"The second your fingertips hit the water in the heats tomorrow, you will be able to call yourself an Olympian forever. Enjoy every moment, it’s yours to take."

This was the text message my coach, Ian Oliver, sent to me the day before my Olympic debut, it still gives me goosebumps to this day. There is so much locked inside of that short text - the dream, enjoying the moment, finishing the job you started, committing to the cause, taking your opportunities, being able to reflect in years to come with pride and honour. On the 1st of October, I will be sharing my story and journey of how I fulfilled my promise to myself to be the best version of me in order to reach my childhood dream.

It’s fair to say that there is nothing outstanding about me, I’m certainly not super talented nor was I identified as an outstanding front runner, in fact when I share my story I reference the this as an important part of the process. I had to learn the hard way and that was my path. I learnt how to harness my full potential, to strive for my own ‘personal best’ and to look for the reasons to celebrate every performance and to also reflect to see what could be even better next time... better never stops!

My defining moment in swimming came in 2006 when I became double Commonwealth Champion whilst breaking records on the way. This wasn’t down to luck or being in the right place at the right time, this was down to the strategy we used. Not only the day to day physical training strategy’s but more importantly the mind shift strategy and how we (as a team) harnessed the power of keeping things simple in order to deliver the very best performance at just the right time.

Since retiring from international swimming I have built up a successful speaking, coaching and mentoring business as well as setting up my own learn to swim business. Building a small business, scaling it up and delivering on a day to basis is a challenge to say the least but with the blueprint I have discovered from my swimming career I am watching the business grow year on year, it’s another dream come true and I’m excited to share this on the 1st October with Scaleup North East.

If you have real ambition to scale in the future, our 2-day Get Ready to Scale boot camp is for you! Register here >> 

RTC North is delivering Scaleup North East in conjunction with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The programme is aimed at supporting North East-based businesses that can demonstrate both the hunger and the potential to achieve high levels of growth.