Featured Video Play Icon

These dark nights of Twixtmas are contemplative.

I started 2018 in a very reflective mood, it being my 10th extra year of life. 10 years ago all this should have come to an end, but it didn’t. And in that miracle of medical science I was given the opportunity to Live. With a capital L. I haven’t taken that for granted, and plan to use this extra go to do as much good for as many people as I can whilst having As Much Fun as I can. We get one shot at life, I got 2.

I’m also one of the lucky ones who has a career I’d do for fun. Or maybe meeting the reality of life and death at an early age pushed me to make choices that matter. Enjoying what you do and where you are every day really matters. I don’t know why but trying to make sense of the complexities of pelvic pain is endlessly interesting to me. Learning, having the ability to guide people in their recovery and then sharing my passion with other physios through teaching gives me enormous fulfilment. Sometimes not switching off from the call to read, research, and do more can become overwhelming. In those moments I find it’s comforting to reflect on my year – my photos and notes show me just how much I’ve achieved. It’s never enough in my mind, my pelvic health physio mission is vast and I’ve always got plans for more. This year has been especially difficult and I’ve learnt a great deal. I thought I’d share my reflections with you, and some plans for an even brighter 2019!

When you tally up the numbers it does seem like quite a lot. This year I:

  • Spoke to over 600 health professionals at conferences about visceral pain and how we can better manage it

  • Held 6 high-energy Happy Bladder Courses to physios all over the UK

    Gained 90 passionate physios in my Bladder Heroes tribe pushing to serve those with bladder pain syndrome (interstitial cystitis) better… #GettingBetterAtGettingPeopleBetter

  • Spoke at 5 conferences, held 3 physio teaching days and 4 charity days for patients

  • 3 television interviews and 4 newspaper interviews about pelvic health

  • Did some undergrad teaching (SO much fun and hopefully they all know the pelvic floor is the MOST important muscle group in the body now..)

  • Moved professional premises to my beautiful new clinic in Cardiff Gate

  • Developed some international relationships with physios that I greatly value and hope will lead to more collaborations in the future, and filmed some

  • Continued working on the Exec board, Journal and Comms team for the pelvic health national body – the POGP

  • Set up a dedicated menopause service and expanded the services available to women during childbearing years and surrounding gynae operations

  • Attended courses with physios I’ve always wanted to meet (#Fangirl a little…) and got to meet and spend time with some international friends while learning – my favourite type of fun!

There’s been a lot of travelling, wearing of heels and nice suits (not the comfy-stretchy-I-Can-squat-In-this daily physio uniform – which was fun) I’ve met tons of inspiring clinicians and patients and enjoyed the whirlwind of wearing many hats… “Physio/Pelvic Health Lead/Private Physio/Lecturer/Teacher/Shoulder/Campaigner/Organiser”.. The bit that’s given me the most sense of fulfilment – that I’m truly doing something useful in the world – is running courses, serving my tribe of physios with resources and fun and working to collaborate internationally – building evidence, thinking and understanding in pelvic pain. It’s been great fun and I feel like we’ve really moved the conversation on. Huge thanks to all those who’ve been on this journey with me.

Now, it’s only as I sit here to tally up my accomplishments that I see the error of my ways. I’m far too enthusiastic (or read that as Far too aware of my own mortality and wanting to do everything I can while I’m able). In reality having 3 jobs, running my own business and doing all the other things listed above at weekends or evenings or when “on leave” is a short trip to burnout. This happened. We had a busy year at home too – we moved into a house we’ve been building for 2 years in October and had a pretty standardly stressful Grand Designs experience beforehand). You get the idea. However, life as I knew it was hijacked by ill-health in my family this summer. Facing mortality again, though a step removed this time, focuses everything. Everything became about supporting my family, being and spending time. I thank everyone for bearing with me as I shed all my hats for a few months. In the last few weeks I’ve tentatively been picking some of them back up and trying them on for size, and finding focus. Examining what I want to do and what I have time to do. What allows me to spend time with my family, serve my patients And feed my soul with learning and collaborations. So this is what I’ll be offering in 2019:

– 6 more Happy Bladder Courses! Hooray! Click here for the dates:

– 3 new #HeroSkills days for my Bladder Heroes – skills days focussed on how we can apply graded motor imagery protocols to the pelvis and developing your practical skills – watch this space! Dates TBC.

There’ll also be lots more resources and content for you all coming out regularly as I expand my local and international collaborations – check your email as my monthly newsletter’ll be back up and running.
Balance was lacking in 2018, so I’m putting it firmly back in place for 2019: I’ll be at courses + conferences for myself – get in touch if you’ll be there too as I’d love to meet up and chat: Taryn Hallam & Lorimer Moseley’s courses, Woman on Fire and my highlight – WCAPP (Come, It’ll be great!).
And finally – exercise is a necessity. It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the busy-ness of modern life, (most of which doesn’t matter). So, in light of the fact that I Really Am Still Alive 10 years later and inspired by one of my Awesome patients (you can read one of her blogs here) I’m taking on a triathlon this year. I’m sure the training will keep me in check. Wish me luck!

Most of us get but one life, live yours to your best ability (and do your pelvic floor exercises – unless I’ve told you not to!). Wherever you are and whatever you’re up to, I wish you a healthy, happy and balanced new year.

If you’re interested in talking to me I have a clinic in Cardiff and also talk to people via Skype sessions. Click here to book yourself some time with me.

If you want to keep in the loop subscribe to my newsletter and you’ll receive a FREE infographic as well as all my latest vlogs, freebies, course information and catch up with what’s happening in the world of pelvic pain research. Feel free to print and use the infographic in your clinic or online marketing with clients. (Don’t worry, you won’t be bombarded with marketing, this is about sharing knowledge and working together to improve the treatment of those with pelvic issues.) You can find more information about my data privacy policy here.