On ramps (or merging into the traffic of responsibilities)

The past week has been a slow acceleration into the final Course of second year. All week, I’ve told folks that I’m treating it as an on-ramp; not quite at merging speed though I’m getting there.

I’ve treated the end of winter break and the beginning of Course Seven as a chance to reassemble productive habits and prepare mentally for the grind ahead. I’ve resumed a journaling practice, this time with my partner and it has been nice to keep each other accountable in the mornings and before bed. After the journal, I enjoy a brisk shower, watch a few videos, take some notes, answer a few practice questions, and call the day a success before the sun has peaked.

In the afternoon, perhaps I attend lecture, lift some heavy things, or virtually slay some noobs; I don’t stress too much at this stage of the on-ramp. My evenings have been filled with stretching and soft-tissue work while watching lurid television shows with my partner. A luxuriously slow return to the reality of a medical student.

The long weekend, due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, supports this approach. Yesterday, we held a potluck dinner with classmates at my partner’s previous home. We practiced front squats and some atlas stone carries with heavy sled drags before anyone arrived for the meal. While the sun tucked itself behind the trees and we began cooling down, a pitifully skinny female cat meowed her way into my heart and into our care. During the potluck, a friend bonded with her and even now works on her veterinary appointments and vaccinations. We ate lots of food, laughed much, found a home for a lonely soul, and enjoyed our time together.

Deeper into the Course, closer to the dreaded Step One, I doubt I would’ve reveled in such a fulfilling day. The stress and panic can wait; there will be no shortage. For now, I’m still building up speed and planning my final merge.


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