In January this year I set out on a mission: to complete and submit my dissertation by March. I had completed in depth interviews before Christmas. It was just a small matter of transcribing interviews, coding them, analysing themes and then writing up my discussion.

March 16th, in the middle of the carnage left by a house flood (that’s another story) I managed to submit my final dissertation as the last part of my MSc Sports and Exercise Physiotherapy. It was done, finally I could taste freedom.

But months of sitting at the computer focusing on my task has taken it’s toll physically. I was having back pain and shoulder pain. I felt unfit and slovenly. I had sacrificed many runs and training sessions to write 20,000 words. Now I was free what could I do to help me get back to doing what makes me feel alive?

For some reason I have turned to swimming. This week I have been to the swimming pool twice: 50 lengths and 64 lengths for each session. It’s been liberating and I swear I can already feel the tension and stress of the last few months ebbing away with every stroke and every breath. And now that I have nothing else to focus on from a study project point of view I need something else. I’m itching for another project to focus on. And I’m wondering if it should be a physical challenge in the form of a triathlon or a sportive or even tap dancing. Whatever I do I can’t wait to be able to do more exercise and feel what my body is capable of again, because months of months of feeling trapped are over. I’m free to run, bike, swim and dance or cartwheel as much as I want.


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