People are often a little confused when they find out that I previously did a degree in physics and started on a path into the world of finance.
Looking back it confuses me… what was I thinking?!
At the time I didn’t have any clear idea of what I wanted to do. I was interested in physics and so went to university to do the hardest thing I could. Physics explains everything right?
I probably could’ve realised sooner that it wasn’t for me. But I was having A LOT of fun at uni, so it didn’t really matter.
One thing that was happening at uni though was I beginning to experience pain. At first only mild and occasional, but by the end of my degree, it was near-constant and severe.
A history of martial arts, a series of injuries, poor posture, glandular fever and the resultant post-viral syndrome, and an unhealthy lifestyle was catching up to me.
I saw countless physiotherapists and chiropractors, had investigations with my doctor and at the hospital, all to no avail. At best I got short-term symptom relief.
No clear explanation of what was going on. No solid action plan for how I was going to get out of pain. Just increasing levels of frustration, despondency and hopelessness.
A year after university it all came to a head and I decided I HAD to do something. I couldn’t sleep, I could hardly do anything without hurting, I was a mess.
I started seeing an Osteopath who finally gave me something resembling a sensible explanation of what was going on. Not the whole picture, but enough.
I started doing yoga which calmed my body down and get me in touch with myself in a way I’d never been. When your whole body hurts, you retreat from it into abstraction and distraction. Yoga made my body start to feel safe again.
To learn more I started a year-long course in Clinical Sports and Remedial Massage. I found I quite enjoyed it. Not only was I learning all about my own body, but I might also be able to help others in a similar situation.
So I followed where my learning and the science led.
I started another degree, this time in Osteopathy, to give a solid medical grounding to what I was learning. I considered physio and chiro, but the course at the UCO seemed by far the most well-rounded course I saw.
But the science, along with my own personal experience, clearly showed that manual therapy was only one part of the puzzle. So I completed a personal training qualification as well, along with a separate course in injury rehabilitation and exercise therapy.
That takes me to now, just finishing my third year of university and… I don’t hurt anymore. Well, not in a way that really bothers me.
Chronic pain will be a part of my life, but it’s not ruining it. I can still do all the things I want to do and what’s even better, I can use everything I’ve learned to help other people find a way through their pain.