I had been going three mornings a week public swimming, rhythmically, diligently, for 12-months. The mantra of, “check in with yourself before you check in with the world” floating around my brain. That alone time was sacred and set me up for the day ahead.

And then two teenagers appeared.

At first I thought it was a one-off, but it quickly became apparent, every swim I was going to be joined by two people who had no concept of lane etiquette. My zen-like state shattered. Instead of leaving feeling energised, I was annoyed and frustrated.

So, I tried to self-advocate, letting them know the impact of their behaviours and how it could be instead. It improved, but too much of my brain space was taken up with dodging them, re-calculating start times, and changing my intentions to fit the situation.

And then a sprinkling of magical serendipity occurred. My middle child, Jenson started swim club and I discovered the masters swim sessions were at exactly the same time as I had been swimming. In fact, they were in the lane next to me all along!

Although I had been out of competitive swimming for 22 years, I decided to hop over to the other side of the pool, surrender to swimmers with etiquette and level-up.

I was fit, but not race-fit. I had been showing up at the pool over the last 12-months but not in the same way as when there is a coach on the poolside, timing you, encouraging you. Within a few short weeks my times improved dramatically.

Like a 2 for 1 offer at the supermarket, I notice an interesting side effect. As I levelled-up my swimming, it up levelled my business too.

If you are feeling stuck or static in one area of your life, finding momentum or movement in another area may just release you.

It’s Intentional Coaching Week and I am reminded on the real impact coaching has had on my own life and those of my clients. The truth is, it’s so much harder to reach your full potential on your own. That’s why, when I swam for England juniors and did the Olympic trials, I had a coach. That’s why presidents and prime ministers have advisors, musicians have conductors and actors have directors to bring out their best performances.

So tell me, which area of life would you love to level-up and why? Hit reply and let me know.

Keep Opening Up,


PS Cohort 4 of the Career Design Mastermind programme kicks off today, I am so excited to be supporting 12 incredible women on their quest to figure out ‘what’s next?’ in their careers and make it happen. If you are interested in working with me in 2023. Drop me a message to find out more about the next Career Design Mastermind programme or my new 3-day Intentional Careers Accelerator (live event).

PPS Catch the latest episode of the Women in STEM Career & Confidence Podcast iTunes / Spotify 🎧 with Dr Erika Parkinson.

When I first started working with Dr Erika Parkinson, she was employed as the Project Manager of Dorset Clinical Trials Unit at University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation. Up until that point, she had been forcing herself to deliver outside of her leadership strengths to the point of burnout. Putting in more hours to compensate, can only work as a strategy for so long. Through our coaching work, she became clear on her talents and is now able to appreciate and add her unique value as Director of R&D at TopMD with a sustainable work-life balance.