The outdoors has entrenched in me a sense of belonging. No matter who you are or where you are nature will never discriminate.
It has taken me a long time to find what exercise routine works for my body and my mind. Finally, I have found that my body needs a balance of cardio (running), strength (Pilates), and stretching (Pilates) to feel strong and healthy. I exercise everyday, even if that is just a walk, having it part of my everyday routine makes it less or a chore and more of a normal part of my life. For me, exercising is a form of meditation where I can have some time alone and manifest ideas of what I would like to achieve in my day. Audio books and podcasts during long runs are one of my favourite past times, to keep your mind active as well as your body, I find that quite a meditative experience as well, as you are so focused on the book that you forget that you are even running!
Barriers that have prevented me from taking part in sport previously are the perceived ideas of perfection. The competitive nature of sport creates an atmosphere that if you aren’t running this fast or this far then you are not good enough. When I hurt my knee I had to remove myself from that environment because I could no longer compete and this provided me for the first time, the knowledge that I was exercising for my own pleasure and health and not for anyone else. I started to focus on what my body could do instead of what it couldn’t. That change in mental attitude towards exercise has made exercise more attainable and accessible for me and has allowed me to reach goals I never thought I would achieve after my knee operation, such as running over 100 miles in ultramarathon competitions and participating in triathlons. If I have any advice for any veterinary professionals out there it’s is to do it for you, you can do it I know you can and you know you can and above all, pain is only temporary.
Thank you Madi for sharing your story. You can find out more about what Madi is up to on her instagram @travelvetdraw. All images are copyright to Madi, unless otherwise stated. If you would like to join the movement and share your own "active vet" story head over to our submission page here.