I Tried To Save A Life That Didn’t Need Saving.

Dear Blog,

Back in October, I went on a family holiday to Spain courtesy of some tickets I won through the NHS. You can read about my adventure here.

I have never really spoken about my career since I started this blog. I am an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) meaning I work mainly in operating theatres, either helping to put people to sleep or assisting the surgeon during surgery. It’s an amazing job yet one with little publicity. I’ve been qualified for 2 years following a 3 year degree.

So, on the fourth night of our spanish trip, my family and I were waiting for the evening entertainment to start, as we had every night previous. The standard routine was to finish our evening meal, head outside to bag a decent table and wait for the children’s disco the finish with the entertainment happening after.
The children’s disco had been the same every night. Two adult entertainers dancing with 20+ kids to the same routine every night. I had briefly watched during the previous evening but being way out of my age range, it wasn’t something I was super excited by.

I had been in the middle of a conversation with my mum when I heard one of the entertainers repeat his colleagues name over and over. I looked up to see all the children gathering around the female entertainer, who was laying on the floor, while the male one looked confused and unsure what to do. I stopped. In my head I was thinking what steps I needed to take. Being a qualified health care professional, its our duty to help the public if they need us. I have plenty of friends who have been in that situation, whether it be assisting with a car accident or someone whose injured themselves in the street. I, however, have managed to avoid any off site incidences.
I continues to watch the crowd for a few more seconds before my body went into overdrive and I found myself weaving in between tables to get to the front.

“Ask the children for some space. Check she is conscious. Ask for a glass of water if she is, Ask for an ambulance if she isn’t.”

I made it to the front and leaned in over the children to see the woman laying on the floor… Then she smiled. It had been part of the act.
As soon as I realised what was going on, I walked very quickly back to my seat, greeted by the laugher of my family as my cheeks burst with embarrassment. unfortunately for me, another table a few in front of us had witness the whole thing and were also laughing. I wanted the floor to open up and swallow me whole.

At least I tried and if nothing else, it provided a story to tell, entertained the adults and gave me some valuable experience for the future. Perhaps I won’t be so keen to help next time I see a performer on the floor.


Rebuild: It Takes Time.

Play me in the background.

Dear Blog,

When I was down, I used to spring back up. I used to put on my imaginary armor, fists clenched and flight. Blow after blow and I would continue, feeding off the adrenaline as tears streamed down my face. I would be hanging, broken and bruised but still asking for more. I never won, I never felt victorious.
Post fight and I would skulk away, shed my protection and be isolated. Alone. And ultimately, confused. I thought I was being strong. I thought I was protecting myself. I must not let anyone hurt me. Not again.
Inside, I was fractured. Things were coming apart, loose connections flailed in the voids. Thoughts and instructions couldn’t complete their journeys. The lights were going out.
So I would panic. And when I panic, I fight. The cycle repeats.

I spend my entire youth like this. subconscious self sabotage. Things continued until all the lights were out, my eyes were glazed over and I was nothing more than a shell, walking the earth with fragments of my soul rattling in my shoes. As my shell trekked the country, it unknowingly passed hundreds of similar beings; Broken.

Heres the thing about being broken, it takes an effort to fix it. Over the years, with the help of pills, councillors, therapists, the pieces in my toes began to slowly rebuild. Brick by brick. At first things were held together with tape. A quick fix. Sometimes I faces challenges and before I could think about my reaction, I would fight. And break. Crumbled. Again the peices began to rebuild. Slightly stronger tape was used. As time went on, the challanges seemed less relevent. I didn’t have the energy to flight. Instead, I would shrug and walk on by. I couldn’t collapse again.
The distance gave the pieces time to fuse together, slowly climbing up my body, giving me back feeling in my hands, in my heart, in my brain. I wasn’t trying to be strong, I was strong. It repaired the connections that were once lost. The idea’s came back and so did the imagination. And when it was time to turn on the lights:

I was ready to face the world as a new person. I have crumbled for the last time.





