I always remember at school, thinking. ..'whatever I do, I want to enjoy it..'
So, it was a toss-up between teaching and physiotherapy. I chose to teach and remember thinking, 'maybe sometime in the future for a physio-based career.'
I pretty much loved every day of Primary class teaching. My aim was always to provide an opportunity for 'my children' to enjoy getting up for school each day and to have fun. Most of the difficulties the children had been largely due to lower confidence and esteem. My challenge was to allow these children to learn and be pleased with their achievements.
As time progressed, we started to grow our own family, and I started supply teaching and eventually part-time teaching, simply individual tuition. This fitted well with our busy family of then four children; Alison, Christopher, Nicholas and Suzanne.
Over time, Suzanne became ill, developing Cardiomyopathy and died six weeks after diagnosis. She was just under two years of age.
As you may imagine, this was the worst nightmare you would hope could never happen. It was always something that happened to someone else, wasn't it?
Through helping our other children over these times, you begin to realise that you're also helping yourself. ..and as I am realising, even now, it becomes cathartic in itself.
You realise the two options involve staying up or going down. I don't think I would be brave enough for the down option.
We decided sometime down the line to reverse Dave's vasectomy and try for another child knowing full well; this would not be a replacement but an opportunity to have another child. After four miscarriages, probably due to the grief of losing Suzanne, we finally brought into the world, Jonny who brought with him a little extra topping - Downs Syndrome.
It became apparent that supply teaching was no longer on the cards. It was too risky leaving Jonny cared for by another in the school day. He was born with two holes in his heart and was due to get open heart surgery as soon as he was strong enough. Until that time he brushed with death numerous times and eventually his operation was sped up after Nicholas noticed that Jonny had stopped breathing and the C.P.R I had carried out, actually worked!
I realised that another income was needed. Dave's mechanical engineering salary wasn't going to be enough on it own.
I dug deep, wondering how else we could earn more income without selling my body
I sat at the kitchen table and cast my mind to when I was at school...I remembered that my thought was teaching or physio. 'Fantastic!' I thought, ...cutting another long story short, 'Sports Therapy!'
I went to the London School of Sports Massage, recommended to me by a fantastic local guru osteopath Anna Sheppard, who herself, had previously attended The L.S.S.M.
After the initial introductory, I studied for the diploma. I loved it, and it turned out to be more than I could ever have imagined. 'Right', I said to Dave, 'Your turn now!'
Dave had always been interested in massage. 'No' he said...'too much time has passed and it will cost loads of money...' 'not so quick!'I thought.
I decided to buy the Introductory course for Dave as a birthday present, but to undertake it in Springtime in Regents Park, when it would be amazing. ...and so he did and also loved it, taking the diploma soon after.
Both of us love helping people...fixing injuries as our aim, goes hand in hand with helping people to achieve their aim. I guess this is why I particularly feel a very close connection with teaching.
Working with this mission in mind presents a life of hope and positivity. We meet amazing people, Nick, being one of them!
Our 'job' allows for flexibility with our children, particularly during the hard educational times of Jonny's schooling, when after the closure of Dave's engineering department, he was able to come on board full time being Jonny's Life Saver, not to be underestimated.
Since our diploma, we attend various C.P.D days with intentions to develop our skill base.
Our work is best described as Clinical massage and Sports Therapy:
Dave has also trained in Indian Head massage, with a huge aim of mental well being.
Three years ago, I trained as a Certified Pilates Teacher.
With both Dave and my skill sets which we have and still are developing, the emphasis is on helping people.
Both Dave and I love our 'job'. It is a passion and a love of life.
Our children have been brought up within the four walls in which we work and play, and it is becoming very interesting and rewarding to see how they are developing.