A week!

So I’ve officially been out here in Utah for a week. I arrived around this time last week. It’s been absolutely incredible.

First up: athletic training stuff. It’s been a bit weird, going from passing my BOC and loving wrestling rehabs to being the bottom of the “food chain”. I’m the new kid, so there’s a lot to learn before I can start to do full-fledged AT stuff, which is fine. I think there comes a time where you have to humble yourself and learn from someone who knows the modalities and the setups of practices/games, even if they’re a year younger than you in a program. I came in here a little too cocky, I think, so I’m trying to tone it down and remind myself I have a lot more weeks to establish myself as a trustworthy AT. So I’m just going to relax and take things slowly. I realize when I take deep breaths, move slowly and stick to my decisions, it just looks a lot better to people you’re trying to impress. I also stopped trying to force athletes to trust me right away, because 1) that’s weird and 2) it doesn’t work. So I’ve just been chilling and helping out with whatever I can. For example, today I did some joint mobilizations and although I need practice, I am glad that I was given the opportunity to try and hopefully I’ll be given more small chances like that every day/each week. I also figured out what I forgot to do, and then learned a good hand placement.

It’s been hard coming in the middle of the season, as I came in the middle of the injury healing process for some. So part of me feels left out, but I forget that I WAS left out since I wasn’t here, so it’s okay. I have to think back to this last semester, where I was doing nearly nothing at the beginning except cleaning blood, especially the first few weeks. It’s the same here so I have to be patient AND most importantly not overestimate my abilities/push my boundaries.

One thing I will note about professional athletes is the maturity level, it’s so different from the college kids. Some of them learned my name instantly and they’re very nice and respectful, I mean not that college athletes aren’t, but that stuck out to me. Also, although the atmosphere is relaxed, you can tell that these guys take the sport very seriously and I really enjoy that.

I already talked about my points for improvement. My first match with the team is Wednesday, but instead of being super impressed as a fan and geeking out, I need to stay focused and be mature. I also need to find people to practice manual therapies on…it’s hard not having friends yet!

On the rest of life: I’ve started counting calories and I’ve cooked ALL my own food (haven’t gone out once). I’m already noticing a difference — I feel good, I don’t usually feel bloated, I get pretty hungry during the day but the job is a bit demanding, but I don’t feel gassy or sick and that is really great. I’m starting to slowly enjoy food again so that’s good! The only thing is how darn expensive food is! But it’s still cheaper than eating out as much as I did back at school.

I’ve kept in touch with my family well, and also 4–5 friends back home. And it’s only been a week, so it’s not a big deal to me that I haven’t connected with more, I’ll get there. It’s been nice to chat with them though, for sure. I haven’t made many new friends yet, but I do have to say that the people here are all so nice! They smile at you all the time, and even when I want to put my resting bitch face on, I can’t. It’s really weird but cool.

I’ve joined a gym that’s AMAZING and has so many resources! I’m still learning how to use all the equipment but it’s been a blast. I also decided to have swim days — I’m basically doing leg day, arm day, swim day. Core happens pretty much both days, but I’m not blasting my abs with circuits and killing them, I’m doing more stabilization work and it’s been good, and I feel much better. I’m also trying to do more fitness activities outside of the gym and be more functional. My long walk yesterday hurt my back! Which is sad! Haha. So I’m going to go on more walks/hikes, no running yet. I might want to get shoes with no drop to really make my feet work hard. Also, the heel being raised basically has me in lumbar/knee hyperextension and my SI joint does NOT like that! So that’s one thing I’m looking into/still confused about.

I’ve already gone on several long walks. Okay, 3. But that’s a lot for me! I’ve been trying to stay away from my TV shows, but its hard. I’m planning on another long walk later in the week when I have time off. This weekend will be a real hiking day at a trail I have to drive to. I have to also dogsit, so that’ll be fun to take him out a lot. And it’s the last day of the Premier League on Saturday! (I still have to figure out what other soccer is happening this summer, oops).

Also coming up: next weekend is MDW, which means the Union are coming to town, and then the FA Cup final is that same day. And my roommate is going on a camping trip that I’m invited to except I may have to work, so we’ll see.

Ok, one thing I haven’t done yet is set aside time to study. So I’m going to get on that, tomorrow night and Thursday night. I’ll try to go to a coffee shop or library nearby so I can print stuff. I plan to study for my CSCS exam, and then also research topics I’ve come up with — I’ll find 10 or so good articles and mark them up, and hopefully integrate them into my practice.

I have also meant to meditate more in the mornings, so I’ll get on that tomorrow. And I haven’t done my feet rehab…I did it 3 days straight 2 weeks ago, but it obviously didn’t help. I need to be more diligent.

So that’s my last week, and those are some little goals for the rest of the week. What a week it’s been…here’s to an incredible summer! (But why is it going to be 47 degrees on my first game day?? I think I brought the Pittsburgh weather curse…)

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Jen Xu’s story.