Blood, Sweat & Tears!

Some people think of ‘blood, sweat & tears’ as a metaphor while to others, it’s literal. For me…it’s both.  I like to think of this phrase as one putting all their energy, effort, and heart into something – academically, physically, emotionally.  It’s the determination and will-power one has to succeed and accomplish their dreams despite facing daily challenges or scrapes and bruises along the way. These past (nearly) 3 years, I have put a LOT of time into school.  Just over the past year and half, I’ve added triathlon training to the heavy mix.  For some it sounds like a disastrous recipe, but for me, training is my sanity, my saving grace and keeps me focused. 

Academic life: Let’s just say…I worked my booty off these last three years and I’m SO glad the major course work and research is done, although not completely, more research needs to be done in order to have my part published. Nonetheless, NO more grades!! Yes, I still have 7 more months of a fieldwork clinical and doctoral apprenticeship, but it’s pass/fail and should be more motivating because it’s hands-on.  People always say when you’re in school, “Grades do not matter, especially when you get a job.” True, it’s not on your resume but do you feel at times that it does?!  There is pressure while in school that require better grades such as scholarships, honors society, or simply graduate with honors.  For the first year, I had a very high GPA (all A’s).  Second year, my GPA was slightly falling but I was still in honors.  Third year, ouch…a ‘B’ I continued in a course that was 6 hours for 2 semesters long. It knocked me out of graduating with honors.  Is it possible that I set a goal too far out of reach?  It can be frustrating at times but having family and friends with positive words of encouragement has kept me confident that I CAN do this!

Needless to say I’ve had my ups and downs over the years, causing me mental and physical harm.  So yes, I have literally broken my skin releasing some blood after a wipeout while biking on the way to class one morning during my second year.  I learned debridement on myself and barely made it to class (I RARELY missed class!).  I’d literally sweat in response to my nerves running through before a test, presentation, or simply walking/riding to class in the hot spring/summer heat.  And, I literally shed tears (mainly my second year and after my first B in research).

Training life:  We all know that physical exercise can be brutally tough no matter the length in time or distance.  Weather conditions add to the stress of our training.  During training and racing, a LOT is beyond our control.  Blood is exposed from our scrapes and bruises come along with this sport and should be of no surprise.  Obviously, during the summer we can sweat pounds of fluids in accumulation by the end of the week making electrolytes our ‘go to’ drink.  Tears of frustration are expressed during our down moments of training/racing and when we accomplish our highest mileage or finish a race it’s translated into tears of joy.  Needless to say, you can fight through blood, sweat & tears during 9 months of training and on training day, but crossing that finish line…is AMAZING.  

My graduation bike from the family and husband.
Testing it out on my first race of the season.
Although it was a tough swim, I still came out with a personal
best in my swim time!
After all these years of hard work and renting
an expensive doctoral gown...I'd say it's worth running the last
10k run of the course in my gown despite the heat!
Worth the blood, sweat & tears?  Sure I was bummed when I found out I didn’t reach my academic goal after all those years of blood, sweat & tears I put into my work, but I still graduated as a Doctor.  Sure there are days where my training is not up to what I want it to be or my performance is low or the weather is putting a damper on our training spirits but training goes on and the only thing that matters is crossing that finish line.  The end result, is worth all the blood, sweat & tears even though at times, the curve balls makes life seem unfair.  Simply think about how grateful it is to accomplish your goals or reach the peak.  Or, simply think about the blessings you have in life each day.  Our country has been through a lot especially recently with natural disasters or terrorism and in reality…we should be grateful, right?  Should we just continue to grumble with ourselves, dwell on the past and spread the negative spirit?  That spirit alone can lower our quality of life.  Have you ever sweated over the small, simple things like mine and realized…it’s not worth the fret?!  I will be the first to admit that happens to me far too often.  Our lives are too short and we should be joyous and accept God’s Grace for who you are and where you are.

There’s definitely a pattern, when things are out of our control or God throws us curve balls, we either panic or allow our frustration take over the day.  That’s when we should take a break and look at the upside.  God allows things (good or bad) to happen, for a reason.  Maybe He allows us to fall down just to make us stronger or maybe He just wants to remind us of His Grace.  I say crossing the finish line, grabbing a diploma, losing weight, passing a test or whatever your obstacle and goals are…is worth the ‘Blood, Sweat & Tears.’ What do you think?

Quote of the day: We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.  ~ Jesse Owens

Bible verse of the day:  “…and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.”  ~ Matthew 20:12

There is a parable or a story in the Bible about a generous vineyard owner.  Check out the full story in Matthew 20:1-16 and see how it can relate to any of us in the modern days.  The quote above, is something I believe any of us would say (human instinct) if we were in the story.  It may translate as “unfair” or is it?


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