20 years ago I was out of a job. I’d just moved to Surrey and had been working for one of those women who had forgotten that you can get the best out of people without being a tyrant! She once told me a story about pouring paint over an ex’s car, which should have triggered alarm bells for the road ahead. Needless to say, one lunchtime I just didn’t go back to work!!

I’d studied French and History at University, but most language jobs required several years’ experience in the field as well as fluency in at least one foreign language. I was stumped. I didn’t want to carry on in the translation industry, but had no idea what was next, until I saw an advert for a “Fluent French speaker” tick “with knowledge of golf” – urmmmm? Dad played golf and I could get round a pitch and putt, so I applied for the job.

Now, I’ve told this story so many times over the years that the Medi8 team are bored of hearing it! But, for those of you who’ve never had the pleasure, I became Jean Van de Velde’s client assistant 3 weeks before he famously took his shoes and socks off in the Barry Burn in Carnoustie. I sat watching at home in disbelief as Peter Allis described the scenes that unfolded. It was awful.

That day changed Jean’s life and my own. We were both set off on a path that would lead us to places we would never have imagined. He got to play in The Ryder Cup and commentate for the BBC. I got to ghost-write in The Telegraph and design female participation campaigns for the PGA! Very different paths, but still 20 years later I certainly wouldn’t change anything that happened that day – and I’ve heard Jean say the same.

So, I guess the reason for this blog is to encourage people to keep going. You may feel like there are endless hurdles to get over to achieve your ambitions, and there are, but without the benefit of 20 years hindsight (as of this week) it’s going to be impossible to see how far you’ve come.

Nicole Wheatley – Director – Medi8

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