What an honour to be asked to represent Great Britain at the World Functional Fitness Championships in Australia!

Thank you for all you message of support! The last time I represented GB was in the 2005 World Kyokushinkai Knockdown Karate Championships where I gained second place. At the age of 40 I didn’t think I’d be competing at this level again and in such a dynamic sport which is hopefully heading for the Olympics.

I’ve very grateful for the opportunity and am thankful to coach Bill Carey, the Function SFR community and all the places that I work and train in for the support and encouragement to do this- especially the gym mothers, you have persuaded me to do it!

Say yes and work out the details later

Excited at the hard work ahead, I will be ready and as prepared. My fitness is good and my gymnastics are improving, but there are aspects which I struggle with – weightlifting. At first, I felt that this was a reason not to take up the invitation. There are people around me who I would consider to be better than me, and initially I did the unhelpful thing of comparing myself to them. But I realise that if others don’t show up and compete, they are not in the game.  Ultimately, you are up against yourself. You bring your best mindset, and execute your plan. That’s all you have control over. The reality is, I did the work and I positioned myself for this opportunity. That is what I would reassure others who were questioning their achievements.

Being good enough

If I’m being honest I also thought that I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t feel ready. But are you ever ready? And if you become stuck in an “I’m not good enough” thinking pattern, this doesn’t just disappear overnight. Luckily those around me have helped me to see past these things. I’ve not got the time for unhelpful thinking now. In these situations you have to make sense of what’s going on and override feelings of doubt. You’ve got to have the strength to go forward regardless. My focus has to be on improving and moving forward.

Compete to learn

I am a great believer that when we push ourselves to do what we are fearful of we get stronger and make more progress. I have always competed, I wouldn’t say I’ve always enjoyed it and I used to feel the pressure to be the best. Nowadays I enjoy it more. Maybe it’s because I’m more grateful as the opportunities to compete in sport at my age seem less. Every competition I have entered in different sports over the years has helped me to learn and improve, and that makes me keep going back for more.

In the recent competition where I earned my place for the world championships, I delivered new moves which I had learned over the months under pressure, and have since been able to complete them with more consistency and ease as less fear than ever before (though I still feel fear – please recognise that its normal). I’m continuing to work really hard to prepare for this comp to do my best representing and I hope that this experience will help me to accelerate my progress furthermore.

Parent guilt

As a mother of 2 it’s always a difficult decision to leave your children and go off on an adventure like this. Despite them being excited about it, they will miss me, and my husband and family will have to pick up extra duties. I feel grateful that I have a fantastic family who are happy to support me. I hope that it encourages other parents and particularly women to make time for themselves and do the things that they enjoy. If you are not happy then this impacts on your family life, your children know and model your behaviour. You may see some of your parents patterns reflected in you?

Inspire them and be the message that you are important enough to have time to yourself to do what you want. This was something which I am passionate about and helped other women with on the ITV programme, How to be Happy

Be the message

In my job as a coach helping to support others, I encourage them to set goals which challenge and push them to go beyond fear and uncertainty to achieve their aspirations. I ask tough questions, I help them to see blind spots to overcome blocks and realise when they are getting in their own way. When we play it safe little much changes, whereas outside the comfort zone the magic happens. And that is why I am not playing it safe.

And so, I’m off to Oz next month!  I’m doing this for myself. I keep saying, I’ve got to see this through to the end, but I know that it will continue and I will always be dedicated to fitness and learning new things. I have worked in the industry for more than 22 years and I’m always learning and applying knowledge.

If I can inspire others- and some have you have messaged me to say this is the case, then this makes me really happy too. I want you to know that you know that you have the right to go on an adventure. You have the capacity to learn and fail, and with determination, commitment and focus you can enjoy doing great things whilst creating memories which you can look back on with pride.

If you can sponsor my in any way towards flight or training and kit costs please get in contact. My club has also created a Just giving, crowdfunding link here. Thank you 🙂