Archive for tag: skiing

A Change in Adventure

Life's adventures are changing. While in medical school, I knew that my adventure was to make it through all those exams and cram all that information in my brain. Now that I'm on the tail end of school, beginning life as a doctor is the new adventure. But, at one point I thought once school was over I'd be right back to more typical adventures -- trips in the outdoors, flights to distant places for travel on the cheap, festivals and camping, and any number of parties that filled my life before medical school. Now, I'm realizing that the adventures I'm going to have over these next many years may seem tamer, but they are no less life changing.

A gorgeous sunny day out skiing before the resorts close for the season.

Hanzi and I pinky swore we'd have an adventure once we finished grad and med school. He reminded me of this the other day; not that I think I needed much reminding -- I'm all for it!

My recent big decisions involving the unknown are in sharing the responsibility of another's well-being, in addition to deciding which place to move to next. I've always said I like to operate outside of my comfort zone, and thank goodness that's the case, because doctoring means doing that every day, especially at this point. I'm learning that there can be just as much puzzlement and curiosity involved in doctoring as there is in setting off on a trail into the mountains I've never hiked before. It's a different kind of thing, of course, but it's just as engaging. 

Contemplating the Beartooth Mountains during a break in my ski day.

I'm learning to define adventure not only as time spent without showering, cooking over a camp stove, sleeping in a tent, or clinging to a mountainside, but also as time spent puzzling through another person's story to connect the dots and bring about better health. It's certainly not every person who identifies with adventures in the outdoors, but I'm sure every new doctor's understanding of their place in a community changes as they begin to take on their professional role. It's a conversation I've had recently with one of the residents here at YNC -- the balance between holding your professional values close, and finding ways to connect with the people in your community. It's part of growing up, and especially, growing into a confident doctor.

Drove northwest to Helena through spectacular scenery for a residency interview last week.

Part of my everyday adventure is making other people feel well enough that they are capable of having their own daily adventures. And what greater reward? Because hiking mountains and skiing slopes only translates into doing something for others when I am getting outside to maintain or rejuvenate my own heart. If I were to spend all my days gallivanting around the hills and the globe, feeling cold snow on my face, or rough rock under my fingertips, I would be missing an essential part of adventure, of life, which is to do something for someone other than myself. Even better if I can do things for many someones beside myself! I know I'm meant to serve people as a naturopath, and to serve them best I've got to keep adventure alive in both my body and my brain.

So I guess this post is about realizing the aspects of our personality that we need to keep alive while in the midst of changing ourselves and our presentation to match that of a doctor. There's a lot of responsibility involved in fostering the connections we make as doctors. Learning to balance personal life with professional strengths and ethics seems like it might be just as central to developing as a doctor as is learning to diagnose disease.