I have always been fascinated by medical things. For years I thought I wanted to be an RN (until I learned just how much authority they don’t have!) I dabbled with the idea of becoming a chiropractor, but couldn’t imagine the years of schooling required. Plus, like I explained in an earlier post, I really wanted to be a stay-at-home mom which felt incompatible with massive school debt. Not actually having any medical certifications has never dulled my interest. I’ve read a zillion books over the years about every imaginable facet of medical care, medical research, emergency care, wilderness medicine, and more.

First...ski patrol

Five or six years ago, I started down an interesting path. Like many starts and like many paths, I had no idea where I would eventually end up. It started innocently enough with a late-night ski session with my daughter, Nettie. There was a sign in the window of the First Aid Room—Ski Patrollers Wanted. I went in, “just to talk,” and a few weeks later I started the training program to become a certified Outdoor Emergency Care technician, also known as a “Ski Patroller.”

On the way to the first class, I fell apart in the car. I was shaking and crying and felt sick to my stomach. All I wanted to do was turn around and go home. I called a friend instead. As she prayed for me, I realized I was terrified of rejection. After all, I’m an overweight, older woman. I’m not the glamorous, athletic image most people have of Ski Patrollers. Who was I kidding?! I finally dried my tears, and finished the drive to class. I figured I could quit before paying the fees if it really wasn’t for me…

But…I loved it. I was finally learning and using medical skills. I delighted in the knowledge. I have always been good at memorizing information and taking tests. I really could do this!

...then EMT- Basic

And then in the fall, we started practicals classes. Oops! My mind went blank on the first scenario. I couldn’t think of ANYthing to ask or do. This time, instead of wanting to quit, I got mad. I went home and studied harder, determined to not just pass the eventual tests but to be GOOD at figuring out what to do in an emergency setting.

That first ski season started and I enjoyed the challenge. I could have fun skiing, I could keep my brain active, and I could actually help people while doing so! A friend who went through the classes with me only lasted one season. She hated the pressure. She felt like someone could be harmed or even die if she did not do everything perfectly. On the other hand, I thrived on the challenge. Each time I helped stabilize and treat an injured skier or boarder, all I could think was “if I do everything right I can save this person’s life…or at least make a difference in their recovery.”

someday Paramedic...

I have continued to walk down the path I started “way back when.” I became an instructor for OEC/Ski Patrol. I took the classes and passed National Registry as an EMT-Basic. And now? Now I am getting ready to start classes to become a Paramedic, looking toward to the eventual day when I can get certified to train local Navajo as First Responders.

I laugh when I tell people I finally figured what I want to be “when I grow up” (now that I am almost 50 years old!!) I wanna be a PARAMEDIC! I wanna help people in crisis and potentially save lives in emergencies. I wanna train others to do the same.

Looking back, I think it is quite interesting that one of the few TV shows I ever watched regularly was “Emergency.” Through middle school and high school I thrilled each week to seeing paramedics in action. (Later it was “M*A*S*H* and, more recently, House—all shows with a medical theme.) Now?? One of these days I may be one of them! I may be a “medical professional.”

Did it start with these guys??

Who would have ever imagined??

And YOU? What seeds were planted in your childhood of interests or dreams that you gradually left behind? Which seeds, if reconsidered, might bring enjoyment and fulfillment to your life today? Don’t discount where those paths might lead…


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