We believed we COULD!
When it comes to doing something we truly believe in, nothing spurs us on like being told we can’t. Three well-known women explain how they pushed through and emerged triumphant
‘Determination pays off’ When TV presenter Julia Bradbury took on a new challenge, she had to overcome her terror to succeed
I DON’T BELIEVE IN LUCK. If you achieve things in life, it’s down to a combination of factors. Part of it will be due to opportunity and part to human endeavour.
It’s something I realised when I tried rock climbing for a TV documentary. I had never done it before. I used to watch climbers in the Peak District with my dad and would look at the little coloured dots on massive rock faces and be in awe of them.
I was paired up with an expert called Tim Emmett, who is a star of the climbing world. They broke me in gently with some indoor climbing. But what rock climbers love is being at one with nature and surrounded by the elements.
Over a number of weeks we were exposed to increasing levels of difficulty. Then it was time to
climb The Old Man of Stoer, a spectacular sea stack in Scotland that is 60 metres high. After seven hours we had almost reached the top when I got stuck. The sea exposure was immense, and I was slipping on moss, so I climbed into a little shelter to take a rest. When Tim told me I needed to come out and complete the climb, I started crying.
At that moment, a cameraman above me slipped and a slab of sandstone fell from under his footing. Everyone was petrified. When, eventually, we were given the all-clear to continue, I knew I had to pull myself together. I cried for 20 minutes, then I told myself I had to overcome my fears.
It took me another hour and a half, but I got myself up to the top of the stack – albeit in an undignified manner! It was sheer brute force and spirit that got me there. I’m so proud I accomplished it. It was a challenge of mind over matter, and a fear I had to overcome. It proved to me that determination pays off.
The human body is incredible. A combination of physical and human strength gets you through life. You don’t have to be the best at everything, but you do have to apply yourself.