, but it was nice to have a “partner in crime” for a while. Plus he was just generally an awesome guy (as well as being very good looking…). Also by random coincidence, I got to hang out with one of my good friends from college a few times. She was also in the area (just north of Houston) for an internship so we got to meet up a few times while she was there. She is basically the taller, blonde version of me I think. We seriously are scary similar in some ways, except she is way more brilliant than I am. We got to spend the day at the Houston Zoo (I love zoos), go to the aquarium (they had a tiger! Can you tell we like animals?), and went to Galveston to check out the Gulf. She even brought me cupcakes from this great place she had found and they were amazing. I had been scoping out the cupcake scene in Houston so I added those to my list (more on that in the future).

In addition to all of the great people and fun things Houston has, it also has great weather for January-February. I basically got to skip winter while I was there. There were a few days when there was a bit of freezing rain and/or the possibility of snow, so of course everything basically shut down. It was definitely a pain when I went out to my car to go to work and it was coated in ice, but I grabbed my ice scraper from the back of my car and I was on my way. There were some times when the temps were in the 40’s and 50’s and that was considered cold and even I had gotten used to the warmth that I was started to feel a chill when it got that low. The nice weather gave me great opportunities to get outside though. There was a park close to work that I was running at a few days a week and it was so nice to be running outside. I can’t handle running on a treadmill so it was so nice to still be able to run this winter. I just really do not enjoy winter at all so I was happy to mostly miss out on it this year.

I had a great time in Houston and would definitely like to go back sometime, at least to visit again. I actually ended up applying for my PT license in Texas because Colorado was taking too long to get back to me (when they finally emailed me back 6 weeks later they told me to be sure that I got everything to them quickly so they could process it, um is waiting 6 weeks to email me considered “quickly?”). I figured that if I do work as a traveler Texas has lots of big cities so I would probably be able to find a contract job there somewhere.  The girls at work told me Austin has a pretty “hippie” vibe and that I would fit right in (they figured me out so fast). I’ll see what the future brings and see if it takes me back to Texas!

Right Back At It Again

Now that I’ve been in Houston for a couple of weeks where it’s way warmer I’ve actually been trying to get back into my regular running habits. My first week here was rough for running. I lifted for the first time in a long time—I never lift, I prefer cardio, but I’m trying to get in more of both—and I lifted with a friend that really only lifts. Which basically means that I overdid it and then could barely walk for the next few days.  Of course the next day was beautiful out and since I didn’t want to waste the opportunity, I went out and ran anyway. My hamstrings responded with something along the lines of “What do you think you’re trying to do?!” It was a rough run and I only managed to get in two miles total with a lot of walking happening trying to finish my second mile. For the next few days I tried to stretch out the best that I could and kept trying to do some running even though it was way slow and short distances. My legs started to recover over the weekend and I ran four miles on Monday with only a short walk midway through. Tuesday I ran again and my legs finally seemed to feel mostly normal. It felt rough towards the end, but I finished back at my usual 3.5 miles and at a pretty average pace for me. I never thought that I would be so happy just to get back to where I was before, but it was a nice accomplishment. I did the same run in about the same time for the rest of the week, only taking off my normal days on Thursday and then today. Saturdays are usually a longer run day, but for now I decided to stick with just the 3.5. Partially because it was still a little tough and also because the park I’ve been running at is only 0.7 miles to a loop. Even when it’s beautiful out and there are plenty of people around for a distraction I’m still getting bored by the time I’ve done five laps (which is still infinitely better than the 12 laps to a mile at DMU’s gym). It’s nice to be getting back to normal after a rough month devoid of all but a handful of running days.IMAG2714

The next race I’m thinking about doing is a duathlon; 2 mile run-15 mile bike-2 mile run so I think I need to work more on my speed than distance for now. I also want to try to start upping my mileage though because after my Dad did his marathon now I’m starting to think that I at least need to do a half. Until I find a half that I’m really interested in though I think I’ll stick to the 5k’s and triathlons.

