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Frankie Dewar  0:00  
I'm here with Catherine. And it is the 24th of August. As you say, we are in Bristol, and it's day 10 of the trip.

Catherine  0:09  
Mm hmm. Hello,

Frankie Dewar  0:14  
and welcome to the extraordinary ordinary womxn podcast, sharing life's adventures. My name is Frankie. And this is a podcast around view, extraordinary ordinary womxn and non binary folk as part of a 3000 kilometer cycle around England, Wales and Scotland. interviewing people older than myself, to show that you don't just have to do it last year. You'll hear all about their adventures, and what they get up to, as well as their 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? This is Episode Six, where I chat to the incredible and hilarious Katherine in her house in Bristol. This episode was recorded on the same day as Episode Five. I left Victoria in wells, and psychos the beautiful way along the storyline to Bristol. If you're looking for a really beautiful place to get to, from Bristol on your bike, I can't recommend it enough. It's flat, gorgeous. And you get cycled through orchards along the way. I'll put a link to my commute route in the show notes. After saving my tastes craving, setting her awesome daughters up to play upstairs, myself and Catherine grabbed a coffee and had this very fun chat. I hope you enjoy it. And I always forget to ask this, but would you be happy to say your age?

Catherine  0:14  
I am 45.

Frankie Dewar  0:14  
So for somebody that doesn't know you, too, could you give us a bit of a snapshot of who you are what you do.

Catherine  0:14  
My name is Catherine. As I've said, and I am an I am a basically a pediatric nurse. I gave up work about 18 months ago to look after the kids and ended up heading towards my dream job of going in and doing my BA in fine art. And along the way, I've done various other bits and bobs a few ultra challenges and math couple marathons and things like that. So yeah, that's kind of where I come from these days.

Frankie Dewar  0:14  
Amazing. So I'll start with this at the Nursing and the professional side, as you started talking about that, I will come back and talk about the ultras.

Catherine  0:14  

Frankie Dewar  0:14  
as a nurse, what does your work life balance look like? Maybe as a parent? 

Catherine  0:14  
Yeah. So

Catherine  0:14  
it's a bit crazy, really, because I said to give up the nurse and about 18 months ago, and then I planned, I already plan to go back before COVID to try and pay my way through my degree a little bit. So yeah, COVID thrown massive curveball, and lots of a lot of things of ground to hole and parent head has been quite interesting. In this time, so anything that I did have planned, adventure wise has kind of gone under the completely in the last six months. But you know, I think it's just another challenge at the moment. So we've got to keep the plans going. And remember that actually, that trial is going to happen next year, or that walk is going to happen that next year or so. Yeah, it's been interesting, but because also I work in two different hospitals as well. And I'm a bank nurse now. So my shifts, I'm very lucky that I've been able to plan my shifts and get the work. But absolutely, yeah. It might not be the case. So that's been quite, quite good. And my husband he's been dealing with the children. Yeah. And how old are you judge? They are soon to be eight and just turned six. It's very energetic and very energetic, very bouncy, full of energy, and very demanding. And lovely.

Frankie Dewar  0:14  
And we talked a little bit about

Frankie Dewar  0:14  
how like how COVID is impacted your time and your kids the outdoors. Is that always been the case or free COVID with it?

Catherine  0:14  
Yeah, I think pre COVID I think I just picked different things. So you did I did have to pick more pre organized events so that I could just sort of turn up so an ultra challenge that was already organized, so that you could just say oh, I don't have to carry any food. I haven't got to do this. I haven't got to do that. And I don't even have to pack 10 I've just got paid money pays me money and turns up and Oh, I've not had time to train, not to worry on Route, and that kind of thing. So it was all a bit ad hoc before. But it was my way of just getting away and walking through the Cotswolds and having a chance to camp and meet other people say my latest plan is obviously to walk the coast to coast. And that was something I've wanted to do for about 20 years. But it always got pushed to the back because of the career because of the job because of, you know, just exhausted or haven't really got the money to put towards it. So. So yeah, I think now I'm just better at planning, I think, and organizing myself. So that's my time, I will go and do this race to that adventure, then. I think that's what parenthood banks you do become very busy, they say don't need it. They say if you want to get done quickly, or you want something to ask a busy person, because they will find time to do it. And I think that's kind of what happens in the end with adventure and parenting and childhood, and that kind of thing. That's my mom's favorite quote. And I always think about it whenever I'm really busy. And then someone else I'll see if I can do something. And it was just like, Yes, I can do it. I'll do it. Right. Yeah. Yeah. is the best way, isn't it? Because any Whelan, I think your expectations go down. Like I say, you know, I am worried now that actually I've lost a lot of fitness. It's locked down. Because I haven't been able to do the commuting, I have to drive now to commute so I can't, can't do the running or what if that was my that used to be my training time. So you're like, oh, man, I'm losing a lot of fitness. But at the same time, you then think, well, I'm gonna this will this will change. So I'll be able to work that in some other way. And yes, I have to turn up to my degree on the first day with my backpack on and go and have a shower somewhere that I've never been before an intern with to come out here and go Hello, it's me. On the first day, that's how it is that's you've just got bought out. Really? Yeah. That is true precedent. Yeah. Just gotta own own own the place on day one, and then you'll, you'll get through and can find a training time.

