I had injured my knee and was reading how great paddleboarding is for strengthening your core and regaining fitness without the impact of running for example. I also wanted to learn to surf, but knew I wasn't strong or flexible enough. So SUP seemed to be a brilliant way forward. That was 2016 and I've never looked back.
How have you managed to fit training in between working and managing a busy family life?
Ah, great question. I've simply squeezed it in when I could and cut back temporarily on some of my other commitments, social life and volunteering.
I'm really lucky to have a brilliant local leisure centre (I teach water fitness there myself alongside my day job) where there are so many fab classes. So I can do spin cycle at 6.25am and yoga or kettlebells in the evening. They are wonderful and so popular you have to book in advance. I book a week ahead and then don't have to decide if I'm going to train, I just have to turn up and do it.
Also, I love paddleboarding for the mental and emotional wellbeing it brings to me, so it's a joy to train.
We would love to know more about your two minute daily litter pick
Thank you. I love doing a litter pick and in January 2018, after Sir David Attenborough's wonderful series Blue Planet 2 was aired, I decided to set myself a goal to do a litter pick every day for a year wherever I was.
So that could be on the beach at the weekends, on my way to work in town, running in the hills (plogging - picking up litter and jogging) and now from my paddleboard on the canals.
It brings me a real joy. I feel I am in some small way making a difference to the places I love and I've made lots of friends through it.
What will motivate you to keep on paddling those 162 miles?
Exploring Merseyside, Lancashire and Yorkshire from a different perspective will be brilliant. I'm looking forward to taking the time to notice nature around me and live in the moment.
I have friends that will be joining me on the route, which I am looking forward to - one is coming all the way from Essex.
It might sound funny to some people, but as a busy middle-aged mum, only having to focus on four things for 162 miles will be amazing.
Those four are: eat, sleep, paddle, pick up litter and repeat. If I just keep doing that day after day, I'll hopefully be fine.