Looking back, my purpose or path in life was set before me at the tender age of 9, following being bullied at primary school, the underlying relational bullying started by girls. Back then the class sizes were smaller than now and being excluded by everyone was devastating. From the mean and nasty anonymous notes of hate to the complete silent treatment, it was a very lonely and sad time. You could say I was a weak target because of my lack of confidence and ever-changing body fluctuations.
I was diagnosed at age 4 with an over-active thyroid, quite rare at such a young age and whilst not physically impaired, regular monitoring and forever adapting medication meant one moment I was really slim, the next really large. At age 11 it was necessary for me to have 80% of my thyroid removed. A decision to clip the scar at the time left me with a permanent raised scar along my neck.
That was during the summer, then a few months later I started secondary School. Not only did I have the usual anxieties of starting “big School” but this prominent scar and perceived “what will people think?” massively affected my self-esteem and only amplified the echoes of the bullies in my head.
My young adult life was a constant drive of trying to prove myself to others, looking for acceptance and approval. I pushed myself to achieve “success” in the Corporate world. Starting as a temp in a Telecommunications company and fast-tracking to Team Manager of a busy Call Centre by the age of 21. This was equally a testing time, although not directly bullying, I received a lot of opposition from older members, their lack of support, disapproving comments and tone, weakened my self-belief and making me feel “never good enough.” The early ‘00s were not great for the industry and I was made redundant twice in quick succession.
The first I was ready and prepared for, the second hit me hard, feeling very low, rejected, dropping my self-esteem and belief in myself to zero.
With lots of time on my hands I used exercise as a way of diversion and distraction, perhaps verging on obsession at times, but then I found Yoga and meditation.
This process allowed me to ponder on life’s big question… “what do I really want to be doing in life?”
In the end the problem was essentially an opportunity (aren’t they all). A key unlocking another door in the chapters of life. The birth of CHAMPS Academy.