Frankie Dewar  0:14  
Can you tell me a little bit more about your ultras, they sound really interesting.

Catherine  0:14  
So I did the Cotswold way with action challenge. So I've done that. This is another thing where it ends up being timing, that has to do the same one three years in a row, which is a bit a bit bit boring after a while, but it's, it's timed well in the middle of it just before some holidays. So you're not encroaching onto them. And it's just in starting bath. So that sort of two days I've do i do that tend to do that over. And it's 100 K. So those quite good, I tend to walk them. I have tried to do 100 k in one go. But it always manages to be the hottest day of the year that they do them. So the one time I did try to drop out in the middle of night. And I think actually that's another thing that you learn as you get you get older and that actually, it doesn't matter. If you fail, you come back all the time. And even though you get cross with yourself, and you're like I can't, why can't I do this? Like, we haven't failed. It's only it's only one challenge. And you can do it again. And there's so many challenges that you have got over in life for that it's not worth getting too upset about. But it is the pushing itself. I think people who do these things like to push themselves. And that's why it gets irritating when you do fail. Yeah, that's a classic, isn't it? You learn from your failures. But I'd like to think I do but actually I've managed to do the same thing twice and get horribly dehydrated to two years on the first year I managed to bounce back from it so I could do what I was doing the whole way through that was like that was a no no. But

Frankie Dewar  9:02  
then they say their mistakes will keep lit up. same mistake.

Catherine  9:05  
Yeah. Just learn from it, learn from it, keep that but this second, one year, I was like wait, I'm not going to get dehydrated this year. And I just drank and drank, drank and then I just needed a we have free time, like all the time, and there's no way to go. Nowhere. When there's lots of people on these events, there's just nowhere to hide. The Bush is always, you know, not in the right place. So there's a fine line between needing to catheterized yourself and perhaps being dehydrated, but one day hopefully I'll get that right. Yeah, eventually.

Frankie Dewar  9:46  
What was it like doing it? The same one again and again.

Catherine  9:50  
I did think it would be boring but actually in a weird way it made it made it um the marks the year you see what I mean? It almost brought back the memories. I mean, I have done other stuff I did do the the first one the only time they did the Bristol two bath marathon, I did that. So I have kind of died. I do do other bits and bobs. Because I did that the year I turned 40. And Cora was just a year old because I was like, I'm, I'm fit. And 14, I want to show people that you can keep fit when you've just had a baby at any age. And I went through like, not too far past the bottom of my, near where I live. So you're like, Okay, it'd be rude not to. So I do do other other other things. But going back to your question, I quite enjoyed it, because in a way actually realize how much you've stored that route in your head. And knowing where you're going to go. It doesn't feel quite so far. And so you're like, right, I made it to this point last time I can make it again, I know where this is. I know. Okay, and so you can stomp on to the next bit without sudra I'm so tired. So yeah, for me, challenging yourself to do something quicker point of view, which is often one of my challenges ended up being because there isn't a challenge to to navigate your way across. Yeah, it's quite useful. Knowing the route, I'd like a different challenge because I am slowing down a bit because I have given up work. So actually, I don't get the commute training. I am slowing down you do get injured a little bit more. I'm 45 now you know, I don't want to slow down but I don't think I've got too many other projects going on for me to sort of keep focused on trying to get quicker or stay at the same speed. So you're like okay, well I'm gonna I want to do the same distances I'm just gonna have to do it slower and challenges that's what's learned to navigate Let's carry the weight let's do it slowly. But you know, do 10 miles a day instead of 60 miles in a day you know, it's a different challenge is it's as challenging but it's it's just different. Yeah, very different challenge.

Frankie Dewar  12:12  
And what does the outdoors mean to you

Catherine  12:17  
to go play head isn't it to go and perhaps a bit of peace and quiet and just the freedom as to some estimates I suppose it's a cliche but it's changed saying isn't it's just not having cars around you it's not having noise around you. It's not having or at least not having so angry loud noises around you is having pleasant sounds like running water or birds or, or even cattle you know, just it's just, it's just to be free and to get out and smells fresh. That's what it means to me.

Frankie Dewar  12:55  
Have you always done things in the outdoors that always been part of your life.

Catherine  13:00  
I always went camping every year. I used to go camping with the church there with the boys and girls Okay, mixed together. And it sounds really square but it's actually not as square as I was really happy square but it wasn't. And we used to go every year. I went up to the IRS. I just loved it. I loved having other people around and that sense having just had a lot of peace and freedom and getting away. This was being outdoors in a different way with other people who camp in we have camaraderie there is games and messing about and making friendships that last forever You know? So from that point of view get I've always sort of done things outdoors and have always daydreamed is a bit ridiculous but as a child I used to run manda manda garden pretending that I was doing under math and because and under math and probably started when I was about seven or eight. And I used to imagine I was running next to the car, going to work going to on holidays because I run I want to barely run the distance. 