Arctic One Challenge: Week 4 & 5

Dear Blog,

I hang my head in shame as I begin this blog. Those of you who have been following my Arctic One challenge will have noticed that last week, I did not post an update. This was due a rather embarrassing and very lazy week had by me. During the entire week (week 4), I only did one bit of exercise: I cycled my bike home from work, which I had left the previous sunday. I am not proud of myself.

fail week

Last week (week 5), however was much more productive. I started the week on a late shift and thus cycled two and from work. My fitbit has been having some issues this week and failing to track my activities accurately which is such a pain. As I know the route to work is just under 6 miles, I decided to leave the fitbit values in for Mondays trips as they balance each other out.

monday challange 2

Tuesday and Wednesday I was busy with work and family activities. Thursday I was on another late shift so I cycled. I had collected boxes for moving so my friend gave me a lift home. Carrying 3 flat boxes on my bike is just not practical. I cycled home friday after work.

monday challange

On Saturday, I cycled to my local Pets at Home for Clove stuff. It isn’t far from mine but is quite a hilly route.

monday challange 2

This brings us nicely to Sunday which was sportive day! I successfully managed to cycle 75 miles around Norfolk in a very impressive 6 and a half hours! Very impressed with myself for that.

fail week

So overall, in week 5, I managed to redeem myself for slacking so much the week before. Sunday filled me with new motivation so hopefully I will keep it up. I must get back into swimming this week!

Cycling: 165.07 / 621 Miles.
Swimming: 6.5 / 31 Miles
Hours of exercise: 25:05 / 100

For more information on Arctic One and where you can donate money if you wish, please visit www.arctic1.co.uk

Arctic One Challenge: Week 3

Dear Blog,

A rather stressful week and not as productive as I’d have liked. I have really let the cycling challenge down and didn’t commute to work as much as I could have. However, I have continued to improve with my swimming and beating my personal best every time.

Monday saw the continuation of the family emergency so for obvious reasons, exercise  was not high on my priority list. That being said, to clear my head, I did go for a lengthy walk through the woods.

monday challange

Tuesday was nothing but work. Wednesday I attended a spin class. I had hoped I’d be able to track my miles but the computer on my bike didn’t work which was super annoying. I then swam a mile.


Back to work Thursday. Friday I was on a late shift so I manged to squeeze another swim in before work. I’m getting faster! I finally brought my bike home after Sundays events.


Saturday I had some well needed ‘Me time’ and decided to give the gym a miss in favour for a little bit of shopping and spending time with Clove. I made up for it on Sunday by cycling too and from the gym, then to work for my night shift. I swam another mile.


Overall, week 3 has been as productive as week 2 however some noticeable slacking on the cycling front. I am really struggling to find the motivation even though I do love getting on my bike. Next week will suffer the same sort of pattern as I start the week on night shifts and have 2 days overtime at work. Slowly but surly, we are getting there.


Cycling: 58.93 / 621 Miles.
Swimming: 6.5 / 31 Miles
Hours of exercise: 16.39 / 100

For more information on Arctic One and where you can donate money if you wish, please visit www.arctic1.co.uk

Arctic One Challenge: Week 1

Dear Blog,

The first week of the Arctic One challenge is completed and boy am I lazy… I have found myself feeling very unmotivated (I blame the weather) and my whole week has felt it.
I started off pretty well. I went to the gym Monday. I cycled there and back plus spend a little time on the exercise bike*. Great start. I then jumped into the swimming pool for 55mins, completing half a mile before loads of kids came and spoilt the atmosphere.

*I’m not using my Fitbit while on the exercise bike as it doesn’t provide an accurate reading. Instead, I’ll take photos of the bike computer as proof. 


monday challange


I was at work for the rest of the week and shamefully admit that I bussed every day (in my defence, it has rained most of the week and I don’t own mudguards).  My next day off was Saturday which was much more succesful. I opted to walk to the gym as I had errands afterwards but I did a further 20 mins on the exercise bike and I swam my first mile! And I completed it using nothing but breaststroke. Go me!

monday challange 2


All in all, it’s been a very uninspired week. I am a bit shamed of myself. Lets hope I can get my butt in gear for week 2.



