Why being average isn’t for me
Since starting my transformation just over a year ago I have slowly been realising that I don’t want to be your average Joe. To me, average is boring, why settle for where you are, or even what you do when in truth you could reach so much further and become so much more?
This post has come about because of the achievements I have made with my transformation so far. Yes, it’s safe to say that I have lost my baby weight but now that I’m here, that isn’t enough, I want to show myself that I am capable of even more – hence my next milestone.
Although generally a quiet person, behind closed doors I have a range of pretty unexpected hobbies and talents that only a few of you know about.
One of my earliest achievements was when I took over from my brother as a tennis coach, I had been playing tennis from around the age of 6 and had been competing in various tournaments. I can remember that I didn’t ever really enjoy the competing side of things but was very excited when it came for me to take over coaching short tennis for the under 5’s at our local sports centre. Eventually this led to coaching the outdoor sessions and in time the older players too. Sadly after starting at college and the Uni some years later I lost touch with the game and haven’t ever really had the time to take it up again although I am still curious to know how good, or perhaps bad, I might be these days!
One of my favourite times to look back on is from when I was little and used to potter around in the garage with my Dad. I can always remember roping Dad into building all sorts of projects with me, the more extravagant the better. If I could think it, Dad would try dammed hard to help me make it, regardless of how over ambitious it usually was!
Being a builder by trade helped immensely of course, and one of the most exciting things I can remember him making for us was a pedal power go-kart, my brother would always get to sit on the front, holding the rope and steering us whilst I was sat on the back pushing like mad with my feet to get us moving – it was awesome!
I can remember being lucky enough to be left to my own devices in the garage, grabbing any bits of wood I could find and building all sorts of things from rat cages to sculptures and everything in between. After taking over Dad’s garage I was eventually bought a few of my own tools, including a set of chisels which I still have now.
As I grew older the building things didn’t stop, but instead turned more into taking things apart and restoring them. My brother restored his first car when he was learning to drive, and of course, because he’d done it, I wanted to do the same for my first car.
I had a navy blue Mini City, who I called: ‘Eggburt’. I spent ages sanding down all the panels ready for priming, then a body kit and flip front bonnet went on. We bought a cheap garden gazebo to use as a spray tent, set it up on the driveway and using a massive compressor and spray gun I primed and re-sprayed Eggburt black, then with the help of my brother I cut out a flame stencil out of a piece of wallpaper and sprayed silver fading into gold flames across the bonnet, roof and boot of my car, then laquered it all.
On the inside of the car Dad cut a hole in the back seat panel to extend the boot, and we built up the back of the car with MDF where the back seats used to be, then I had two black bucket seats fitted with harnesses’. Eggburt looked amazing!
Eventually it was time to say goodbye to Eggburt. Then, a few years down the line without my parents knowing, I somehow managed to buy a VW Beetle over 100 miles away and get it back to our house. What a ‘surprise?’ or more appropriately ‘shock’ they had! This was the introduction to my next car, ‘Giggle’.
After already working on Eggburt, I had a better understanding of how to do things this time around and I spent a lot more time rubbing down what turned out to be layer, upon layer, upon layer of old paint. After putting in a lot of hard work I had re-sprayed the exterior, re-upholstered the interior in cream and painted a surf design across the headlining, as well as created a custom dash and centre console in the shape of a surfboard.
Sadly though, Giggle never really made it off of the driveway and I had to make the hard but necessary decision to sell up before I relocated to Plymouth after graduating at Uni.
My Nana has been a huge influence on my creativity too, I can remember having regular ‘make-it’ days where we would spend what seemed like the entire day making all sorts of things together, this is a tradition that I am very pleased to be carrying on with Oscar and Ava.
Anything to do with cooking or sewing and Nana’s still 100% the person to go to. Cooking isn’t much of an interest or passion to me (just ask my husband about the ‘romantic’ salmon in breadcrumbs I tried to make him once!) but sewing and handicrafts are. I have made countless projects with the help of my Nana, from clothes to decorations and beyond – I still get mad moments where I think of a fantastic idea and then need to be reigned in somewhat as I eventually realise it’s perhaps a little bit too ambitious or we just don’t have the space or resources to achieve quite what I want to.
In between getting grubby with cars I took up kick-boxing and loved it, after almost 5 years in the sport I competed in a few tournaments and won a couple of trophies, the strange thing was that on the same day that I went to my first lesson I got back in touch with a good friend who had arrived for her first lesson at the very same time, we were training partners from that point on and I hope to write a special edition profile on her soon as she too has not long taken up weightlifting.
Once I flew the nest and moved down to Plymouth I felt like I needed to find another hobby, so started looking into kick-boxing clubs, I couldn’t really find any that interested me but I did find a Muay Thai group that sparked my interest. The difference I found between kick-boxing and Muay Thai was immense. So much more intense and technical, not to mention more painful! But again, I loved it! I trained with Wildkick for another 4 years and competed in a couple of inter clubs. Unfortunately I never got to fight in the ring and after getting married and having the kids I began losing touch with the club as my time was being sucked up elsewhere, mostly in being a mum!
Not long after having our first baby, Oscar, and from what I think sparked as an idea after reading stories to him, I decided that I wanted to create a little character of my own that would become the main theme for a storybook dedicated to our kids, Diggory Mole was born. Due to the other 100 ideas floating around in my head at the same time I haven’t actually managed to get around to creating the story book that I have been dreaming of just yet but I did manage to create a set of Christmas cards and raise a few pennies for charity using Diggory himself.
Fairly recently, I have taken my hand to tattooing – my husband already had a few tattoos when we first met but some were still unfinished and we decided that it would be cheaper to get the equipment and for me to learn how to tattoo than it would be for him to go back to the artist to have them finished professionally. Well this was an interesting idea… needless to say that we have since gotten a little ‘ink-happy’ and a few of his tattoos still remain unfinished as we have been more interested in designing and creating new ones! I like to call him my human doodle pad, but in all fairness I really enjoy tattooing him, I am by no means up there with the pros but I like to think the work I’ve done, and am still working on is of a fairly good standard.
My mum is also very creative but she is incredibly technical too, the original nerd of our family. My brother too is a nerd beyond nerds – but in the most awesome way possible – he knows anything about everything…. I’m pretty sure he gets this from mum, and this is where my next project comes in.
Although I believe that I take more after my Dad, I do have a fair bit of ‘nerdiness’ in my blood. I’ve always been into graphics and have a fairly natural ability when it comes to creative software, but since being in my job as an e-Learning Technologist I have learnt far more than I could have ever have hoped. There are so many things I am now able to do which without this job I wouldn’t even have known existed, and along with writing and illustrating a story book I am also developing a series of bespoke, interactive e-games for both of our kids, although again, these aren’t quite as complete as I hoped they would be by now!
So to cut a fairly long post short, and coming back to the title; Why being average isn’t for me; it’s not that I want to show off in any way whatsoever, but because my family have brought me up to be such a creative and enthusiastic individual I’ve realised that I’m just not content with the average lifestyle.
My life from this point forward is to be an active role model for my children and to help them to achieve as much as they can dream in the best way I possibly can; by being a part of their journey like my family have been for me. I hope to be an inspiration not only to them but to others too.
Look out 2014… I’m going to be working extra hard to get my projects and goals completed this year, and there’s an awful lot more to come!