Describe your first cave dive. Also, share the preparation that went into the happening of it?
I remember it well! It was quite a long way into an energetic, cold and wet cave and we had to self-carry our own scuba bottles through the cave, which is hard enough anyway without them.
I can remember the water was cold, murky and I couldn’t see much. I kept a good hold of the guideline and I can remember feeling that this was a privilege to do something that not many people did, never mind women. I knew then that I would do this for the rest of my life.
What is your fitness regime, share your daily/weekly schedule?
It varies depending on where I am working. If I am at home working on the ambulances then it is a long shift so I don’t generally work out after work, but in between I like to run.
When I’m working on the oil rigs, I go to the gym and use the treadmill, weights and cross trainer.
I just started doing a circuits programme (‘BodyBoss’) and I’m totally addicted to that.
When I stopped riding racehorses after being a jockey for a few years, I really struggled with my weight. I was finally able to enjoy my food but was struggling to burn it off the way I had working with horses. I need to be strong to carry heavy diving bottles through caves so I work on my strength mainly and try not to worry so much about what the scales say.
Nutrition is an important aspect of fitness. What are your meal choices while prepping for your excursions?
Eating underground is always a faff. We have to find things that survive caves well, offer plenty of slow release energy and taste good. It’s not often you can find all three. Flapjacks (oat bars) work well but I hate them. Now I just take food I like such as bean salads in tins or pasta. The best thing I’ve been offered underground is Bombay mix! No food survives underwater so when I’m diving, I go hungry until I surface again.