It was a good job and I really enjoyed the work. I must have been doing something right because before too long, I was getting offered project management opportunities and being considered for promotion. I've always been a people pleaser and the regular pats on the back kept me on track and working hard, in the hope that I would continue to climb the corporate ladder and maybe someday I'd be head hunted for a Chief Executive Officer position in some high flying prominent company. My dream back then was to have my name up in lights; to be famous (if only in a small town). This would mean that I had really 'made it', or at least that was what my 23 year old self believed back then.
After many years of wearing high heels, sitting in meetings, clocking on at 8.30 and off again at 5, something in me snapped. I no longer wanted to work for someone else; I no longer wanted to be just a cog in a well oiled piece of machinery, churning out reports and hitting deadlines. I wanted something more. So I bought a gymnastics club.
(I should add that gymnastics has been a passion of mine since the age of 7, all thanks to my first ever coach 'Mr Jones, the Gym', who instilled a love for a sport which would run through my veins for ever more and even when working full time, I still managed to teach casually for up to 20 hours per week)
So I embarked on an adventure, the scale of which I truly had no idea about until it was too late to turn around and run away. It has not all been plain sailing and at times it has felt like there have been more downs than ups but after 8 years, I can honestly say that I am proud of all that I have achieved and I absolutely love what I do.
It took me a long time, too long probably, to realise that to be successful at something you don't have to have your name in lights, or be known to the world; and that what I wear to work has absolutely no bearing on how well I can do my job; or that because I don't have a nice office with views of the city, that the job I do is any less important. It took about 4 years for me to let go of these thoughts, the chains that held me back from really chasing my dreams. My 'ah ha' moment came as I was stood presenting my 'journey' to a room of other business owners as the final part of a leadership course I had undertaken. As I stood there telling my story about the children and the passion and the dreams, I looked around the room and realised that others were in awe of the work that I was doing, and I realised that my role is just as important as the work of the accountant and the insurance broker and the other (in my mind) really successful people; and for the first time since embarking on my adventure, I felt proud to be the owner of a gymnastics club.
I have continued to be proud of the work I do with Flyaway, but when doubt creeps in or when it all seems a little overwhelming, I think back to that day. Then I take a moment to look around the gym at the many smiling faces and the lives that the work I do touches every single day, which makes a difference to so many children; encouraging them to be their very best and helping them to develop the skills and tools to be able to go out in to the world and achieve anything that they set their minds to, I realise that I don't have a job, I have a purpose, and I love it!