Lifting is my other goal currently; I’ve been more on the cardio side of things and just kind of screwing around with weights for a while. I’m reasonably strong with some upper body and back already because of climbing, but I really want to work on progressing my climbing and really doing some training for that so I think I need to get a little more serious on the weights. It’s not my favorite thing since I usually get bored with it quickly, but I think it will start to pay off if I can find the motivation to commit more to it. I don’t want to stay “average” in what I do and I think changing things up a bit will be a step in the right direction for progression. I’m trying to push myself to actually do more and be better rather than just think “wow, that would be really cool to be really good at that”. I want to actually be that good and it’s time to start putting in the time and the effort to achieve those goals.

Motivation from A Day to Remember

Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes

I’ve made these cupcakes a couple of times now, but this time I made them to be a little more holiday themed. Since peppermint seems to fit well with the season it’s about time I finally posted this recipe and some pictures. *I started writing this like 2 weeks ago and am finally finishing it…IMAG2675

I originally got this recipe for Andes mint cupcakes from Hungry Hungry Highness, it was a good recipe to begin with so I only made a couple of changes to it myself.

Rather than using the cupcake recipe listed, mostly because I’m lazy, but because also I’ve already got a tried and true chocolate cupcake recipe that I like to use. It’s quick and then I have more time to play around with my frosting and decorating the cupcakes.

“Hundred Dollar Cake” Recipe (makes a dozen cupcakes)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 cup Miracle Whip

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and cocoa. Then add one cup of HOT water and mix. Finally fold in the Miracle Whip. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

While those are baking you can make the Andes mint mousse filling for the cupcakes

  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/3 crushed Andes mints (you can buy them pre crushed, they’re by the chocolate chips)

Whip the cream in a mixer until it holds stiff peaks. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds. Mix chocolate in the whipped cream.

To fill the cupcakes use a cupcake core-er to take the center out of the cupcake. IMAG2672

I spray the corer thingy and the tops of the cupcakes with a bit of cooking spray so it doesn't stick and pull the cupcakes apart

I spray the corer thingy and the tops of the cupcakes with a bit of cooking spray so it doesn’t stick and pull the cupcakes apart

Fill the cupcake with the mousse and then replace the top of the cupcakes that you took out (or not and just put extra frosting on top, that works too).IMAG2674

For the cream cheese buttercream frosting

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • Red food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp Peppermint or mint extract if desired

Mix everything together except the food coloring. If you mix it in a mixer, leave it on high for a few minutes (if you use a whisk attachment). This makes it really fluffy and makes it nice for piping on the cupcakes. For my peppermint cupcakes I divided the frosting in half and mixed red food coloring in. I filled my bag with the white frosting first and then added in the red frosting (more pink actually). This gave me a nice swirled frosting. Frost the cupcakes however you want and you’re finished!

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Started out all white, then swirled, and finally all red

Started out all white, then swirled, and finally all red

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I’ve also made them with the Andes mint lookIMAG1800

Progression and Regression

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I didn’t really start running until January of 2012. I had tried running in high school and it just didn’t really click and I didn’t keep trying. I tried again in college and it was maybe a little bit better, but I still didn’t improve at it and so I didn’t stick with it. I don’t really remember what it was that made me decide to try it again, but this is the time that it actually stuck. Now I’ve talked about some of my struggles and triumphs with running before and guess what? I still have both of them! I’ve been working on my running for almost two years now and I still have plenty of days that totally suck. The great part, though, is that the number of good running days has increased and I’ve still been making progress with my running distance, time, and speed. I mean significant progress too. I haven’t just steadily improved though, I’ve definitely had some big ups and downs, but overall I’ve still been trending up and that is such a great feeling for me. I’ve still got a lot of work to do, but I haven’t quit.

