I was born to ride. I've made my happiest memories and overcome my most heart-breaking challenges, in the saddle. However, I was Chief Librarian at school never Team Captain. I was a latecomer to the fitness game.
Everything changed at 18 when, hospitalised at six stone (38 kg), fitness saved me from the vortex of anorexia. Fitness showed me a goal that wasn’t about being thin, it was about being strong - both physically and mentally. Beyond simply fitness; connection, and a sense of belonging, were key contributors to my recovery.
Almost 20 years later, in 2019, I named my anorexia for the first time. At that moment I took my power back, and I felt the freedom of vulnerability. Up until then, I’d talked about 'when I was ill' but I would never elaborate let alone name 'it'. I’d withdrawn from almost all those who knew me at that time, I was safe with my secret. But safe isn’t where the magic happens.
Anorexia was one of three big challenges, over two decades, that I overcame through fitness, and community.
The second, in 2012, took me one step closer to POWER when I first scribbled ‘spinning bikes, headphones and bananas’ on my vision board.
The third, in 2019, was a shorter version of challenge two and revealed a truer, freer, more determined version of me than I ever thought possible. Digging deeper still, I revealed a new-found respect for my health, above my fitness, which is what crystallised my desire to empower others from my bike. I celebrated this light bulb moment with the arrival of nine spinning bikes. At that moment POWER became real.
I know that I will never go back to challenges one, two or three. I also know that if I don’t own my story, my story will own me. And that’s not a place of power, freedom, or happiness.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars was the pinnacle of my 14 year career - designing and delivering extraordinary events and client experience for luxury brands, typically inspired by or attached to four wheels. In September 2019, I switched my focus from four wheels to two, to focus on POWER - empowering people to transform their physical and mental strength, from my spinning bike.
I'd planned to build POWER over the Winter of 2019, to launch in the Spring of 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. In short, POWER Online - a Pay-What-You-Can virtual movement experience - was born. Navigating 2020, personally and as a new business owner, was character-building. 2021, even more so. I said goodbye to my beloved Gramps in his 100th year, in January, and my Dad, in September (following a terminal cancer diagnosis, six months earlier).
The two most special people in my life are with me, every moment of every day, in my head and my heart, as well as the spanner (Gramps), and the words 'Keep Pedaling' inked on my left arm (Dad).
Everything I've overcome, I've learnt and that's helped me, I share; from my spinning bike. #bikechat
In March 2022, the UK government declared 'no more lockdowns'; a natural end to the weekly POWER Online ride. Summer 2022 was my first opportunity to be 'wild and free' with my bikes and bananas. I delivered the Summer of POWER; a series of pop-up rides celebrating my favourite season, collaborating with local suppliers and creatives, in and around the Home of POWER, Chichester.
* POWER Online continues to be available, on-request, to corporates and charities.