Archive for the ‘chartered physiotherapy’ Category

Dear Car Driver,

I imagine that unless you’re a runner, it is quite difficult for you to understand what it’s like run on the open road – It is a vulnerable place, trotting along a road while vehicles that outweigh you by several tonnes whizz by, with limited or no escape routes.  I know, you the driver, likely don’t hold my safety in the same esteem that I do. But you rather, in all likelihood, consider  your Instagram, twitter and Facebook  feed to be of equal or higher priority to the task at hand, which in this case hopefully involves not hitting me.

When I run on the roads, I use the roads under the same rules that you follow. I do this because, not only is it the law, but it makes it easier for you to know what I am chicken pedestriandoing if we both follow the same rules. We coexist in a fragile ecosystem, which can collapse if we both insist we have the right-of-way. Rage and hostility are counterproductive and only serve to endanger and agitate everyone. Yes I run on the road, not in the ditch or the gutter, because it is easier for vehicles like yours to see me. You should see me in time to slow down and pass me ………. yes you may need to slow down and even stop before passing me. The speed limit is not a guarantee or a target. It is a highest speed you are allowed to travel at, there is no promise that you will always be able to go the limit.

I am a runner and I am a driver. So, I am not hostile towards car, and I don’t feel you, as a driver, have any real hatred for me as I jog along. I think the problem with your driving is one of ignorance and not malice. The good thing about your ignorance is that it is curable through education, assuming you are willing. When you see me running on the road, consider how close you are to me when passing and what could happen if I fell or stumbled, would you be able to avoid me? Is there enough room? If you see other runners doing something that irritates you – weaving in and out of traffic or parked cars, or breaking through traffic lights, please don’t assume that I do those things. I don’t. I can’t control how other runners actions, I only have power over what I do. I have a right to use the road and you have a duty to yield the right of way when appropriate. I am not impeding traffic, I AM traffic.

They come and go – fidget spinners, hula hoops, the Atkins diet……… A gimmick or fad is a new-fangled device or idea designed primarily to attract attention and increase appeal, but it often has little value. We now barely get to grips with the latest fad before a next craze is released, guaranteed to always offer more attention-grabbing trends and quick fixes. Our society is becoming ever more enthusiastic about gimmicks because they offer promises of an easier existence and instant improvement or relief.  figit spinnersThese ‘great ideas’,  often produced by enthusiasts and gurus, who are good-hearted and well-meaning but who somehow miss the pragmatic realism  that knowledge, hard work and discipline is the only secret to achieving any goal. But that doesn’t stop people trying to hunt for an easy option.

Healthcare is no different; it is not immune from the generality in life that brings us fads, gimmicks, gadgets and promises. Illness and injury are an inevitable part of human existence and we are too often lured by the illusion of a quick fix. The running world is no different either, there are new products produced every day that claim to help runners perform better, faster and decrease their risk of injury by offering quick fixes to all running problems. Quick fixes are attractive for so many reasons, they are clear cut, give clear instructions that are easily followed and they’re usually one-dimensional. It’s human nature to look for the quickest, easiest way to get what we want. We tend to look for the one size fits all solution to our problems. We like a swift resolution that is black or white, but the unfortunate reality is that the answer is often grey, murky and time consuming. The world of health is multifaceted, complicated and frequently unclear (and even contradictory). We want to find a machine, a program, a diet, a device that will fix us and make everything all right – and we want it now!

Well here’s the reality – apart from being improbable and unrealistic, most things just don’t work that way. One of the reasons they don’t, is that quick fixes are neither long-lasting, nor sustainable. A quick fix for any problem is only designed to hold things together until an effective long-term solution is found. It’s merely the proverbial band aid. Gimmicks often serve only to detract from the true essence of the objective that you are trying to achieve. Fads and gimmicks will continue to come and go, the world would be a less lively place without them, but often the quickest, supposedly most effortless solution merely diverts us from our the path that will lead us to our real goal. Most of us don’t want to hear this, but; there really are no quick fixes or short cuts to achieving and maintaining either our health or our running (or to anything else worthwhile, for that matter). This path is a long continuous one that requires time, commitment and self-discipline.