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Frankie Dewar  0:00  
It's definitely like more of a chat than an interview. 

Victoria  0:02  

Frankie Dewar  0:02  
so please 

Victoria  0:03  
I'm excited to hear what you are going to ask me. 

Frankie Dewar  0:06  
don't worry And for my record, I'm here with Vicky. And it is the 24th of August. And we are in Wells in near Cheddar. And it is raining ever so slightly and whenever a stream of background noise that that's why

Frankie Dewar  0:25  
And can I just check what name you want me to use when I'm putting it up?

Victoria  0:29  
I would use Victoria Teal

Frankie Dewar  0:31  
Victoria teal Yeah. and can I chck your pronouns

Victoria  0:34  
I am she/her

Frankie Dewar  0:40  
Hello, and welcome to the extraordinary ordinary womxn podcast sharing life's adventures. My name is Frankie. And this is a podcast where I interview extraordinary ordinary womxn and non binary folx as part of a 3000 kilometer cycle around England, Wales and Scotland. interviewing people older than myself, to show you that you don't just have to do whilst you're young. You'll hear all about their adventures, and what they get up to, as well as the answers to my big life questions. Like what does authenticity mean? Did you have a clear sense of direction through life? And what advice would you give to your younger self? In this episode, I talk to you Victoria teal, who I know as Vicky. At this point to the trip, I was really getting into the swing of cycling. I just I got down to Exeter and was making my way back up to Bristol when my friend Vicky messaged, and said she was over from Munich visiting family as kindly invited to join a family dinner that felt more like Christmas. And she paid for my campsite that night. I dropped the photo into the show notes to show our tents together. And she were I carried out the interview. There are all the noises you would expect from a campsite. A brick and alarm, rain. The rustling of waterproofs and crying family members it was awesome to catch up with a friend. And I'm sure you wont notice, I have to say that I'm pretty tired by this point in the trip. And maybe my questions aren't up to their usual standard. But we still have an amazing conversation that goes in as deep as always. And I hope you love it.

Frankie Dewar  2:33  
Okay, so let's get started. So, for people who don't know you at all, can you just give us a snapshot of who you are.

Victoria  2:42  
I'm 36 year old living in Munich in Germany, normally called Victoria, and I now work in the university admin office, but basically do a lot of climbing hiking as much as possible and do a lot of writing. So that's me.

Frankie Dewar  3:05  
Awesome. Let's get stuck in straightaway with the outdoor stuff. And what does the outdoors mean to you?

Victoria  3:11  
It's just it's medicine. For everything. It's it's medicine for like your body and for your mind. I just love it. Like I've never been outdoors and come back and gone. I wish I hadn't done that. Like however crap the experience. When you get home, you always think I'm really glad I did that. Because either you've come back with a story or you feel better about yourself or you've had a nice time and you've changed your mood. So yeah, it's just it's it's like medicine for me. Yeah.

Frankie Dewar  3:43  
Oh, what's  sort of climbing do you do 

Victoria  3:45  
so because I'm in Europe now, I mostly do sports climbing, but a single pitch sport climbing, just for convenience. But I also enjoy trad climbing when I'm back in the UK. And and I really like sort of more adventurous multipitch long days in the Alps kind of thing, but haven't done as much of that as I want to yet but that's that's the perfect day would be a nice long multi pitch.

Frankie Dewar  4:12  
How long have you climbed for ?

Victoria  4:13  
Oh my god, a properly about 12 years, I think. But my dad was a climber. And my sister was a climber. So boys used to go bits and pieces throughout my life. And then I really got into it in about 2008 was when I started to consider myself as a climber like i was going regularly. 

Frankie Dewar  4:39  
Cool. How did you get into it?

Victoria  4:40  
Um, yeah, just because my dad, I always wanted to go with my dad climbing and when he attacked me when I was a kid, but he got the around about when I was about three or four. He got the fear and stopped climbing and didn't go climbing anymore from going from climbing like E2/ E3w . This is in the 80s, when an E three was probably more like an E four. And he stopped, just completely stopped. And so, but he was still really interested in it and still had that passion and stuff. And could remember every climb that he's done and every grade of it, but can't remember my birthday kind of thing. But he stopped and then then my sister got into at uni, and then I would go sometimes with her, and then they opened a bouldering gym, near where I was living in Leeds, and I started going there regularly. And that was it, then that was me, climbing for forever. And then, as a side note, my dad, when he retired, he was living in Devon. And he was thinking about moving back to Sheffield, and I said, Oh, you know, you'll be able to get back into climbing. And he said, Oh, no, I'm too old for that cue and moving to Sheffield. He's now climbing harder than me. Like he's back climbing he once again a 60 year old so yeah, yeah. And now I finally after 30 years finally climb with my dad when I'm home. So

Frankie Dewar  6:11  
awww thats so exciting what a good  story. Sticking with climbing where's your favorite place you've climbed/ 

Victoria  6:18  
I would have to say kalymnos. And I know its a bit of a cliche, but climbing was just magical. The climbing, that was amazing. And the atmosphere was just lovely. And I had five weeks there a few years ago, and it was just gorgeous. 

