Being furloughed during the pandemic gave teacher Emma the opportunity to return to Guernsey with her family, and she brought with her a love of Bounce-ing. She shares how exercise and sea swimming are now a part of her self care routine following her diagnosis with Stage 4 Lymphoma in 2019, jumping to 'banging' tracks with a smile on her face... even with her 'dodgy knees'.
I am married to Ian and we have two children, Barney who is 12 and Billy who is 10. I’m a PE teacher by training, but have taught everything from Reception upwards. I also worked at the Sixth Form here in Guernsey. I’ve been working at La Mare for the last few years which has been amazing. It’s such a fabulous school, but an opportunity arose for me to take on the role of Assistant Headteacher at the Grammar school this year. I think I’m probably somewhat of an enigma in that I’ve always loved going to work, sculpting and challenging young minds - encouraging them to self reflect, be kind and to love learning.
When I was younger I played a lot of sports. Hockey was my real passion, but I ended up getting grade 4 arthritis in my knee so I really struggled to find anything that worked for me. And I literally tried everything. I even started running during the lockdowns but I could hardly walk the next day, so I gave it up as a bad job. I have discovered a love of sea swimming in Guernsey which I never thought I would have. Even through winter, I brave the coldness and feel the healing nature of the ocean. Every time I go in, I feel grateful to be alive. I read somewhere that once the sea casts its spell, it can hold you in its net of wonder forever. It’s certainly got me! A close friend of mine in the UK started attending Bounce classes and kept telling me how much I’d love it. Eventually I started classes online and then decided to make the jump to being an instructor.
Bounce is truly addictive and I love it! We all know that exercise releases endorphins, but I literally smile as I exercise these days! I have to put that down to the clients as well though as we have a really great set of people that come along. The tracks that we bounce to, are always ‘banging’ as my children like to say, and it’s just great fun! There are so many physical and mental health benefits to Bounce. I can do it even with dodgy knees as it’s so low impact even though we work at high intensity. It’s great because it improves weight loss up to 3 times faster than floor-based exercise due to the addition of gravity and g-force. It also builds core strength quickly and is a cellular workout that detoxifies the body efficiently thanks to the lymphatic system being pumped as we jump. This one is a really important one for me as I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma in 2019 and went through six months of chemotherapy. What with Bounce and sea-swimming, I hope I’ve got that covered!
I went through a time, even though I was in remission, when life felt really tough. I felt broken, and it felt as if things couldn’t actually be fixed. Because sadly, that’s what cancer does. I knew how lucky I was to still be here and I was thankful every day for that because I know that not everyone survives Stage 4 cancer. When I received the call to let me know that my treatment had been successful and my scan showed ‘no active cells’, I was overwhelmed with relief and emotion. In fact, I could hardly speak. No further treatment required. No radiotherapy. No cancer. I was okay. I was going to be okay.
Will my journey with cancer ever be behind me? Do you know what? I don’t think so. And actually that’s okay, because as horrible as it has been, it has also given me a lot of gifts. I am ever thankful for my friends and family and those people that have been by my side throughout. I’ve learned so much about true friendship and love and about people that give their love unconditionally; and are there no matter what. I am grateful every day for my life. For my friends and for my family. And I count my blessings every day. I am grateful for the small things, the big things and everything in between.
I think this is just something that working mums do. I do find it hard sometimes, but my boys are a bit older now so a little more independent. My husband is great and we always try to work as a team. I’m getting older now too, so to be honest life is quite slow paced and we spend most weekends enjoying family time or seeing friends. Bounce, although it is a little business, is my ‘me time’ as I love it so much and I’ve met some fabulous women through it that come to my classes. Plus, the classes are 45 minutes so I’m not actually out of the house that long and I train at home in between classes. My husband and both boys regularly train with me too.
We love living in Guernsey! We were here 15 years ago but moved back to the U.K. when our first son was born. We’ve always visited and the opportunity arose when my husband and I were both furloughed during Covid, to come back. In fact everything worked out perfectly as we both got teaching jobs. We love being on the beach and my children love surfing, so it feels like the perfect place to be.