As an active 35-year-old mum to her beautiful 3-year-old Matilda and having received a breast cancer diagnosis 18 months ago, Victoria really understands the importance of staying active and prioritising a healthy lifestyle with loved ones, especially when times become challenging.
Having always been into fitness, she knew that post-diagnosis it was as important as ever to stay active despite lockdown restrictions. During chemo treatment, hill walking became a vital coping mechanism and form of exercise. It got her out in the fresh air in the safest way possible, and the beautiful Scottish hills became her escape from reality.
Once restrictions eased, she started to include Matilda in these activities too – paddle boarding in Edinburgh being a family favourite! Living an active lifestyle is a wonderful way to make lasting memories. Victoria said her favourite adventure so far has been her snowy trip to Braemar at the start of the year. After a lovely, relaxed evening at the hotel, she awoke to find they’d been snowed in! With all roads and routes being shut she had a decision to make: ‘Our options were stay another night in the hotel or find alternative accommodation. In the end we decided to trek 5km through the snow to a bothy [in Gelder Shiel] and spent the night there. We woke up to the most beautiful blue sky and snow all around us’. I don’t know about you, but we certainly think she made the right decision…
An upcoming adventure of Victoria’s – on the other end of the weather scale – that deserves a mention is her inspiring participation in Rida Africa, a cycling tour in Kenya that covers 520km in 5 days, with all money raised goes to child.org. Involving both safari and coastal routes, it’ll be an unforgettable experience. Click here if you’d like to support her on this incredible journey.
We asked Victoria for some words of wisdom for anyone looking to enjoy the outdoors and kick-start a more active lifestyle. This is what she had to say:
‘Get out there, try it and do it! Find something you enjoy; it doesn't have to be strenuous. It’ll still give you space to yourself to think. It allows you time away from everything else and you feel so much better for it. I thought I should get into running but wasn't enjoying it and struggled to get motivated, so someone suggested cycling to me and that's been a great alternative. It’s never too late!’
To finish off, we couldn’t forget to mention the role Victoria’s Zaini has played in her ventures. A present from a close friend during chemotherapy treatment, Victoria said the fleece lining did a great job of keeping her head warm during winter. And – with its bold blue, green and white stripe design – she looks pretty great wearing it too!
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit about Victoria and her inspirational attitude to life.
Have your own story to tell? Get in touch!
(15% of profits from the Oban Beanie will be going to Worldwide Cancer Research, a charity very close to Victoria’s heart that she has been raising money for since her diagnosis).