Frankie Dewar  6:33  
For people that don't know where or what Kalymnos is can you tell us a little bit more 

Victoria  6:37  
Kalymnos is a Greek island. And it's kind of near Rhodes and Kos kind of area, I think. And there's one corner of it, which is a village that's now completely besieged by climbers, and it's just beautiful limestone cliffs and blue sea. And it's, it's gorgeous, and the climbing there that it's just really lovely climbing. And then there's, you go to a bar afterwards and have a beer and watch the sunset and swim in the sea is amazing. So that'll be abroad, but back home in the UK. Froggat froggat edge 

Frankie Dewar  7:16  
Wheres that? 

Victoria  7:17  
you know where stanage is. 

Frankie Dewar  7:18  
Yes, yeah. 

Victoria  7:19  
So it's kind of in the same area. And then you go across, and then you get into the formation. That's and Fraggat, it's, it's, you can't see it in a distance like you can stanage unless you're looking for it. But it's beautiful, like really interesting climbs. And it's in a bit of a forest area. It's just lovely. I love it. And the views are gorgeous. Sunset there. And

Frankie Dewar  7:45  
yeah, and we've still not climbed together. and I really want to 

Victoria  7:50  
We have to Yeah.

Frankie Dewar  7:53  
Is being in the outdoors something that's been in your life consistently or has it fluctuated.

Victoria  7:57  
It's pretty consistent. So my childhood and my dad who was a climber, he then switched to walking and hiking. And we did this thing called letterboxing. So the cool kids nowadays are call it geocaching. But letterboxing is specific to this. Dart moor. And they used to put like lunch boxes and old ammunition boxes with a book inside and then a ink stamp. And you had an ink stamp. And you would leave your stamp in the book and the person and you would put their stamp in your book and you could go around and collect these 1000s of hidden boxes. And there was like an official book that had official ones that you could go and find. But then there was like unofficial ones that you just would come across. And some of them had like clues to go and find. So my dad got very obsessed with that. So any like any holiday any weather we would be out looking for stamps . And then when I went to uni, I didn't do anything I just in terms of the outdoors. I just wasted my university experience by studying.

Frankie Dewar  9:09  
I feel you who goes to uni to study. I look back at it now. And I'm like, What was that about? Yeah, I see what else is out getting it. And I was reading Yeah,

Victoria  9:20  
I literally didn't, I just I was like first, nothing first nothing and never did anything at university. Then after university, that's when I got into climbing. And I'm always was when I was a kid, I didn't really want to do any hiking or been outside in the rain or whatever I just wasn't, I wasn't up for it. Probably because my dad would like take us on these mega tracks in the fog where you couldn't see. But then when I was sort of after after finishing uni and I was in control of my own sort of actions outdoors. That was when I got back into it really like hiking more and climbing more.

Frankie Dewar  9:57  
I think that's good to know. Because like I bet there's a A lot of people that are coming to the end of their uni. And here we're thinking that like, Oh, no, I've just wasted this time. And now Yeah, I'm not gonna be able to get into anything. Yeah. And actually, for so many people, that's when 

Victoria  10:10  
Yeah, like, obviously, it's easier if you do it at university because you have the time and you have the people around you and stuff. But oh, god dont that, like, if you miss out at uni, that's it. You can't do anything, because I've got I know people who are like 35 and started climbing 35 and love it. So no, it's never too late. Never, never never.

Frankie Dewar  10:31  
And you said you're working at University at the moment? How does that work out with giving you time to get into the outdoors and work life balance?

Victoria  10:39  
Well, I'm quite lucky. I work four days a week. So it started off as a supposedly a 25 hour contract. And they upped it to 30 for the first two months. And then they liked me. So they kept me at 30 hours. And I organize my time so that I can take Friday's off the second half, like long weekends, and and I was a teacher. I used to be a teacher for after finishing uni until a few years ago and hated it. Because like you say the work life balance, especially for a while I was a freelance teacher free dance language teacher. And anytime we were at home, you had to prepairing work, and you weren't getting paid for that preparation time. And I was just like, No, no, no, I want a job where I go in, I come home, and I'd have to do any work. Like, my home time is my home time. And that's what I've got to do any work at home now. And it's not so stressful.

Frankie Dewar  11:38  
Amazing. Living the dream.

Victoria  11:40  
Yeah, living the admin dream.

Frankie Dewar  11:44  
And then lastly, just finishing off with the outdoors, like we've talked a little bit about climbing and walking, is there anything else you do 

Victoria  11:52  
I do do love yoga, I don't tend to do that outside, so I feel a bit pretentious. But I feel like that is a really good kind of grounding for the outdoor stuff. Because it it's like good balance in strength training and injury prevention for their climbing and hiking. And I guess the thing is that like all ties in with my photography as well, because I do a lot of photography. And so like the climbing and the hiking and the photography, they all forced me to go into places to do these things, which otherwise I would probably be a bit too scared to go and do. I just want to stay home watch TV. 

