#Adventure Series No.10

#Adventure Series No.10

Welcome to the grand finale of the #AdventureSeries! Introducing Paralympian Anne Wafula Strike Introducing Anne Wafula Strike; MBE, athlete, author, mother, and sporting ambassador. She is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary woman with a powerful story. Anne was given the middle name of Olympia at birth, a title of great significance for the future and the hurdles she would face in forthcoming years. Born in Kenya, Anne was a fit and healthy child before polio struck when she was two years old. This occurrence was to shape Anne’s destiny. She exceeded all educational expectations and despite her physical challenges, achieved a bachelor or education degree, and later became a teacher. Anne arrived in the UK with her Geordie born husband Norman. She unexpectedly became a mother, despite being led to believe that pregnancy would be a medical impossibility. Anne was introduced to wheelchair racing in 2002. 2004 marked the beginning of an Olympic career when Anne became the first wheelchair racer from (Sub-Sahara) Africa to compete at the Paralympics in Athens. In 2006 Anne became a British citizen and joined Team GB. In 2007 she was officially recognised by the Queen at a Buckingham Palace reception for her services to disability sport and her contribution to charity work. Her autobiography In my Dreams I Dance was published in 2010. She was appointed  an MBE in 2014 for services to disability sport and charity. Last year, Anne used her personal experiences of inaccessible disabled toilet facilities on public transport to raise awareness of the challenges that wheelchair users can experience. Anne is the founder and manager of the Olympia-Wafula foundation which helps...
#Adventure Series No. 8

#Adventure Series No. 8

Welcome to the #AdventureSeries No. 8 with John Mew.   Introducing John Mew; father of 3, rugby coach, devoted husband, athlete, survivor, public speaker and so much more. John describes his wonderful wife Christine Mew as his ‘rock’. He joined the Royal Navy in 1974 and served his country for 11 years. He was a physical training instructor, ships diver and a member of the Portsmouth Command Crew that ran at Earls Court. John describes one of his defining moments on the bridge of the HMS Coventry, during the Falklands war, when she was bombed. The ship capsized within 20 minutes. After leaving the navy, John became a commercial diver. This role took him to exotic and faraway lands including the Middle East and West Africa. Photos from top left Portsmouth field Gun crew marching through Portsmouth with trophies won through breaking world records, John ready for a commercial dive, John relaxing, debating at the Great Veteran debate, John during a recent training session, a younger John in training   When John ended his diving career in 2005, the absence of a work role contributed to his difficulties with anxiety and depression unfolding. John described ending up in a ‘big black hole’. During this time, he believes that his whole family suffered. He was eventually diagnosed with PTSD and began to receive help to overcome his trauma. The help that has significantly aided John’s recovery came some time later in the form of a Veteran charity called Forward Assist who supported John with their innovative approach and access to  life coaching through Adventurous Coaching. Both interventions embrace a solution...
Happiness in 2018

Happiness in 2018

It is my belief that there is never a bad time to ask yourself ‘what does happiness mean to me and what will help me have more happy moments in my life?’ This curious question offers a chance to focus life’s lenses and then to become attracted to those things that make you smile, add more and create joy in your life. One response to the question of what does happiness mean to you, in a coaching session gave an interesting response. ‘Happiness sits on the periphery of your vision. It’s not tangible or easy to grasp and when you try to connect with it… puff it’s gone’. Whilst to me this view felt defeatist and fear fuelled, it helped me to clarify my feelings on this subject. The feisty character within me wanted to respond with…by boldly choosing to grab happiness by the horns, look it in eyes and demand its presence in my life every day. I was recently inspired by the author Elizabeth Gilbert. In her book Big Magic she describes ‘entering into a contract with creativity’. I decided that I wanted to create a relationship with happiness. I decided to give my full attention to discovering the mindset that I would need to adopt, the activities that I need to get involved in and the moments to cherish in order to nurture the presence of happiness. This has helped my happiness have the confidence to shine even in the face of worry, doubt, and fatigue. Since making this decision, happiness and I have began to collaborate, we co-created a plan and shook hands on it!...
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! (Part 2)