In the past few months I think I’ve run more than I ever had in the rest of my life combined. I had been running pretty inconsistently over the summer (even though I had a triathlon in July, you think after a few of those I would actually start training for them more…), but what I did figure out is that I actually really like running in the morning. When I got back to Iowa and was running with my mom again we started running in the morning 4-5 days a week. We were actually running in the morning because it was way too hot to run in the afternoon. With my school and work schedule, though, it was actually pretty perfect to keep up with morning runs. We usually run 3.5 miles 3-4 days per week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday) and then a longer run, usually 5-6 miles, on Saturdays. We’ve been pretty consistently keeping up with that schedule since the end of August and it’s been great. I also try to fit in some rock climbing and some other workouts at the gym when I can. For a while I was doing 3 workouts per day and it was actually really great. I usually did about 30 minutes at a time so it was still only about an hour and a half but it’s nice to stay active throughout the day and do a few different things. I’m actually going to try to get back into that a little more again just because it makes me happy.

So just to sum up a little bit of my progress in the past couple of months.

Klompen classic 5k May 1st 2013: 30:12, 38/116 in my division. This was a few minutes faster than I did it the previous year, big jump.

John Deere 5k August 24th 2013: 29:13. That was my first time breaking 30 minutes in a 5k (some people do this so easy, but it’s taken me a while)1184865_697295403618660_1141060295_n

Me and my mom went out for a long run on a Friday afternoon before a 5k on Sunday and ended up running 7 miles. Our time for 7 miles was about an hour and 7 minutes, it used to take me almost that long to run 5 miles! That’s the first time I’ve ever run 7 miles and it was probably the best run I have ever done, ever. It was a beautiful day out, we going going at a really good pace, I got a great second wind right around 4 miles, and I just generally felt amazing. I think that is the most I have ever enjoyed running in my life, I was just so happy with that run. Then we had another great run at the…

Halloween Hot Chocolate Race November 3rd 2013: 27:57, 8/40 in my division and 55/414 overall. That was my best time by far and my best finishing place (at least in my division). I felt great for that race also, a little bit colder that day but still pretty great. I pushed my mom super hard since she was running with me because I really wanted to break 29 and I knew we could do it. She was feeling a little rough, but she did it (and somehow her time was a second faster than mine…) and she got first in her division!

A few of my friends that raced as well

A few of my friends that raced as well

So that was all of my progress, now for the regression part. The day after that 5k we went for a run and it was fine, but no where nearly as good as the two runs previous. That afternoon I went and gave blood because we were already planning on taking the next day off from running. Ever since then my running has sucked. For the first few days I think it was related to my being down a pint of blood. I did the Turkey Trot 5k two days later with some friends at school (not a race, just a fun run) and I had to walk up one of the last hills because I was feeling pretty rough. I kept up with my usual running though, it just was not going nearly as well. There was also a big decrease in temperature around then that really hasn’t helped. Despite the cold and crappy running, though, I had still been doing it. Last week I only ran a couple of days because on Saturday (November 23rd) I did the Living History Farms Race. This is a 7 mile off road race complete with creek crossings, pulling yourself out of ravines with ropes, and about 7,500 other runners. Oh and that day happened to be one of the coldest days of the month so far. It was about 10 degrees out with a 15mph wind. It. Was. FREEZING. I struggled a whole lot through this run and had to stop multiple times and walk because I couldn’t keep going. Let me rephrase that. I didn’t feel like I could keep going. Physically I think my body could have done it. Mentally, I was feeling like a failure and wanted to give up. Fortunately, this race is more for fun and the craziness of the terrain than about running fast. We finished the run in about an hour and 38 minutes, so just over 30 minutes longer than it took me to run the same distance about 3 weeks before, which actually isn’t bad considering the conditions.

So cold

So cold

I haven’t run since Saturday, I’ve been totally slacking because I was freaking out about my comprehensive exam yesterday and honestly running in the last few weeks has been causing me more stress than relief and I just wanted to take a few days off. I’ve had my break now and it’s time to get back in my routine before I lose it. I also need to get my run in to make up for all the food I’ll be eating tomorrow. I know what I’ll be doing tomorow morning…5 miles maybe?

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

I got the recipe for these cupcakes out of a cupcake cook book (I don’t remember the name, sorry!) this summer. The first time I made them I thought they were going to be terrible. I almost just stopped baking them like halfway through, there is a lot of baking powder in these and it was so strong I thought there was no way they could be good. I decided that I could cover up just about anything with enough frosting and chocolate, though, and kept baking.  They actually turned out great, I took them to work for my last day at the hospital and everyone loved them!

