Unlike Clark Kent who needs a phone booth for his superhero transformation, Noble Horizons nurse, Jessica Boardman’s superhero powers manifest in her charisma, passion and contagious energy. By day (or night, depending on her shift!), Jessica is the superhero Nursing Supervisor on Riga and Whitridge but in aother life, she dons a superhero costume to ‘leap over tall buildings’ like Superman.
Last month, Jessica caught the attention of her co-workers when she limped into morning meeting, explaining that she had completed a Spartan Race the day before. The 2-hour competition began with a 5-K run, and evolved into spear throwing, mad scrambling up bleachers, swinging from rings and monkey bars, and a host of other activities that most of us would describe as torture. “It’s mind over matter,” Jessica casually comments.
“I was ready to give up multiple times, but when I saw my parents and son in the seats watching his little hand go up and wave at me, I said, “I can’t stop now.” In fact, Jessica is quick to note the similarities in her role as a caregiver, “I cannot let down my son or my parents; and it is the same with my patients. They rely on me to fight for them.”
Jessica explained that she had been focusing more on her health and fitness over the past 2 years which included purchasing a Peloton bike. Her sister, an avid obstacle race runner, encouraged Jessica to sign up for a Spartan Race, and while Jessica didn’t consider herself a runner at all, she decided to join her sister in the challenge. “I’m not a runner, so I decided to start training by running at least once a week in preparation.”
This particular Spartan Race took place in a stadium where participants run a 5k inside the stadium, including the stairs and then compete in twenty obstacles. “Some of the obstacles included spear throwing, an atlas carry, a sandbag carry, burpees, monkey bars and scaling walls to name just a few,” Jessica recalled. Her team, which included her sister and six others, helped and cheered each other through the exhaustive effort. “My motivation was my family. Because the race took place in a stadium, I was able to see my parents and son in the stands which gave me the strength and willpower to keep going and finish the race.”
The race was a great outlet for the stress and anxiety that Jessica and all caregivers have faced during COVID. “Even though I worked on my endurance and strength using my Peloton prior to the event, the race certainly took a Herculean effort to complete. When I finished, I cried.”
Jessica enjoyed the Spartan Race and looks forward to competing in other events in the future. “I know that if my son is in the crowd, I’ll push to finish because I don’t want to let him down. Just like my residents here at Noble, they look to me as a source of strength, they need me and know that I’ll do whatever it takes to provide them with the best care possible, because I don’t want to let them down either.”