Frankie Dewar  12:32  
What Photography do you do  

Victoria  12:33  
to sound really pretentious. It's a street photography. It's like an imposed candid stuff. And like capturing scenes, and sort of travel reportage kind of stuff. The combination of doing that and wanting to go to places to take photographs and climb. It's basically dictated every holiday for like the last 10 years. And every country I've lived in stuff. Yeah. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  12:59  
How long have you photographin ... photographin .... photographing for?

Victoria  13:04  
I've been I've been "photographin". I've been "photographin" since since I was a kid again, because my dad was a photographer. And so I got an SLR camera when I was about eight years old. That was my granddad's old Russian camera. It was so heavy, that it was like it must be about kilos or something. It is just massive wreck of a camera. And, and I would learn from my dad and from books and stuff. Yeah, I'd say that's my other. My other passion is to i'm not i'm not an outdoor photographer in any way. Like, I don't do landscapes and stuff. But the two do go together like rest days, photography days.

Frankie Dewar  13:48  
And you write as well.

Victoria  13:49  
Yes, yeah. Yeah.

Frankie Dewar  13:51  
Tell me more about that.

Victoria  13:53  
Um, yeah, so I've written since forever. Like, if you if you look at any pictures of me as a kid, I've got a book in my hand and or pen and notebook. And I used to write like books of poems and just loved it. Like wrote really angsty love poetry at Sixth Form college. And then I started to do blogs to go with my travels. So first trip I did was a coast to coast across America. By Greyhound bus. Yeah,

Frankie Dewar  14:26  
how old are you when you did that?

Victoria  14:27  
I think I was like, 22 and never traveled before, abroad apart from friends and just said, right, I'm gonna do this trip. And the man in the travel agents didn't want to sell me the bus ticket. She was like, Oh, I don't think you should as a woman on your own. Now like, No, I'm fine. And at all, I pick up my mama. But for me, I was like, Oh, don't be silly. I'm fine. I don't think I realized like quite how amazing. What I was doing was until I spoke to Americans and they were like, Whoa, You're going across America by Greyhound bus by choice like, I, yeah, I had a lot of stories to tell from that one. And so I would write blog posts about that for my family. And then then every travels. So like when I lived abroad, I would do blog posts of that. And I have always written scrapbooks, which are more like diaries, from my grandma used to make us sit and do them every afternoon, after, after a day at the beach or whatever, we'd have to write our diaries. And I just find it really, I don't know, I like to have a record of what I've been doing. But also it just, it just comes really easily. For me, I think I'm really lucky. And then I wrote a couple of books that were just sort of, for me, like one about the coast coast in America and one about whether or not to have a baby. And then then I decided to write a book about mental health. And it's this time, I will try and get it published.

Frankie Dewar  16:01  
And I'm just gonna jump in to say that I've read it and it's incredible.

Victoria  16:04  
Thank you, Frankie. Just give me five pounds now.

Victoria  16:10  
That rustling here? Amazing.

Frankie Dewar  16:14  
You've talked a lot about like influences from your family. Good support? Great.

Victoria  16:19  
That's a tough question. We one of those families, which is, like, my parents, bless them have learned from their parents, which is a different generation different way of dealing with stuff. So it's not that they're not open. They're just, they're just not sure how to deal with stuff. For example, I didn't tell my dad that I had depression for a really long time, it just sort of just kind of came out one day, and he wasn't really sure what to do with it and just had to leave the table, at least the dinner table and go in. And I can totally like understand because he's, you know, he's a different generation to me. And he's learned from his parents who were much more sort of like, you just get on with things and you don't talk about them. But on the other hand, like, maybe we don't talk about stuff, but I know if there's anything wrong, or if there's if I needed anything, and know that they would all be there. And that just have to ask, but it's like trying to find the the way to ask. It's quite difficult for me still, because even though I know if I asked them for anything, not just like financially, like if I said, Oh, I need to move back home, or whatever the answer would be okay. And if I was abroad and having problems, they would be like, well, we'll fly and get you. You know, they are very supportive, but it's just accessing that support on either side is quite, it's still we're still learning how to do that, I think.

Frankie Dewar  17:46  
And if you could give advice to anyone that would be in a similar situation, it doesn't really know how to approach their parents or isn't finding the right way.

Victoria  17:55  
Well, just a self plug, you could give them a copy of my book, just some useful talking points. But no, seriously, I think you have to say what you need. And you have to tell people, because I think a lot of the time when people want to help but they don't know how. And you have to say like, this is what I need. Like, for example, if somebody like I stopped eating, when I'm depressed, it's quite a big thing. And then that just has massive, like impact on everything, because you don't have the energy and you don't have the immune system and stuff. But I couldn't I wouldn't be able to go into a supermarket and choose what to eat. Because that's too much effort. If somebody bought round food for me and cooked for me, I would have eaten it, because it wasn't that I wasn't hungry. It's just I didn't act and have the energy to do anything to make the decisions. So I would have loved like food on a regular basis, somebody bringing me food, or making like decisions for me, like not, not obviously not life decisions, but for example, calling up a doctor on my behalf to get an appointment or telling work that wasn't going to be in. And I know that sounds like kind of like childish, but I think that's one of the things that depression is it does, it does turn you on, you have to parent yourself because essentially you are a child inside and you have to parent it. And if you've got depression, you can't do that. So you need somebody to do it for you. And that is a really supportive action to just take care of somebody and not talk to them or ask them what's going on but just practical things that they won't have the energy to do.