Cycling: 14.22 / 621 Miles.
Swimming: 1.5 / 31 Miles
Hours of exercise: 3.18 / 100

For more information on Arctic One and where you can donate money if you wish, please visit www.arctic1.co.uk

Arctic One Summer Challenge 2018.

This summer, I have partnered with Arctic One to partake in their ‘Summer of Sports’ event. Arctic One is a charity with aim of getting more people of all ability, involved with sports in one form or another. Though their work and the support of the pubic, Arctic One have been able to give grants to 115 people since 2015. These grants give people with disabilities an oppotunity to pursue sports and inspire the next generation of para-athletes. It is a brilliant charity and I am super excited for the next few weeks.

So the challenge: beginning the 28th May, I have until the 1st September to complete three challenges:

  • Cycle 1000km/621 miles.
  • Swim 50km/31 miles
  • Complete 100 hours of any Sporting Activity.

They don’t have to be done in one sitting (thank god) and if I complete all three then I’ll receive a medal and piece of clothing. Cycling will be the hardest. On the 1st July, I am participating in a 75 mile sportive around Norfolk, although that will barely touch my 621 mile target. As for swimming, I aim to swim a mile (64 laps of a 25 meter pool) each session and if I go every other day, I’ll be done in a month or so. I have no way to officially document this so you’ll have to trust me when I say I’ve completed a mile. If you have read my ‘From Frogs to Breaststrokes‘ blog, you will know that swimming isn’t my strongest ability (you’ll also be happy to know that I have somewhat mastered the breaststroke) so this task is just that little bit harder.
With both these task combined, challenge number 3 should be easy to complete.

I’ve decided for extra motivation, to write a blog every week to document my progress. It’s not going to be easy but its a challenge I’m excited to undertake. Wish me luck!

For more information on Arctic One and where you can donate money if you wish, please visit www.arctic1.co.uk

The Dysmorphia Demon.

*Please be warned that this post talks about body dysmorphia and issues relating to body image and eating disorders. Please do not continue if you are fighting your own ED battle, however do get support. You got this.*

Dear Blog,

Like a lot of people in this day and age, I have fallen victim to some unhealthy habits that will forever change the way I see food and myself. 4 years on and I am virtually back to my normal ways and that nightmare is locked in a box on my mental, metaphorical shelf. The one thing that I have accepted that I will always have is Body Dysmorphia.

Back in January, I said to myself that I would healthily and sensibly trim down and look after myself by exercising more and eating less brownies. I’m quite proud of how well I have stuck to this. Though, gyms are an odd place for someone with a history like mine and the one thing I absolutely hate is the mirror walls. I don’t currently own a full length mirror so I rarely see my whole body however, when I ‘m at the gym, bright red and covered in sweat, my whole body is the absolute last thing anyone would want to see yet there is no avoiding it. I see my body differently to how I image it and it is not at all an attractive sight. I swear they put fun house mirrors in the gym just to trick us.

I do find it strange (and oddly fascinating) how our minds work and perceive things such as body image. I have definitely noticed a change in my body since joining the gym, I’m sure I have, yet my jeans aren’t any loser and the scales haven’t really moved… Then, I catch myself in the mirror and everything looks 30kg heavier than I remembered. It’s the same with clothes. How can this dress look great, trim and sexy yet as soon as I zip it up, I turn into Mrs Doubtfire?

Is that just me?

When I’m working, I’ll go days without looking in the mirror or weighting myself  and those are the times when I feel most confident. Now, I know I could easily live a life without a full length mirror and scales but I then worry that I’m viewing my body in a unatual way. When I was ill, I saw myself as being big when in reality I was anything but. Now the tables have turned and I see myself in a healthier manner but how do I know that I’m still not just trapped in an illusion that my head has created? When I see how toned my carves have gotten, I feel proud. I might even have a chocolate bar as a reward. What if my toned carfs are part of the illusion and I’m just adding chocolate to an already lumpy podge. In all fairness, this is exactly how I (and many other) gained weight in the first place. The good ol’ “one more slice wont hurt” chestnut until BOOM! It did hurt.

Maybe life is just one giant fun house and I’m currently trapped in the mirror maze.