Dr Nicole Sly is one of our Sport & Exercise Medicine registrars. Here she gives us a peek into what lead her to Sport & Exercise Medicine, her own love of sports, and why she’d love to meet Arnie!
What is your proudest moment as a team doctor?
Singing the anthem before the Wallaroo’s (Women’s Rugby Union XVs) test match against New Zealand. The combination of witnessing the power of the Haka close-up and seeing our team (and a few debutantes) don the Green and Gold gave me goosebumps!
What lead you to choosing the specialty of Sport & Exercise Medicine?
It became a natural progression for me after completing Physiotherapy and experiencing the importance of staying active during stressful years of study and then starting work as a health professional. Exercise has so many benefits and it is very satisfying to see patients learn the joy of moving. And keeping people active throughout injury and illness is really rewarding.
If you hadn’t become a Sport & Exercise Medicine physician, what other profession would you have liked to pursue?
I nearly went down the path of becoming a Paediatrician and always enjoy seeing children in the clinic. I am often daydreaming about new inventions and wonder if one day one of my brainwaves will lead to developing a a new product. I also find the idea of being an architect appealing with its balance of creativity, problem-solving, drawing and mathematics.
What is your own sporting background?
I grew up riding horses, playing touch football and cross country running, so I was too busy to get into any trouble! I now do a variety of outdoor exercise, running, swimming, cycling and strength work. Occasionally I sign up for a race to boost motivation. I am about to challenge myself in Pilates.
What is your greatest sporting achievement?
My first Half Ironman was a great moment, as you never know if you will cross the finish line. My family came to cheer me on. After I crossed the finish line I can remember punching the air, and I couldn’t get the smile off my face that day.
What’s been your worst sports injury?
I have been very lucky not to have a major injury riding bikes and horses. I did struggle with a tendinopathy intermittently for years, until I took my own advice and gradually strengthened the area while following a sensible marathon training program. It was my physio who encouraged me to stop worrying and to be more consistent with my running. It was frustrating, but being the patient was a great learning experience!
Which sporting legend would you most like to invite to dinner?
I didn’t realise until recently that he was very successful before Hollywood. He has inspired many people to make exercise a priority and overcame the challenges of moving to a new country with very little English. I am always impressed by this as my grandfather came to Australia from Holland on his own and built a new life. Arnie uses meditation and yearly goal setting, and appears to be an incredibly hard worker, habits I would like to improve! I would ask him about what inspires him and what a day in the life of Arnie looks like.