This month I set off to row 3,600 miles across the Indian Ocean. In history, there have only been four successful attempts by a rowing pair. But the question I am asked most often is, 'why'? The answer is, 'because I can'! But of course like most things in life, it's not quite as simple as that. Let me explain...
I encourage any school to dare to be, be that school that offers challenges for their pupils to conquer, the school that prepares children for the world as well as their GCSEs. Creating the employees and employers you want to work with won't be solely done in the isolation of a classroom, nobody said "go work for her, she was great at GCSE physics".
University sports teams are everywhere. A firm believer in the healthy body, healthy mind mantra, I turned up at the sports freshers push with open arms only to be confronted by almost comical stereotypes. Boxing babes brandishing gloves, tennis totty trying to grab your attention, and water polo wonders in Speedos - that's enough.
Since setting off in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge nearly seven weeks ago, we have been rowing continuously in two-hour shifts - essentially our lives have been Eat. Sleep. Row. Repeat. for almost two months. The only time this ceased was when a violent storm during the first ten days of the crossing meant we were unable to row at all.
This Christmas was my first without my 21-year-old son, Luke, who is currently half-way across the Atlantic in a tiny rowing boat. He and his best friend Jamie (the 2 Boys in a Boat) are taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge and if they complete the race they will break the world record for the youngest team to row the Atlantic.
Reaching Christmas Day is a huge milestone for us mentally... It was very hard to spend Christmas away from loved ones, but we managed to get through the day by reminding ourselves that Christmas is not just a time for being with family and opening presents, it's also a time to think of people less fortunate than yourself.
We have been crossing the Atlantic Ocean as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge for almost two weeks now, and what an eventful few days it has been! The race began with fantastic weather, and at one point we were lying in second position, which is a huge achievement - we were ecstatically happy!