Victoria  19:37  
That's really good.

Frankie Dewar  19:39  
And I think that's gonna resonate with a lot of people and then that's going to help a lot of people who maybe have friends or family members yeah aren't doing so well. Yeah, no

Frankie Dewar  19:47  

Victoria  19:48  
Yeah to do about it, like doing something for me like laundry wasn't a problem, but go man and getting somebody clean clothes or changing their bedding. You know, little things that you might not even realize. Yeah, then happy

Frankie Dewar  19:59  
huge impact. So how has your journey shaped who you are now?

Victoria  20:05  
Oh my god.

Victoria  20:09  
What a journey. And yeah, I have to say I was 36? No, not true. never remember that 3060 that just shows how an important ages once you get into 30, she's just like, I might be 34 might be 36 not sure. But I'm definitely 36 now. And from my 30s onwards, life has been so much better and so, so much changed. Like, when I think about how I was when I was your age, and I can't believe how different I am now and how different My life is. Because I never thought I never thought about living abroad, or I don't know, it's just, it's unbelievable. And I have more confidence now. And I know what I want, in terms of not in a global scheme of life, but on a day to day thing. I know what I want. So I can say yes or no. And being able to say no, I think is only started as in my 30s. And having the more self confidence, and I don't, I don't take as much shit as I used to know. And that's been really nice, because I stopped worrying about pleasing everybody as much. And I think I honestly think if you're not born with that, it just come with age, which is really nice. And then that has made me Yeah, you know, it means I can go after the things that I want, for example, like, going on a climbing holiday, rather than feeling like I've got to go on a family friendly trip with the family. Now I'll come home for a few days, and then I'll go do my own thing. And knowing how knowing what makes me happy. So knowing that climbing and hiking makes me happy. And that it's okay for me to go after it. And that has only come with time and confidence and a lot of therapy. But yeah. So it's not really, I don't really think it's like shaped. There's not like a linear journey. I mean, there is but we'd have to we'd pay for hours. But yeah, it's just sort of all come together with time and age and knowing what makes me happy and stuff.

Frankie Dewar  22:24  
And I've always felt like you've had like a clear path. And

Victoria  22:27  
never, never, never, never, never, never. You won't believe this. But when I was like 21 had a boyfriend and had him since I was 19. I didn't really like him that much anymore, to be honest, but didn't think I didn't think I could find anybody else. I thought nobody else is gonna love me. So um, I just got this guy. And the plan was to like, get pregnant after graduation. And that'd be it didn't have kids straightaway after graduation. And thank God that didn't happen. So now, since since leaving that relationship, there hasn't been a long term plan. There's been plans in terms of like, where we want to travel to, and things I want to go climb, but that's it. I don't have a life plan, which is always really good and quite frustrated in other ways. But yeah.

Frankie Dewar  23:14  
You mentioned a couple of times, kids and whether or not to have kids. I don't normally it's not sorry, something. Cuz you've written a book about it. Yes. Again, that Yeah. Well, what are your thoughts?

Victoria  23:25  
Oh, God. undecided, I have a I haven't list in my head of like an ongoing like checklist whenever I do anything, almost like could I do this the kid? How would this be with the kid? And the thing now? If I have them, then I'll have a nice one a nice life and everyone kind of life. And if I don't, I'll have enough different life and it'll still be nice. So I'm not like it's the be all and end all I've got to do it. But if it happens, it happens. But I'm looking at I've got like three nieces. So and I've got friends babies and stuff. But yeah, it's there's an ongoing struggle in my mind. Always. Always.

Frankie Dewar  24:08  
Thinking about your journey, your journey to get here. Anything in particular sort of held you back in.

Victoria  24:15  
Yeah, myself. My mental health not feeling like so my my sort of problems often manifested themselves in like a lack of self, not self confidence that like self worth, like what I was actually worth. So not feeling like I deserved anything. So I was doing a lot of stuff that I thought I should be doing. Not stuff that I thought I deserved. Like I didn't necessarily put my needs first and there's no reason why you don't deserve x and y. And I'm still learning that. But I think learning to lead to have self worth and that's come through therapy. So then in that has been really important and what was the question?

Frankie Dewar  25:00  
There's anything that's held you back.

Victoria  25:01  
Yeah. So yeah, myself Yeah. And like not feeling like that. And also, also relationships, I guess I've never I've been in a lot, I've been in a few relationships. So I've had, like, you know, three long term relationships. And in each of those, I put myself second to what the person wanted. And that's dictated what country I lived in, and all this other kind of stuff. And I've always followed my partners. And now I'm looking for a more like, collaborative relationship where I don't automatically and it's not necessarily the fault of the partner that I automatically put them first. But now I'm ready to be more like in a collaborative relationship where we decide together and I, I don't automatically think that my needs come second. And I think that would be really, that'd be interesting to see where that goes.