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So here is the recipe

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
-1/4 lb (1 stick) of butter, softened
-1 cup milk
-2 tsp vanilla
-2 1/4 cups flour
-1 tbl baking powder (I did just a bit less the second time I made these)
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 2/3 cup sugar
-3 large egg whites (I usually use one whole egg and 2 egg whites)
-1 package Oreos (off brand just isn’t the same)
Preheat oven to 350. Combine butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine the two mixtures. Add egg whites. Crush about 10 oreos and mix in. Place liners in muffin tin, and fill about 3/4 full. Bake 16-20 minutes.
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Cream cheese frosting:
-8 oz. cream cheese, softened
-2-3 cups powdered sugar
-1-2 tsp vanilla
-1-2 tbl milk (if needed)
Mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together. Add milk if it’s too thick, more powdered sugar if too thin.
Chocolate ganache:
-3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
-1/4 cup whipping cream
Combine in pan and cook over medium heat until melted
Let the cupcakes cool completey, add the frosting, put an oreo on top and cover with ganache. These are best if you let them sit overnight, that way the oreo gets kinda melty instead of crunchy. One the thing to be said for more baking powder is that the cupcakes kind of fluff up and then sink in the middle which makes a nice spot for the oreo.IMAG2465 The second time I made these they were more flat so the oreo had to just sit up top. I guess I’ll just have to keep making them till it’s just rightIMAG2581

Homemade Energy Bars

This is a recipe for homemade  enegry bars(they’re called power bars but I didn’t want to be infringing on anything) that I got from one of my bosses at the wellness center. She had some here when I was working a while ago and I finally remembered to actually get the recipe. These bars are so amazing and super easy to make. I made some a couple of weeks ago and they were gone pretty fast after my little sister discovered them. These things are packed with protein so they’re great after a workout but there’s also enough sweetness that they also taste great. I’ve been taking them to school with me because I’ve been running in the mornings before class so I’m usually super hungry again only an hour or so after breakfast. These bars are a great way to satiate your hunger in between meals and will even calm your sweet tooth cravings.

Here’s the recipe

  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup ground flax
  • 1 cup vanilla whey protein (or soy protein if you prefer)
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Mix together the dry ingredients, add in and stir the peanut butter and honey, and finally stir in the chocolate chips and cranberries.   IMAG2570 IMAG2571  IMAG2573  You can combine the ingredients in whatever way you want but I thought this way made it easier to stir everything in. Mold the mixture into a 9×13 pan and place in the refrigerator or freezer until solid.IMAG2574 Cut into whatever size bars you would like (I usually cut between 20-25 bars I believe). It’s easier if you cut the bars before you freeze them, then you can just break them apart and store in a freezer bag or container. I think they’re best out of the freezer, they thaw out enough to eat pretty fast and they’re a little more solid out of a freezer.IMAG2546

Dark chocolate chips are recommended but I’ve been using semi-sweet because I can buy the mini ones which I like a little bit better, the regular chocolate chips seem a little big for these bars. I wouldn’t call these necessarily super healthy because of all the sugar in the various ingredients but I think it balances out well with the protein. At least in my opinion these bars are great for snacking and for post workouts.

Fear

This post is going to be quite different than what I usually write about. It’s not going to be about running, food, or places I’ve been. It’s going to be about God. I sincerely apoligize if parts of this seem vague or totally confusing, I have these things in my mind that are so clear to me, but are difficult to articulate. I’ll do the best I can to make sense, but honestly more than anything I’m writing this for myself. If anyone can benefit from my words than that would be amazing.

