My experience with Ski Ride Vorarlberg was a rollercoaster; it started with a survival strategy and ended feeling so sad that it was over. What a turn around! Here's the story...
Last year was crazy. I was dealing with heart-break as the result of splitting from my husband. I built my business from a pipe dream to a sustainable way of living. I focused on my ultimate dream: to use my voice and community as a platform for positive change in the world, by launching TrailBlazers, my youth empowerment initiative. I was travelling away from my home in London for more than 6 months of the year. I partnered with 30 companies creating a wide variety of social media campaigns, I created adverts with Estee Lauder and Hyundai, and even learnt how to take time off - away from social media, blogging and emails - for a few treasured weekends.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been able to ask for more and more from myself. However, since adding TrailBlazers to my plate in November, I couldn’t do everything and something had to give. It’s been a real struggle to try and manage it all, so I've been making some changes and finding the right people to help! This is why I have been absent from blogging and want to explain...
I think I may have been addicted to the feeling of productivity to the point of risking burn out. The culture that I see on my social media feeds and feel (especially living in London) of working 24/7, of relentlessly grafting and hustling towards your business, your dream, your goals… It’s inspiring, but it’s also exhausting, can cause anxiety and it leaves no time for you to be YOU.
If you asked me “who is Challenge Sophie?” I would be able to answer that easily. She’s motivated, ambitious, a go-getter, she delivers her A-Game, she’s a dreamer and a do-er.
I love being that person. But that person, or rather, that part of me, has had tons of air-time in recent years and it’s been all too easy to forget about Sophie. I see this with my friends and fellow entrepreneurs, especially women; we can put so much pressure on ourselves juggling multiple jobs and projects. It’s become the norm to demand, demand, demand, without giving ourselves enough time off to rest, play and be our natural selves! Busy is the death of productivity and happiness. Guard your time, it's your greatest asset
I didn’t realise I was stressed. Stress seemed like the image of someone pulling their hair out and not being able to manage the demands from life. Yet I feel like (at least on paper and in my mind) I am managing it. Some days, crushing it! I’ve always been ambitious and hard working, but I’ve never experienced anything like the courage and energy these last few years have required. Couple the physical and mental demands, with the pressure I pile on myself, and it was going to be a risky game!
Sometimes I get frustrated with myself for letting this whole concept of body confidence, take up so much space and energy in my head. It’s something I worry about pretty much on a daily basis. The shape and size of my body seems to fluctuate constantly, so it's an ongoing challenge.
I literally feel like I’m about to cry writing this. I know that sounds silly, and is a totally silly thing to get upset about. But it’s so frustrating to be working hard at something and not see the results we're hoping for. Moreover, it’s something I find embarrassing, especially given the nature of my job.
In late April I spent a week in Morzine at the inaugural Nomads Camp hosted by Action Academy. In the mornings we had workshops, in the evenings we had talks (one of which I gave) and during the day we would work on our own projects, collaborate and brainstorm with each other, and enjoy the amazing French Alps with runs, cycling, yoga and even some hot tub action! If you like to work hard and play hard, this one's for you...
If I had to choose one mission to dedicate the rest of my life to, it would be this. To inspire and empower ordinary people, like you and me, to achieve extraordinary things, develop a robust self-belief, and overcome the fears, doubts and obstacles that hold us back.
Every year I run my annual London to Paris Sportive where 120 people join me from all over the world to take on the epic challenge of cycling 200 miles in 24 hours between two of the world’s most iconic cities.
A week before the event this year, Caroline contacted me saying she would be unable to come because her Stepfather was dying and she had just split with her boyfriend. After a few emails back and forth, she said she was committed to giving L2P24 her best shot. Here is her story of heartbreak, bravery, resilience and ultimately, pride...
I have always felt like life tries to make you fit into boxes. Social norms, expectations and boundaries placed on our lives. We can often find ourselves adhering to other people’s rules about how we should live and who we should be.
Through adventure I realised there are no limits to who you can be or what you can achieve. In fact, it’s the opposite. Today I’m sharing with you my favourite cycling challenges that could raise your life to the next level, should you choose to accept the mission.