Victoria  25:55  

Frankie Dewar  25:57  
What is the one thing that you know about yourself now that you wish you'd known earlier?

Victoria  26:05  
I wish I'd known and this is gonna sound really self involved. I wish I'd known how likable I was. So I spent a lot of time feeling like, people don't like me, although I'm people are just friends with me out of pity or because I'm there or they like boys who've been interested in me, it's because I'm the only single one in the village. And because I'm that that's been like, my mantra is that, oh, it's because I'm there. But now actually, I think I'm starting to sort of appreciate that people do like me. And I have qualities that are really nice. They I'm kind and funny and interesting to be around. And I would never have said that to myself. about myself two years ago, I would have been too, I wouldn't be able to say it. But now after really working hard on it. I can say like, people like me.

Victoria  27:10  
And I've got

Frankie Dewar  27:11  
one more question about your journey, and then we'll move on to the next section.

Frankie Dewar  27:15  
And I was just gonna say please feel free to move if you need to. But obviously, when you're talking, please try to not me. Yes, sometimes.

Victoria  27:23  
I've been trying to have a jacket off in preparation. I'm still now I'm ready.

Frankie Dewar  27:27  
I fell I move. And then as soon as I asked a question, I'm like, looking at me like she's serious. She's

Frankie Dewar  27:34  
just gonna not move.

Victoria  27:37  

Frankie Dewar  27:40  
you lived quite an interesting life traveling, moving to different. Did you ever felt like you've been going against the grain?

Victoria  27:46  
Oh, my God. Yes. Like? So originally in a classic example of my answer the previous question. And I was crying at the gym, and I met this guy. And he was moving to career in three weeks time. Sorry, that's my niece crying if you can hear that.

Victoria  28:10  

Victoria  28:14  
And so yeah, I met this guy at the bouldering. Wall. And he said, I'll move into career in three weeks. Oh, cool. Yeah. Okay, that's great. Because I don't want a relationship right now. And I can just like, hang out with him. And then he's gone in three weeks time. And in those three weeks, he convinced me to go to Korea. So I said, I'll go to Korea for six months, ended up going there for like, almost four years. Yeah. And I think my parents were when I said, don't go to Korea, it just it literally came out of nowhere. They were like, wow. And I think my parents would really like it if I got married and had a house. And so because that's their not their benchmarks of success, but also like that benchmarks of happiness as well. But they also know that that's not the only that's not actually a benchmark of success or happiness. It's, so they're kind of learning how to reevaluate as much as me and that I don't have those. And I think that's really hard. Like, you don't have a benchmark of success. If you haven't got a house and you haven't got married, we haven't got kids. How do you know that you're on the right life track? And that's really hard. And the other thing that I think makes it really hard is that my people say to you like, Well, you've chosen this life. Like, for example, I don't have any pension payments, because I've lived abroad in countries where they don't pay your pension to the UK. And I've not paid UK pension. So I've not really worked there. So I don't have any pension right now, or savings or anything. And people will then say, like my family, well, that's your choice. You've chosen that. And it's like, well, yeah, have chosen it. But that doesn't mean that I'm not allowed to find difficulties with this life. Like always, for example, saying Well, I don't own a home. Well, you chose that Yeah, but it still be nice to have a permanent base or something like, you know, somewhere where I can hang up my skis or whatever. So, it the main difficulties for me is like, when I expressed a difficulty not getting the, the understanding because people say, well, it's your choice. It's like actually I just want someone to think yeah, that sucks.

Victoria  30:26  
I can see why that's hard.

Victoria  30:29  
Oh, I just stopped talking to them.

Frankie Dewar  30:33  
Choose the people that you go to? Yeah.

Victoria  30:35  
No, I am. Well, wanna I just made jokes about it? It's awful. I make jokes like about oh, well, I have to die before I might, you know, have to die for I'm 67 got a pension. Or, like, you know, joking about marrying a rich partner or something like that. And I guess I can you express it in a really cool way. But you're always talking about like future Frankie's? Probably. Maybe I don't put a label on it. But I think I do the same thing as future Vicky's. Right. I'm

Frankie Dewar  31:06  
not gonna lie to you. I see myself in my 60s with like, no pension. No, they're just leave it in the little council flat. Downstairs cancel flat. There's like drug deals every

Frankie Dewar  31:19  
now and then there's a bit of drama. And I come out and they're like, oh, nanny, Frankie.

Unknown Speaker  31:29  
Frankie, can you hide it?

Victoria  31:39  
Yeah, yeah. And a strange sort of smell coming from the, the mixture of like herbal tea and caffeine. And old lady perfume? Yeah, no, some people say, like, Oh, well, that's why you've got to have a kid to look after you in your old age. I think that's a terrible idea to have a kid. So I'm also hoping that one of my three nieces will, you know, I'll be the great aunt, who will they'll look after me.

Frankie Dewar  32:11  
After a while now.

Frankie Dewar  32:14  
And say just to give you a bit of a heads up about where the interviews go in, I've sort of got a section that talks a little bit about emotion, then one that particularly talks about women, and then a couple of questions, just about like advice to you. Okay.

