Neelima Chatterjee is a patient of Barrack Lane Medical Practice in Ipswich, Suffolk, one of more than 900 parkrun practices across the UK.
Neelima explains how the link between her practice and her local Ipswich parkrun has been a catalyst in leading a happier, healthier lifestyle…
I was first introduced to parkrun when we had a presentation at our Patient Participation Group Meeting. We were told about the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) initiative to create parkrun practices to improve fitness and wellbeing for patients and staff.
Barrack Lane Medical practice, Ipswich, have signed up to be one of these practices and have been holding regular events encouraging everyone to attend Ipswich parkrun to walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate and have a coffee. The surgery helped me to register and printed off my barcode with the plan to attend the next practice parkrun.
When I turned up for the parkrun, I felt very welcomed by everybody and could feel the positive energy. Before the day I didn’t believe that I would be able to complete 5k, I didn’t even know if I would be able to complete one lap of the park… but I felt so energised by everyone, I decided I would try.
I will be 70 this year and suffered a fractured knee in 2012, so I was only expecting to walk around, but with all the encouragement from the volunteers, plus the other people taking part, I not only managed to walk briskly I was also able to jog some of the downhill sections!
I feel I have achieved one of the milestones I set myself to complete in my 70th year. Not only participating in the event, but completing it and not finishing last. Although I was physically tired afterwards, I felt so much better and healthier for taking part.
I was so happy with my achievement I shared my experience with my family all over the world. Everyone was very impressed with what I had managed to do, especially my young grandchildren.
I have been inspired by the team at Barrack Lane Medical Centre and with the positive experience I had at parkrun. I will definitely do it again. I will also be recommending parkrun to other patients and people I know.
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