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

Good Housekeeping (UK) - - Gh Spotlight - IN­TER­VIEWS JES­SICA CAL­LAN

‘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.

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