Frankie Dewar  32:27  
Yeah. And then we wrap up. So,

Frankie Dewar  32:30  
starting with your authentic self, okay.

Victoria  32:33  

Frankie Dewar  32:34  
what does your authentic self mean to you?

Victoria  32:38  
Oh, um, I think a lot of it comes back to what I was saying earlier about, knowing what your what you want, and what your worth is not not I don't mean your worth, like financially or like, even emotionally or spiritually, just like, your worth, as in, you're worthy of doing so to make you happy, like, but I think that is, that is what you would say is your authentic self coming out and saying and doing the stuff that you maybe wouldn't have done. Before they are like, like, you know, I've had some I've had some boys boyfriends say some really horrible stuff to me in the past. And I've put up with it, and I stayed with them. And then when I tell people what these guys have said, they're like, Oh, my God, but that was, you know, me thinking, Oh, that's what I deserve. And now I realize, like, actually, you don't have to put up with that you can say, Excuse me. dickered. Very nice feelings. And so, to me being not being like my authentic self is doing and saying things that make me happy. And not feeling guilty about it. Not feeling like I should be doing this. And I should be doing this for somebody else I can. What makes me happy doesn't necessarily make other people unhappy. It might frustrate them. I mean, it frustrates the hell out of my family and stuff when they asked me what I'm doing, and I can't tell them. But I think they understand that that's just as he Wow. Yeah.

Frankie Dewar  34:16  
Do you feel like you're living as your authentic self now?

Victoria  34:18  
He Yes. Pretty much. Yeah. Yeah. Elena, like the last two years. So I was in hospital for a while with depression. And before that, things were really bad. And since leaving the hospital, which was about 19 months now, and I really feel like in these 19 months, I feel like finally I'm living the life that I've wanted to live for all these years, and I didn't know how to get it. I didn't know how to do it. And now I do. And it's been really like, I've got a little scrapbook of 2019 and it's just like, it's just, it's amazing. It's so full. It's It's literally overflowing with like happy memories and stuff that I've done that I've wanted to do. And yeah, I really feel like I'm where I am. where I want to be right now doing the stuff I want to do in a way I want to do it. So yeah. Give me Give

Victoria  35:14  
me my eyes What?

Frankie Dewar  35:18  
What does bravery mean to you?

Victoria  35:20  
Hmm. I think being brave depends on what scares you. So like, being brave to me, it's not. I think a lot of people think that you if you're brave if you do something, and it doesn't scare you. And I think that's bullshit. Like, I think you're brave if you do it. It doesn't matter if you're scared, like being brave does not equal not being scared. So like, climbing something that's a bit scary, but doing it anyway, that's really brave. Even if you cry, and you might have a wobble and something. That's okay, that's still brave. And like, doing, like building a camper van when you've never picked up a power tool before, which is what I did. Like, that's brave, and setting off for not knowing where you're going is brave. I think that's like, that's one form of it is actually doing stuff that scares you. But I think being brave is also not doing stuff. Like saying, No, I don't want to do that. Like, no, I don't want to work in this job anymore. Because it's making me really unhappy. And it's not worth it. Or no, actually, I love you guys, but don't want to come home for Christmas. I want to go on a skiing holiday because I need some peace and quiet. And the Christmas is just too chaotic for me at home. Because it's like 20 of you and you're all lovely, loud people. I think that's brave as well. It's not just doing something sort of not doing something. Yeah. And I also, there's not this, like the value the worth of bravery isn't based on the completion either. Like say if you say, I'm going to cycle around the UK, and then it turns out that you're not enjoying it or something goes wrong, and you have to stop. That doesn't diminish the bravery. That's still a really brave act. So yeah.

Frankie Dewar  37:10  
Thank you if anything happens, I can just be listening to that. Does it diminish the act?

Victoria  37:19  
Yeah. And however big or small it is, you know?

Frankie Dewar  37:22  
Would you describe yourself as brave now?

Victoria  37:24  
Yeah, yeah, definitely. I think I'm insanely brave. Actually. Yeah, I'm, I'm moved to places I've never even visited three times. I've moved to different countries as a built conference that afternoon I was going and I meet people online, like Facebook groups, and I go climb with them. And people think I'm nuts. And I think no, brave.

Frankie Dewar  37:50  
What do you think happiness feels like

Victoria  37:53  
a cup of tea.

Victoria  37:58  
And I think happiness is little moments. I don't think there's a big, anybody who sees happiness as being a big moment is not gonna be happy. Like, happiness comes from smaller things that accumulate. So obviously, you can tell it in a lot of Mindfulness Therapy, but like, sitting in the morning with a cup of tea, and a biscuit in my camper van, it just makes me so happy. Just Yeah, like that feeling. After you've done a really nice like yoga workout and your or brilliant climb, and you get to the top and you come down, you're like, yes, that's happiness, just like it's like a warm glow.

Frankie Dewar  38:42  
Wait a minute, this is slightly easier. So why don't you read it for that? test? What perceptions? Do

Frankie Dewar  38:53  
you think there are of women? And do you think they match up to your reality?

