They say that you always miss 100% of the shots you never take. A few weeks ago, I took a long shot. A real long shot. Much to my surprise….. I hit it.
I have been an RN since 1999. I have been an orthopedics nurse, a pediatric IMCU nurse, the bulk of my career has been spent in Pediatric Emergency / Trauma. The past four years I have done some investigative nursing and care coordination. Being a nurse is the core of who I am. It’s a great career for many reasons. I have always done it part time, it’s flexible for a family.
For the past ten years I have been both a nurse and a triathlon coach. These are my two passions. I could easily retire from nursing and coach full time. I have come close to doing that several times. Something deep within me just can’t though. I can’t lose my grip on the other side.
Every time I would drive to Strong I would remind myself….. there is an entire world happening in there that folks out here just don’t know or understand. And hopefully they will never have to. There are children in there fighting for their lives. There are kids who have never had the luxury of sand between their toes. They’ve only known chemotherapy for their short lives.
When I worked Peds ED / Trauma I saw a lot. A whole lot. Things that I can only still talk about with those whom I worked with. I was part of one hell of a team of MD’s, residents, nurses, technicians, administrative staff and environmental workers. In emergency there was autonomy like no other. No hierarchy. We all depended on one another.
It wasn’t the shootings of bloody traumas that got to you. It was the other stories. The 2 year old who came in with a cold and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The high school boy who in the prime of his life was killed in a car accident. Those were the stories that haunted you. They still haunt me. I still can hear the voices, see the fear. These are the stories that remind me that I must always be a nurse.
In 2010 as I was race announcing a man collapsed at the finish line. When I got to him he had no pulse. One of my nursing colleagues came across the line moments later, we and a few others gave him CPR. In field CPR has a low survival rate at best. But we saved him.
I love being a nurse because I know what to do in crisis. I love being a nurse because the small things in life don’t get to me. Fat man next to me on an airplane? Big deal. I have held the hands of children who are dying… and know they are dying. Nothing gets under my skin. I rarely talk about my life as a nurse because it’s a sensitive subject. I can’t talk about some things and I won’t talk about others.
I love being a nurse because I can do something about it. I can do something about illness and health. I was taught by a woman named Irma Schnabel. I swear she was friends with Florence Nightingale herself. Ms. Schnabel taught me how to be a nurse. I can’t even explain it, but this woman shaped my life.
A few years ago I started graduate school in the hopes of becoming a nurse practitioner. I hated it. It was deep in research and academia. I am a clinical nurse. I knew by the second semester it wasn’t for me so I stopped and again questioned whether I wanted to be a nurse full time or a triathlon coach full time. I couldn’t let go of either.
Last year I found a Masters of Nursing Education program. I didn’t even know those existed. I didn’t realize I could get my Masters in Nursing and not become an NP, but become a teacher of nursing at the college level.
I have always been a teacher of some sort. from yoga to cycling to precepting nurses and training caregivers. It’s natural to me. I love sharing what I know. So I applied. Throughout the past few months I perused the local colleges to see who they were hiring. Adjunct faculty needed Masters degrees. Some would accept it in progress.
Then I found a position at a local college that spoke to me. It’s called nursing simulation specialist. I applied for it late, and I got an interview. I loved the college. I loved the faculty. I loved the nursing lab. The position entails running the nursing lab with another RN, setting up simulations for the RN students. Being part of their education! It was the perfect foot in the door and it required a Masters in progress.
To my great surprise, I got the position. Dream come true. I am over the moon. The next step in my nursing career…. teaching….. is about to get underway!!!!!! I can’t believe it.
With one more thing on my plate however….. I knew things had to shift. Nothing changes with my triathlon coaching. That all remains the same except: I can keep my prices fair and my stable a low number. I will never own a giant coaching company. I will not charge what I can’t afford and I won’t go over a certain number of athletes. It’s hard to generate an income that way, but now I can keep to that standard. So nothing changes with my role at Valor Triathlon Project except that my vacant spots for 2015 will be small and will fill up quick. Contact me now.
There is something that has to give. For 21 years now I have taught yoga and cycling and group ex classes of all kinds. I have done that since I was 19 years old. I have taught at the best studios and clubs you can imagine. I have worked for the best directors ever. I have never had a bad one. I have been teaching at Midtown Athletic Club for just shy of 2 years now and I love love love my students. While it might be me standing in the front of the room teaching, it’s my members who have taught me.
I am not one of those teachers who can wing a class. Each class I teach takes a minimum of an hour to plan for. And I love what I do.
The time has come though…. for me to retire from teaching group fitness. It’s been an amazing 21 years. I will remain at Midtown as a member and will remain on the sub list. Count on me for some of the Tour De Cure classes next winter. Plan on me being next to you in class.
A few years ago Jesse told me that what holds me back as an athlete is that I put myself last. I’d shake it off and tell him “I am a martyr.”. My husband says the same thing. He tells me to put myself higher on my priority list and I have. Over the past year I have moved up a few notches.
This year I brought on a coach myself, that just didn’t work out. It’s hard when you come from QT2 to find anyone who is comparable, to find anyone who can teach you what you don’t know. Self coaching has been going really well, but I need that extra push, and it has to come from me. I have to make more time for myself and make myself a higher priority.
When you have a family and a business and a career that’s not so easy to do. At least for me. I am paving the way though for it to happen. Baby steps.
I am really excited about the changes ahead. The days of juggling toddler hood is over, much to my dismay. I have an amazing husband and 13 year old son who needs guidance in a different way. When they are little you wipe their noses and read stories. When they are teenagers you truly help them to navigate …. life. And navigating life means you need to be present. Physically present. This change allows that to happen in greater doses of time.
I need to give a great big thank you to: Greg C., Loraine S., Wende T, JoAnne D., Julie G., Cristina C., and a few others who helped guide me through this masters degree and faculty process. A big thank you to Christine K, Randi L, and everyone at Midtown Athletic club who have supported a tough tough decision.
Thanks so much though to the two guys who have always believed in me. Actually three. My husband Curt, our son Luc….. and to the guy who has always always been the wind beneath my wings….. my Dad. I don’t write about my parents much…. but they are the best ones a girl could ask for. I would not be anywhere in life, without them.