Friday, July 20, 2012

New PR horizons and how UA compression saved my life.

It was the last week of Organic and I was feeling stressed and depressed from the overload and volume of what needed to be learned so I decided to do what I do, and go for a run. I ran a PR 5k on the treadmill and totally blew my next goal of a sub 22 5k out of the water with a 21:16! Needless to say I felt marginally better, to say the least.

O chem finished up last week and I have been kind of cruising it with my running and workout program because of being bombarded by people who have "the plague". I listened to my body, and my body was fatigued and needed a break, so I did just that. I cut my mileage and intensity of my workout program for a couple of weeks and yesterday I got back to the grind! In an O&B run ~3.75miles I decreased my time on the way back by about 2 minutes!

After my run I jogged back to where I had hidden my keys and gatorade to cool down and then to stretch. I was wearing a lovely pair of under armour compression shorts with an oversized Italia soccer shirt and didn't feel like stretching along the main line of the road due to ignorant and scary 60 year old creeps who throw cat calls after anything with two legs, so I decided to stretch behind the control box that controls the light signals. Little did I know, there was a yellow-jacket hive tucked underneath. I was stretching for a couple of minutes when I bent over to stretch my hamstrings and a searing and shocking pain went through my bum! Out of reaction, I hurled a few explicatives and hopped a few yards and a fellow runner stopped to make sure everything was ok. I explained that it felt like I had just been shocked, but upon further examination it appeared that I had been stung multiple times because I was stretching in front of a beehive!

I was standing there clutching my tush with the feeling one gets after touching a highly charged electric fence, and this bloke wanted to stand there and chat! Of all things! I am very good at reading people, and to be honest I was a bit unnerved by the 40 something chap..he could have been anybody, with any motive! I think I'm going to avoid the trail for a bit on the outside chance that he's a psychopath lol. I finally escaped the conversation by directing his attention to the forbidding storm clouds fast approaching and my probable need for antihistamines in the near future and hobbled away. The last 300 meters of the trail back to my car were some of the longest of my life. I am not allergic to bee stings or yellow jackets, but I have heard that you can become allergic even if you have not shown signs of being allergic in the past. I've also heard that for someone who may not go into cardiac arrest over one sting, several stings may have some effect. I was 150 meters in and paused to check my pulse. It was racing... I estimated it to be around 150-160 bpm. I took a quick swig of my strawberry gatorade to ease my dizziness in case of fainting and then plodded on. I finally made it back to my car, threw open my trunk, clumsily dug through my bag for my allergy pills. Upon finding it i threw it back and took a quick swig of my gatorade. I had made it and I was going to be ok.

It felt like I had received an electric shock to my bum, so upon examination and the large red welt that crossed my cheeks I thought it was just that. Later in the evening once the storm had passed and I could take a shower, I reexamined the area to find several red pea-sized dots...the site of none-other than multiple bee stings.

I credit Under Armour compression with possibly saving my life. If I had been wearing a loose fitting short, the bees could have flown up my shorts stinging me multiple times forcing me to violently tear off my shorts in an attempt to escape them which would have lead to extreme embarrassment for my part (being in the public sphere). As it was, some of the stingers were not able to penetrate fully and left a mild mark from the formic acid and the ones that did penetrate the tough material was not numerous enough to cause me to go into cardiac arrest.

I look back in humour and am privilleged to have a story to share about the dangers of stretching after one's run. :)

for now,

peace

Monday, July 16, 2012

Those Mid-Summer Days..

The first 9 weeks of summer break have come and gone in a flurry. Biochem and O chem II pretty much dominated any free time that I had, but thankfully they have come to their natural conclusion and I am left to begin what is left of my summer break. I cannot convey the relief and utter gratefulness that I have no test to prepare for, no lab report to complete, and no hovering necessity to work out a few hours of chemical mechanisms! A part of me wishes I would have taken summer classes before..maybe I would have graduated early. On the other hand, I feel "burnt out" from pounding my brain since last fall with a constant stream of classes. I think that at times the longer path is the better path. Both lead to the same outcome, but the longer allows its traveller to stay connected; with family, with friends, with life. What is the point of a degree if you have no one to share the achievement with? What worth is an A if you near the breaking point? I worked really hard in my classes, but one thing that I learned this year, was the value of taking a metaphorical deep breath. No matter how crazy life gets, take time to share moments with friends and moments in nature. The beauty of a friendship filled with laughter, and the beauty of a flower filled field uplifts our spirit and sustains us through trials. I would venture to say that God has given both as gifts to us, meant to be graciously accepted.

Now that summer has finally arrived for me I have high aspirations for what I want to do in my free time..
1) create a reading list of 10 books  and read them before the end of august
2) stay up to date on global events and document them
3) go through and organize/file my papers over the past year
4) read through the Old Testament
5) start bumping up mileage training for half marathon
6)join running club?

That's all for now..

Shalom

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Gardener.

‎"Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there. It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime. " -Ray Bradbury

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Some of Summer..

