Activity is a key component of health for any human being – young and old, in sickness and in health, and wherever you may be in the world. With this in mind Physiopedia’s campaign asks the world to “just keep moving” and we would love it if you would get involved.
Wanda van Niekerk is a valued Physiopedia volunteer and has kindly taken time to share what #justkeepmoving means to her. Take it away Wanda!
I used to play tennis….and hockey…..and I used to run….Notice the past tense? I also used to love all of these activities and still do, but I for the past couple of years I don’t do them anymore.. So, what went wrong?
The simple answer is: Me! I went wrong! I stopped playing sports and I stopped running, because life happened. Work responsibilities,studies, marriage, kids, family commitments, tiredness, laziness! All these reasons or excuses not to get of the couch and do something. (Mind you, I very seldom actually do sit on the couch and do nothing with three kids in the house). But still, I chose at some point to stop moving and I came up with excuses and reasons. Me! I did it, no one else….
I do feel like a bit of a hypocrite, having been involved with sports and active people on a daily basis for many years, treating their injuries, giving advice on what type of exercises to do and how important being active is for their health. A far cry from “practice what you preach!” I also chose a couple of years ago, to be more of a stay-at-home mom and did some locum work now and then. I loved working as a physio and I’d like to think that I made a difference, but I came to a stage where treating patients were just a bit too emotionally draining for me, and I took a step back for a while.
With this “taking a step back”, I managed to keep myself quite busy with other things, but I felt that my world (and my mind!) was growing smaller by the day. And then I stumbled upon this Physiopedia ad on Facebook….”We are recruiting!” For once, I took a step forward and applied! With no real expectations of anything coming of it, but hey, I had nothing to lose. What followed was the past six months….
I did the volunteer orientation course and met incredible people from all over the world, I got challenged and had to leave my warm and cosy comfort zone. I learned (no, am still learning) about source code(!). I am having chats to colleagues from all over the world about physiotherapy related topics and projects. My world has grown again and I think I am making a small difference. My kids learn at school about the “global village” and here I am part of the “global village” of Physiopedia. What an amazing privilege! But more than anything else, being involved with Physiopedia got me moving again! I felt inspired by the #justkeepmoving posts and again I thought, what have I got to lose?
Unfortunately for a close friend of mine, it meant that she too had to start moving, as the two of us got our running shoes out (yes, we both actually own a pair!) and starting walking (at a brisk pace, of course). Walking became “slow running and occasional walking” and eventually we managed to keep running long enough, so that we can call ourselves “runners” again. We also made the mistake of telling our other friends about it and that we are running at 5 o’clock in the mornings…Big mistake….All of a sudden we were held accountable and every day we were asked whether we did run in the morning?! Again, big mistake! Now we had no choice but to get up and go for a run! We did and we persevered and two weeks ago, my friend and I did our first 11km trail run in the beautiful Cape Winelands. It was hot and there were more uphills than downhills, but it was awesome! Our mantra for the run when it got tough? #slowisfast and #justkeepmoving and the one that I still do not like but know that this is the one that made all the difference: #noexcuses!
Being a volunteer at Physiopedia got me out of my comfort zone, it got me moving again and it made me realise that there are no more excuses! Just keep moving forward, one step at a time and no excuses allowed! I am a runner, again!