I embarked on my first challenge back in 2004, cycling 500km in Peru for Asthma UK.
Little did I know then that it would gradually change my life.
At the time I was a Business Advisor for Business Link in Buckinghamshire, living a very normal, risk free, comfort loving and safe life but over the next 3 years I took part in another 2 cycle challenges, finally being offered a role as challenge crew by Discover Adventure (DA) which I did during my annual leave.
In late 2007 DA offered me a job in their offices near Salisbury running the Open Challenges and life since then has never been the same. I moved the 120 miles from Bucks to Wiltshire in early 2008, halving my salary, selling my fancy 4x4, rented out my house and went from suits and business events to jeans, walking boots and a new way of life.
I worked at DA for 2 years, leading many a trip over and above the office work and gaining invaluable experience. The office job was getting too busy to allow me out and about so I left the safety of a regular income and went freelance in 2010, gaining my Mountain Leader qualification and headed off into them there hills!
My job title is now an Outdoor Instructor and Expedition Leader and since going self-employed I have led 30 expeditions on Kilimanjaro along with numerous other expeditions on foot, 2 wheels and horseback, most at high altitude, all around the world with both charity and private clients.
In the UK I teach and assess the expedition element of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award from Bronze through to Gold as well as leading many a challenge on bike and foot in the UK and Europe. I also help to deliver corporate team building events and expedition training weekends as well as public speaking about my experiences before I discovered the outdoors, Everest, the earthquake and beyond to corporates, schools and groups.
To be honest I never thought I would summit Snowdon even once so becoming the 3rd British woman to reach the true summit of Manaslu, the world’s 8th highest mountain standing at 8163m in September 2013 and then being the 36th British woman to reach the summit of Everest in May 2016 have been huge and unexpected achievements.
I have gone from having severe vertigo and a great ability to say no way too often to facing my fears, saying yes more and turning my life around. I am now on route to complete the 7 summits and continue to raise funds and awareness for children’s mental health charity Place2Be.