#ChooseToChallenge - Stress Busting and Being Stronger

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, we’ve been speaking to local girls and women about how being active benefits them and to hear how they overcome some common barriers to keeping active.

Meet our final two inspiring women

I love being outside and active and having a challenge. Since moving back to Guernsey I took up club running and this has been such a positive outlook for me. I have found activity to be such a great stress relief and a fantastic tool to clear the mind. I also feel privileged to be part of such a positive and motivating community and I have certainly met friends for life here.

Running, the club, the people inspire me every day and this makes me stronger inside and out.

Penny Freeman

It’s fair to say that getting on my bike has been a lifeline for me over the years, but especially since I found myself at the centre of managing the Bailiwick’s COVID-19 response since the beginning of 2020. Being able to get out in the fresh air, after being sat in front of a computer in back to back meetings all day really helped me recharge my batteries for the challenges ahead.

I am known to go out in all weathers, and whilst finding myself caught in a hailstorm isn’t much fun, or getting frozen fingers, generally it’s not much of a problem to me. In fact I find it brings me closer to nature in a funny sort of way.

When life gets really tough I do find myself doing the same routes. I think it’s because my mind is going through the problems I’m trying to tackle, so it can be a bit like being on auto-pilot.

However, most of the time I like to take different routes. Even after years of cycling I still discover lanes I’m sure I haven’t been down before and think I’m lost, only to find myself eventually at a familiar spot.

I love going up hills more than down and was therefore really delighted when a friend gave me the book by Matt Collas and Nick Després on Guernsey’s Cycling Climbs for Christmas. I’m challenging myself to do them all when time allows although some look impossible without the help of a winch!

The one thing I love about cycling is being able to take in the beauty of our wonderful island. Being on a bike you’re sat higher up than in a car and can see more around you. Sometimes I just have to stop to take the scene in before moving on. It’s so good for the soul.

Heidi Soulsby