Victoria  38:58  
I think people have all different kinds of perceptions of women. And I think it's changing right before our eyes in a good way in a really good way. But for example, like my grandparents have all now passed away. But I was looking, I had one set of grandparents who was really modern. And my grandmother went back to work and, and did whatever she wanted and was very, like quite different sort of.

Frankie Dewar  39:27  
That's all right.

Victoria  39:30  
And so my grandmother was quite ahead of time, in many ways. And in terms of what women did, and I think that's been passed down so that my there was never any question of like, in my family of girls can't do this. girls can't do that. But in the wider scope of things, I've encountered people with outdated ideas and people think women should do you know, like, the nice what what I've noticed recently is taking up space is actually physical space, how much space you're allowed to take up. And I am making a conscious effort to like take up more space, like sit with my shoulders back, and my body more open and taking up physical space. Whereas before I used to be all, like, closed in on myself. And you know, you're supposed to sit like a lady was sitting like a lady means taking up as little space as possible. And I want to say to like, if anybody ever tells my nieces to sit like, Girl, I'm going like, no, there's no sitting like ago, you sit however you want to take up space, and take up space, in conversations. And in you know, like meal times, take up space. And don't wait, don't hold back. Just Yeah. So think that's and that's becoming more acceptable as I'm looking at it. Now. That concept of women's womanhood and femininity and all this other things changing for the positive, and so very succinct answer but yeah, and I haven't counted like sexism negatively, but not, I've been really, really lucky because I've been surrounded by I mean, there's there's one boy in my heart, and I'm three generations in my family. So, and we all like molded from this Grandma, who was really sort of she took up space. She never felt like a lady. Yeah.

Frankie Dewar  41:18  
And do you see yourself represented in outdoors media? So whether that's clothing and that shows films?

Victoria  41:27  
Yeah, I do. Because I'm a white woman. I'm a size eight. I'm tall. I'm a Fletcher I've got the athletic bills in inverted commas. So yeah, I'm everywhere. And the only difference is I've got brown hair, and they all have blonde hair. And, and they have like beautiful wavy hair with makeup on. And I just say, messy bun all the way. Oh, pigtails. Like, why do these women never have pigtails? who climbs with like, their hair wafting out behind them to the helmet like, so yeah. And it drives me up the wall. Like, when I were young, you didn't have women on the front covers of climbing books, right of climbing guides. And now every new edition that comes out, has a woman on the front cover pretty much everyone like every new guidebook, every new edition has a female instead. And, and to me that is not about representation. That is, Oh, we've got a sexy lady climbing, like, it's gonna sell more books and having a sexy guy climbing. I don't think that's what editors do is representation because if it was to do representation, they would be families, black people of color, you know, more different builds, because you don't need to be athletic to be a climber. It's and people get so put off by that, like, I just met somebody the other day. And he's like, the same height as me. Same bill as me. So I'm not, I'm not built to be a climber. I was like, Yes, you are. There is no, there is no built to be a climber. And it so drives me mad. That that yes, I am represented, and that I am the only kind of female that's represented. But that's changing, but not fast enough. Yeah,

Frankie Dewar  43:15  
that's a really interesting answer. Because a lot of people, even if they are very athletic shaped, or if they are the shape that is represented, there's always been something where they're like, but actually, that doesn't represent me. Yeah. Because and you know, whatever it is, yeah, there is this, like one mold of person. And the majority people, as you say, whether it's like skin color, or clothing or style, or sexuality, like, yes, or build.

Victoria  43:45  
Yeah, I mean age. Yeah, I think I do think there's like, prettier like, they're I think they're obviously prettier than me, but I can't do anything about that.

Frankie Dewar  43:57  
I mean, I presume they all have professional makeup.

Victoria  44:02  
And I'm trying not to therapy time I try not to. Like, I don't know that somebody might be looking at me and saying, Oh, I wish I look like hair. And I wish I was just Perseus, Vicki. Oh, I don't know, somebody might say that about me. So I'm trying not to compare myself to other climbing women. That in terms of appearance, so yeah. But yeah, it's it's frustratingly. What's the opposite of diverse on diverse or in diverse? Non diverse? Yeah.

Frankie Dewar  44:36  
And do you have any female role models? Who are they?

