Swift | Silent | Deadly

2021 Goal Progress: May

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In January of 2021 I committed to some New Year’s resolutions: spend 15 minutes per day learning Spanish, workout 3 times per week, shoot my bow 3 times per week, read 73 books, and stay off tobacco. This is my progress so far in the year.

January, February, March, April

May, 2021

May was an exceptionally tough month. As most of my regular readers know, I am a paramedic student and class is winding down. One of the clinical requirements to graduate from my paramedic program is to act as a “team lead” on 20 Advanced Life Support (ALS) calls. This might not seem like that big a requirement. I was initially scheduled five, 12-hour clinical shifts in which to get my 20 ALS team leads; these are basically shifts where I go to work but don’t get paid. After the first 36 hours provided me with only three opportunities to be a team lead, I knew I had to schedule some more.

Week 1: May 2 – May 8

I didn’t start the month as strong as I finished last month, but I feel like I’m justified. Between work, school, and clinicals this was an 84-hour week. (2 24-hour shifts, 2 12-hour clinicals, 12 hours of class) without a single, full day off. I literally just did not have the time to shoot or workout much, but I did the best I could. I did have ample time to read this week, though.

I didn’t do much bow shooting this week, but my one session was a pretty good one.

Week 2: May 9 – May 15

I think this is the first week all year in which I did not finish a book. I had a very heavy clinical schedule this week; while I managed to read I didn’t quite manage to finish any of the books I was working on.

  • Spanish: 100%
  • Workouts: 2/3 – 7.6-mile hike with 24# pack on the 9th, Workout B on the 14th
  • Bow: 2/3 – 48 arrows on the 9th, 72 arrows on the 14th
  • Books: 0
  • Tobacco Free: YES

Week 3: May 16 – May 22

I had a light work/clincal load this week but other things seemed to fill the void. I spent one day working on my deck, one day with my SAR team participating in a search, and two more days attending a Lost Person Behavior class as part of my SAR training. I keep telling myself things will slow down one day…

A couple notes on the SAR search: this wasn’t a hike. The first mile was cross-country, off-trail terrain to get to our search area. The next couple of miles were our actual search, which was on extremely rugged, extremely sloping, off-trail terrain. A typical five-mile hike is pretty mild for me but this 5-mile search kicked my ass. The featured photo in this article is from the search. The hiker was found, deceased on day 13 (four days after I was there) and recovered by other members of my team.

  • Spanish: 100%
  • Workouts: 3/3 – Workout A on the 17th (40# rounds 1 and 2, 36# round 3), 5-miles covered during lost-person search on the 19th, Workout B on the 22nd
  • Bow: 24 arrows on the 21st, 60 arrows on the 22nd
  • Books: 3 – Nancy Caroline’s Emergency Care in the Streets, Eight Edition by American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons & Nancy Caroline (Paramedic course textbook),
  • Tobacco Free: YES
  • BONUS: Attended a 2-day Lost Person Behavior Class with the SAR team

Week 4: May 23 – May 28

This week I gave myself a week off from exercising and bow-shooting. I’m way behind on the number of ALS Team Leads (see the opening paragraph for an explanation) and picked up four extra clinical shifts to try to get those wrapped up. Working a 12-hour shift every day doesn’t leave much time for working out, and it might be time for a mental/physical reset anyway.

I also (finally) finished one of the best books I’ve read in a long time: Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker, PhD. Why We Sleep is a phenomenally good book about the importance of sleep. Most people consider sleep expendable, lazy, something we don’t need. But getting “short sleep” (not enough) increases risks for cancer (so much so that shift work is considered a “likely carcinogen”), diabetes, obesity, accidents in the workplace, traffic accidents (a tired driver is more dangerous than a drunk driver), reduces your memory, coordination, reasoning ability, lowers your testosterone and sex drive… Give this one a read!

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