4 years and at least 1920 flights of stairs! 

6:30am and I am at the front door of where I have worked for the past four years.  

I graduated in 2010 as a personal trainer and was ready to put my big toe into a foreign and brand new industry.  I was scared as hell but had a trainer who had offered to support me in my journey and offered me a space to work from.   I was so excited!  I continued to work full time, four long days so I could financially support my new venture  – Seth Godin would likely name me a bootstrapper company – I worked weekends, Mondays and early starts and late nights as a trainer while by day I continued as a youth coordinator.   It was a hard slog but it was worth it.   Within a couple of months I was faced with my first major challenge.   From nowhere my support person called me in to say there was no room for me to work with her and her new business partner.   I remember leaving that meeting in shock and disbelief,  I was devastated and felt I had made a horrible mistake taking a risk based on someone else’s  belief of me.   Why on earth had I done that!  How would I work in an industry that didn’t get me and didn’t support me.  It was a dark week.   Five years on and I finally get it.  She and her business partner gave me the most extraordinary gift the day they both turned their back on me.  That day I realised how much I loved what I did, it helped be unleash a passion I never knew exisisted.   I had to completely change how I worked following that frank discussion with them both.  I instantly became resourceful, adaptable, flexible and willing to embrace change, I learnt to dig myself out of a hole.    They will both know who they are, so I don’t need to name them,  but as I climbed the stairs this morning I paused and quietly thanked them both in my head.  I am grateful for what they did that day in 2010 as without that hard lesson so early in my career I doubt my business would have survived all we have been through.  I certainly would have never have met Donna Knowles and Richard Green who saved my bacon and let me work with all my coloured balls and squeeky chickens at Zest,  or have worked alongside Janelle Woolridge.   When Zest was firmly ensconced In the red Zone in 2011,  Janelle had moved to her own premises in dec 2010.  In March 2011 she opened her doors to allow me to work beside her but keep my brand and business.  We have grown our own businesses working in a unique business relationship that only worked because of the adversity Christchurch faced and Janelles generosity.    

Janelle has been one of my greatest mentors.  I will certainly miss her, her clients and her technical talents.   

This morning as I walked the stairs at a Form a new calm washed over me. I  realised those dark times in early 2010 had led me to climb these 17 stairs most days for the past four years.  

65280 stairs later… Thank You Janelle, it has been and incredible journey.