And the state of the NHS was very much to the fore at last week’s hustings event for Greater Manchester’s first elections for an elected mayor. I represented the University who were joint hosts alongside the RCN and AbbVie (the main sponsor). All 3 main political parties were represented, and they faced an invited audience of health care service providers, policy makers, local authorities and patient groups from across the North West. I was pleased to be able to ask 3 questions around research and innovation, both how research might be better funded and what it might be aimed at changing. I am passionate about research and have been ever since I got my PhD some 17 years ago.
Being awarded a PhD was something I never imagined I would experience. Whilst I was immensely proud of this achievement, these days my pride comes from having the opportunity to help others achieve their PhD dreams. To date I have supervised 23 doctoral students through to completion and have 3 more who, all being well, will complete this year. In those early days after gaining my PhD I went through all the usual ‘bursting with pride’ things (or showing off as my Mum would say) – a sign saying Dr for my office, new business cards, changing my email signature, and of course I insisted that everyone called me Dr, which eventually became Dr T. Which I liked.
I liked being reminded of this notion. I hadn’t got on with the running experiment, and increasingly the reason I had taken up running began to challenge me. Let me explain. We have an annual 10k run in Salford. This year the University celebrates 50 years of being a University and we had secured running numbers from 1967 - 2017 so that we could field 50 runners. The senior leadership team are expected to participate (although this has never been spoken out aloud) and that meant I felt I had to get into training and be ready for the September run.
New shoes and running gear was purchased and W was cajoled into being my running partner and every weekend since Christmas we have gone out and run – each run getting a little longer. Although it was good too exercise – particularly when it was cold, dark and wet outside, I never felt the same satisfaction with running as I do when walking. And I never got to a point of experiencing the DRT as described in Pullen’s book, whereas that is a familiar experience whilst walking. So yesterday I decided that I would stop running, and use the freed up time to continue walking (Fitbit tells me on average I walk 13k a day).