I’m not great when it comes to going to the gym. I find it fairly repetitive and tedious, so I’ve always done classes to keep fit. A couple of years ago, the teacher who took most of the classes went on maternity leave so someone suggested we try going to an aerial studio.
My first experience of the Pennine Fells was at junior school. A group of us went on a camping trip to Hathersage in the Peak District: we tried potholing, climbing and abseiling. It was my first ‘outdoors’ experience.
I took my first parachute jump on my 16th birthday in March 1982. My father had opened his skydiving business in 1973, having done it as a hobby for years, so I’d been around the sport since the age of six. I’d always wanted to try it and was clamouring to do my first jump – especially after seeing my older brother do it.
I’ve been interested in flying since I was a boy. At the end of my second year at university I joined its air squadron and clocked up 45 hours’ flying over two years. However, you don’t get a licence at the end. I was offered an RAF commission as an engineer – my degree was in electrical engineering – but not a flying commission, so I took a job with Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI).
I started rock climbing about five years ago with my brother, who is a year older than me. It was his birthday and he had asked for a climbing experience as a gift (we don’t do traditional presents). So, we went along to our local indoor centre and enjoyed an evening of top-rope climbing.
I've been riding horses all my life. As soon as I was born, I was on the yard! I can’t remember my first time on a horse, but you can start riding as soon as you can sit up. My mum was a dressage rider so that’s what I naturally fell into
doing. I don’t think I’m brave enough for show jumping.