Working, Working Out…and Sleep


I’m all settled in here at Soliant and the work environment is great. As soon as I adjusted to the long hours, training started, and I had to readjust all of the adjusting I’d done. The recent changes in my life must be a lot like starting a new travel assignment. I’ve met new people, found my way around a new office environment, learned new tasks, and adjusted to a new schedule. Wow, and our candidates do all that every couple of months! It’s challenging, but at the same time, it’s really, really exciting.

1st week of training

My new work hours are from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, and training starts at 3:00 pm. I always hate the first day of training because it’s always the hardest. It’s just like David Alexander described about being a new employee at Soliant. He said, “Getting started is like pushing a broken down car; it may be hard in the beginning, but once you get the wheels moving, it’s easier.” My first day of training is the worst feeling in the world – like pushing a humvee uphill with flat tires!

You have to prepare more mentally than physically. If you are not mentally prepared, you want to quit. On the first day of training, my coach made us do a two-mile test, running drills, 300 sit-ups, 100m strides, and weights. I was not ready. I managed to run the mile in 14:33. That’s bad, but for the first day, it’s okay. This is a conditioning phase that I do for about six weeks. I struggled at first because I was not eating enough while at work. You need a lot of calories when you’re working out so hard. Now I bring a bag full of stuff to snack on all day. My body was really sore after the first week of workouts…I could hardly walk. I felt like quitting every day, but I know that the pain is temporary and I have to keep pushing myself.

Work at Soliant

Work is coming along great. I have not started to make phone calls yet because I have a lot of other assignments to get done first. Tim has me on a schedule where I go to a different department each day and work on a different assignment. Some assignments are long, and some are short. I’m always willing to help out any way I can, no matter what the job is.

One assignment was something I never expected. David ordered a bunch of Soliant coffee mugs a long time ago and they were just sitting in the office. He wanted them shipped out to the new travel nurses, travel therapists, locum tenens physicians and other candidates who were starting their first assignments. There were 200 mugs or more. Me and my buddy Chelsea MacDonald dressed up the mugs with candy and a ribbon, and included a personal note to each candidate from his or her recruiter. Then we added a clear plastic wrap, packaged up all of the mugs, and sent them off. 200 coffee mugs! It was a long and tedious process, but I’m sure the candidates really appreciated it. I think it shows how much Soliant cares for them.

Free Time

Right now, I don’t have any free time. Usually I have all the time in the world. My friends used to depend on me to do favors for them since my schedule consisted of nothing but practice every day. I got calls all the time saying: Hey, can you help me move… sure! Hey, can you go to my house and wait for the cable man to get there…sure! Hey can you watch my dog for the week…sure! They never had to call anyone else. Now, between working and working out, I don’t have time to do favors for anyone. Friends ask, “Hey can you help me?”….ummmm…I’m sleeping. “Hey Keith, can you…?” …ummm…I’m tired. I know that sounds bad, but it’s the truth. On the weekends, I try to get as much sleep and rest as I can. I’m sure I will adjust to all this in about two weeks…but I’m still going to need my sleep.