Robert Butler, the first director of the National Institute on Aging, estimated that an ability to define your life meaning adds to your life expectancy.
Butler and collaborators led an NIH-funded study in that looked at the correlation between having a sense of purpose and longevity. His study found that individuals who expressed a clear goal in life—something to get up for in the morning, something that made a difference—lived longer and were sharper than those who did not. A more recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association has linked a strong sense of purpose with a lower risk of all-cause mortality after age The study followed about 7, adults over the age of The participants were interviewed using a questionnaire to rank their life purpose.
I train every winter and race every summer with a mission to win medals. After I came fifth in my first Paralympics in Rio in , I stopped getting funding from UK Sport, the government agency that invests in Olympic and Paralympic sport so, technically, I race for free there is no prize money , with the prospect of the next Paralympics dangling in front of me.
If not for the financial support of my racing team, Storey Racing, crowdfunding, ceaseless grant-hunting and my never-ending harassment of the general public, I would not be able to carry on. Mostly, my race costs are covered, but I struggle to pay my rent. This is easier said than done.
I would be stuck. Your regular general practitioner will be flummoxed by any chronic saddle complaint. On top of that, evidence-based healthcare needs research to work properly and there is none.
There is nowhere for individuals to go and nobody has ever systematically and scientifically documented the problems women on the saddle can face, at least in a form that medical practitioners can access, though a quick online search brings up too many unhappy stories to count.
He said my swelling was too bad for his preventive methods in which riders sit on a pressure-mapping saddle to visualise problem areas as they pedal. My only option was surgery.
When should I have sought help? At the first sign of swelling? That was when I was a potential talent trying out for the British Cycling team in , staring at the large amount of skin and hair that had just sloughed off my vulva in a hotel bathroom.
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Fortuitously, I was on the toilet at the time. This is not as painful as it sounds: if you dry out too much down there due to chafing, this is generally what happens.
British Cycling gave us great kit — nice shorts, shoes, gloves, but no anti-abrasion ointment, no medical chat about the dangers of chafing our cha-chas out of existence. I pulled up my knickers and flushed it all away. The consensus is that when you first start cycling on your good-as-new, unbruised foof, it is going to hurt.
This is wrong. I would say there is a hierarchy of injury from the easiest to alleviate to the direst of consequences.
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