I am now winding down my 6th trimester here at Palmer, and as I reflect on my time here, it has been full of some great memories as well as some very stressful times. It’s hard to believe that next trimester I will begin seeing student patients. I’m excited and at the same time scared. I’ve spent the past 2 years learning so much information, and I wonder if I will be able to pull it all together and help my patients. Of course I know that I will have the help of a staff doctor as well as my fellow classmates, but I have to be honest and say that I am still a little scared.
During my time here at Palmer, I had the opportunity to re-take a couple classes way back in 2nd trimester. It was during that difficult time that I questioned if this career path was truly right for me. I loved what I was learning, and I knew that I wanted to help people, but could I really make it through this program?
The majority of my classmates hadn’t struggled with the academics—so I wondered if I should just give up and throw in the towel. Well, after a lot of heartfelt thought, and even a prayer or two, I knew that I could make it through. Since that time, I have worked really hard to get to where I am now. Don’t get me wrong, I still have those days of minor self doubt, but I know that I am on the right path. Just the other day I was talking with a fellow classmate and friend of mine. We were discussing how tired we are and in need of a break. I think that she heard a little more in my tone beyond the words I said because later that day she posted this to my Facebook wall: “The number one reason why people give up so fast is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, instead of how far they have gotten.”
Once I read that, I felt the fire and conviction to succeed come to life with renewed determination. It also reminded me of one of my favorite poems. It’s called, “The Race,” by Dr. D.H. Groberg and I’d like to share it with you.
Whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
A children’s race, young boys, young men; how I remember well,
excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win that race
or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
Their parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their son,
and each boy hoped to show his folks that he would be the one.
The whistle blew and off they flew, like chariots of fire,
to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy’s desire.
One boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd,
was running in the lead and thought “My dad will be so proud.”
But as he speeded down the field and crossed a shallow dip,
the little boy who thought he’d win, lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his arms flew everyplace,
and midst the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face.
As he fell, his hope fell too; he couldn’t win it now.
Humiliated, he just wished to disappear somehow.
But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win that race!”
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that’s all,
and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.\
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
his mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.
He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”
But through the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face
with a steady look that said again, “Get up and win that race!”
So he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last.
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight, then ten…
but trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
Defeat! He lay there silently. A tear dropped from his eye.
“There’s no sense running anymore! Three strikes I’m out! Why try?
I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought. “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.
“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “you haven’t lost at all,
for all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
Get up!” the echo urged him on, “Get up and take your place!
You were not meant for failure here! Get up and win that race!”
So, up he rose to run once more, refusing to forfeit,
and he resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,
still he gave it all he had and ran like he could win.
Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.
They cheered another boy who crossed the line and won first place,
head high and proud and happy — no falling, no disgrace.
But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place,
the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last with head bowed low, unproud,
you would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”
And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face,
the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race.
For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face,
another voice within me says, “Get up and win that race!”
I hope that this blog has maybe helped you in some way, and I hope to see you walking the halls of Palmer someday soon. If you have any questions or if I can be of assistance feel free to get in contact with me. Have a great day!
6th trimester student, Davenport Campus