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! (Part 2)

Today is a particularly poignant day for me and my husband Rob. We celebrate a significant anniversary with a story of its own – Rob is two years cancer free today! Our story taught us the importance of adopting a solution focused mindset and of holding on to your best hopes when the future feels uncertain. We decided to share our ‘notes to self ‘ in the hope that you might gain in some way. Here goes … Our fabulous family of six Pursue positive thinking Assuming that the best outcome is possible and believing in silver linings is essential. This will carry you far and help you to dig deep into your reserves on tough days. Rob decided that he had a chance to change the family cancer story into a survival story. It created a ‘can do’ way of thinking for us and fed a positive mindset. Overcoming ‘a touch of cancer’ seemed like a positive re frame of what felt like a devastating story. Keep forward planning Choose to forward plan and imagine life beyond your treatment. Ask yourself what you want from your life once treatment is complete. Assume it to be possible and plan for it. Acquiring the map for a bike challenge and beginning the research into it’s viability was a mission that I delegated to Rob. He was also tasked with finding and planning a fabulous holiday in the sun as a post treatment reward. Focus on what’s possible Rather than assuming that treatment will wipe him out, Rob decided not to jump to conclusions and listen to his body. Where possible he would resume everyday routines...
Triumph in the face of adversity (Part 1)

Triumph in the face of adversity (Part 1)

Each of us has a story to tell. We all have a story in us. Life events, and how we view what happens in our world, will shape the stories that we tell ourselves and others. This is a story about choosing to view life through a positive lens and holding on to your best hopes when the future feels uncertain. This is a story about my wonderful husband Rob. Here is a narrative about life’s unexpected twists and turns … of joy, bravery, second chances and adversity. It is about attending to what’s possible even when that itself is uncertain. It is also a story about cancer. Cancer has visited Robs life on several occasions in his 40 years on planet earth. Rob grew up with three strong role models; his grandfather Joe, his mother Lynne and his sister Tara. Their influence taught him three key lessons; The importance of hard graft to create your own success, respect for others, and good morals maketh the man. Rob modelling oddballs underwear as part of a Movember campaign to raise awareness about testicular cancer Because of this, from a young age, Rob developed a strong work ethic. As a kid he could be found collecting sea coal on the beach to sell the locals. He learned his sales strategies selling perfumes to the beauty therapy department at a local college, usually for over treble their value, and always ensuring a tidy profit. He became a grafter and a salesman. Rob’s first experience with cancer began at the tender age of 20. His mother Lynne had learned that she had cancer. In what...
Live your legacy

Live your legacy

You don’t have to be a billionaire or a genius to make a difference. People make their mark and are remembered for their contributions for all sorts of reasons. One year ago, a dear friend David Charlton died. He had lived a full and fabulous life but it was cut short prematurely . He served his country, he impacted people’s lives. David Charlton was an adventurer, a confidant, a triathlete, a doting father, a loving husband, a mischief maker and so much more. What a legacy to leave behind! His mark on this earth was purposeful and intentional. He chose to become all these things, he took time to reflect on his contributions and he lived as well as left his legacy.   When discussing legacies, and best ways to make your mark, a wonderful person called Tim McNamara advised me to “CHARLIE” it. He later elaborated and shared the meaning of this acronym; Climb Higher And Reach Life’s Inner Expectations”. This brought a smile to my face and left me pondering how I might do such a thing. After some coaching and soul searching, I decided that for me, Charlie it could involve several things: Choosing to let go of the illusion of perfection Deciding on my new mantra for living life – Go forward fearlessly with the confidence to thrive Giving myself permission to trust the process and let go of worrying about outcomes Realising that I needed to say YES to more and then work on feeling ready for it later This led me to imagine what difference it would make, if we all had a...