This week I’ve been to the beach.
Not for a stony sunbathe (Worthing is very stony) but for a course on all things health assessment and phlebotomy.
It’s been a while since I’ve learned a new practical skill and there was a surprising amount of pre-course uncertainty leading up to it. I guess knowing you are going to stick a needle into someone comes with a sense of anxiety. But I was surprised by my reaction to it.
You may be surprised to learn that there is very little non-person practice.
- A kidney dish first to get the basic principals and sequence.
- A rubber arm to learn how to manipulate body position.
- A real volunteer.
That was it!
There were 12 of us and it was expected that we’d all volunteer to donate an arm in exchange for having someone else to practice on. Definitely a time when you wish you’d engaged with everyone a little more the day previously or brought them all cakes or something!
I volunteered my arm before doing my first practice on someone else and it was well overseen and managed and no bruise at all. She did a good job!
When it was my time my overthinking kicked in. “What if I miss?”, “What if I hurt her?”, “What if I can’t find a vein?”… so the first lesson learned was, don’t second guess yourself!
I also learned (not that I didn’t know this about myself already) was that I just want to do it well. Not being able to do it right first time doesn’t stop me from trying. But I do want to get it right, remember all that I’ve been told and execute it properly. Not too much to ask on a brand new skill that I’d only learned 45 minutes earlier.
I did my first practice and that eased the nerves a little. But of course one try doesn’t make you an expert (Malcolm Gladwell famously suggested 10,000 hours in his book Outliers) and I think I was oozing uncertainty and I was, on more than one occasion, encouraged to do another, and another, until I’d done four draws.
There are of course only so many times a person can donate an arm to be practised on and so it was’t long before the other team members in the office were offering up arms to be palpated …that one experience in itself blew my mind! The generosity of the human spirit was shown that afternoon.
Learning this skill will make the transition into Metabolic Balance a lot easier for my clients. Getting a blood test can be an obstacle for them as the lab I use is in London. Being able to do the blood draw myself will help them. I’ve yet to be signed off and will be asking people to show me their veins so I can get used to ‘finding’ them (no needles, I promise!).
However taking part in this was also good for broadening my professional comfort zone. For a long time I’ve done what I know I can do and not challenged myself with something new. I learned about myself, how I prepare emotionally (poorly), how I cope with a new skill (I put too much pressure on myself to be good at it) and how I can let go when it’s all over and everything is OK (fully, slept like a dream on Thursday night!)
What did you last do that took you out of your comfort zone?
What did you learn about yourself along the way?
Let me know, let’s see what a wide range of skills we collectively have!
If you’d like to take your body out of the comfort of your bed this weekend, come and join me on Sunday at 9am at Bearwood Recreation Ground, Winnersh where I’ll be running our simultaneous Sunday session both on Zoom and in person.
Restrictions are lifted on numbers now so all are welcome, but I’d really appreciate it if you pre-register as we’re required to know who is coming by our insurers. You can do that here -> https://goteamup.com/p/511340-fasttrack-fit-camp-ltd/
Sessions are £8 per person, but if you wanted to take out a monthly Sunday membership it’s £30 a month and you can do that here.
All you need is a mat (or something to lie on), some water and maybe some gloves to protect your hands.
I’d love to see you!
FastTrack Fit Camp is an outdoor fitness business with the focus on improving people on the inside so they feel good on the outside. In 2019 FastTrack Fit Camp became a Social Enterprise and committed to distribute a minimum of 50% of profits back to community environmental projects each year with the goal of helping our local citizens feel good whilst being outside too.