This time of year offers an opportunity for us to look back as well as providing time to look forward to the year ahead, what will 2023 bring?
2022 has been complex and frustrating in so many ways, yet I am in total awe of public sector workers who remain committed to making a difference to others, whether in local authorities, social care, public health, education, policing, emergency services and our NHS. Our public services are delivered by people juggling super busy lives, often holding multiple personal and professional roles, including caring for family members.
The community of #NHS1000miles will this year celebrate the 75th birthday of the NHS, NHS England have blogged about the ways we can get involved in marking this fantastic year and have profiled #NHS1000miles https://www.england.nhs.uk/nhsbirthday/get-involved/ In 2018 we celebrated the 70th birthday year and commenced this annual challenge, as a result we’ve grown a community of wonderful people who’ve all been determined to be a bit more active in daily life. Each Sunday evening at 7.30 we all post a mileage update, along with a picture from our week. It’s often a quick tweet as people are juggling dinner, catching up on a TV show/good book/radio show or podcast and no doubt pondering and prepping for the week ahead. Yet a scroll through the timeline of #NHS1000miles (often at 5am on a Monday morning over my first of many coffees) offers great inspiration and fab people to follow too, I find it really uplifting as the new week commences. It reminds me regularly that activity can fitted into busy lives, whether it’s a Saturday morning ParkRun or a commitment to dumping the lift at work, taking the stairs each day or walking a bit more on a daily commute.
Whilst #NHS1000miles is about banking miles in anyway, walking, cycling, swimming etc, it’s running that’s my activity of choice. Running for me offers me a meditative plod and headspace to ponder issues, it gives me the space to ‘just be’ along with appreciating the changing seasons. Seeking out snowdrops, daffodils, followed by bluebells, will carry me through the winter and spring until lighter days return when I’ll have the chance to enjoy pre-work warmer sunrise runs again.
2022 gave me my longest run yet, 62 miles in one go, ‘race to the stones’, enjoying a sunset and sunrise in one adventure with wonderful friends was a real treat. The wettest and wildest run of the year was definitely ‘Brecon to Cardiff’ a 43 miler that was ‘character building’, getting lost added to the experience and the memories too! It’s also been good to get travelling again, visiting the Northern Irish coast and doing the ‘Giants Causeway Marathon’ was a highlight and Chicago Marathon was a fun city running experience. Yet it’s the regular weekly ParkRuns that are highlight of my week, a natter with my friend Louise on the way there and on the way back, seems to put the world into perspective and smiles from regulars including Alison (of #NHS1000miles) are always appreciated.
So some thoughts as we head into 2023, let’s all make small steps in being a bit more active, #NHS1000miles isn’t a competition, it’s a community of encouragers. Every step forward makes us stronger, why not join us? If you haven’t tried a ParkRun perhaps give one a go in 2023? I’ve lined up a number of challenges to keep me active in the year ahead which I’ll share with you in the year ahead and this year I’ll also be fundraising for brilliant Barts Charity https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kath-evansnhs75
Finally a thank you and a shout out to all those who’ve been part of #NHS1000miles over the past 5years, it’s exciting to see that this inclusive challenge keeps growing!