|SO BEAUTIFUL AND I LIVE HERE OMG|
(Not on this creek...but within walking distance of it, which is close enough! :D)
Carlos had to work in ER Land yesterday, Christmas Day, so I had signed up to work in ICU Land myself because I preferred that to spending the holiday sitting at home alone. (Carlos's family lives in Florida and mine in Puerto Rico: we do not have family local to us and the few friends we have were either also working themselves or spending the holiday with their families.)
|Mom and the aunts went balls-to-the-wall with gifts this year. This was everything they sent us. |
We opened gifts on the 24th when Carlos got home from work.
Christmas in the veterinary ICU tends to be a nightmare for clients, patients, doctors and techs: a lot of death, a lot of uber critical, a lot of end-stage disease, a lot of tragic emergencies. I walked into work bracing for the worst while reminding myself that I was there at will: I had chosen to work on this day, so I was going to turn this into an adventure in the best way I possibly could. Plus, I got to work with most of my favorite people which was half the reason why I had signed up to begin with. :)
|Since no patient photos, have a picture of the Zombiekins thinking he was completely camouflaged against this black blanket...lol|
As it would turn out, I had three patients that were both very stable illness-wise and very easy to handle temperament-wise (in fact, all three were freaking adorable.) We had a handful of critical emergencies but most of what came in was simple to fix and we were able to send most of them home to spend the rest of the day with their families. Every single client that walked in the door with their pet was patient and understanding when there were long waits to be seen, which was a wonderful change from holidays I've worked in the past. To make it even better, most of them outright thanked us for being there to help them. It was so, so wonderful. It just set the tone for one of the most harmonious holidays I have ever worked in 11 years in veterinary critical care.
|It made up for this past weekend, which, with the full moon + pre-holiday + meteor shower + solstice, had been pretty much exactly what you would have expected...|
|...which was this. Sunday 12/23 left me so agitated it took me a full 24 hours to recover stress-level wise.|
So yes: Christmas Day in the ICU was magical for me in the best way possible. :)
To make it even better, Carlos and I ultimately did make it home from our jobs at a reasonable time, where we put together a quick dinner and sat down by the gas fireplace with glasses of wine to eat.
He had to work again today (he'll finally be off tomorrow!) but I was free, so I headed to CrossFit this morning for the Strength class, after which I stopped by the globo gym to do today's powerlifting programming.
|Arnold presses during a different Strength class. Coach A took these pics and featured them on the box's website. <3|
I was working on four sets of 3 reps of squats at 85% of my 1RM (in this case, 165 lbs). I had struggled through the first set when I realized that it would probably be easier if I paid closer attention to my bracing. Which I did for the second set, but I was still super slow and sticky coming out of the hole on the third rep. I took a longer break this time, grumbling to myself as I leaned against the barbell to play impatiently with my phone. Long rests of up to 3 minutes, sometimes more, become a necessity when doing higher weight lifts. You don't realize what a difference it makes until you try to cut your rest time short. Hahahaha...been there, done that, got the T-shirt. With today's kind of effort, I was waiting at least 2.5 minutes in between sets.
|From a day I was squatting 160 lbs for reps, to correct depth. :D|
There was a guy doing military presses on the Smith machine next to my squat rack. I had just unracked my barbell when I realized he had been about to switch out the plates on the machine, which meant that he had to walk past the end of my barbell. I paused with 165 lbs across my shoulders and glanced at him, "Go ahead," I said. I could wait. He shook his head. "No, I'll wait," he said.
I nodded, took a deep breath, braced, and sank into the hole, keeping my chest up and upper back tight. Grind back out of the hole as I breathed out. Stand up straight, deep breath, brace again, and back down into the hole. I repeated this one more time, then took a step forward and slammed the barbell back into the hooks on the rack. That had been SO MUCH EASIER when I concentrated on bracing properly!
I turned around and thanked the guy for waiting.
"You are super strong!" he said. "How much is that?"
I had not been expecting a compliment. I grinned, "165."
"Jesus. I don't even come close to that. I don't train legs enough."
I chuckled. He got to work on his machine and I went back to fiddling on my phone to kill time until my final set.
You hear a lot of stories about women being deliberately bullied/picked on/intimidated by men during their lifts in the gym, but so far (*knock on wood*) all I've experienced is genuine respect and admiration. And it doesn't get old, especially when you consider yourself a fairly shy introvert.
The day was so absolutely gorgeous when I walked out of the gym later, that I decided I must go downtown for a run too. I swung by the house to eat and change into my thermal running gear first.
At 3:30 pm with the shadows lengthening as the sun made its way closer to the horizon, it felt chillier than the 47 degrees my car's thermostat was reading when I pulled up to Baker Park in downtown. But I knew I'd warm up within the first half mile of running. So I donned my windbreaker and headed out.
And took photos, as I always do during these runs. Long-term readers will remember that this habit started with the "Today's Run" series back in the summer of 2013 when Lily was recovering from her annular ligament injury and I started running consistently in order to stay in shape. My way of staying accountable was to take photos during my runs and post them on the blog. Taking pictures while running has become deeply ingrained since then, and while I don't always post the photos online (if I do, it's usually on IG), I love having them to look back on and remember especially beautiful days where I just went the fuck outside with my music and my thoughts and pounded the pavement for however many miles I felt like going.
|At the start of today's run.|
|"Purr more hiss less." This made me laugh.|
|These two doggos were insistently barking at another dog standing quietly next to her owner across the street. The other dog looked so confused, like "Why are those dumb-dumbs barking at me?"|
|I loved that you could see the streak in the sky mirrored in the water.|
|This view doesn't get old. I take a photo every. single. run.|
|There was a surprising number of people out and about. The clock tower was chiming Christmas tunes. <3|
|My weeping willow on the right, all naked for winter.|
|You don't need to be on the beach to capture a perfect sunset!|
|Baker Park, headed back towards my car.|
It's also how posts like this one later get written. ;)
|Driving home. <3|