Obstacle races, trail running and getting into the Mountains with Lorraine Lewis
This weeks inspirational interview is with Lorraine Lewis. It left us feeling pretty inspired, we hope it does the same for you!
Hi Lorraine! Would you mind telling us a bit about yourself?
My name is Lorraine Lewis, I’m 33 and live in Northampton. I effectively have 2 jobs. My day job is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for the CPS. When I’m out of work I run my charity along with my husband called The Lewis Foundation (www.thelewisfoundation). Every Friday we go into hospital and hand out free gift bags to adults with cancer to keep them occupied during treatment. The gift list ranges from portable radios, reading books and craft kits. When, I’m not doing either of those I am running, doing some type of walk or am obstacle running. That’s how I relax, it’s my me time!
You must have a busy week, what amazing work you do! Whats your choice of ‘me time’ adventure?
It’s a mix between obstacle races, trail running and getting in the Mountains. My weekends are either one of those or a combination of all 3. I like seeing new things and seeing how far I can push myself in completing something new.
I only got into this 3 years ago due to fundraising for my charity. Before that, I had no interest in adventure or the outdoors. My weekends were nights out and my holidays were all about partying. However, in 2010 my mother in law was diagnosed with cancer aged just 49. When you are around someone you love and you don’t know whether they are going to live or die, your perspective changes. Spending 4 years in and out of hospital with her, getting to see how you no longer could live your life the way you wanted made me take a look at my own life. I thought there must be something I could do to make a difference and help others. There was more to life than how I was living it.
So, I decided to sign up to Tough Mudder and Rat Race – Dirty Weekend (20 miles and 200 obstacles) to raise money for TV and DVD players for the cancer ward she was on. This was because the cost of watching TV was £10 a day or £35 a week, it bugged me so I needed to do something about it. I had never done anything like this before and no one thought I would be able to do it. I didn’t either!
What an amazing cause, so close to many peoples hearts!
That’s a big challenge, how did it go?
I started training by walking and running outdoors and doing body weight exercises. I was seriously weak. During this time, I discovered it was something I actually loved doing and was good at. Completing those 2 races, was the best achievement of my life and changed my life. Not only because I raised enough to buy 11 TV’s but because I discovered I loved adventure. It opened my eyes and, as silly as it sounds, I discovered nature and how amazing it is! Since then, I have done more and more. I’ve ran marathons in mountains, I’ve climbed and hiked in Iceland and discovered places like Snowdon. I have actually found something I loved. I couldn’t believe it had taken me so long to discover how amazing it is getting outdoors, meeting new things and discovering how beautiful the world is. My night outs and high heels have been changed for getting outdoors and active wear! I wouldn’t change it for the world!
That’s so great to hear, Being outdoors is the best! what do you find difficult when trying to fit adventure into your busy work life?
For me it is time. I wish I had more free time to go on more adventure. However, my charity is great because it enables me to incorporate adventure with my fundraising. I try to do what I can during annual leave or weekends.
Initially it was hard getting people to understand why I love what I do. However, when people started seeing pictures and how much fun I was having, they have asked to join me. The best part has been inspiring family, friends and strangers who have got involved and them getting to see why I have fallen in love with adventure.
Do you have an exciting adventures planned for the future?
I want to try more adventures abroad. I have finally found someone via my charity who organises oversea hikes to places such as Peru and Switzerland. Next year is already shaping up to being a good year now that I have found a number of local people who want to do this as much as I do.
What advice would you give to someone who may not have the confidence to embark on their own adventures?
You just have to give it a go. It is not expensive. It’s actually cheaper than a night out. There are some beautiful YHA accomodations and B &B around the UK at brilliant prices. Walks are free or if you are not confident to do it on your own there are plenty of walk leaders at reasonable costs. Also, if you don’t want to do something alone, there are always forums you can join with people who want to do things too. I’ve done that and made some amazing friends as a result.
Great advice. Last but not least, Words to Live By?
You only live once, and if you do it right then once is enough.
Thanks Lorraine! If you want to check out Lorraine’s social media or more about the Lewis charity just follow the links below.