Turning 30 and life goals

Turning 30 and life goals

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What are your dreams made of?

Next week I reach the ripe old age of 30! This is a super scary thought for me, I don’t know if anyone else feels the same but in my head I had this elaborate portrait of what being 30 would look like. I would have a lovely house, husband, dog and maybe kids with a great high flying job in marketing probably in London. Well I guess I am almost there I have an incredibly supportive boyfriend, a slightly mischievous dog and a lovely house a.k.a building site because buying a house in southern England is like selling your soul to the mortgage company.

Just writing this has actually made me feel better about myself, It’s often the case that we take for granted what we have. Especially in todays ‘social’ world where every image on Instagram shows just a tiny slice of other people’s worlds, and usually it’s the good stuff you see!

I have taken the time recently to take stock of all the amazing memories, people and achievements in my life that make me grateful each day to be who I am. I am however, a great believer in always pushing forward and have goals and aspirations, dreams that I want to reach.

I have not had a ‘normal’ career path but I have certainly learnt who I am along the way. Starting with a degree in fashion, I still remember my interview and convincing my Dad that the black suit dress was not the best option and instead opting for a far zingier outfit. They must have liked it because the next thing I knew I was starting Uni in Southampton and couldn’t of been happier. Southampton was brilliant I have awesome memories learnt a hell of a lot about life, love, friendship and fashion of course! I also learnt that the fashion industry was not for me. After three years working hard on my degree I found myself back at home feeling rather delated and not sure what to do next. Not to be knocked down by the first hurdle I decided these feelings were normal and that’s feeling down was not constructive. After some soul searching I found my way back to my comfort zone of the class room and started my Masters in Marketing Management at the same time as being an intern for the university. This was a fantastic opportunity to keep learning (pushed way outside my comfort zone) and earn money. Win win.


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This time I left Uni with a direction and a drive to earn money! This drive landed me in a job in telecoms…. Que feeling totally confused and disinterested in trying to sell Voipe (I still don’t know what this is 7 years later). This first taste of employment taught me to search deeper and that money was not the bee all and end all.

Some would say ‘fate’ created an avenue to pursue my own path for a few months whilst I recovered from a back injury. This was my first taste of working for myself and I lapped it up. The thing I loved about working for myself was problem solving for clients. Whilst I had been an intern the Director of Marketing, who I reported too, was far too busy to give me things to do so I went off round the university and found ways I could improve the business services by listening to my colleagues and trying to solve their problems. I loved the creative freedom of thinking on my feet.

After my back injury Pilates was my way back to health, as well as biking this is where my hunger for living a healthy balanced lifestyle grew. I had always loved being outdoors but now being outside was an escape it allowed me to release tension and feel alive again. I spent so much time walking the country lanes with my Mum whilst I recovered, I loved the silence and peace I found in walking. My passion for biking was re-ignited when I could go further and needed a non-load bearing exercise.

After a while of working for myself again came the drive to earn money, also the drive to be closer to Martyn, living at home in Suffolk with a boyfriend on the Isle of Wight was not ideal!

So I returned to Southampton and my first taste of the real marketing world working in an agency. I enjoyed this new challenge in a fast paced industry where every 15 minutes counted towards a client’s bill. An opportunity came my way to combine my passion for health and fitness with my career in marketing and I was soon re-locating to Surrey. Surrey Sports Park the most beautiful gym I had ever set foot in! I had great fun at SSP working with the sports performance and fitness teams in the marketing department I also love being able to train at lunch and have free membership to this fabulous facility!

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This was also where my coaching journey began and I did my cycle coaching award and then coached at the Sports Park. I enjoyed my job but the 45 min commute was meaning I couldn’t coach or train as hard as I wanted to and my passion for cycling had grown to racing and after working my way into elite level at cross-country I wanted to dedicate more time to my sport.

Moving to Dreams Come True was great I had a brilliant boss who was very flexible and working for a small charity felt homely and fitted well with my values.

Working at Dreams, where we help young people with serious illness achieve their dreams has made me think about my dreams and goals. As a coach, it is so rewarding watching kids and adults work on a bike skill and then by the end of the session leave with confidence and more ability than when they started. Some of the kids I coach have been coming for four years and it’s the best ever feeling looking at where they were and were they could potentially go as gifted young riders. One of my life goals is to never stop learning and with this in mind I decided to take the plunge and learn how to be a Pilates instructor. I have seen first-hand the benefits Pilates has given me. My goal for 2018 is to combine my cycle coaching with Pilates and offer wellbeing programs for women and girls where I can show the benefits of leading healthy lifestyle through cycling, getting outdoors and maintaining a good strong core and working on posture and alignment.

It seems scary writing this down because it makes it so real. This is my goal and I am on a journey to change my view point in life. As my Dad would say ‘happy are those who dream dreams and are prepared to pay the price to see them come true.

I’d love to hear some of your life goals and how you are going to make them happen so please get in touch.


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Moving the goal posts – How are your goals for 2017 going?

Moving the goal posts – How are your goals for 2017 going?

Back in January like a lot of other people I made a list of goals I would like to achieve in 2017.

Half way through the year I thought it was a good time to look at what I have achieved and what is left to go.

