International Womens’ day: who inspires you?

womens dayBeing the kind of person that I am, I had to say something about this important day, after all, I have spent a lot of my life doing things that people say that I can’t!! 

For example: 

  • In the early 1990’s I played rugby. Well, women don’t do that, only men do. oh really!? 
  • I decided to learn how to ride a motorbike. At the time women didn’t do that either!
  • I became a rugby referee. Women certainly didn’t do that. I was constantly disregarded as the ball girl or something, till I put them all in their places! 

Don’t be mistaken, I am not a tomboy. I simply regard ‘you can’t do that!’ as a challenge from which I will prove someone to be incorrect! I can do whatever I want to do, and no one will tell me different!!

I want, at this point, to mention a number of inspirational women who have inspired me and many other people worldwide, over the years.

Hildegard Von Bingen 1098-1179

Mystic, author and composer. Hildegard of Bingen lived a withdrawn life, spending most of her time behind convent walls. However her writings, poetry and music were revelatory for the time period. She was consulted by Popes, Kings and influential people of the time. Her writings and music have influenced people to this day.

Joan of Arc 1412-1431

The patron saint of France, Joan of Arc inspired a French revolt against the occupation of the English. An unlikely heroine; at the age of just 17, the diminutive Joan successfully led the French to victory at Orleans. Her later trial and martyrdom only heightened her mystique.

Jane Austen 1775-1817

One of the most popular female authors Jane Austen wrote several novels, which remain highly popular today. These include “Pride and Prejudice” “Emma” and “Northanger Abbey”. Jane Austen wrote at a time when female writers were very rare, helping pave the way for future writers.

Emmeline Pankhurst 1858-1928

A British suffragette, Emily Pankhurst dedicated her life to the promotion of women’s rights. She explored all avenues of protest including violence, public demonstrations and hunger strikes. She died in 1928, 3 weeks before a law giving all women over 21 the right to vote.

Helen Keller 1880-1968

At the age of 19 months Helen became deaf and blind. Overcoming the frustration of losing both sight and hearing she campaigned tirelessly on behalf of deaf and blind people.

Anne Frank 1929-1945

Anne Frank’s diary is one of the most widely read books in the world. It reveals the thoughts of a young, yet surprisingly mature 13-year-old girl, confined to a secret hiding place. “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” 

Diana, Princess of Wales 1961-1997

Princess Diana combined the appeal of a Royal princess with her humanitarian charity work. Although her marriage to Prince Charles was overshadowed by affairs on both sides, her popularity remained undimmed as many were inspired by her natural sympathy with the poor and mistreated. I remember the day her death was announced. I was devastated. With some friends I immediately went to London to lay flowers at the palace. 

Jane TomlinsonCBE 1964 – 2007

JaneTomlinson2Jane was an amateur English athlete who became well known in the United Kingdom for raising £1.85 million for charity by completing a series of athletic challenges, despite suffering from terminal cancer.

Having had treatment for breast cancer in 1991, aged 26; the disease returned in 2000 throughout her body. During the next six years, Tomlinson completed the London Marathon three times, the London Triathlon twice, the New York Marathon once and cycled across Europe and the USA Jane Tomlinson died in 2007, aged 43. 

Jane Tomlinson is the one person I really wish I had the opportunity to meet. As a direct result of reading her inspirational autobiography ‘you can’t take it with you’ I decided to transform my life, lose weight, get fit and try a triathlon. I have never looked back. 

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