Why we all need a support boat

...even if we're not swimming the channel!

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I first met Nadine when she was re-training to be a teacher.  She then went on to be my son’s form tutor and one day he came home and said Ms Bowker hadn’t been in because she was swimming the channel.

Anyone that has ever done teacher training knows how tough it is and Nadine was in her first year of teaching (her NQT year) when she did the swim.  I was overawed, not least because when I picked son up from his end of term trip, there she was, the day after her mamouth achievment, counting heads off the school trip bus as if she hadn’t just swum for 12 hours, through the night, to France.

So how did she do it?  I couldn’t wait to find out.  I love swimming and the silent, meditative, quality is has, and it is one of the things I have really missed during lockdowns.  I wild swim a tiny bit; a new year’s dip now and then, for minutes in the icy sea and then the occassional 15-30 minute swim in a river, but not 12 hours!  In the cold, dark, deep, busy channel.

Counting to 100 over and over again, having a brother and sister stoic enough to swim with you and then shout at you just when you feel you can’t go on, and training in Lake Windemere are all part of the ‘how’.  What really struck me as we talked was the importance of the support.  You literally can not swim the channel without a support boat and crew.

And isn’t that a reminder for life?

Yes it was down to Nadine’s physical training and stamina, her mental fortitude and resilience, that she succeeded and made it back to register my son the next day.  But she didn’t do it alone.  She had trainers, supporters, family, fishermen and friends who did everything from pass her jelly babies to challenge her to go just a bit longer, a bit wilder, a bit stronger in the build up to the swim.

So often we feel like if we are going to achieve something, it needs to be all on our own.

Not so.

We all need a support crew, back up and people cheering us on.

To listen to the conversation click here 

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Julie Leoni

Life coach, author, podcaster, facilitator, Dr

I am a well-being coach who helps people find their 'thing'; the thing that lights you up and gives you joy and energy. Listen to my podcast; 'What's your thing?' to get inspiration.

I support people to create a less stressed life, to boost their well-being, to ask for what they want and to look after their own needs so that they can hear their heart's call and live a more empowered and meaningful life.

I draw on experience and training in bereavement, domestic abuse, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, Transactional Analysis and other therapeutic approaches.

I have 2 sons who I love loads (and who sometimes drive me crazy). I'm a Barefoot Trained coach and I got a distinction for my post-grad cert in 2011.

I have a PhD which led me to look at Emotional Intelligence in schools and I have a number of academic and professional qualifications in various types of therapy.

I have practiced meditation since I went to India over 30 years ago and I'm a yoga teacher. I have written a couple of books, I teach psychology and work with a large variety of coaching clients.