In October I was training for my first Half Ironman, 70.3 miles of swimming, biking, and running. You may think it is crazy to attempt to train for an Ironman during graduate school. Heck you probably think it’s crazy to train for an Ironman at all. Not going to lie, it was pretty chaotic. But doesn’t life seem chaotic lately… politics, holidays, finals. One thing I am constantly reminded of by Ironman and grad school is there are very few things in my control. The pool is cold, the streets have potholes, those two 10-page papers are due the same week. All I can do is ask myself how bad I want it and dig down deep. Yeah it really sucks sometimes. It’s 93 degrees when you start a run or figuring out STATA takes four trips to the library. Somehow you pull through. Everything gets done. Then you’re really proud you kept going. So what can be learned from Ironman and grad school?
- Time management will save you. Twelve hours for training, nine per credit hour for class, 20 for work, eating, sleeping; budget it out and see if you really have time for the two hours you’re about to sacrifice getting lost on the Internet.
- There are amazing people around you who care and want you to succeed. I don’t know where I’d be without my training buddies and wine time with my school pals. Some of you have kids and significant others and dance class and volunteer commitments; not sure how you find time to listen, but I’m grateful you do.
- You’ve got to have fun. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, you are going to burn out. Stop eating, exercising, or sleeping and it’s not going to be pretty. Whether it’s a bubble bath or a quiet walk around the neighborhood, you deserve time to rest.
– Christina Azzonlina, MPH Health Behavior Health Promotion, May 2017, firstname.lastname@example.org