MY STORY

This is my story so far. I hope it gives you an insight...

Early Years

I was classically trained and schooled in dance for many years and attended Elmhurst Ballet School from the age of 7. Dance was very much my life and looked to be the career path from a very early age. However a serious injury and knee-reconstruction put an end to that. I was forced to undergo an intense period of rehabilitation if I was to ever enjoy physical activities again in the way that I had been used to.

Rehabilitation to Fitness Champion

This rehabilitation period went so well that I decided to continue the training aspect of it and turn it into a new focus and pursuit. At this point I tentatively stepped into the world of Fitness Competition. This involved intense fitness tests, gymnastic/dance routines and posing rounds. The first two were right up my street, the last one I learned to grin and bear!
 Fitness Competition involved an enormous amount of dedication to training and performance and I managed to win four GB titles, travel the world and attains a World No.6 ranking.
It  was an intensive period of time that taught me a huge amount about the human body; physical preparation, what works, what doesn't, what it requires, what it can do without and the margins between good and less effective performances.
 Having achieved my four British titles I got out of the scene. I'd done well, built something of a profile and was happy to get away from the intensity of it. Also I'd gone as far as I could as a devotedly clean athlete and was proud of my efforts. And, thanks to my new profile,  other opportunities were opening up…

The Adventurer!

Adventure Racing followed. All my conditioning had helped of course and the focus and goal setting I'd been used to was a helpful attribute also. Adventure Racing demands covering long stretches of often horribly inhospitable terrain, by all manner of means in a way that takes the body and mind to their limits. For example I was part of an Eco Challenge team that: ran, trekked, swam, climbed and canoed through dense Borneo jungle for 10 relentless days  - with barely any sleep. We made it, but there wasn't much left of our physical selves by the end of it! In fact we each lost around 25% bodyweight.  

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An Outdoor Life

Outdoor pursuits have always been a passion. As far back as I can remember I was accompanying my father on walks and climbs and he is without doubt the reason I maintained this love of all things outward bounds.
I'm a mountaineer and instructor, a qualified diver, a keen canoeist, cyclist, skier, hiker and my love of dance and choreography has never dimmed over the years.

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Working in Fitness

And of course my work is very much centred on the world of fitness and the training of others from children to the elderly, first time exercisers to athletes and the occasional pop star too. I work with individuals and groups and have run  popular bootcamps in the UK to Switzerland.
I also write regularly in the health and fitness press. For several years I've had a monthly two page column in Hers, Muscle & Fitness Magazine and Ultra-Fit Magazine and also contribute to the likes of: Women's Fitness, Health & Fitness, FitPro, Sport-IQ and BodyFit. From time to time I'm also the subject of articles.
I currently have nine workout DVDs to my name which are available on the high street and through all normal online shopping sites and well as through the production company website www.imcvision.com
I've also endorsed products that I believe in, have helped in the development of some and the training methods and been part of the marketing campaigns.
My experiences also extend to public speaking, photo shoots, TV and radio presenting. And since hanging up my grubby Adventure Athletics boots I have enjoyed an active but calmer and quieter life incorporating marriage and motherhood.

Life Experience

Unlike many in my field, my methods and approach are entirely informed by my life experiences. I have immersed my body and mind in so many tasks and challenges and I use all their teachings - good and bad - in my work whether it is with schoolchildren or experienced athletes. I carry all the key formal qualifications and I attend interesting looking course every now and again, but I only see these as little top-ups. I do not approach every group or person with the latest mental textbook open at the appropriate page and spout its contents to them. Everybody is different and over the last 25+ years there is not too much I haven’t encountered!

Death of my Baby

I've had to learn new lessons and deal with massive mental and physical trauma. My second child died in delivery after a full term, healthy pregnancy. There was no reason to suspect anything other than a ‘routine’ and successful delivery, but complications suddenly arose and Edward died. I was aware of what was happening throughout and it was a shattering experience beyond words.
The mental and physical toll was colossal and there’s no point pretending otherwise but I had to work out a way of pushing on. I was unable to climb more than three steps for weeks after and the heartbreak was immeasurable. An entire life in activity, fitness and health and my body let me down in this most fundamental of natural acts.
But it was fitness that got me going again as I was determined to get back to training others. That was my motivation and three months later I was back to it.
As a story it will bring a downer to most situations, however if it helps anybody I will use it to address the business of motivation, dealing with the worst life can throw at you and carrying on through. It also provides a new perspective on life. What previously seemed to matter or be a point of contention, stress or anxiety is suddenly shown in a new and more accurate light or trivia, frippery and unimportance.

Keep Moving Forwards!

I'm not sure you 'get over' such things but rather learn to cope. They say “time is a healer” and I think that is true to some degree.

But  it is always about remembering to put one foot in front of the other, knowing that I'm still a mother to a remarkable young boy and his amazing little sister, embracing all the good that never went away and doing my best to enjoy others whilst motivating and guiding them to reach their goals.

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