I’m a Master Kinesiologist

That’s right! I finally finished my Master’s Degree in Kinesiology from my alma mater, the University of Texas El Paso. Class of twenty-fifteen!!! Woot.

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This was a big secret I kept for an entire year from almost everyone I knew. I don’t think that anyone suspected I was putting myself through grad school [again], and that’s not to say that it was an easy endeavor that was easy to hide. I just like to make things look easy. Plus, I like surprises!

I also don’t think that anyone ever suspected what I was up to because I have always said I had no interest in finishing my graduate school degree that I started over nine years ago (eek. so long ago!). I started my graduate studies in the summer of 2006, right after graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. I had no idea what I would do with my Bachelor’s in Kinesiology, but I loved my area of study (duh! look at me, I’m an exercise-aholic!) and loved the research aspect of it, so it made sense to just continue what I was doing and figure the rest out later.

But I didn’t. I ended up spending two years in graduate school and completed all of my graduate studies but my final project and still had no idea what I would do with two degrees in Kinesiology, much less one. So I just didn’t finish. Over the years, a lot of people have told me it is such a shame that I didn’t just complete that one last “little” requirement. I always laughed at this ridiculous and expensive idea.

But something about working in higher education again made me change my mind. I work on a campus that is located in the heart of downtown Denver. The campus holds three colleges on one campus and it’s no surprise that this amounts to a very diverse student population. It is inspiring to be around older professionals continuing their education, as well as young individuals that are just starting one of the biggest challenges they will achieve in their life. It is a reminder that we should all continually reinvent new challenges for ourselves in order to grow professionally and spiritually.

Furthermore, I always attribute my ability to work hard and learn independently on my graduate school studies, but I could never really credit my grad school for this since I never officially finished. It was time I give credit where credit was due.

Finishing grad school while working full time ended up being one of the most difficult endeavors I have ever, ever, ever taken on. What I thought would only be one semester and one somewhat-tough, long paper to write, ended up being two semesters and the biggest headache of a paper and presentation ever.

Many times throughout the year I thoroughly regretted my decision to finish grad school. Coming home from a long day of work and continuing on to a long night of reading papers and writing became my life and it made me very unhappy.

I neglected my pups, despite their many attempts to drop “clues” that they wanted to play.

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I neglected my hubs. Pie and I didn’t get to go camping at all the past year, which is unheard of! Although we did sneak in a few bike rides and happy hours between semesters during the summer.

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I became addicted to and drank lots and lots of coffee. Made it through all of undergrad and grad school previously without coffee being my vice, but now things will never be the same.

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And I had almost no time for exercise in the final stretch — and this is coming from someone that insists there is always time for exercise! I ran a whooping five times in the month of November and less than that in December.

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Needless to say, I’m so glad this 2015 endeavor is over and I can get back to the stuff I’ve been studying about — exercise!!!

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The awesome crew that came out all the way from New Mexico and Colorado (and my brother from EP) for my my hooding ceremony at UTEP [after I decided at the last minute to go]!

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