Entrants were asked to explain why they feel they are ‘Unstoppable’ women. Read Tracy’s story in her own words below:
I’m not really sure what it was that made me an unstoppable woman, but I think it is a passion for life and an inbuilt mechanism that says, start where you stand and whatever you are, be a good one!
I have strong life values and they are family, health and happiness. These are the energy in my tank. Simple really. Happiness is relative thought isn’t it. We are all so beautifully, incredibly unique. That’s why, no matter what I love to keep my nails looking fabulous. They are always there and I can see that no matter how hard the world or people are being with me, at least I am taking a little bit of time for me. I think that’s incredibly important if you want to be unstoppable. Find your values, find your fuel (energy) and live your dreams, no matter how simple they may seem.
I left school at 16 with my careers teacher’s words ringing in my ears. ‘Too short, too fat, too stupid’! Yes, I am serious. These were the answers to my career aspirations. They were my dreams and they were crushed. Me: I want to be a teacher. Him: You can’t, you would have to have good exam results for that and you’re not that bright. Perhaps you should try Woolworths, they always need counter staff (so I heard, you’re too stupid and now look, no Woolworths!).
Me: Well, I could be a police woman. Him: You can’t you have to be a lot taller than you are. Me: Well I could be an air -hostess. Him: You can’t you have to be a slim person to be an air- hostess. They like the girls to be trim and pretty. (I heard, you are fat and ugly). So, my little world crashed and my hopes and dreams for the future were dashed. It didn’t matter in the end as I never finished school. At 16, a single mum there was no support and a lot of people wrote me off. BIG MISTAKE.
Being a mum drove me to want better for my children. I was a cleaner, I worked hard and was the best cleaner on the crew. I was given two floors as I was a bit faster than everyone else. I thought ‘I can’t be that stupid’, so I went to work in a shop selling washing machines. I did really well and I thought, ‘I can’t be that stupid’, so I paid to go to night school and got some GCSEs. Then I studied to become a nurse and got an award for my work. I was a casualty nurse for 12 years.
One day my little sister Zoe, who was 18 when I was 35, said to me; “You can’t be that stupid! Why don’t you go to University?” I signed up and got a first-class honours degree in English and Social History. Guess where I got my first job as a newly qualified teacher? Absolutely right – In the school that wrote me off. I worked there and was very well supported, reaching the level of Assistant Head before I moved on to gain many other qualifications and then, dear reader, I became a headteacher! The children in my care never, ever heard the words ‘you can’t’. They were nurtured, encouraged and always told – whatever you do, be a good one! In my life I have learned that to be unstoppable, you just have to try your best and be inspired by the example of others and never ever doubt the power of you! I now work as a celebrant and a life coach in beautiful Cumbria. Thanks to my lovely nail technician Jackie Campbell who suggested I tell you my story. If I were chosen she is going to come to beautiful Barcelona with me because she inspired me to share my story.