Tuesday, November 9, 2010

For a long time...

I've been trying to figure out what I want to be when I "grow up." Considering the fact that I'm pushing the dark side of 40 (it's LOOMING!!)...it's really something I should know.

When I was younger, I KNEW. I fell in love with scuba diving and wanted to share my love of diving with everyone and anyone that would don a mask and a pair of fins and hop in the water with me. I taught scuba diving until my ears gave out on me. I miss it. I can still dive, but teaching scuba requires healthier ear drums (with much less scar tissue) than yours truly is stuck with.

Since becoming a "retired" scuba instructor, I've been wandering around fairly aimlessly...I've been first and foremost a wife and a mother...I've owned my own businesses and managed them for others...but, mostly, I've missed teaching people about something that I love.

A few years ago, one of my very best friends suffered a debilitating stroke. She lost most of the use of her right side and most of her ability to communicate. In many ways, her husband lost his wife, her children lost their mother, and I lost my friend. She's still with us, but she's not the same. It was, and is, heartbreaking.

I've spent a lot of time helping my friend since her stroke. I've read as much about physical and occupational and speech therapy as I can find. Initially, it was a struggle for her to transfer from her wheelchair to the toilet and back again. A few weeks ago, I took her to the hair salon. We left the wheelchair at home!! It was a triumphant moment for both of us. She's come a long way.

That triumph made me realize something...an idea I've been fiddling with for a while, but hadn't put into play. I'm a good teacher. When I care about something (or someone) I'm good at explaining things. If I can't make my point one way, I'll make it another way. Perhaps this comes from being a difficult student myself?

Regardless, I've found a new passion...and, quite possibly, figured out what I want to "BE" when I grow up. The joy I find in helping someone relearn physical skills that once came easily to them is beyond anything I've ever experienced. I'm not certain if I have it in me to go back to school for long enough of a time to become an occupational therapist, but it'll be interesting to find out.

In the meantime, I'm going to continue working on getting ME healthy (I can't help anyone if I'm exhausted from hauling my giant ass around all day!)...and, as a segue to occupational therapy, plan to take a personal trainer certification course through NPTI. THAT should be interesting!! Assuming I can get medical clearance from my doctors (those darn ears again!)...I'm going to start the course in January. I'm hoping to drop at least 20 of my last 45 pounds prior to the start date. If being in a classroom full of twenty-something year old personal trainers to be isn't motivation to get my ass into high gear, I don't know what is.

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