The Last Stretch

Wow, what a few weeks! With medical school right around the corner, I’ve made it a priority to spend less time working on medicine-related topics (research, prep courses, etc..) and more time on activities I simply enjoy (coaching group strength classes, working out, cooking, spending time outside, etc..). Some of you may be asking, “dude, why aren’t you making every last attempt to prepare for the future and make sure you’re ready?!” The simple answer to this question is I know I’m ready. I’ve wanted to be a doctor for a very long time and have invested a lot of time, effort, and money (YIKES) in preparing myself for the tough road ahead. So, rather than spend these next few weeks stressing and trying to teach myself every step of glycolysis and the kreb’s cycle, I’m focusing on enjoying every.single.second. of not being busy. Now, the more philosophical answer to the above question is that during the last few weeks and in the weeks to come, I will be preparing myself more than it may appear. Here’s some of the things I’ve been and will be involved in and why I feel they contribute greatly to my preparation for med school:

1) JoyUs Foundation Yoga/Kayaking Event- This Sunday, in collaboration with the JoyUS Foundation, Teslie and I are putting on a free event for Cancer Survivors at my parents home in NY. The event will feature a yoga flow taught by Teslie, followed by kayaking on the lake and finish up with a home-cooked meal prepared by yours truly. I’ve worked with JoyUs before and really love this organization for their commitment to restoring serenity and joy to Cancer survivors and their families. Experiences such as these make me realize why I went down this path to begin with- to help others find joy and live the happiest, healthiest lives possible. Further, it gives me a chance to interact with individuals who have experienced one of the most devastating diagnoses possible and hear stories and accounts of their journeys.

2) Group Strength and Conditioning Coaching at Anatomie- I have missed being an athlete since the day my career ended. Athletics, fitness, and performance have been a staple in my life for more than two decades, so when I had the chance to do some strength coaching at Anatomie, I was ecstatic. While I expected to love coaching, I didn’t expect to learn as much as I am about human interaction and the importance of empowering others to improve their health. Each time I coach, I have the opportunity to watch members leave the gym stronger than when they came, both physically and emotionally. Isn’t it the same with patients? As doctors, don’t we want our patients to leave the office feeling empowered, strong and motivated? I sure hope I do. Also, shout out to my 5 and 6am crews, y’all are some bad MF’s.

3) Learning to Manage Stress Appropriately- News flash- medical school will bring on some stress. To be honesty, I’m kind of over hearing this. Obviously medical school is stressful. However, one thing that I've learned over the course of my athletic, academic, and professional careers is that stress is only bad if you let it manifest. This is why over the next few weeks, I’m working on developing my habits for managing stress. For example, if I start worrying about if I’m ready for medical school, I go outside with Simba (my dog) and take a walk. Outside + Simba = Happy Albee, problem solved.

I know that medical school won’t be easy. I will be challenged academically, physically, and psychologically to adjust to the demands associated with becoming a physician. However, I know this is what I want to do, which brings on feelings of excitement and comfort rather than anxiety and fear. Sure, I’m a bit nervous but who wouldn't be? Over the next few weeks, I’ll continue to prepare my way because at the end of the day, this is my journey to own.