Here’s a list of questions I get asked often – feel free to let me know if you think I should add something!
How is it possible to work out (as much as you do) and be a medical student?
I’ll preface this by saying that my answer below is from my days as a medical student, but it’s still (mostly) true!
Some days it’s definitely harder than others, but there are lots of med students that are really active. I think seeing the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle can really be motivating! For me, maintaining as much as 15 hours per week of activity is doable, as long as I’m organized. A typical day involves 8-10 hours of work, 1-2 hours of training, and then 2 hours of review/studying/whatever else I have to do in the evening. Add in travel, a social life and other bits and pieces and it can be a bit messier than that, but overall it’s great.
UPDATE (August 2015): Now that I’ve started residency, this is a little tougher. The average resident in BC works 50-80 hours/week, which doesn’t support the triathlon lifestyle :). I’m still running daily, though, and enjoying the new balance I’ve found for myself!
UPDATE (July 2017): As I transition into practice, I’m still running daily. Cycling happens sometimes for transportation, but I spend most of my time on my two feet. It has been an amazing way to make friends and explore this beautiful place.
Why do you write this blog?
Sometimes really crazy, funny, or downright unbelievable things happen to me. Whenever I told those stories to family and friends, they said things like “you should write a book” or “please write your memoirs”. I figured this would be a good way to start!
Mostly I like keeping track of running and races and fun things I do.
Do you expect to be able to continue to race after graduation?
I don’t think that a medical residency supports intense training, so I am definitely aware that I’ll need to set smart, reasonable goals during this part of my life. However, I also think that balancing a healthy, active life is really important for physician wellness. I should model that behaviour if I tell my patients that it’s something they need to be doing! Also, lots of people told me it wouldn’t be possible to train during medical school, but here we are :).
UPDATE: See above! I’m not training as much as I used to, but I’m still definitely in half ironman shape and intend to at least keep up the running and bike as much as I can during my residency.
I kind of got into triathlon by accident. I think it speaks to the importance of being open to new ideas! I remember watching Simon Whitfield cross the finish line (the epic pass at 4:10!!) and thinking that triathlon was awesome. Fast forward almost 14 years, and I was looking to supplement my running with some cross training. I stumbled across the Kitchener-Waterloo Fighting Koalas and started swimming with them. A few months after that, I bought my first road bike and started going out for Wednesday night rides with the group as well. That turned into me doing a sprint tri, which lead to a half-iron distance, which led to qualifying for the Canadian AG team. And the rest is history! I’m totally hooked.
I’m coming to Vancouver! What should I see/do/eat?
Well, to start with, you should see me! I love showing people around this great city. Other than that, though, you can check out my post on Vancouver for Visitors for all of my favourites.