Monthly Archives: February 2017


Over a month ago I took a punt on a part time job in athletics. Since leaving the NHS I have gradually been building on my dream of working as a physiotherapist in sport. Working in private practice was the first step. Then I took on the MSc in Sports and Exercise Physiotherapy. And then I got the amazing opportunity to volunteer as physio for the Cricket Wales Senior Women’s team. My confidence has grown and I don’t feel like a fraud anymore when I consider sports jobs. So when the job came up, a post involving 6-8 hours a week working with track and field athletes I decided to say a big Yes instead of No.

I was still amazed when I got an interview. I still get shocked when I get offered any opportunities or interviews, it’s a reflection of how I still see myself. But I had thrown my hat in the ring and last week I found myself waiting in the reception of the NIAC in Cardiff.

As I drove home with after the interview I kicked myself about things that I should have or could have said. Isn’t that always the way with these things? I reflected on my performance: I hadn’t been awful but there was a definite brain freeze moment during the interview that I felt had let me down. I didn’t expect to get the job.

And I didn’t. I had a phone call the next day to let me know I wasn’t being offered the job. They said they had really liked me, I was personable and had done well in many aspects of the interview but that one section had let me down. I was given some ideas for future development and that I shouldn’t this let it stop me from applying from jobs in sport in the future.

I think it’s a telling sign of how far I’ve come trying to build a career after leaving the safety net of an organisation like the NHS. In the NHS my career had been going one way but I decided to make a sharp turn and take another direction. It hasn’t been easy because I’ve had to work hard to try and gain experience in an area that until a few years ago was probably unthinkable for me. I think the fact that I didn’t completely crumble at the rejection is that my confidence in myself as a physiotherapist has grown (even though it still needs work) and I’ve decided to take ownership of my skills and attributes rather than apologising for them and being overly self-deprecating.

I didn’t get this job this time but it’s shown me that I am capable of getting interviews for jobs in a specialty I didn’t think possible. I’ll learn from this experience, take the great feedback that I was given, build on it and I’ll go for the next opportunity when it arises.






Walking My Dog

I haven’t been running much. I haven’t been exercising much. My energy right now is being funneled into the final piece of work for my MSc: a 20000 word dissertation. I can’t see beyond it at the moment, it’s become all consuming in my spare time when I’m not working or the boys aren’t around. If I go running I feel guilty for spending that time on running (and the inevitable time it takes for me to sort myself out post run) instead of being sat in front of the computer tightening up my literature review and transcribing interviews.


What has kept me sane has been walking my dog Polly. As another day passes without a run it is the time I spend walking her that keeps me mindful and keeps me active. While I walk around the field near our house Polly will run and find sticks while I clear my head after the school run, getting ready for another day backing up my statements with references and rewriting paragraphs that I realise I hate. I’ve found that walking Polly clears my head for lots of other aspects in my life and seems to prepare me for things that I don’t always feel confident for, in the same way that running always has.

My dissertation is due next month and I can’t wait to have my time and my mind back. Before dissertation fever (or panic) hit me I had actually managed to do some running and had completed a couple of races: the famous Nos Galan race in Mountain Ash and The Buff Trail 10k in the Afan Valley. These runs felt like a final hurrah before I submitted to my fate at the computer.

I keep feeling guilty over running but I have spent too much money over the last two years to piss it back up against the wall. For the first time in many years running is way down on the priority list and I actually feel okay about that. I don’t need or want to get up at 5am to try and fit runs in, I’m tired and run down as it is getting up at 6.30am to sort two children, do my own work at home, run a business, work in the physio clinic and running a household. It’s ironic that my research is on barriers to participation because I recognise all the internal and external barriers for myself right now. Some might even call it ‘amotivation’. But you know what? I’m okay, because if I manage to get this work submitted and I manage to pass, it will all be so worth it for my self-esteem, for the time I’ve spent on it and for my career. Until I’ve got that bit of free time and mental energy back in my life, walking the dog will keep me moving and keep me happy.