Summer is almost officially here, but the weather has felt more and more like spring! It is simply lovely..no humidity and 60-70 degrees fahrenheit! Though summer vacation has been here, it really has not felt like it. The past four weeks I have been in my Summer Session I class every single day and studying for tests constantly! I have a fourth exam tomorrow, and a cumulative final on friday. It kind of bundles all of the information that I've acquired (or rather should have acquired) and builds on it. Sometimes it is good to just take a break. Yesterday was just that. I haven't played tennis since a few months ago and before that a couple of years ago. It was great to get back out there and begin the process of regaining my muscle memory (and my awesome fore hand!).
As far as everything else goes..que es lo que es.

peace

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Le début de l'été et vingt trois.

The spring semester reached its natural conclusion. I did alright, but again not as well as what I know I am capable of. I just have to translate that dissatisfaction into action. At the moment I have biochemistry which is shaping up rather nicely. I don't believe I started out on the right foot with my prof, but I think we're on cordial terms now. Coolest lady ever...she's like an Italian gramma; great communicator, and caring. The course itself is extremely condensed! The regular semester is 16 weeks and this summer session is a mere 4 weeks :O It seems like it is the culmination from all of my other biology and chemistry courses. It truly is amazing to see how it all fits together in a very intricate puzzle. Test II tomorrow, and then 2 weeks to go!

My grandma had a successful open heart surgery and implantation of a pace maker. Right now she is out of rehab and back home.

Nearly 10 days ago was a very special occasion. May 15 marked the 23rd year of my being. Simply lovely day with my mom shopping and later a beautiful, hand-crafted white cake with vanilla icing. I don't feel like I'm older, though wiser. I don't feel like I'm not 23, but I'm not sure that I feel 23 either. The years they pass all the more rapidly the older you get. I suppose the very essence of the number casts a shadow that makes the acceptance of its entrance, undeniable. I am 23. I am no longer young,  but by no means old. My life is on the brink of beginning, and that is a very exciting prospect.

Here's to May babes, and Here's to accepting one's age with cordiality and joy!

~C.S.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

open heart.

I sit in a reverie. I hear the bass of Massive Attack's "Mezzanine" album resonating through my ears and body. Images flood through like a high speed train flowing through cities and fields; there for a moment and then gone. Memories of laughter and joy, memories of heartache and unsurety. Tears tempt to burst forth.

What is this? Two days ago, I saw storm clouds in the horizon and even felt the drizzle of the impending air, yet I felt nothing. I felt as light as a feather. Now it all weighs down. Now the dam threatens to break.

My grandmother goes in for open heart surgery tomorrow. I may never get to see her alive again....I may never get to say goodbye.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pre Gaming.

So the last week of classes for the semester has arrived with a bang. Yesterday I had three back to back tests in the morning and my NMR spec lab report to do by 5. All in all I hope everything went ok but I am simply relieved the storm has past. There are storm clouds in the future as finals week approaches, but hopefully I won't be working 30 and 40 hours during that time so I can actually catch up on everything that I haven't had time to learn. Today I worked, again but all in all it was the break from studying and thinking that I needed to recoup and regroup. Tomorrow I hit the ground running after work with studying.

I just put in my notice earlier to the volunteer coordinator that I'm pausing volunteering for right now. I feel guilty, and a large part of me wants to continue, but I know the right decision right now is to really focus on school. This semester has really proved that there is only so much time in the day, no more, no less than 24 hours. It is impossible to go sleepless above a week and even doing one all nighter is unproductive and makes one more vulnerable to illness.

As far as the world news and affairs goes, the secret service was busted for shady behavior with some exotic dancers and mitt romney got the republican nomination (which I have vowed to do everything in my power to not allow him to enter the role of president.), Syria is still a bloody civil war with the world favoring the rebels but with hands bound behind the back because of the government's influential allies (Russia, China, Iran). North Korea failed to put a satellite into space (or so they say), and there is concern that they may be testing missiles in the near future. Iran has pretty much reached weapons grade uranium enrichment (the amount of enrichment needed for the use of nuclear power is 5%, whereas weapons grade is between 80-90+%.) Whitney Houston died. And that's a wrap for the global spec of things from my point of view!

peace

Saturday, March 17, 2012

El fin de break.

So this is the end of break. The beginning of the week looked golden. Not a care, not a concern because spring break was ALL week. Who needs to worry about school work or research projects when there's all week to do them? Who cares about presentations on mondays following break when they are a whole week away? How naive, or maybe ignorant it may seem. Yes I fell into the all too common trap of the "tomorrow idealist". Who is the "tomorrow idealist" you may ask? That person will put hope into tomorrow (which is not necessarily a bad thing) to the point that they overestimate what can be accommplished within that 24 hour span known as tomorrow. All tomorrows eventually become "todays". When thought and talk are not translated to action with the occurrence of a tomorrow becoming a today, a mindset of false ideality occurs.

Most times I lapse into a full blown "tomorrow idealist" mentality over school breaks, but I must happily confess that I did not fully condescend to such a level on this particular occasion of spring break. I did not get everything done that I had hoped to get done, but I do set exceedingly high standards and goals for myself that are usually unattainable. I had wanted to clean the house top to bottom (including windows) and I wanted to get my garden up to par and clear out the dead undergrowth of the herbs, and I wanted to go through the growing stack of unsorted/unfiled papers that has been slowly accumulating on my dresser, book case, and random plastic bin in the depths of my closet for the past year, and I wanted to finish a novel or read a new book, but alas none of these I was able to accomplish.

