Recipient

Nicola A.

United Kingdom

The strongest woman I know

I first met Nicola in the gym 10 years ago. I had noticed her and had nicknamed her the Amazonian. She was 5ft 10 inches tall and was there at the front of every class, lifting heavier, running faster, spinning harder than everyone else. We eventually got chatting. I found her to be annoyingly competitive, loud, brash, with no filter between her brain and her mouth and I loved her immediately. She’s also fiercely loyal and loving. Nic’s troubles began about three years ago when her nine year old god daughter was killed by a reckless driver. Nic went into mother bear mode, organising the funeral, dropping everything for her friend, the girl's mother, to be there for her. She put aside her own grief and never let her friend see that she was struggling herself, ducking out of spin classes with anxiety attacks, losing sleep every night. We asked her to take a step back but were met with a resounding no. Then two years ago, Nicola's little sister’s mental health took a nose dive. She had three children under five and has spent the last two years in and out of crisis mode. Nicola, being the strongest person that any of us know, has been named as her key contact. This means that she has spent two years effectively being on call 24/7. She has been there in the middle of the night to wrap wounds, to take to the hospital, to liaise with doctors and police or just to be an ear to listen to. She has been there for her sister, her children and parents who are all struggling with the situation. She has hidden from all of them, the toll that it has taken on her. Again, we have asked her to step back and were met with a resounding no. All of this has coincided with Nic hitting the dreaded menopause with her metabolism, confidence and belief in herself falling off a cliff. She’s lost her motivation and her love of exercise. I love Peloton, the bike, leader board, the online community and know that she would too. I know that it would help. I’d love to see my friend get her sparkle back.

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