Catherine  14:15  
So I think it's something I've always kind of wanted to do. I've always run or done half marathons here and there or little tank a or this Daniela was tried to get something on the back burner. I've always done something outdoors. I've done and I trekked across the worden track. We traveled across America after the camp America a long time ago. So that was kind of very outdoorsy. And I went with one of the girls I met there and we went right across from from LA to New York in the back of a van with six seven random strangers and tour guide. You know, the things you do with a rucksack is quite good fun putting up these weird tense. About beautiful places. Oh, yeah. Oh yeah, definitely. Definitely. I think the whitewater rafting was the best. With with all of us in this huge mountain and we call it dinghy, I think it will look like a dinghy with this chap at the back with his great big otter throwing down his massive rock rapids. And he's saying to us, Wow, you've all been around. Just know when you look back at the photos, because there were water there taken his professional photos from up on the rocks. There wasn't a single person around the only person that was around this man is Christie and we were trying to row at the front end. Of course, we were the ones who ended up this game and ended up just in the drink. Yeah, that was interesting. Christine, though I drowned underneath her. She came out crying.

Catherine  15:58  
Oh my god, you

Catherine  16:00  
thought you were dead. And I was just on the bottom of the boat. laughing like some hysterical, flapping wet fish couldn't even get out of the boat. I couldn't help them to get me out of bugs because I'm laughing. So that that's the kind of Yeah, I've always craved kind of doing outdoorsy things. A bit like that. And we climbed we have to be do while we were there. We can't half down. Man this other guy whose name I haven't seen him since but we best friends the 10 hours it took us to get to the top of Half Dome and back. Which Yeah, it was good fun. We got there. Late I was probably about 24 when I did that, and we got to the top and you need to use the thankfully they've got like fence wires. So you can pull yourself up at the top of the base your legs just dead. Because again, never do any training before actually, I think I had not long done the marathon and actually the london marathon and when we met so I had some something in my legs. So I've done a few crazy things over the years. 

Catherine  17:06  
Oh, yeah. And what else be done? Yeah, forget these. Kind of get old your brain just goes on air. Yeah. And so yeah, we did do three peaks challenge we try to do in 24 hours. Some friends of mine actually did manage it. The friends I was with they actually managed it but I started to feel quite ill. So when we got to Snowdonia, I did not feel very well. And I think it's good. Cool. Nice. I didn't go out that night. Oh my gosh, I was ill so often. After that week, I had to go back to my parents that you know when when those rescued by mom and dad jobs, and you're just Yeah, I was poorly sick with a bath of throat infections. That wasn't good. Yeah. Hold on. I haven't got your tonsils. But yeah, that kind of tonsillitis II type thing. So yeah. So that's something I've always regretted that I never managed to three peaks challenge I did did the to the time to do it. I did the mini three peaks challenge last year round here in Bristol. Amazing all around there. So that was quite good fun. But that's another one that I just don't get time to train supposedly 17 miles. Yeah, let's go run. That was the last time you run anything more than 10 in the mud. Okay. It was one of those events that absolutely rained and rained and rained my domain. And it's been really nice if you did in the summer. Do this in June. I'd love it. It is June. It's not October. It just feels like October. That was good. So yeah, I do. I do do bits and bobs. I do do bits and bobs here just this year hasn't.

Frankie Dewar  18:48  
I don't think it's happened for anyone. So I don't think you are the only one 

Frankie Dewar  18:52  
when you  are training wahat sort of training?  Do you usually use ?

Catherine  18:55  
to have you Yeah, what I used to do I either used to walk to work which was hours walk or run might half an hour or whether I did used to have a PT Actually, I was very lucky. After I had after Anna, Cara even second second, baby I decided because I am hopeless at doing any weights or anything like that, because I just get really bored. I think a lot of people do if you're kind of an activist, sort of like I want to be outside. Standing there lifting weights is just dull as. So I did end up with with my lovely PT Theresa, I had her for years, I just decided that but I don't drink I don't smoke. Don't do that. So I can pay for PT. And she actually became a good friend and we did do some of the challenges together in the end. And she was really useful. Training me up for the bristol to bath marathon and just getting fit again, as I say getting fit after you've had a baby. You do need somebody who can help you out with that. Because it is a totally different it's totally different and there are things you can't do. And I think you don't necessarily realize unless you've got someone expert telling you what what to exercise, exercise the How to exercise, speaking which and obviously, technique in exercise and getting it right and good form is always something a lot of people forget. And I just I'd started I've been going to rowing in indoor rowing. And we've taught classes. Yeah, you use muscles that you didnt know you had

Frankie Dewar  19:42  
find out very quickly.

Catherine  20:39  
Oh, this arms, my shoulders, and I wanted to get on the water. I did look at doing the course. But yeah, I couldn't do it. It was too many weekends in a row over Easter and it just wasn't going to be fair and my husband and so yeah, it was a shame. But my teacher for that Pru, she's lovely. Really professional, really, you know, helps everybody along no matter what your your ability, and whether you've been rowing before. So that was it was really good fun. There's only ever about the six of us in there at any one time and racing in. So lots of older men who'd obviously been in the in the Rowing Club for absolutely years. And they look like some Avalon one eight advert and you're sitting next to them, and you just find yourself racing, you're looking each other's like you can't help it. So I'm so I'm just so competitive. And you could tell they're trying to race me as well, because he wins. Well, I think we drew quite often I did, I did like walk, they were sweating. Now I came around for their money. Yeah, you've got to give them a little bit of a race, keep on toes.

