Lynsey Sweales, a CEO and international digital marketing strategist, leaves for Nepal today where she will trek to Gokyo Ri, which is the same height as Everest Base Camp. Here, she explains why the trek, supporting British Red Cross and its work in Ukraine and Pakistan – has been a year in the planning
I’ve learned through both my career and life in general that it’s about the journey not the destination. I’ve been lucky in my career, although it didn’t go to plan. My dream was to be in the Army but due to fracturing my spine when I was around 15 when I applied, I got turned down. I never had a Plan B so have just made the most of every opportunity. SocialB is all about having a great place to work and supporting people in their careers and personal passions. Wellbeing is an important part of that, and fitness, health, being outside, and helping others fit nicely for me, too. I’m a huge outdoor fan, I love traveling and any opportunity to do either of these is exciting.
I was pretty fit before the Covid-19 pandemic, doing lots of walking with my wonderful Vizslas and my son Dylan – and running a few times a week. Then, with having to stay at home, and working around the clock to ensure the SocialB team and our clients were supported, fitness sort of fell to the wayside. I tried to get back to my fitness for my own health and wellbeing but, with no goal, other priorities soon took over.
Angi, one of my good friends, suggested this trip as she knew it was my cup of tea. There are four of us doing it – Angi Stevens, Sue Smart, Becs Beswick and myself – all doing it for different personal reasons and raising money for different causes.
Since I agreed to it just over a year ago, I started my own training plan, doing classes etc, but soon thought I needed support. I reached out to the wonderful Vicki Hall, a PT and fitness instructor. I started training with her and she also set me up a programme each week – focused on endurance for the altitude as well as some weight training.
Norfolk is pretty flat, so we did a trip to Snowdon in March which was a good short-term goal to aim for. When I got back September seemed an age away, so I signed up for other fitness challenges – completing two of the Great Yarmouth Promenade 5 Mile Series, and the Aylsham 5k Jubilee Race. I also took up a gym membership, as well as biking regularly and keeping up my steps each day. It has been hard – the last three weeks particularly hard due to an overseas work trip to Saudi where gyms are for males only – I took my skipping rope and just worked out in my hotel room! The challenge has come around quickly but to have lots of small goals along the way has been a huge help and I’m really pleased I signed up for events to keep me focused and to have little wins. It’s not been about how quick I was or where I came – it’s been about my fitness.
I also have the Only the Brave event the day after I return and I’m also now planning to do a triathlon. So, I think you can say I’ve got my love for fitness back. It’s not easy to keep up fitness, work, and family life – I couldn’t have done this without the support of my husband David, my family, my work colleagues, Vicki and my mentor Micky. I’m hugely grateful for the support and at the same time feel so much better in myself and how I perform at work.
Featured image (left to right): Sue Smart, Becs Beswick, Angi Stevens and Lynsey Sweales