Dedication Not Obsession

When I look back at medical school I see failure everywhere. I struggle to see achievement. This has been lifelong where I find praise harder to accept than criticism and put on dark lenses when looking back on the past. As I approach my 26th birthday I want to list my 26 biggest achievements:

  1. Regional level athletics – 100m, 200m, 300m, LJ, “hurdles and HJ”, shot putt, “javelin”, 800m tactically, 400m painfully
  2. Club level swimming (with no upper body strength whatsoever)
  3. Academic achievement – GCSEs, A levels, BMedSci, BMBS, posters, research, curosity and teaching
  4. Music – Grade 7 flute, Grade 6 piano, taught myself saxophone to Grade 5 level just because it was fun, flute quartet in church
  5. Triathlon – beginners sprint to half ironman in 2 years, 2/3 ironman in 6 months #moretocome
  6. Cycling – beauty in suffering, need for teamwork, picking myself up off the boards or tarmac and try again
  7. Rowing – good on the machines, inexperienced in boats!
  8. “overcoming adversity” – time and time again
  9. “suriving” or “thriving” – never both
  10. Learning to ski in 1 week but holding myself back through fear of injury
  11. Covid 19 – my time to shine! Space but not too much. Teamwork. New ideas for how to maximise safety and efficiency. Independence and support. Time outside and time inside. Spring time and hope. Seeing the good in a s*** circumstance
  12. Art – “I’m so bad at this because I can’t draw a face” – focus on the small details and build outwards, making old things beautiful
  13. Problem solving – non-judgementally listening and understanding people
  14. Celebrating others achievements over my own
  15. Enjoying cooking – not following recipes just cooking based on colour and temperature and flavour
  16. “living like a student” – 2nd hand everything, never anything new, using engineers and creativity, “upcycling”
  17. Bike touring – freedom and planning and stopping when you’re hungry
  18. Ultrarunning – HR in the “green” zone never the “red”
  19. Feeling my own pain as well as others – empathy and understanding
  20. Reaching out for support whilst doing everything I could to help myself
  21. Becoming a doctor in a pandemic and taking the new challenge in my stride
  22. Easily making friends – able to relate to people well and make them feel comfortable
  23. Loving being busy and having a goal
  24. Being a mental health advocate
  25. Trusting others more than I trust myself
  26. Constantly aiming for self improvement and self acceptance

More than a label or a diagnosis or a stigma. More than a doctor. More than an athlete. Only human.


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