Frankie Dewar  21:49  
And this when you walk in and run in and doing your arches, how much you walk in how much you run in, because it sounds like you do a bit of age.

Catherine  21:57  
If I did an ultra when I do an ultra I tend to walk or set out as a walker. But I walk quite fast and not a doodler. And I'd say that probably is because I've only got the weekend to do it. And I need to get back to the girls. So there is an element of I want to beat my time. Sometimes I break into a run just because just because and sometimes it's I do find it very I'm very. I find it quite hard just to walk somewhere. But when I've done road marathons Yeah, I try to run the hallway. And there's the 80 mile mark actually the Bristol two bath one that was stopped because it just saw this hill is absolutely horrific. You can't you can't see me doing the slant up to the ceiling with my hand. But yeah, it's visit terrific. And it goes on for about a mile and a half. And everyone just goes, Oh, we're all just stopped and the zombies just walking up this hill. Yeah, so I try to run hole of a hole. If I'm going to do a half marathon I want to run it or work out so I'm in it can run it all or nothing. I lose two toenails and stuff like that being said, when you have dead when you have done a decent amount of training and you can trust your legs. So they do a lot of things without doing any training when I have done a lot of training and you feel nice and fit at the start of a race. Especially when you can just think I've got nothing to do now. Except enjoy the ride. You just got to enjoy the ride just got to plod along, look at the scenery years ago, you've got nothing else to do. Music We want to that you have nothing else to worry about. By habit I teach you to learn your math. Just Just do it. Just there is nothing, nothing to worry about. And that's why I really enjoy about

Frankie Dewar  24:00  
but then when you've not done the training, is it Oh,

Catherine  24:03  
I think it's just different. You just have to take it into a different level and just go well, you know, it's gonna take longer.

Catherine  24:13  
It might just hurt a bit more.

Catherine  24:15  
But but it is again it is just Yeah. It's just a ride. You're there for the ride. Yeah, life is there for the ride. So just enjoy the atmosphere of whatever event you might have paid to get into. Like triathlons. I've done one I did one triathlon and absolutely loved it was a tiny short triathlon. It was like it wasn't even a sprint distance triathlon, it was just mini little newbies. But absolutely, I absolutely loved it. I was like, freezing the walk so cold. But it's do it because then you realize it's done that it's done. And it really gives you a sense of perspective of certain bad things. done in two seconds, stop worrying about this. I wrote about that in life in general. And I think that is one of the things when I did my, my, the London Marathon back way back way back when, and you have trained, trained and trained and trained with a running cup. And then you achieve that goal. And I think it sets you up for life in a way who achieving these little goals. It gives you that I can do that. So anything else I'm going to try and achieve in life in your job or in whatever feels a little bit easier to know.

Catherine  25:32  
Do you know what I mean? 

Frankie Dewar  25:33  
I know exactly what you mean. Yeah, absolutely. And then every time you come to the next hurdle, you then think, well, I did that hurdle. And I know that hurdle back there didn't ask forever. So let's try and dump this one. Yeah. And hope that this one doesn't last, right.

Catherine  25:50  
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And it all comes out in the wash. normally all comes out in the wash.

Frankie Dewar  26:02  
Sorry, I'm just like, checking I've not missed anything

Catherine  26:08  
that are like, oh, I've actually asked. So I was just thinking there was something else I was gonna say. And I've lost it. Yeah, cuz I haven't talked about the adventure queens because I don't know how much you want it to be about.

Frankie Dewar  26:19  
You get you can talk about whatever, whatever you like, in in any way that you like. Okay, so, yeah, do you want to tell me about your plans. Now?

Catherine  26:29  
I can do yeah. So the adventure queens thing came about for me, because, um, so last year, you know, you know, Anna Mcnuff

Frankie Dewar  26:39  

Catherine  26:40  
doing her barefoot run thing. And that was literally something I caught off on Facebook, and just went off and signed up, promptly forgotten about it until the day and I had noticed and I went out and did a 10 K. And then came home looked at my diamond Ah, supposed to be meeting this random pink haired woman. I've completely forgotten. And I've just done a run and I don't actually I that's not gonna work as it would childcare. So went down to see her off. And I decided to actually do quite quite good fun. I'd quite like to have a go at that. So I ended up running one of the sections with one of the marrison Madison sections with her a couple of weeks later. And was talking to sue Barrett one of their events Queen Mother. And she was trying to say, Oh, well, we do this grant. And I think you know, maybe ever go have a go entering. And I thought well, I don't know. I don't know. I don't think I can because the kids I don't know and but then actually it became my motto at the beginning of or some more towards the end of last year actually. You just got to go You just got put your hat in the ring and have a go at stuff in much say my site. It was my I do agree. Do you know what stop talking about it. Just have a go just apply. And yeah, ended up it came off like I got this one wonder places and I couldn't believe it really existed. Got to put my money where my mouth is now I'll have to do this. So yeah, I've got all the maps I've sat down I planned, planned out the first the first half, but yeah, it was really nice sitting there Finally, having started planning it way back when with a friend when I first started my nursing career, nearly 20 years 24 to finally sit down with a map to go I'm going to do this and I don't need anybody else with me to do this. I can do it on my own or what was I worried about? Why was I worried? I think that's the thing is that there's a difference between use and bit of age say actually, if you've got more confidence you care as I say I've as I've said already you care less about failing is just this just do it. Just do your long time dead so just do

Frankie Dewar  29:17  
maybe other people that don't really live what the coast to coast is can you tell us so yeah, it's

Catherine  29:24  
it's some way right when it's coast to coast. Can I get there? Yeah.