I’m a christian and it really seems like maybe this is something that should come up more often than it does. I’ve been a christian pretty much my entire life and yet it’s something I rarely talk about to most people. I couldn’t exactly tell you why that is, but I think partially it’s because for me it can be very personal, especially in this case. I normally don’t like to expose that much of myself to people, I really dislike people knowing anything about me that could make me feel vulnerable and this seems to be one of those things for me. Another thing I especially don’t like to talk about are the things that scare me – my fears. I don’t generally think there are many things that I’m genuinely afraid of, I’m afraid of drowning (but I can swim), I’m afraid of falling (I rock climb and fall all the time), and various things like that. In the grand scheme of things, fears like that are fairly innocuous. However, there was a fear that I had since early in my teens. It wasn’t a fear of anything physical, but really more of a spiritual/mental/emotional thing. I won’t bother mentioning what it was because I don’t think it would make sense to most people and I also don’t think it necessarily matters. What does matter, though, is that this fear was absolutely paralyzing to me. I don’t consider myself to be overly dramatic, but just the thought of this thing could send me into an immediate panic attack, it felt crushing and suffocating. The only thing I could do was try my best to distract myself from thinking of it. Like I said this started early in my teens, I think I was maybe 13 or 14. I didn’t talk to anyone about it until I was 17 and I finally told my parents because I felt like it was going to completely break me if I didn’t at least try to do something about it. Obviously my parents said what they could to comfort me and prayed for me, but it still haunted me for years.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you” Isiah 41:10-13

Now this wasn’t a constant things, it would wax and wane on how often it really  bothered me. For days at a time it would torment me and then for several weeks I might not even think about it. Some time when I was in college, I was 19 or 20 I think, I had talked to my mom about it and somewhere between my own prayer and hers, I felt like I was freed from that fear. It was amazing, for the first time in years I didn’t feel like I was going to break down at the simple thought of something.

Then sometime in the last couple of years, though, it began to come back. It was an insidious onset (the terms used to define a lot of the pathologies I’ve studied in school and a fitting term in this case). I couldn’t tell you when or how it started again, but it was back. Again I didn’t say anything about it to anyone for a long time. Some people cope with things through support from others, I prefer to deal with things on my own, even when I really can’t handle it by myself.

This summer I hadn’t been going to church because I was too lazy to find one in Flagstaff. I also hadn’t been reading my bible very consistently and by the end of the summer I was seriously struggling. Struggling with feeling lost, ashamed, and scared.  So when I got back home I was actually looking forward to being back in church. In the past couple of weeks the pastor’s sermons had really been speaking to me, things I know I was meant to hear. First there was a guest speaker/pastor who spoke about coming out of exhile, I’ve felt like I’ve been living outside of where I should be and I knew now that I was time to return to the path that God has placed me on. Then one of the things our pastor had talked about was knowing and believing that God isn’t angry at you and that we put guilt and shame on ourselves that God never intended for us to take upon ourselves. I had definitely been doing a lot of this for a long time. Like I said, I’ve basically been a christian my entire life but I feel like I’ve spent more time doing the wrong things, things that I knew I shouldn’t be doing, than time spent doing the right things. Because of that I’ve been feeling completely ashamed of who I’ve been, especially since I knew better. I was still struggling to accept that these words were really for me, though. I mean those things can apply to so many people, I thought maybe I just happened to be there and maybe God didn’t really care to speak to me specifially. Then the same day that pastor had talked about God not being angry at us I was reading a devotional that I had been going through. I had been reading a devotional by Joyce Meyer that I really liked and that night when I read it and it said the same thing the pastor had been saying, God isn’t angry with you! It was like God saying “Hey Clara, do I need to keep convincing you?” and I finally got it. I usually talk to my mom about most things, including God, and I felt like I should tell her about that experience, but for a week I didn’t. A couple of times I had thought about it, but just didn’t say anything because it seemed like an odd time or whatever it was.