Victoria  44:41  
I know a lot of people in the climbing world have. There are a lot of climbing women who are their role models, but not for me. Because I look at them. And I still can't switch off the bit of my brain that saying, they're better than me and they're way better than I'm never going to be like Like that I'm never gonna have that six pack or climate 70 or whatever. So I don't I don't like follow climbers on Instagram because it just makes me feel a bit crap about myself. And it shouldn't because they're in a different league. But it's, I'm not at that point yet where I can do it without the issues. But do I have a net? This isn't a great answer. I have people who are don't want to be like,

Frankie Dewar  45:28  
okay, and she said, and

Victoria  45:31  
there's not like one particular person, but I look at somebody and I'll say I don't want to be like that person. And it's just a sort of reminder to stick to my guns and stick to you. Yeah. And like, I don't want to be obsessing about food. To get that like perfect physique, very lean, like washboard physique, where there's just no, there's only muscle. If I wanted to do that, I'd have to work really hard and obsess about food a lot. And I don't want to be that version of myself. I'd rather be more relaxed and eat what I want and happier. And okay, that means that I'm not going to look the way I want to, but that's not as important as happiness. Yeah, yeah. So and sometimes the person who I don't want to be is actually myself, I don't mean I don't want to be Vicki. I mean, I don't want to be Vicki from past Vicki, or a hypothetical version of myself that I know I can very easily turn into. So like a depressed person who's not eating or is like worrying about stuff and is is unhappy, I don't want to be that person, unfortunately, like, I can use my past version of myself as a role model of what not to do to like, remind myself of what I can do. And it says, it sounds really negative, it's actually quite a positive thing I can look at, say, look at how far you've come from this version of yourself to now. And if you keep going, you know that it's gonna keep being maintained, rather than slipping back into that older, pre hospital version. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  47:05  
Really beats for answer.

Frankie Dewar  47:09  
And what advice would you give to your younger self?

Victoria  47:14  
At ditch that boyfriend faster than you did? ditch him. And then you'll realize that there's more hot guys at uni who are actually interested you and your life would be completely different? No, I would honestly, I would say to my former self, I wish I could have gone to therapy sooner and stuck with it, because I did go to therapy in my 20s and stuff. But I just did just enough to keep me going. So just enough to like, get through the crisis, and then never dealt with, like the underlying stuff that was making it in the first place. And so then for it happened, again, a few there'll be like a five years of beer. Okay. And then. So I wish I'd gone to therapy earlier and for longer, but I wouldn't like that wouldn't necessarily cause it as changing my life, but it would change me and make me happier sooner. But then I think, you know, it only worked so well, this time because of the situation. So maybe if I had gone earlier, it wouldn't have worked out. So these things happen at the right time, I

Frankie Dewar  48:17  
think. Yeah. You never know. Yeah.

Victoria  48:20  

Frankie Dewar  48:22  
Sorry. Is there anything that you thought I would ask you that haven't asked?

Victoria  48:26  
What's my favorite sandwich?

Frankie Dewar  48:32  
favorite sandwich?

Victoria  48:34  
cheese salad. Right now. Salad cheese with salad. Okay,

Frankie Dewar  48:38  
I thought that was like a cheese salad somewhere. And I was like,

Victoria  48:42  
Oh, my salad. Is that like nice cheddar cheese on a wholemeal bread? with lettuce and salad. Tomatoes. putrescine. Oh, yeah. Yeah, that's my favorite sandwich. And you.

Frankie Dewar  48:56  
I quite like a crisp sandwich. Oh,

Victoria  48:58  
my God. sandwiches and people think I'm so weird. I went out with a French guy recently. And I told him about Chris's sandwich. And he was like, are you? Are you crazy? What is this crisp sandwich?

Frankie Dewar  49:12  
The French people don't even like crisps. Yeah, I think that's because there's like only one flavor of crisps in France. It's like, yeah, nice. Yeah. Which is the barbecue flavor and black packet just for anybody who's all the rest are kind of just like really greasy or big. tastes a little bit like style, Chris.

Victoria  49:29  
Yeah. And I love Chris so much is when I went to America on that. That trip a long, long time ago, I had a Chris savage in America. And this guy was like, Oh my God. That is the most amazing thing is this like British cuisine. And I like to think of him now. Like 20 years later, still took it into a crisp summer job. Saying this British girl once taught me this.

Frankie Dewar  49:56  
Next, every single next British person you meet, they'll be like, I'll cook you

Victoria  50:02  
Got use of authentic British food? Yeah.

Frankie Dewar  50:10  
And and when I

Frankie Dewar  50:13  
edit this up and are like plugging your handles and stuff.

Frankie Dewar  50:16  
Is there anything you want to plug in particular?

Victoria  50:20  
Not right now. No, I'm cool. Yeah. Follow me on Instagram lives. I trust you. My Media career.

Unknown Speaker  50:28  
Awesome. Perfect. Thank you so much. Thank

Victoria  50:30  
you for having me.

Frankie Dewar  50:31  
Say, I think we I think we've got it. Oh,

Victoria  50:35  

Frankie Dewar  50:41  
You did amazing. Yeah, that was I gonna stop recording.

Victoria  50:44  
Thank you

Frankie Dewar  50:49  
What a phenomenal conversation that was. We talk a fair amount about depression in this episode. And I just wanted to say that if you're going through anything right now, then I would 100% recommend reaching out. And I'll also pop some links to resources that might help you initially next, concluding mind anchor. I really love Vicki's words of support. And please feel free to share this episode with anyone who you think might need it. I'll be back next week on Monday with a new episode. Next time, I'll be talking to Katherine, who's also known as Mommy's going hiking. We have a lot of love. Talk about the bravery of nurses. Oh, true events, and why you shouldn't really eat baby food. I can't wait to see. Until next time, keep on being extraordinary.

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