Catherine  29:31  
Yeah. My books of dreams. StB's  to Robin Hood's Bay, my my guide, which I've kind of hoped I wasn't going to follow too much but I think I kind of have in the end is gone. Oh, yes. Okay, there we go there but you kind of do they do 

Catherine  29:53  
but also.

Frankie Dewar  29:55  
Someone's pet a lot of time. Absolutely.

Frankie Dewar  29:57  
So there's probably not a better route than the one that theyve planned

Catherine  30:01  
Absolutely. So you're like, yes. Okay, you've done it, like 10 times. So I've Yeah, I have used this quite quite nicely. It will 13 stages. I can't remember how far it is now.

Frankie Dewar  30:15  
How far do you think you'll walk each day?

Catherine  30:17  
I think it's about 13 to 15 miles some days or longer. So more like 19 to 20. Yeah. And it really depends on whether I decide I'm going to wild camp or, or how to you know, stay in a state of nice b&b occasionally. But it depends. So I've got 14 and a half miles I've got here various different different length days got to change it all, which is quite annoying, because I had it all set out the plan something like this before. No, never actually nice, better plan my own, do it for myself. And they were I want to go and take the detours that I want to take not have to worry about me in somebody else's boss or somebody else's timetable or anything like that. So yeah, I can be as anal I can, I can plan it to an inch of my life and they're not following any of it, which is the great thing, really.

Frankie Dewar  31:25  
And so you're thinking of carrying all your own stuff.

Catherine  31:30  
I don't know that I'm gonna have a lot of choice. That's the other thing you see when you haven't when you've got when you and your support team are at home looking after their children. And there isn't really anybody else because the parents are my parents are obviously elderly Tim's parents are elderly. So they are not going to be like my dad used to come out with me when I was math and training years ago and he would just drive to each point and stop because we didn't eat enough Sat Nav on your wrist back in the day to start a brand we didn't even need to eat stuff. Maybe talked about nutrition when you when you did it when you train for matthan in a you just have water or squash or if you're lucky you didn't have like some fancy fizzy drink that you put together or little tablet of loveliness that you put in there in the water as you went round there was none of that so yeah, my dad just used to meet me and sent me the paper somewhere else so when you Yeah, there is no backup team because they will they're not available you've got to do it yourself and carry over here and stuff so I'm gonna have to learn to pack light which is interesting concept. Maybe to peasant cousin

Frankie Dewar  32:54  
What are you gonna do about food?

Catherine  32:56  
I don't know. So I have tried I decided to try and look at various different bits of food I did try to you know I tried actually once when I was training adopt and I did try baby fare This is when when Kira was tiny Don't use baby food Dont use baby food because it goes straight through you

Frankie Dewar  33:23  
Are you sure that it's not just running in general?

Catherine  33:26  
No I'm sure this was just baby food because I've never I've never had that issue before ever. I just went straight through me and I couldn't get past 30 miles without like I can't remember running past and you know when it's you know when it's dark and and you can get the lights on in the house and you can see in I'm running down the street looking in these houses going who looks nice it looks nice you can just

Catherine  33:55  
please be nice people

Catherine  34:00  
random sweaty lady just digging on the bell because there's nowhere to hide. So yeah don't use baby food it's not recommend

Frankie Dewar  34:12  
I really didn't expect that we would be going there 

Catherine  34:17  
I go all over the place

Frankie Dewar  34:21  
at least we know you're not taking baby food 

Frankie Dewar  34:23  
no not doing that but I don't know is the answer that I've just got to see how much weight I've got left I did check out the reason I got on to baby foods because I had checked out some some brands that are packed a bit like baby food so I was thinking that might be a bad idea but it's more it's more set up for the adult digestion might be a bit more friendly.

Frankie Dewar  34:46  
Maybe test the Yeah.

Catherine  34:49  
Before I go Yeah, cuz I don't want to be having issues. But yeah, I will do some campout food and cook my own bits and both bikes. Imagine would be terribly, terribly posh and eat in in the towns as I go.

Frankie Dewar  35:07  
Maybe I've been having pub lunches every day, 

Catherine  35:09  
I don't blame

Unknown Speaker  35:10  
you either. Yeah, that will probably be what happens. I'll have a good pub lunch.

Frankie Dewar  35:19  
I've been having a huge treat give bagger, and then I've been shoving chips into

Frankie Dewar  35:23  
sandwich. bags 

Frankie Dewar  35:25  
My snack later on or this morning it was breakfast I had a portion of chips and 2 cold roast potatos

Catherine  35:34  
nutricious! .

