bikepacking the Kokopelli (7)

Applying to PA schools, missing the Dirty Kanza 200

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

I’ve made it. Well almost. After two semesters I have most of my prerequisites for PA school completed. Since coming back to school I’ve gotten all As. I have worked hard and it’s paying off. I am currently taking a cadaver dissection course which is pretty fascinating and then I start my last necessary prerequisite – Biochemistry.

Applying to PA school

I began applying to PA schools this summer. (A PA is a Physician Assistant.) All this work to get into school and spend two years in the tortuous path of PA school. From what I have read, it is like taking 1/3 of medical school and squeezing it into two years. Sounds like fun huh? But I have also heard and read that PAs are very capable when they graduate. I am looking forward to it! And as a plus, I will be a useful member of a bikepacking crew when I am done. I mean being a photographer was handy, but having medical knowledge will be actually useful. I have applied to a handful of schools with my eye on one in particular. I hope my application stands out the sea of applications. The school I’d like to get into has about 1100 applications for 60 seats.

Dirty Kanza 200, 2016

This past June was the first Dirty Kanza that I had nothing to do with since 2010. It was hard to take. I need patient care experience for PA school, so I am working at the local hospital as a phlebotomist, taking blood in the ER and from in and outpatients. I was working the 4am to 2:30pm shift during the week of the DK200 this year, so I didn’t get to see a lot of people. It was a weird. Things continue on with or without us. Watching all my cycling friends on the social networks was a little difficult as I had my nose in the books or a needle in someone’s vein at 4am.

If I said this journey of school was easy, I would be lying. It is difficult. Many times I wonder if I am doing the right thing. But I know I am when I work with patients. I know I am when I study the workings of the body, molecular biology or really anything biological. I was the kid reading Discover magazine, growing mold, and looking at pond water under my microscope. I am meant to do this. My cycling life has taken a back seat, but it will continue after PA school. I daydream of the bikepacking trips I will take. And I still want to finish the DK200 with a time I am happy with.

I have made a lot of sacrifices to get to this point. I am learning all about working hard towards a goal. Making amazing things happen is not an easy task. But the alternative of working an easy, but unfilling job is not living out my purpose. It’s barely living. And I made the decision to live life to the fullest.

I have my fingers crossed for PA school. If I don’t get in this year (it is very competitive) maybe I will be a bike mechanic or hairdresser…NO, I am getting in. I am determined. I have years of life experience, excellent grades, and when I get the interview they will see that I will be perfect for their program and later, as a PA. All this work and sacrifice will be worth it.

I hope you are not letting life pass you by because you think you are too old, too overweight, to slow, or it will be too difficult to get started. When you really want to do something, you can make it happen. You just have to make the decision to get started. And then do your thing! Don’t let life pass you by.

Feed Your Monkey!
Eric