The entire week and really for the last several weeks I had again been struggling with this intense fear again and just trying to cope in whatever way I could. This usually meant that I read that days devotional as fast as possible and praying for about 2 seconds before having to distract myself with facebook or twitter or something. Well last week I was in the car with my mom and sister driving home from church and we were talking about church and then I finally mentioned how things had matched up between what the pastor had preached on the last week and what I read in my devotional. Immediately after I said this my mom told me that there was a bible verse that she had read and felt like it was for me but just hadn’t told me yet. Of course this was bringing up this huge fear that I had and I started to panic. Of course my mom being the wonderful mom and woman of God that she is, continued to tell me about what God had shown her about it (for me) and prayed for me (along with my sister). By the way we were in a parking lot outside of Pizza Hut, so seriously things can happen anywhere. After that I finally felt released from this fear. This fear, this, awful torment that had a grip on my heart and mind for years felt like it had finally been shaken free. It came suddenly, but there were also steps that had to be taken to get to that point, things that God had strategically been putting together. Even when I had been thinking that maybe I was just going to be left with no hope, all along things had been falling into place to bring about that deliverance from fear.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end” Ecclesiastes 3:11

That had such an impact on me, not only did God change things in my life but it had been laid out even when I didn’t know it. It wasn’t just an afterthought that suddenly came to be, it was something that had been orchestrated prior. I will never live a perfect life, but I know that the fear that plagued me for years isn’t a part of me anymore. I know that God has a plan for my life and I also know that at times I’m going to screw it up. God won’t abandon me though and I feel like I’m finally not afraid anymore. Again, I apolize if this was confusing and made no sense, but the only way I felt like I could write this was to just let it overflow out of me, and this is what it was.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10-13

This is where my tatto came from

This is where my tatto came from

Flagstaff

I know I had a few posts about things I did while I was in Flagstaff this summer, but I still wanted to make a bit of a summary post. I should have written this about a month ago right after I got back from Flagstaff, but as usual I am way behind. I just looked through my last few posts and I have barely been putting anythig new up! So I apologize for that, I’ve had a lot of blog ideas but I have been totally slacking on actually writing things up.

So I was in Flagstaff, Arizona this summer for my second clinical internship. I was working in the inpatient therapy department at the Flagstaff Medical Center. The internship itself was such a great experience. I had done very limited acute care observation in undergrad so this was all really new to me, but I absolutely loved it. I’m still not sure what setting I want to work in after graduation, but acute care is at the top of my list so far. Everyone in the department was incredibily nice and I even stayed with the family of someone that worked in the outpatient department for the 10 weeks that I was there. They were honestly all such great people and Flagstaff in general seemed to be quite a friendly place.

When I told people that I was in Arizona for the summer most people automatically mentioned something about how hot it is there. Flagstaff is much different than the rest of the state in that respect though. Flagstaff sits at just under 7,000 feet in elevation and therefore stays quite mild over the summer. When I first got to town I think the temperatures were in the upper 80’s to mid 90’s and everyone was talking about how hot it was. The rest of the summer is was a more normal 75-85 degrees most days, which was amazing. It would also cool way down during the night and still be nice and cool in the morning, around 50 degrees most early mornings. Flagstaff also has a monsoon season in the summer and this summer it was no joke. It rained every day for almost 3 weeks straight! It didn’t usually last long and it would be beautiful most of the rest of the day, but it always seemed to rain right when I was getting off of work. It was a little inconvenient at times, but it was still nice to experience some different weather for the summer. After leaving Flagstaff I was not at all prepared for the extreme heat in Colorado and Iowa, I was totally used to the lower temps already.

Serious about the monsons

Serious about the monsoons

One of the favorite things in Flagstaff was the downtown. It was so nice, there were tons of shops and restaurants and a lot of unique and local places. Parking there was a pain but I was living close enough that I could ride my bike there easily. I could just go and wander around for a while and it was always so nice. I didn’t take advantage of things too many times but they always had events going on downtown as well. It was a great place to hang out on the weekends.

They had some great murals on a bunch of the buildings downtown. This is the side of Absolute Bikes (turns out I have a 2nd cousin who works there)

They had some great murals on a bunch of the buildings downtown. This is the side of Absolute Bikes (turns out I have a 2nd cousin who works there)

I loved this store

I loved this store

I already had a post about running in Flagstaff. The Flagstaff Urban Trail System was amazing and there were also a ton of other trails around town. I wish I would have spent a little more time exploring them. A great way to experience new trails and meet some new people was running with the Flagstaff Trail Divas. It was a great group of ladies that organize a run each week. Again lots of very nice people and it’s a good way to find new trails. It was a great group.