Catherine  35:38  
So you're gonna be hungrier than you. Yeah, you need a bit more than toast later. But yeah, so I will probably do that in various places on the way. And I might just throw the tin of beans in the back of the back of their rucksack. Let's see how we get on sweets. Live on Haribo.

Frankie Dewar  36:05  
I'm obsessed with banana chips. Yeah,

Frankie Dewar  36:08  

Frankie Dewar  36:09  
fit into my cycling jersey. So I just like shove them down there, I

Catherine  36:14  
help myself on the way. Nice. Yeah, that's the kind that's the kind of thing the bitty bit you just want to beat in loads of weirdness. weird stuff, like some of these orchards that I've done a U turn up. And it's like a sweet shop when you get there. And you just think God, actually I feel sick. Now I've eaten so much complete rubbish. Just stop eating that just because it's there, stop eating it, that would be quite a challenge, actually, just not to have the random freddo that's knocking about

Frankie Dewar  36:46  
The Emergency one. 

Frankie Dewar  36:50  
So with my questions, I've kind of

Frankie Dewar  36:52  
got some sort of about your journey in your life up to here.

Frankie Dewar  36:56  
And then I've got a section where I sort of talk about emotions a little bit. Yeah. And then there's kind of like a final section, which is about perceptions of women, and then advice am yourself kinda. So

Frankie Dewar  37:09  
if you're happy, I get to like, jump into the journey 

Frankie Dewar  37:12  
section. And so how do you think your journey has shaped who you are now?

Catherine  37:18  
I think actually, there's, the core of you is always there, and will always be there from childhood. And perhaps, it sounds corny, but I think childhood really does shape you. But then you set yourself challenges. And if you are the sort of person who's going to set yourself challenge, you're gonna keep doing that. And I think, you know, I've had my moments with mental health issues and, and depression and such like, and what have you. And I think all of those situations, make you make you turn around in your fight a bit more, a bit harder for what you want, and where you want to be. I've never envisaged as a as a teenager that I would end up as an akuna. As I would have thought that was somebody else's job. That would be something someone else would do, because it seems too complicated. But again, you run the marathon, you do the blue, set that challenge for yourself. And then eventually, okay, I will do that, then I am going to push I am going to push and do something that I really want to do. So I think I think my journey probably has, I think you're all shaped by your journey. You can't help but be shaped but by your journey by I think it just smooths the edges off the name as you go along. Bit blown around, bit battered, but more More, more determined.

Frankie Dewar  38:45  
And do you feel like you've always had a clear path

Frankie Dewar  38:49  
through live have you sort of

Frankie Dewar  38:50  
have known where you're going?

Catherine  38:52  
Yes. And no, I think probably when I left school when I was in school, because I started off. I did an hnd in product design, actually. And I ended up not doing it because because at the time it was a lot more male orientated. So there was only about four or five girls in the class of 45. And computers were just coming in our tooth didn't really know what to do with them. They they couldn't teach us how to use those. It was just like, yeah, this is what the course is set, go and play. Okay. So yeah, so interestingly, I probably I I didn't go into that because I didn't have the confidence because didn't feel like it I you know, it's a woman's job and I wasn't good enough and and the other thing I'd always wanted to be was a nurse and so I ended up coming out of my chindi going and doing a little job. In the meantime, I worked in adventure playground. And I was deputy manager there for about a year and I wrote about the bits and bobs. And eventually what I found was the jobs that I wanted to do, I needed to be a nurse. So like health visiting school nursing or stuff like that you had to do the nurse basic nurse training. And I always thought that it's either gonna be an artist or a nurse. So I think as I say that you're the core of you is always there. And if you look back at essays that you may have written a long time ago, even though you might cringe at the way you've said things even if you might go, Oh, God, God can't do that. You can't like why would you say that? The main, the main part of you is still in there, you still have the same beliefs. Yeah. So I went and did the product. I when did the nursing? And that was something that I wasn't really sure about? Or do I really want to be a nurse, I really want to nurse that for me, obviously, because I went to church, though my whole sort of thing was well, okay, it was a bit more Oh, God, okay, if you want to be a nurse, but you better get me through this. And I will get through this, but you better get me through. So I felt that there was always someone, you've got my back to get me through my nurse training, and then go on, push to be something I've never thought I was gonna be. So I ended up doing 10 years of clinical research. I didn't think I was academically, you know, I'm not. I'm not I wasn't that academic at school. You I would never have thought I'd be working on vaccine studies and the delivery side, not the right and the protocols, and if that's the intelligent, like really intelligent doctory people, scientists, but you know, I didn't think that was gonna be where I'd end up. So it's, I feel like I've done all that. And it's like, you know, what, I think I've earned my art degree. I kind of, you know, people say to me, Well, are you throwing 30 grand down the pan? And I well know, because if I, if you said to me, do you want to win the lottery? What would you do? If you won the lottery? I'd go and do an art agree. I might, that's my first first thing I'd say I'd go and do. And in that case, why don't you do the art degree? Because you're going to be skint anyway. So why not just carry on being skint and do wh at you want to do to see what I mean? Like I can get, I can get a bit of a loan to help me out. And I feel like yeah, I feel like I've come full circle. And I've, I've kind of earned my way into that to do so I want to do now, and to use those experiences, to influence what I do in my art career. And so excited, actually, hopefully, be good fun. And hopefully, it'll come out as a useful thing to do. Whether it be art therapy, I end up doing or, and all the other physical experiences or the hiking up and down mountains, or ending up in the tents in the john ambulance tent, half dying of dehydration, that they're all experiences that make you go on, you know, survive that, like you say, so I suppose that's fine. We can carry on and do that again. I've got all 10 toenails again now. Yeah, that's fine.

