Inspirational women

Rowing challenge in later life.

Today I am sharing my interview with 62 year old Fiona Jamie who returned to rowing later in life as a member of Shoreham Boat Club. She is taking part in the amazing feat of All Systems Row soon and I am sure you will join me in lending her your encouragement and support.

I come from Kent, but have been living in Brighton for the last 28 years. I studied Industrial Engineering at University and have an MBA, but latterly I have been working as a Sports Massage Therapist . I discovered rowing about 35 years ago when I lived in Peterborough and rowed for a few years before moving to London.

Life and work made rowing difficult so running was my fitness fix for a few years. I started competing in triathlons in my 40’s and managed to race in the World and European age group championships in Madeira and Holland respectively. My best achievement in triathlon was winning a silver medal in the National age group championships. I have done Beachy Head marathon a few times and cycled the South Downs Way in one day about 5 times. I have a little experience in ocean rowing having signed up for a charity in 2019 to row across the Mediterranean from Ibiza to Barcelona (unfortunately the weather interfered and we were only able to row from Ibiza to Majorca).

My lockdown achievement was to get the British record for indoor rowing for the marathon distance (42,195m) for my age group in August 2020 and then beat my own record in December 2020 only to have it taken from me in early 2021! C’est la vie!

I am so happy to be part of this amazing team of women. We will be pushed to our limits mentally and physically, but what an enormous achievement to cross the finish line in London having experienced a multitude of different daily challenges.

What led you to begin rowing?

I started rowing years ago when I moved to Peterborough, where they have a wonderful purpose-built rowing facility, which I drove past regularly and thought I should give it a go.

How did you become involved with All Systems Row?

I saw the boat and some of the crew members at a rowing event in Southampton. I have previously rowed on an ocean rowing boat across the Mediterranean, so was interested. I left my email address with them offering to be reserve and I am now lucky enough to be included
in the team!

How did you raise the money to take part in All Systems Row?

There have been a couple of events we have put on as a crew and I will be asking friends and family for donations and have also approached different companies for support.

What are you most looking forward to about the adventure?

Seeing the finish line in under 35 days!

What do you think you will find most challenging?

The physical discomfort and the lack of sleep.

Who has supported you as you prepare for the challenge?

My family!

What are you hoping to learn?

What I am capable of when faced with very challenging situations.

What do you think the biggest giggle will be?

Just spending a few moments each day laughing about something silly with this fantastic group
of women.

What are you personally giving up to take part?

I guess the same as the rest of the crew, which is all the comforts of home that we are used to
and the daily support of friends and family.

What would you say to a woman facing a daunting challenge in her personal or professional
life?

Weigh up all your options and choose the best pathway, but above all remain strong

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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