Team and Talent
Finding balance: Life as a trail-running senior physiotherapist
Is it possible to balance running half-marathons, marathons, and ultramarathons, and juggle the role of being a brilliant Regional Lead and Senior Physiotherapist at Bodyset? Yes it is! Rebecca Nygren shares her secrets.
Tell us a bit about you…
What are we likely to find you doing outside of work?
At the gym, doing my strength & conditioning training! I do lot of weights and a bit of CrossFit to support my running. I try to run about three times a week, completing different distances each time, and I always have a race in my dairy to keep me motivated. I ran my first half-marathon of the year at the Brighton Half Marathon in February and I’m working up to completing the 50k ultramarathon Goring Gap Run in May! I did it last year in preparation for running the 100k ultramarathon Threshold Trail Series, Race to the Stones. It’s a beautiful trail and I’m looking forward to it!
A bit more about you… If you were a Disney character, who would you be and why?
Haha I love Disney! Hmm… I’d have to go with Merida in Brave. She’s independent and outdoorsy.
Why did you decide to become a physiotherapist?
I’ve always loved sports from a very young age. I’m so interested in the anatomy of the body and how it works. If I hadn’t become a physiotherapist, then I would have gone into personal training. I love helping people improve their performance!
What were you doing before and why did you join Bodyset?
Before starting at Bodyset 2.5 years ago, I spent 6 years self-employed at a couple of London-based private clinics. I moved to Bodyset because I was looking for a new challenge, an opportunity to grow and expand in my role as a physiotherapist. I took on the role of Regional Lead for the first time and it’s been fantastic!
It seems you’ve always worked for private clinics. Why is that?
It just happened at first! The first job I got after qualifying as a physiotherapist was private and it went from there. But I do think I’m more suited to private physiotherapy. I like being able to spend more time with patients by having 45-minute appointment slots, and in being able to see them for more sessions. It enables me to help patients go beyond initial recovery. With more sessions, I’m able to help them get back to where they were before their injury, reduce their risk of repeating an injury, and even improve their performance. Seeing a patient motivated and confident in their abilities is an amazing feeling.
What’s your favourite thing about working at Bodyset?
That’s a difficult one. There are so many! As I said, I love having the time to get patients back to doing what they love. There is also a great balance of patients and services here at Bodyset. From helping prevent falls among elderly patients with our Balance & Mobility service and helping performance-driven runners with a RunFit assessment, to relieving chronic pain with Shockwave Therapy, there’s never a dull moment and it never feels repetitive. There’s also a lot of internal CPD here, plus an allowance for external Continued Professional Development. Every 2 weeks we cover internal training, whether that be looking into our RunFit assessment or a focus on strength & conditioning. Then there are always opportunities on top of that to pursue something else that you might be interested in. In my role, I also have the bonus of having the management side of things to look after. I love mentoring my team!
How do you find balance between being a physiotherapist and pursuing your passions outside of work?
It makes it easy that they are similar and pretty interwoven. My passion for running, and strength & conditioning, provides with me added knowledge and experience that I can share with my patients.
I believe everyone has time, but different priorities. If you feel like you don’t have time, then perhaps you are prioritising other things. Is watching Netflix a priority or is going out for a run a priority? It’s important to plan ahead and commit. I tell myself to get up and do it! I’m lucky in that the Battersea clinic I work at is based in Stars Gym (the sauna is a bonus!) and the Victoria clinic is based at Manor Gym. Being based at gyms is great for using the space with patients, but it also means I can walk out of my office and work out in a great gym. Or I can run to work and shower before I start!
What have been your highlights in the 2.5 years you’ve worked at Bodyset?
Starting a Regional Lead role. I’d never done that before. I love being able to mentor my team and help to plan and improve Bodyset as a company. I really enjoy being involved in the business side too. I’ve felt so supported in taking on a new role. I didn’t have all the management experience outlined in the job spec but I certainly had the drive and passion for it, and I know that’s something we look for at Bodyset.