Frankie Dewar  43:09  
It'l be so exciting for you to go into that art degree. haven't already had all that learning Yeah,

Catherine  43:19  
yeah. It really gives you a different perspective, because you just sort of remember going into university when you were, like, 18/19, and it's all and everything's scary, cuz you're, you're learning how to live in a house on your own like with other people. So that takes away from the concentration of the learning, learning, like the actual doing of the course. So it's kind of that's not almost not the important bit, but once it gets to like, that's now just my job. That's my everyday and I'm so used to doing these things now that I can probably juggle the degree around the children and this and that, and it's just called Bly and getting on with it. You know, it'll be interesting to what the younger generations until then, because I need to realize quite how, how old you've got until you sit next to people who are like 20. And if you think I don't know what you're talking about. Stop just like your paradigm. We're talking about what you do now. What do you what do you mean, I don't even know what you mean. Sorry, it's gonna head so it'd be nice to sort of find out what they're about and, and yeah, and just see what lies going on for them.

Frankie Dewar  44:37  
What a cool thing to show your children as well. Like, I bet they're gonna love watching you and

Catherine  44:46  
they'll be like taking the Mick they take the mick so much. 

Frankie Dewar  44:51  
And what's one thing that you know about yourself now that you wish you'd known earlier,

Catherine  44:59  
stronger You think you're not stupid? So there's two things.

Frankie Dewar  45:08  
Or three if you like.

Catherine  45:11  
Yeah. And I think you, I think you worry about what you look like, too much when you're in your 20s. you can't help it. We all do it. Stop it Stop, it doesn't matter, you look better than you think you do is probably what I'd say to most youngsters, anybody, anybody under the age of 35. Shut up, you look better than what you think you do.

Frankie Dewar  45:37  
Just wait five years

Catherine  45:39  
to wait five years

Catherine  45:46  
is that every time you know, you got another five years you look back and you go. Actually, it wasn't that. I wasn't that fat. What was about about everybody says it. But boy, why to be so obsessed. I might say to my Yeah, I've already told my kids don't mess with your eyebrows, just leave. That's my beauty tip to my children just leave your eyebrows.

Frankie Dewar  46:15  
I wanted to you about authenticity and your authentic self.

Frankie Dewar  46:19  
So certainly for years, every year I get older, I feel like I'm able to become a little bit truer to who I am. And I look back and I'm like, Ah,

Catherine  46:31  

Frankie Dewar  46:32  
What is your authentic self mean to you?

Catherine  46:36  
I don't know. It's hard actually. Because part of what you do when you're a nurse actually, is to not really ever reveal your authentic self. That makes sense. Because you spend a lot of your time not being able to show you're angry to particular patients. Not being able to show your emotions in certain situations because you've got remain calm or not being able to say actually your authentic self, how can I probably an introverted extrovert, actually is is who I really am. If you think if I think it's I'm quite happy to go out and be quite loud. I'll do karaoke. You know, actually, I'm supposed to be doing life drawing modeling for the first time soon in a couple of weeks. And I was meant to be doing that before lockdown up something else that came up the RP happening you've always thought abaco do that. So from that point of view, things like that just don't bother me are probably quite a confident person. A lot of other people would agree but actually a lot man company.

Frankie Dewar  47:49  
What do you think bravery is?

Catherine  47:53  
I think it's facing your fear. Really? And having a good having a go at something even though even though possibly frightens you a bit? Or you know, he there's I suppose there's different types of bravery in different types of situations. The the bravery that you might come from, okay, I'm going to jump in the road to save that child from being wave or what have you. We might call that brave, or is that instinct? to note depends. But I think it's it's Yeah, face facing your fear and just overcoming what is difficult for you. Not what's difficult for somebody else, but what's difficult for you. And doesn't mean you have to, if if if being brave for you is walking three miles or two miles or a mile and that's on your own, or catching a bus on your home, then that's brave, doesn't have anything big. You know,

Frankie Dewar  49:04  
would you described yourself as brave.

Catherine  49:09  
I think when I look at some of the things I have done, I think they've been quite brave, because I've been absolutely petrified of doing them. I think nurses are brave anyway. Actually, to be honest, I think nurses are brave. People are not I don't just mean at the moment with what's going on. I think I know I know so many people, so many women and over the years, and men to To be honest, but not so many male nurses but who you know have gone into work on a daily basis, worrying about what they're going to come in to see and but they brave out every day. They do it every day. And it's because they are strong and brave people. So yeah, I would say I'm quite brave. There are things would you not do um, skydiving. I'm not good. potholing I was not brave when I went. totally the opposite big group of us went potholing, once and again, being quite a big person trying to get through little tiny holes, I was very claustrophobic. And the person in front of me was quite a lot bigger than I am and got stuck at one point. So that was just horrific for me. So I could not wait until we managed to get out. So that's not

Frankie Dewar  50:43  
I mean, it sounds quite brave to still do it. And

Catherine  50:45  
I'm never doing it again. Ever not doing it again. Yeah. Chicken as far as that's concerned.

