On social weekends (or the start of Step Countdown)

This week, I’ve had a chance to flex and move my tired and atrophied social muscles. They’ve been casted and underused for much of second year and this week’s post-exam status and light lecture load allowed me full range of motion for the first time in months. Feels great. A bit tragic, though, because it will go right back in the cast after this weekend.

C7T2 on Monday. Went surprisingly well. Changed up the fundamentals of my studying practice, as a result of the minor concussion and not feeling up to regular treadmill sessions. Relied a lot on flashcards and generally cramming. Felt pretty prepared for the questions and came out with a solid 81, my highest exam score in second year. Seems that between the past two exams, I’ve finally figured out medical school coursework.

Tuesday and Wednesday were full of sleep catch-up and lazy days. Thursday, a SELECT practical assessment with standardized patients regarding leadership and respecting patient values. Friday, a neurology/psychiatric practical assessment with full history and physical for a patient with memory issues.

Then, the social weekend began. Headed home, watched my partner prep a copious amount of food, and we wandered over to a classroom on-campus and projected John Wick, a totally righteous action movie starring Keanu Reeves and high-quality fight scenes. After eating some potluck to the jiu-jitsu and gunfighting, we moved to the theaters to watch John Wick: Chapter Two. Easily as good as the first, although I’m a bit biased in my love for Keanu.

After the movies, we rolled over to a party with classmates, at my partner’s previous abode. She setup shop in the kitchen, creating culinary delights for the revelers, and I began constructing a small fire in the backyard to gather around. We arrived late and the party went on later. Left around 1:30a, with about a dozen or so folks chatting the night away.

Saturday morning, woke up late to a partly cloudy afternoon. I had eaten a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream before falling asleep and I woke up puffy and profoundly uncomfortable. An hour in the sun, a phone call with my parents, and some coffee brought me right back to baseline. Now I know that one full pint of ice cream is too much ice cream for one sitting. I mean, I knew that beforehand, but now I have truly learned this lesson.

In the late afternoon, we headed back over to the previous abode to get a quick workout in, and maybe help clean-up after the festivities. We arrived and the current residents were setup on the front lawn with a slackline, some relaxing tunes, and a cat on a leash. Our workout for the day was adapted from the CrossFit Open 17.1, an online and international competition series over 5wks. A quick 15min later, we were huffing and puffing and feeling great.

For me, this had been my first good sweat in about a week. A deload week from my movement and jiu-jitsu practices to allow my brain to rest up from the brain bump and the stress from a week of exams and assessments. Felt great to move and sweat again, was craving it more than I had anticipated. Head felt fine and so did my angry toe.

After heading home, cleaning up, and eating some tasty ssam, we drove north to a birthday potluck for two classmates. I brought Pandemic, a team-based game in which we battle to save the world from disastrous diseases. We danced and we ate homemade baklava, guacamole, and ice cream sandwich cake. We stayed until our departure at 1130p, to many shouted goodbyes and with a full tummy.

And today, I’m writing this post in the morning. Afterwards, I’ll head down to interview a classmate for the podcast, in his converted church apartment home. After a great conversation, I’ll move down to Davis Island near Tampa Bay and setup slacklines near a dog park to lounge the rest of the day away.

Definitely the most social I’ve been in weeks. It feels great. Spent time with lots of people that I love and in ways that are nourishing to me: while watching sweet action movies, around a carefully-built fire, playing a cooperative strategy board game, and romping around a beach with dogs.

This is what I’ve needed, a brief respite, and need for the future, to carry me through the Step One study gauntlet. With my exam date on April 25th, relatively early compared to the mid-May testing for most of my classmates, I now have 57days until D-Day. I’ve relaxed over the past week, both physically and mentally, to refresh and rejuvenate because I know that I will need it going forward.

True Step Prep begins tomorrow. I’m planning on one more deload week, probably around the 30-25days remaining mark. When that time rolls around, I hope that I’ll enjoy another social weekend, like this one.


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