- Reasonably fearless
- Not afraid to say yes
- Hates ‘what if’s’ used negatively ie what if you don’t like it?
- Loves ‘what if’s’ used positively ie what if we tried….
- Loves supporting others and getting the best out of them
- Embraces different cultures
- Enjoys learning
- Not afraid to try new things
Seven years ago I was in my ninth year of work in senior corporate sales. At that stage I was a national account manager; handling a portfolio of £25m in a central London office. And, I loved my job.
It was long hours, involved a lot of client entertaining and regular international travel, but it energised me, and I met a lot of interesting people. I would happily have spent the rest of my career there…had I not gone on a date.
Five months later, I had quit my job, sat my sailing exams (both theory and practical) and moved onto a sailing superyacht in Italy, to work as a deck-hand/stewardess in an industry I knew nothing about, with a man I had met less than six months previously.
Having entered the workplace straight from university, I was continuously employed by, or alongside FTSE 100 companies: My friends and family were in shock at my sudden career change. The biggest question I faced other than “do you get sea-sick?” (to which my honest answer at the time was “I have no idea”), was “what if you don’t like it?” To me that was straight forward; "I'll come back!"
In our ever-shrinking world, nothing is really that far away. There are regular flights now to almost anywhere in the world. It’s incredibly easy to keep in contact with friends and family, and as I pointed out, despite being away for extended periods of time, I would probably see friends and family more often as everyone would be inclined to make an effort when I was home. It’s amazing that when you live close by, you may still only see that person 3 or 4 times a year; as we are all so busy with work and commuting, family commitments, and if we are not, we have normally worked such long hours and are so stressed, that all we have the energy to do is eat a take-away, watch the tv and collapse into bed. Not really the model for a healthy balanced lifestyle!
So, after working as a deck-hand and stewardess for 9 months I had found my feet, and took on the role of yacht chef. For the record, I absolutely love cooking and have a diploma in nutrition that took two years to complete. However, this interest didn’t emerge until I was 32. Prior to this, I either relied on ready meals, other people cooking for me, or eating out (including grabbing a baguette at Waterloo on my way home from client entertaining)
Yachting changed my view completely:
- I took classes at world famous cookery schools, in a variety of different international cuisines.
- Learnt how to juggle often conflicting dietary requirements into a menu that would please everyone aboard.
- Developed the skills required to host billionaire guests discretely, and to a high standard.
The result being that I can serve nutritious food, beautifully cooked and presented, to twelve guests; all while heeled over at an angle of 23º. This can be very tricky if the wind is blowing and you are using micro-greens!
There was also the question of how to keep myself, fellow crew, and guests fit whilst on board. I’ve always enjoyed exercising, and was part of the GB Aerial Ski Team for two years, as well as competing in triathlons, running, and cycling races. 2017 saw my first national gymnastics competitions since I was nine! Having completed Level 3 Personal Training qualifications, supplemented with additional specialist courses, I can support my cookery and nutritional knowledge, with a thorough understanding of anatomy and fitness training.
Living aboard a yacht for six years, away from TV, and highspeed internet, was a blessing. It gave me the opportunity to, read, research and explore new and progressive models for thinking, as well as re-engage with well established approaches. Whilst I enjoy applying these ideas to my own life, I am passionate about introducing clients and friends to concepts that have the potential to enhance their lives dramatically.
Ultimately that is why I founded LIFE Acrobat. Where the LIFE stands for Living Intelligently, Food & Exercise.
I believe that we make the wisest choices in life, and experience the very best life has to offer when we have clarity of thought. True clarity requires an educated and optimistic mind, time to breathe, and a healthy, thriving well nourished body.
On the first day we met, Emma described her life goal as supporting people through exercise and healthy living. Since that day in 2010 we have worked together to build her skills, knowledge and resources to make that dream reality.
Emma is the most approachable, courageous, 'cheerleader' I have ever met.
Every assessment, or mentor she has ever worked with have recognised her tremendous ability in this area.
My role in our relationship, and for LIFE Acrobat, is to manage the technical background; so that she can use her energy and enthusiasm, knowing that firm foundations are in place.
Besides my career as a luxury yacht captain I have also worked in senior managerial roles for market leading companies, disruptive start ups, and for blue chip organisations. When not working on LIFE Acrobat or a yacht my focus is on XPCamper expedition vehicles.