Celebrating us women!

So it’s International Womens Day, a time to celebrate women and push for equality and parity between the genders, and this year the hashtag is #PressforProgress.

Sailing, as many other sports, is male dominated at the most competitive levels. As a woman who has competed in this arena it adds extra pressure to the life of an athlete when you are pushing the perceived boundaries. However, I and other women like me are proving that the female competitors shouldn’t be overlooked- just look at the women in the Volvo Ocean Race!

However today got me thinking… Yes of course I support all things #equality, after all, I’m a female disabled athlete… but to me the biggest thing about this incredible day is not just raising awareness, but at the same time showing your support to those incredible women around you that inspire and motivate you every day, whoever they are!

After all, life is full of ups and downs and for most of us an emotional rollercoaster no matter what you do, or your circumstances, and sometimes we find ourselves in desperate need of a bloody good pep talk, a hug, or in my case a nice big G&T 🙂

Nearly all of last year was pretty stressful for me as I dealt with many feelings of failure from the Paralympics, and I started my journey towards the Vendee Globe, and at times I felt completely out of my depth. I started doubting every decision, every feeling, and it really caused my emotional wellbeing to suffer. Of course, I’ve dealt with times like this before, and I think we all do, but the most important thing I have learnt during moments like these is to not give up hope, and of course I follow my Uncle’s motto “Never give up”.

Sometimes, we have to call on our friends, our family and our supporters to be our very own cheerleaders and help us through the tough times.

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I am hugely lucky to be surrounded by an amazing support system, and I am in a place where I have people I can truly lean on to help me through the tough times, to help me with my indecision and to generally give me a good pep talk when I need it… And of course, there are plenty of volunteers to grab a G&T and put the world to rights!!

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I do also believe we really need to be our own cheerleaders – our own source of motivation and support. It’s so easy to get disheartened and let things like rude comments or personal comparison get you down, and that’s why it’s important to support yourself and have your own back when moments of doubt strike.

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I also think it’s massively important to allow ourselves to be kind and look after ourselves. I try to take a day off every week to enjoy something away from the craziness of the campaign, and quite often its something as simple as painting my nails or taking Bertie for a trundle.

So today is a good day to celebrate and be grateful for the love and support you have from the women around you, and of course a huge shout out to the women that inspire and motivate me every day… There are plenty of amazing women to look up and aspire to; Ellen MacArthur, Tracy Edwards, Dee Caffari, Susie Goodall and so many more!

Without support and love, this whole crazy journey wouldn’t be possible! I like to think there’s a lot of power in positive words and being thankful for the good things in life.

Happy #IWD2018 Everyone.

H x

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