I grew up in athletics. After trying all the typical activities like ballet, gymnastics, brownies etc. I tagged along with my older sister to a local athletics club. After a failed training session at the larger Hull club (never take me there again!) we tried Hull Spartans which was a small athletics club closer to home with a Cinder track  I loved it. My coach Mr T was an athletics enthusiast who’d married the sport. Fast forward 10 years and he would be coming to our house for Christmas Day and then eventually we’d be by his side when he passed away. 

When polevault was introduced for women along with tripplejump in 1993 (correct me if I’m wrong, all I can find was that it was in the Sydney Olympics for the first time). I went for a trial at the larger local club and found myself selected to train with them. I progressed pretty quickly setting county and regional records and became the one to beat locally. 

I went to University in Middlesbrough to train to be a physiotherapist and found a decathlon coach who took me on. I trained with a local strength coach in the track gym with the city’s bouncers and a few other athletes. I certainly pushed myself but had an amazing time too. I didn’t progress too much... too much beer, parties and studying I think. Burning the candle at both ends I suspect. But I loved my time at university and wouldn’t change it for the world. 

When I moved to London I had a few sessions with different polevault coaches, surprisingly it was more difficult than where I’d come from. Coaches were either too expensive, too far away, too aggressive or the groups too big. So I settled into a lovely jumps group where I met some friends for life. I also worked with international athletes, travelling to the US on training camps and treating them at large international meets. I have worked with British Athletics since at one of their event physios. 

I have since married, had 3 kids, worked at 3 large private hospitals and Physiotherapy companies and finally opened up my own Physiotherapy clinic and Pilates practice with a successful YouTube channel. 

Well there’s been something missing for a while. Although the international athletics Physiotherapy work keeps me in the loop I’ve found recently it’s not enough. Every time I thought of getting involved in athletics again I found myself wondering what event I’d do. Well a few months ago I decided it should be polevault, It’s the only event I’m truly passionate about. 

So I called a Polevault coach I had met at international meets. He has a group of international vaulters so I was unsure whether to ask him. But I did! And he was happy to take me on. I have not looked back, I find myself constantly thinking about when I can train next. I must remember my main priority is my family though and no matter how supportive they are. Having said that i recognise fully that it has changed every element of my life, relationships mostly. It is so important to embrace your passion and make sure it is nurtured. It makes you a better person to be around. I’m vaulting better and more confidently than before and enjoying it more than ever. I will be joining a club soon and thinking about entering competitions.

Ok so at first it was so hard on my body. I’m fit and strong but had forgotten just how fit and strong you need to be for polevault. I now find myself on a weekly schedule of 2 x polevault sessions, 3 x weights, 1 x runs, drills and plyos. 
I also teach 3 HiiT sessions and 4 Pilates session per week (recovery). 

So what am I doing to look after my body? 
I take Epsom salt (magnesium) baths whenever possible, pilates, deep blue rub (doterra essential oils), resting and listening to my body when needed and I have just had my first CRYOtherapy and Normatec session at London CRYO. Oh and I always warm up and warm down. I look after my posture when working and resting. This is something more athletes should be aware of. 

I may need to seek treatment at times but right now I’m managing. I’m 40 next month and don’t feel it at all. I’ve had 3 kids and by no means have I been at the top of my game throughout. I recovered slowly and in my own time which I believe is key. I can’t wait to see what I can achieve! I certainly feel better about getting older. Watch this space and look out for the next instalment.