First time I ran with the group

First time I ran with the group

Flagstaff apparently has some pretty incredible mountain biking but since I had only taken my roadbike this summer I can’t comment much on that besides that I know the trails exist! The town is pretty friendly to bikers and has nice, wide bike lanes on several roads. Especially Lake Mary Road which is a great place to ride. Pretty much if you’re riding in Flagstaff you’re going to be doing some hill climbing but there are enough places that the grades are gentle enough the riding can still be pretty easy and fun.

Lake Mary Road

Lake Mary Road

Near the actual lake

Near the actual lake

Flagstaff also is supposed to have some really nice climbing. Sadly I didn’t go experience any “real” outdoor climbing, I know, I’m totally lame. My excuse was that I didn’t know anyone there to go with. Instead I climbed at a bouldering gym all summer, which I still really liled. There were two climbing gym in town, one that was more top roping and looked pretty nice, but I was going to be climbing alone so I was more into bouldering. So I got a membership for a couple of months at Beta Bouldering gym. It was an awesome gym and everyone there was always super nice. I really liked climbing there and had been trying to go 2-3 times per week. I think they did a good job of rating there climbs consistently and were always putting up new routes so I always had a few projects to work on.

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I was working mostly on V3's and V4's this summer

I was working mostly on V3’s and V4’s this summer

Flagstaff is also close to a lot of great national parks and whatnot. The Grand Canyon was 75 miles away. Sunset Crater was about 25 and Wupatki about 30 (I think, that’s a total guesstimate). Walnut Canyon was a another Native ruins site that was just outside of town. There are several Native reservations in the area and obviously that’s a big influence there. So it’s also really to be able to go check out the more ancient Native sites as well.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

 

Sunset Crater (actually this was a different one, but the same area)

Sunset Crater (actually this was a different one, but the same area)

This is Sunset

This is Sunset

One of the sites at Wupatki

One of the sites at Wupatki

Walnut Canyon

Walnut Canyon (try to spot the ruins)

Overall in my opinion Flagstaff is an amazing place. People asked me if I would move there and I would definitely consider it. I really loved it there and the summer was amazing. I heard how much snow they get in the winter though and I’m not quite sure I could handle it. I guess I would just have to do a lot of snowboarding, which I think could maybe make the snow worth it. I’ll just have to wait and see where life takes me, maybe it will be back to Flagstaff one of these days!

Senior x 3 Pictures

Since this is my third and final year of grad school it’s kind of like being a senior all over again for the third time. After I left Flagstaff I was back in Colorado for a few days and had a chance to spend a couple of days in Boulder with Donny and Tabitha. I hadn’t seen them since December and since everyone else in GJ was busy with school and work it gave me some extra time to spend in Boulder. Last year they had done some awesome pictures for me, and my mom had suggested that I see if they would do more this year. Of course they’re fantastic and they did. We went out in the morning when it was actually pretty nice out, a little bit cloudy so it wasn’t crazy hot. First we went to this cool bike park that was great for pictures.Clara-1

I'm a winner!

I’m a winner!

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Clara-11

Then made our way downtown for a few more. Since there were a bunch of people down on Pearl Street, probably because it was CU’s move in week, I almost felt like a had an audience, only slightly awkward.Clara-19 I seriously felt like I was getting my senior pictures taken, I just wanted to hold up a sign saying “I’m 23!” It obviously wasn’t too awkward for me though because I ended up changing my clothes right in the middle of Pearl Street, no big deal.Clara-22

I love this shirt

I love this shirt

Clara-27To finish up we went down to a park with a creek for the last few pictures.

One of my favorites

One of my favorites

Hard to choose my #1 but I think this is it

Hard to choose my #1 but I think this is it

Was not a pose, but still looks good

Was not a pose, but still looks good

As always Donny took great pictures and Tabitha always knows how to direct perfectly to make me look good, they’re definitely a great photography pair.Clara-37

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