On the upside, I studied physics yesterday until I thought my head would burst (either from the 48 oz. of starbucks coffee I consumed or the immense amount of information I deluged my brain with). Yesterday I studied physics for like 5 hours. That's the most consecutive time I have ever studied physics in one day! I had wanted to get ahead in studying, but at least I won't be behind on monday. I still really really really need to take a look at O chem! There is a test coming up in a week and a half and I have not cracked my book since before break! Excellence does not come without consequence. Order and understanding to not magically arise out of disorder and ignorance. Excellence is cultivated and nurtured. When it is fully mature it blossoms and flourishes with regular tender care.

Other than school work I've caught up with a few close friends and have relaxed my mind and body and indulged in some rigorous workouts at the gym and on the road. As this break comes to a close, I am reminded that time is all too fleeting and that each moment is precious. I need to use each moment more consciously to ensure my life does not fly by without my being conscious of its passing. I want to really live in each moment. I want to seize the moment, the hour, and the day. I want to always work towards being a better person and being a more responsible individual. My continued goal after this spring break has concluded tomorrow is to go head on full-force into the rest of the semester without holding back and without being lazy and accomplish what I know I am capable of. The only one holding me back is me. The only one capable of making me succeed is me. Either way, it boils down to what I do, not just what I say.

So in parting for now,
Carpe diem, friends.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Friends.

Who are friends? They are those people that you can be vulnerable with and won't judge you or talk behind your back because they have your back. They understand that everyone is unique and that each person's uniqueness makes them uniquely who they are. Friends are hard to come by, let alone good friends. Remember young heart, always remember ... It is far better to have rolled the di than to not take the chance on opening up, making yourself vulnerable, and experiencing all the intricate emotions of life. And for relationships, it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved. What a blessing emotion is that we can express our inner most feelings. In part it is what defines our species. Ouvrez votre cœur and learn to forgive when those we care about inadvertently hurt our feelings.

C'est la vie.

Qui sont mes amies? No sé. Yo abrigo mon cœur y ustedes turned a mi. Pourquoi? Who can I trust? Nadie.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

One of those days.

The day before yesterday was just one of those days. I kept bumping into everything and when I looked at a cabinet funny things flew out of it. I bumped a wire to a speaker of our stereo system that is placed at a certain height in our kitchen and then as I sat down the ENTIRE stereo system AND speakers fell on my head!
Later on I had this hard core nose bleed at the gym and coughed up globules of blood. I was a bit worried that the two were linked, but I've only had one other nose bleed since then so I think maybe it was my deviated septum with the temperature fluctuations recently.

peace

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Quadrantids Meteor Shower.

2:15 AM my alarm went off and for a split moment I dared consider the alternative to getting up, but then decided against it. I'd never seen a meteor shower before and this was my opportunity to see it. Never would this meteor shower come at this particular moment in time ever again. Each "shooting star" is unique. I bundled up into what seemed like 10 layers and rolled out the door a little after 2:30AM to my driveway to see the view. I tried standing first with my neck craned every which way. I pondered where exactly I was to be looking, but remembered that the website had not given specifics so I resolutely laid flat out on my back on the driveway for five minutes. Nothing. Nada. Zilch! I had not given up hope yet, but I the conductive heat transfer from my body to the pavement was taking a toll so I headed back in to grab my blankets; one to lay on and one to cover me and a pillow for my head. I also brewed up a pot of absolutely smooth, hot and delicious Gevalia decaf coffee. Renewed in my sentiments to catch a glimpse of the meteor shower phenomenon I trundled out the door with my warm blankets and hot coffee around 2:45.

 I lay out underneath the stars beneath my soft fleece blanket and gazed and gazed and gazed. It struck me how huge and how marvelous our universe really is and how truly incredible its Maker and Creator really is. I was reminded of a passage in Psalm 8:3-5,9

"When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him  a little lower than the angels and You have crowned him with glory and honor...O LORD, our Lord, How excelllent is Your name in all the earth!"
All of it, God created and said it was good. I can only stand in awe of his creation. Beauty and magnificence are the only words that I can relegate to such phenomena that imperfectly describes the very  thing.

Anyway, I was laying out for a few minutes absorbing in the scene and the sheer silence of the night and took a sip of my hot coffee from my Starbucks tumbler every few moments when I saw it. My first meteor. It was so awesome. My chest swelled and my heart leaped. Words cannot ascertain the event, only dimly recollect my vague remembrance. The actual live "shooting star"...wow, now that was something! I quickly texted a few friends to share my excitement and was staring back at the vast night sky (or I suppose early morning sky!) when there it was! Another meteor quickly passed across the sky, even larger than the first! I lay out there for another 5 minutes or so and then decided to call it quits..It had already reached past the time when NASA had predicted the peak time to view the shower.

I am so glad that I woke up and bundled up to glimpse a small piece of God's glory in the nighttime sky!

peace