“There is nothing I won’t try. I’ve just got a new appreciation for everything”
[TW/CN: this post and episode discuss birth trauma and miscarriage]
Today you’re going to meet the awesome Jill Castle (you’ll understand the significance of the ‘awesome’ once you listen to this conversation!
Jill describes herself as a very ordinary person and Police Officer before the birth of her son in 2011 when her life changed.
His premature birth left her with traumatic injuries, the full extent of which weren’t identified by doctors for 5 days.
Those injuries included a fistula, a hole in the wall between her rectum and vagina that left her with faecal incontinence and needing to use a stoma bag (a colostomy bag) for the rest of her life.
A very long physical and mental recovery followed.
Then one day she read an article - she’ll tell you about it in this conversation - that changed the trajectory of her life. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Since then, she’s done triathlons, scuba dived, skydived, sea kayaked and taken up ocean swimming.
And now she’s training for her next challenge: 5 years ago Jill couldn’t swim in the ocean without opening her eyes and now she’s training to swim across the English Channel!
In this conversation, Jill shares:
* the traumatic birth of her son and the physical injuries she experienced that have left her with a stoma (or colostomy) bag, and the mental health battle that followed,
* the article that changed the trajectory of her life,
* why she says she feels grateful for her stoma bag,
* the mindset shift that prompted her to join a cycling class and commit to her first triathlon,
* the power and pride she felt after finishing her first triathlon and realised she had achieved something with her stoma bag and after all her trauma that she had never tried to do before it,
* how she used to swim in the ocean with her eyes closed and how she overcame her fear of open water swimming,
* why there is always something to be grateful for,
* the importance of focusing on what you can control, and
* her plans to swim the English Channel.
Now you might be tempted to call her an inspiration, but she actually hates that term.
She describes herself as the most ordinary person who just had a life-changing experience that has made her appreciate everything and want to try everything.
And she will leave you wanting to do the same.
Notes and resources: