3 July 2016

How do you reset?

Sometimes that’s all there is for it. We need to take a moment to put things into perspective and plot the path ahead.

Catching up with Aimee in the mountains above Verbier.

Catching up with Aimee in the mountains above Verbier.

I often talk about stepping back, about taking time away from the day-to-day, to look at life from a different angle. This weekend I have done just that.

On Friday we headed back to one of my favourite hideouts in the mountains – Verbier, Switzerland.

As a Denbigh-born Welshman, the mountains are my home. Climbing to the top, looking out on the world and breathing nothing but fresh, crisp air. Nothing compares. Whilst Verbier may not have the Welsh charm of my favourite, Mount Snowdon, it is certainly an extraordinary place to be.

This weekend’s trip brought an extra level of inspiration as I joined budding Olympic athlete Aimee Pratt and her coach Vicente Modahl.

In her late teens, Aimee is at the start of her career and, as a Diane Modahl Sports Foundation runner, Aimee has not only committed to reaching the next Olympics, she has already run for Team GB. Hers in an incredible story for someone so young.

The Diane Modahl Sports Foundation (DMSF) is a charity that’s incredibly close to my heart and to the hearts of the UKFast team. For many years now we’ve supported Diane who, along with her husband and head coach Vicente, transforms young peoples’ lives through sport and education.

Aimee is a familiar face at UKFast Campus. We open up our gym for the athletes of DMSF to train so Aimee can be found numerous times a week on the treadmills, pushing the boundaries with weights or recovering in the steam room.

My assistant Ginny and Aimee above the clouds.

My assistant Ginny and Aimee above the clouds.

If you haven’t heard much of the Foundation, you should look into it. They’re taking young people who’ve not had the best start to life, inspiring drive and ambition, and giving them to opportunities to fulfil their potential – whether that’s heading to the Olympics like Aimee, or aiming to be the next Prime Minister like a young man I met through DMSF called Samuel.

Here in Verbier for some altitude training, we’ve been put through our paces. Running a few km at 2200m above sea level – above the clouds! – is a completely different animal to tame. I certainly needed the ice bath when we got back home! It’s a new challenge and a new facet to my commitment to health and wellbeing. Anyone who knows me knows that I firmly believe that a healthy body equals a healthy mind.

Seeing Aimee’s laser-like focus and tenacity as we raced up to the peak, I have never been more inspired.

This weekend has been like a reset button. It’s the perfect time for a new perspective. I am sure that we have all felt somewhat weighed down by recent events in the UK but now it is back to business, I’m recharged and we’re continuing on to bigger and better. Carrying on regardless!

Last week, I made some exciting progress with something we’ve been working on at UKFast for quite some time. All will be revealed soon, but it is our signal that it is business as usual.

To be honest, I am only looking forward now. I am looking forward to a Britain in which the news is dominated by sport, and where great business stories and education news take centre stage. Whilst finding a new leader for our country is, of course, incredibly important; politicians only guide the country. It is the people of Britain who do all of the hard work and it is these people who we should be focussing time and energy on.

We are all a bit bored of politics hogging the limelight. It really is a huge distraction and one that we really could do without. A lot of people are asking ‘what next?’ after the past ten days; for me it’s simple, it’s up to us to get back on track.

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