Running In Roatan, Honduras, Part 1

Hello!  My name is Ruth Rema Pouchie.  I am a native of Roatan, one of the luscious and beautiful Bay Islands of Honduras, (where I currently am writing this post).  I’ve been a nurse since 1993.  I started my career working in the Infectious Disease Unit in a hospital in Fort Worth, TX.  About a year later, I became an ICU nurse, and although I’ve worked a few side jobs (Teaching, Home Health  Nursing, Wellness Promoter), I’ve strongly maintained this course. There are many things I love doing in life. I love caring for the critically ill adult patient.  I love being in nature, traveling, staying fit, promoting fitness, and among many other things, I love being around lots of water.  I have a passion for singing, poetry (especially Middle-Eastern poetry–Rumi, Kabir, Hafiz), and for RUNNING!  From a child I’ve enjoyed running and remember how during recess my classmates (mainly cousins) and I would have racing competitions.

During college years, I would run in between study brakes.  Nursing school was rough, and many of times I wonder how in the world a girl from a little barely known tiny island off the Atlantic coast of Honduras would be so fortunate to relish such education.  When I began my nursing education the stress of the curriculum was so enormous that I started running to save my own life (well, almost literally).  Among many other reasons, I ran to clear my mind, to relax, and to regulate my breathing. Some days I dedicated my run to my classmates, that they too would keep their sanity (so we can find a break to party…) and pass their courses as well.

When I got out of college I ran to stay fit (and look good for the boys too) and would adopted new beneficiaries for my run—mainly my patients. I started off working the night shift.   Anytime I had a rough night fighting to keep alive a sickly patient, I would run 3-5 miles in that patent’s honor.  When I had a heavy obese patient that challenged my fitness and my skills, I would run miles the next day in that patent’s honor.  During my run, I would focus on a mantra I’d developed for the particular patient.  Sometimes that mantra would extend to the nurse whom I’ve given report (“…and may her mind and her back be resilient.”).

Since 2008 I’ve ran 3 official Half Marathons (Fresno X2, and Miami) and several uno-official half (San Jose, CA twice).   Running is my my best method of meditation.  I run just to BE.  Running allows me to experience my humanness more consciously and, among other things, I run to be free (got a long time to explain this)!

Last week my father became very ill after he suffered a stroke.  He’s been wheelchair bound for years now and has done well to avoid complications.  I’ve dedicated my runs to him since I arrived—hopefully to infuse this ole man with some spunk.  Running in Roatan is not an easy feat.  There is only a main road that extends from the west end to the east, and the much of the east end is not paved.  The roads are narrow and curvaceous.  On rainy days, it is treacherous to run, but if one practice great caution, you can get a great run in.  More about this in my upcoming blogs…

My desire for this blog is to encourage Nurses (RN’s, LVN’s, and other medical professions everywhere on this good earth) to find any activity they love most and stay fit.  I love running because I love being on the go (maybe this is why I chose the ICU setting—Lord knows we walk/run many miles up in that joint!).  The feeling running gives me–the excitement I get prior to and during my run, and the gratifying feeling I get afterwards (no doubt due to the natural Morphine the body produces during exercise—yeah, I am a dope-phene!) makes me look forward to the next time.

If you enjoy this post or have any suggestions, concerns, questions or ideas you would love to share, please feel free to hit me up.