As part of International Women's Day, we hosted the Welsh Premier Womne's League here at Orchard for an 'Inspiring Women in Sport' evening and had the priviledge of meeting Tori James.
Tori James, for those of you who don't know, became the youngest British woman and the first Welsh woman to climb to the summit of Mount Everest, and is an inspiration to us all, showing that you can acheive anything if you put your mind to it.
So, Tori tell us, who or what inspires you?
Tori: Ellen MacArthur was an early inspiration to me. Generally speaking I’m inspired by people achieving things against the odds. I’ll always support the underdog in events and I love watching individuals who have so clearly given EVERYTHING they have got to achieve success, both in terms of their dedication to training and overcoming whatever obstacles have stood in their way.
It's great that you support the underdog and have passion for seeing those individuals achieve success.
From a young age you've always enjoyed thrills and adventure, is that how you became an Adventurer?
Tori: From a young age I grabbed every opportunity to do adventurous things e.g. attending a World Guide Camp in Greece, to completing my Gold DofE and spending 4 weeks on the Vatnajokull Glacier in Iceland with British Exploring. And then I secured my dream first job working for British Exploring based at the Royal Geographical Society in London. The people I met whilst working there were inspirational and I knew I wanted to pursue challenges in the outdoors.
Wow! You've certainly had some amazing experience and opportunities, I bet you've got some brilliant stories to tell (and some great knowledge) but you also have a wonderful family.
What advice would you give to those who want to be able to keep the balance?
Tori: It was my Nan who taught me “there’s no such word as can’t” and that is certainly one of the key ingredients to thriving and surviving in the extremes. The path to your goal is never uni-directional, be prepared to go backwards as well as forwards. Create a playlist and blast out your favourite tunes. Music often gives me energy when I didn’t think I had any more to use. Sleep. Stretch. And take time out from your mobile phone!
I think we all could do with some time off our mobiles! I think being prepared for the unexpected is great advice.
What advice would you have given to your younger self?
Tori: Reach for the stars and you might just get to the moon. Everyone can achieve more than they think.
Talking about your younger self, what is your favourite memory and why?
Tori: As a child you couldn’t separate me from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five novels. I loved the fact that George was just as tough as the boys. A theme which I like to think has materialised in some of the things I have achieved.
If you could change one thing, what would it be?
Tori: Attitudes towards looking after the planet and living sustainably. A big one I know, but I don’t believe that the rate of change is quick enough. It’s a collective responsibility and governments, business and individuals need to dedicate more time to this.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us Tori. The journey you've been through is quite extrodinary and you've achieved amazing things, a true inspiration to all.
Join the conversation on social media with a video or photo and tell us #WhoInspiresYou