Frankie Dewar  50:56  
What do you think happiness feels like?

Catherine  50:59  
I think it feels like bingo was contentment as realization that you have achieved for me? Or spit the buzz? And that is above makes feel high. Makes makes you smile makes you feel happy? Of course it makes you feel happy. There's excitement, isn't it Gemini, being happy. And probably, it's basically if I've got to say, the happiest days of my life, were having my children, cliched as it might be, but just having an aura of like, what's around what's around you and what's going on, and realizing them to sort of be able to step back and look at everything from rather than looking at the menu shy of the day, it's being able to see everything. I mean, I understand that, but it doesn't matter. In a case, today.

Frankie Dewar  52:09  
Thank you so much. And we're gonna move on to just the last or section is kind of about women and about advice. And then that's it, we're very nearly done. And see what perceptions of women do you think that are? And how do you think they match up to your reality? Um,

Catherine  52:33  
well, like I was saying earlier, I think actually, I mean, here we are only talking. Kalia, what year was it when I was doing my hnd 95. And I left in 96. And then I was saying, Oh, it's very married male orientated subjects to product design. And I think then we're probably on the tail end of when sort of sexism in the workplace was probably quite rife. And I'd say, I haven't. I sort of say, I haven't noticed it, but anything actually. Yesterday, because I was only the other week marching for equal pay for the NHS for nurses. And I knew that may be a controversial thing. But I thought that I do think there is an element of sexism within how we are paid, because it has been shown majority nurses are women. And if that if the majority of them are men, I don't think they would, they wouldn't get away with that. Absolutely no way. You know, not not snowballs. And likewise, because a lot of the workers that are viable are immigrants. So again, I, I, you know, I think there is discrimination there. And they're paid appallingly for what they do. So I do think there's still elements of sexism. I know, in Hawaii, I feel more powerful than a lot of men could ever feel. So I was never worried me because I always just I could be more powerful than a lot of men. You know, regardless, they can have their money, they can have their fast cars, they can have their toys. I know. I know who I am. And, you know, yeah.

Frankie Dewar  54:33  
Do you see yourself represented in outdoors media say sitive like outdoors films or clothing or adverts? Those sorts of things.

Catherine  54:47  
I don't watch a lot of them either thought so I don't I wouldn't know. But I guess probably Knox wouldn't have noticed. Actually. I'd say a lot of the time actually. Again, it's a height issue these days or it's not so bad. I mean, it was always trying to find the clothes to fit to go out and do these sort of things and not end up in men's clothes. And that is that has changed, you can get better fitting clothing. So from my point of view, that's, that's a good thing. But it would be I don't think obviously and of course with Facebook and all these groups, and love your wild and and event queens and stuff like that that would never have existed when I was sort of in my 20s. If you were going to do something you were about to come try and go home, which I think was a why it's probably taken me so long to get round to doing that, because finding those sort of support groups. Why'd you just didn't an issue in the scouts or something?

Frankie Dewar  55:50  
Say we are really, really done? Do you have any female role models?

Catherine  55:55  
Victoria word. Why? Because she's funny and intelligent. But she doesn't have to be rude to do it do not mean very observant of people. I think, though, actually, if you looked at some of her work now, it probably be very dated. But I think, you know, like the modern day version of Victoria word, and have the competence stand up and just make people laugh. She would be definitely one of my role models. Jo Pavey was my inspiration for getting off about breastfeeding backside and go and exercise because she won her gold at 14 Commonwealth Games. So she's quite an inspirational person I think I could go on.

Frankie Dewar  56:54  
Quite often people said, No, I can't give you one because I can give you a whole blow. Yeah.

Frankie Dewar  57:01  
And what advice would you give to your younger self?

Catherine  57:04  
You'll be okay. crack on. You're doing well. You're doing better than you think. You're worth more than you think. And, yeah, have confidence, have confidence in yourself. And think that's why I'd say just just stop worrying about what other people think have confidence. Thank you. So

Frankie Dewar  57:30  
amazing. Thank you so much.

Catherine  57:35  
You're welcome.

Frankie Dewar  57:39  
I left Catherine's with sore abs from laughing so hard, and a really warm heart. And I was reunited with my girlfriend for a rest day in Bristol before heading into Wales. If you've liked this episode, please remember to drop a like and share it with a friend who you think will find it funny too. Next week, I'll be talking to Nikki, he has an amazing story about overcoming LS learning to manage pain and struggling with withdrawal from pain medication. We have such an open conversation and really talk about all the things you want to know that might not know how to ask as well as talking about the fun of your first surfing lesson, taking me time to psycho and the joy of just getting out in nature and exploring. It is a great episode, and I can't wait to see that. If you want to be notified when it comes out, make sure it's alright. Until next time, keep on being extraordinary.

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