  • Whistler – heli-skiing didn’t go to plan this was probably a bit ambitious considering my skill level on a snowboard, however we did go back country ski touring which was great fun and gave us an experience of something totally different we had never considered before.
  • 24 hour pairs race – Fitness and timings didn’t come off for this one.
  • Complete the South Downs Way – Still to do
  • 24-hour solo mountain bike race – despite the biblical rain and a broke bike I made it across the finish line in 2nd Really happy with my achievement at Pivot 24:12.
  • Mont Blanc expedition – this has been moved to 2018
  • Bike down Snowden – hoping to complete in October
  • Bike packing with Mum – Still working on where…

The first time I wrote this I was upset by how little I had achieved. After a good run I decided the way to finish this post was to look at how my goals had changed and why maybe some of the things I thought I would do had moved.

The first thing is my unwritten goal this year was to grow my cycling club Pedal 2 Pedal. This has been successful. I have started Saturday sessions once a month and have been fully booked for the first term. I have run 10 summer holiday camps which all filled up and from that have new children waiting to join my club. I have taught 8 children how to ride their bikes. This has taken hard work and commitment to plan, market and deliver these sessions but the hard work has paid off and Pedal 2 Pedal has grown from strength to strength this year.

I also completed my Level two road cycling coaches course with British Cycling which means I can now teach off-road and road techniques.

Martyn and I have also found a new love for the water and have been kitesurfing, taking up a new hobby requires commitment and time to learn and develop your skills. I have really enjoyed a new challenge and pushing my body in a new direction has been rewarding and given me something new to get excited about and a reason to strengthen my whole body and not just my cycling legs!

Partly to do with having a dog that needs lots of exercise and partly down to having two friends who introduced me to it, I have started running! Not far, I am up to 6 miles. Running is great it gives me the head space and ‘me’ time that I crave from cycling with the same ‘I am working hard’ feeling that cycling for 3 hours gives me.  I also brought my first pair of new trainers since I was about 16!

Had fun with friends glamping, walking, cycling and running. Racing is a lonely business, yes you meet great people and races are full of friendly faces but training and racing and the commitment to put racing above everything else takes its toll on your personal life. Having to be strict with yourself and eat the correct foods at the correct times and go to bed on time and not rink and putting going out on training rides over going out with friends was starting to make me feel isolated. This year I have fully embraced spending time and making memories with family and friends. I am happier for it, although maybe not as fit!

Overall I am pleased with amount of ‘stuff’ I have done this year and will continue to work towards my other goals.


“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

Is a quote I have always believed in. It has become more apparent recently after dislocating and cracking my elbow it has left me firmly out of my comfort zone, both physically and mentally. I felt like the strength was being sucked out of my arm by the weight of the plaster and the simple things like opening jars seem to take great effort. 

Mentally I was fighting demons who keep telling me I’ve screwed up the start of my racing season and put myself on the back foot, which is totally stupid when I know how tough the competition is going to be.

Life has thrown me a curve ball and I’ve decided to catch it, with my good arm! 

I may not have been able to get out on my bike or to the gym but you shouldn’t let the present situation stop you from getting to where you want to be.

Thanks to Giant in the first week back from my holiday with my arm in plaster, I rode a total of 135 miles on my turbo trainer in the first week, working on my endurance and pedalling. My focus was on the thought that my racing season is long and apart from my arm I am fit, healthy and hungry for competition.

When I look back it’s clear that life does begin outside your comfort zone.

My fracture clinic appointments brought great news, my consultant was very happy with the progress I had made and now I’m back on my bike and starting to re-discover single track! It has been a long a painful four weeks but I am now ready to start getting back on my bike and start my season.

Tips for training with one arm in plaster:

  • Try and set it up outside its far nicer!
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Get a mini fan to use to blow cool air down the cast.s
  • Try and cycle sitting upright with your arm hanging or in a sling as it maintains a more balanced position on the bike.
Spinning through winter

Spinning through winter

Keeping training momentum in the summer is easy, you jump from work to your bike and eat up the miles and sprint up the hills with the birds singing and the sun shining until late. In these conditions its easy to have decent training sessions and concentrate on your riding and not the elements. The winter is a whole different kettle of fish! To start with its dark by 4pm, the roads are wet and full of drivers eager to get home not looking where their going, and the single track has turned into a sticky mess (great in the light, not so great in the dark). This although sometimes good fun is not ideal training time and often makes me frustrated not feeling I can get the most out of training rides.


This is the time of year when my turn my attention to the gym and especially get into Spinning.

Spinning, when you cant get out on your bike is a fantastic way to get a high intensity workout of the muscle groups key for cycling. Spin classes have the added bonus of an instructor and loud music to keep you pumped up and pushing up that last hill climb which is great for days when your motivation is lack luster!

The high intensity of spin classes means I usually spend most of my time anaerobic (that nice place where you feel like your lungs might burst and your heart is beating out of your chest) with my heart rate above 160bpm.

High Intensity Interval Training is (according to a 2011 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting) a great way to improve your aerobic capacity, just 2 weeks of HIIT can improve your aerobic capacity as much as 6-8 weeks of endurance training. I certainly feel like Spinning has improved my fitness and feel exhausted after a class. After a spin class I refuel with a protein shake and a carbohydrate lunch like a brown bagel and cream cheese (a little bit of fat is good for you!).

Spinning is often a sticky hot affair so its worth taking a towel and large water bottle too!

I use the spin class once or twice a week to help reduce my lactate production and enhance neuromuscular control as there are often sprints in a spin class I try and tailor this into my training plan as a fun variation to the gym.