Now, I may have neglected to mention in my last blog entry that I am indeed on a lovely week off. Rather than opt to jet-off to some sunnier climate with the rest of the country or ‘find myself’ in some far flung corner of the world (I think I might be a little old to be ‘finding myself’ at 31 perhaps! If I do – I may need a GPS..), I decided to go back to my family home.
For many people (but very sadly, I appreciate, not all) the family home is a place to reconnect, recuperate and reflect on their life’s journey and take stock of what’s important. I am definitely at my most relaxed at home, I suppose in a way, safe from the pressures that I place upon myself and society backs up with a whacking great punch of expectation. I become Nick the 31 year old doctor – regressing back to 12 year old Nick, in my old bedroom, with all the dreams and aspirations that I had back then etched on the walls and photographs.
And it makes me smile.
It makes me smile because I realise that, despite being a little older (ok, fine, a lot), a little more grizzled and life hardened with the highs and the lows that have presented themselves, I still have those deep-routed dreams and aspirations – I still have belief.
I feel incredibly lucky to have these. I many lose them along life.
Which brings me onto the main point of today’s blog – as I sit here with a steaming cup of mum’s tea, having just done an hour of tedious (but necessary) revision questions for an exam in September – that I wanted to share with you. It is in a way, a mission statement. A Jerry Maguire-esque (but much shorter) entry…
I woke up this morning, as I always do back home, having had a wonderful night of sleep. I awoke calmly, body still paralysed from sleep, but as I opened my eyes and my brain started to get the first dusty, cerebral cog turning for the day, in that moment, I just knew what kind of doctor and more globally, health professional, I want to be, am meant to be, am positioned to be.
And it is a great feeing.
So let’s look at the “I want to be” part first. Quite simply I want to promote, help and support people to be as active, fit and perform to the best of their abilities that they wish to, both cognitively and physically. From the 45 year old running their first marathon, the 65 year old hoping to regain some more independence after an operation, to the 23 year old fitness addict – anyone.
Now what about the “am meant to be” part? ALL by fate and not design I should start by saying, in the past 12 years I have tripped my way across a degree in exercise and sports sciences, a PhD in performance nutrition, worked in health care consultancy, gained a medical degree, and helped numerous teams and individuals maximise their physical and mental performance to achieve whatever the goal – whether it be the 4 guys (and dear friends) who rowed across the Indian Ocean or my relative that wanted to loose weight and be more active. Now, I am getting also getting the opportunities to do some media work (and we will have to wait a couple of months to see how the Discovery TV show is received) and this yet provides me with another platform to share what I love – our body and all the highs and lows of performance that come with it.
And finally the “am position to be” part. I am very lucky to be a doctor as it means, in time, I will get the opportunity to specialise in my passion – Sports and Exercise Medicine – a means to understand to nth degree about how to optimise health, fitness and performance – for ANYONE. Now despite misconceptions this does not just mean for the elite athlete – in fact it is more about you or I (unless of course you are an elite athlete!), the average person who wants to get fitter or healthier so that they can play with their grandchildren for longer or walk the dog for an extra thirty minutes.
And I think the timing is right. People are becoming increasingly aware of the value of health and fitness. It is the currency for life. What you run out of it, chances are you are sadly running out of time. Society is, as well increasingly aware, with the rapid ascension of social diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and ischaemic heart disease. There is a reason, after-all, that the World Health Organisation have stated that physical INACTIVITY is the 4th global cause of death. ‘Lifestyle’ too, I would argue, is becoming more of a ‘sport’ almost with people focusing on levels of physical activity, stress, sleep, nutrition and so on to optimise who they are and what they can do in work, at home and in life. I want to embrace that all as it is, for me a pleasure to talk and learn from and help people who are driven to help themselves. And when people aren’t driven, I want to help them find it. They say that knowledge is power. Maybe I am lucky that as a doctor I have a growing bank of knowledge that I can use to empower, educate and drive others. Who knows.
Now I am going to stop here, as I have 30 magazines that I wish to write to and see if they have any writing slots for me AND I also want to enjoy some of this British sunshine! So let me sum up what this, likely yes, over gushy and from the heart, blog epiphany is about today:
Performance of the body and mind is my distilled, summarised passion.
I like to call it “PERFORMANCE FOR LIVING”…
I’m going to follow it now fully, with excitement, drive and the self belief that I still have since I was 12 years old.
Have a great week everyone,