By the time I was 25, I'd burnt myself out physically, mentally and even spiritually: I developed psoriasis, which covered twenty per cent of my body, and I gained weight. But the alarm bells really started to ring loud and clear when I began regularly waking up in the middle of the night with a nosebleed.
Globalisation has rendered us increasingly inter-dependent with massive opportunities and also risks/challenges as a result. Driven by technological advances from transport, to communications, and electronic networks, globalisation has delivered important advancements in terms of movement and exchange of people, ideas, values, resources, commodities and finance.
One of the most important lessons I have learnt from my years in business is that nothing is possible without hard work. Women today are often juggling family, children and work and this is one of the challenges we face daily. However, as a mother of four children, I know the importance of having a support system, but also being able to be self-reliant.
Racing at 90mph, head-first, down an artificially frozen hill with more twists and turns than Silverstone... with no steering... on a tray. It takes a special kind of person to take up the Skeleton, with a unique set of skills: split-second decision making, nerves of carbon-fiber and razor-sharp clarity of mind...
I spent the first couple of days genuinely enjoying my sobriety. Stress levels were lower and I slept like a baby, even rising early doors to hit the hotel gym while my colleagues slept off their hangovers. However, on the third night, our group decided to go out to sample of Manchester's famed nightlife...
I love alcohol. There, I said it. It makes everything more enjoyable. It's been a big factor in some of my closest, most meaningful relationships. In fact, it's the main reason some girls even find me attractive enough to enter a relationship in the first place... So when the people at Dryathlon enlisted me for a month of sobriety in the name of raising money for Cancer Research UK, I felt a tad concerned.
Atwood H. Townsend once said "No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance." I couldn't agree more and while I know a handful of people who enjoy reading for pleasure, there are very few students and millennials in general who take pride in their personal reading list...
We began the run last Sunday, on a non-descript strip of shingle by the Black Sea. The weeks before were manic; assembling kit, trying to get on TV, fundraising, making arrangements for the final day half-marathon. In the swarm of last minute preparations, the reality of the run seemed distant. Standing on the beach in Odessa all that other stuff peters out.
I was immensely proud that my challenge raised funds in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care. They're are an awesome charity and as many people at some point in their lives are affected by cancer I think people were not only inspired by my efforts during the expedition but really believed in the cause I was trying to help along the way.
Winning ITV1's 71 Degrees North was an incredible experience and achievement. I want to share my advice with you using everything I've learned from that challenge on how you can be best prepared for anything because, as I found out - the hard way, it's often the things you don't expect that can cause the most problems.