A few weekends ago, I flew to Toronto, to the old stomping grounds of CMCC (the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College) to write the exams that are the final phase of my sports residency. I have been in this program for a looong time, ( 10 years!!!) and been striving to fulfill the specific requirements of the residency program necessary finally sit the exam. I never would have predicted this route to the end. There have been lots of twists and turns along the way.. this in no way has been a linear learning process, but the way I see it, I have learned waaaaay more than the program intended, have gained much experience in the realms of sports business, NSOs, running a clinic, treating elite athletes, IST's and interdisciplinary communication.
Exams have never been my strong point, and with a 2 year old and a 7 month old, studying has been challenging. I went in knowing that I had not prepared to my best ability, but I had no choice but to attempt the exam and give it a shot. There were 3 daunting components: a multiple choice, a radiology and a practical component. Not to mention my regular life of running 2 clinics, practicing and throw some travel with the national BMX team in there! Ha, I was completely overwhelmed and felt under-prepared.
As it turns out, it was the best thing I could have done. It would have been easy to just forget it, to not put myself through that. I have a great career, and great clinics, I work with great people and have amazing patients. I am fortunate enough to work with a national sporting organization, and have had tons and tons of cool opportunities. I didn't feel I would gain anything from taking the exam, and besides, I would look like a fool, I had been in the program so long, most of the admin of the RCCSSC didn't think I should even be allowed to write after being in the program so long. But had I not done it- I would not have challenged myself, I would not have put myself out there, I would not have taken that risk- and that feeling itself was exhilarating,
I learned so much! Completely exhausted physically and emotionally my learning consisted of physical learning things that I didn't know that I didn't know. Studying, as random as it was, gave me a chance to read research papers and new theories and positions. Much of my studying was directly applicable to my daily practice!
It also prompted me to recognize that I should be more diligent on reading some of this research, which I had let fall by the wayside. I learned of many resources that will be super helpful in my practice and for on the road with athletes!
I also learned a lot about myself and was happy to know I was still "my old self"; competitive, passionate, still had a strong desire to be my best. I was still passionate about learning, and wanted to be involved more in the organization! This was a huuuge bonus for me to learn this. Having 2 babies in less than 2 years equals a huge twist to your life and person. Even though I have still maintained many factors of my pre-baby life, I still felt a little lost and unmotivated. It was nice to see some of those pre-baby qualities and have some of those feelings back again!
So even though I may not pass these exams, as parts were very challenging (as they should be), I am not going to be afraid of the learning process for next time, and will embrace it! This process has made me a better person and a better Chiropractor. I wonder what my next venture will be in this amazing career I have.......