Fitness Friday: Nature Deficit Disorder + a Career Change(?)

Workout Wrap UpSaturday: Salem watch

Sunday: Salem watch

Monday: 4 mile run

Tuesday: Tracey Mallet F.I.T.

Wednesday: 4 mile hike

Thursday: Bob Harper Pure Burn Super Strength

Friday: 4-6 mile run + Yoga

I'm so proud of my workouts this week! Aside from a rocky start this weekend not getting anything done due to SalemWatch 2015 I was able to get a great session in each weekday. I went on a short hike Wednesday morning and had the most amazing time.

11033169_10153089809322674_5940333776187921205_nA few years ago I read this book that discussed how to protect children from nature deficit disorder. It was such an interesting read and, while I don't think it's an actual medical or psychological diagnosis, I 100% agree with the authors points. When I was a kid I already made the connection between being out and feeling awesome. I loved it. My Dad would take my  brother and I out camping all the time, we'd go fly fishing together, we'd hike through the woods and Boy Scout Dad would identify all the trees and animals we came across. I didn't mind not bathing for days on end while backpacking. It always just felt so ... natural to me (don't worry I bathe regularly now.)

Whenever I'm stressed I can go to my favorite trail and immediately feel better. It's like popping natures version of a 5 mg valium.

On this mini-hike I saw at least a dozen different types of birds including one gigantic woodpecker. I saw two large animals about 1/4 mile ahead of me run across a clearing that Travis said were likely wild hogs (common in this area.) I even saw my first chipmunk! Yes, my FIRST! I guess they aren't very common in Northwest Florida.

Oh, and I came across the most drinkable tree ever.  10698450_10153089809547674_2928382792512932105_nSalem is doing so much better! No more going outside the liter box, no blood in his urine, the wound on his neck is all healed up and he's acting 100% back to normal. I'm thrilled. I genuinely treasure every day with my little guy.

His brothers took excellent care of him this week. Rudy (the middle one) can be a bit rough on Salem sometimes but he didn't bother him once. They would occasionally go over and sniff him but that was it. 11024618_10153089810097674_5937878685399494585_nI treated the boys to a new scratching post and a big bag of birdseed to attract new friends to the backyard. I rarely give the cats catnip anymore because it makes Rudy act like an asshole. Well, a small bag came with the scratcher so I had to put a little bit on! Rudy was in heaven.

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The most exciting part of my week? An idea for a potential career change in the future. I've always been interested in the medical field. I never thought I'd go to medical school, but when I was working at Pensacola State College as an adviser I'd spend my downtime looking at the details of the various health programs they offered. As an employee I was able to get a tuition waiver and I took Anatomy and Physiology for fun. I loved it! Years later I worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator for a Vascular Surgery center and got to see firsthand what nurses, doctors and ultrasound tech's did day to day.

Definitely don't have it in me to be a nurse. I thought about becoming an ultrasound tech but the starting salary was what I was making with a Masters and I couldn't justify going back to school for a year to have the same salary.

Yesterday I read Andrea's latest blog. She's pretty much the cutest doctor in the world and I'm so glad I was able to meet her in Portland for Fitbloggin 2013! I've been following her journey through medical school on her blog and it always makes me envious. I genuinely miss being in school. The 7+ years and 150k+ student loan debt of graduate school just doesn't seem practicable seeing as I wouldn't even start until I was 34ish.

I saw Andrea had some youtube videos discussing topics relating to med school so I started watching a few and stumbled on one where she interviewed a friend who is a Physicians Assistant. Hearing her friend talk about the field really struck a cord with me. Hands on patient care with 2 years of schooling and an average starting salary of 85k. Yeah, I like the sound of that.

So, I turned to the only person who I knew in PA school, Madeline of Food, Fitness and Family! This girl is juggling starting her 2nd year of PA school with two young children and being a military wife (i.e. frequent deployments.) I emailed her a few questions and she did me one better by calling me on her way home from class. I talked her ear off for an hour and got off the phone completely infatuated with a career as a PA.

Where does that leave me now? Well, considering we have no idea where we will be living in 6 months I have no idea if we will be near a school. In the mean time I see no reason to take the few pre-req classes I'd need to apply to most schools (general chemistry, biology, and A&P classes.) Even if PA school didn't pan out I wouldn't regret taking 1-2 classes a term. I've also started looking into paid part-time work and some volunteer experience that would give me the direct patient care hours most schools require. I've applied to about 20 jobs in various fields since I've been back from Yoga School and nothing has panned out yet. I'm excited I've found something I can dedicate these next 'free' 6 months to as we wait to find out where we will be headed!

Ever made a big career change?

What is your dream job? If you aren't in it, why?