Growing up not knowing why I didn’t learn the same way as others, did little to help my confidence. It wasn’t until my children were about to finish school, I decided I wanted to spend time working on my own career. I decided to train to be a personal trainer and then a massage therapist and so started on my first study at Higher Education since leaving school.
I didn’t enjoy reading at school, so my biggest obstacle once again meant getting back to books, I wasn’t sure how was I going to do this, undertaking academic work. I was determined to start and finish this learning journey, since I left school early, I was adamant I would finish this qualification.
I can work through my challenges take them on, take away the roadblocks, remain positive and get the education I want and deserve.

I learned so much about myself while studying, that I went on to run my own business as a contractor personal trainer and then eight years later open a commercial gym. I had a team of 22 staff, 400 members and my own clients, I was successful. I had learned with my own wee quirks and “work arounds” (I will tell you all about my work arounds later) how to manage myself and others, to believe in myself, and overcome any obstacles on the way, I truly loved this job, it didn’t really feel like work, mentoring help people all day long. Some days I was so tidy from giving I would fall asleep sitting up in a chair. I didn’t mind though I loved this job!
After seven years of owning this business, I went on a holiday overseas, before doing so I put a lot of systems and structures in place so that the place would keep running smoothly while I was away.

When I came back, I realised I had put myself out of a job, as the place was ticking along nicely all the systems were working, communication was amazing amongst the staff they had been empowered to make decisions without too much from me, so after a few months I realised I needed to find a new challenge. I loved what I had create but needed a new challenge.
This brought me to one of the largest organisations I had ever worked for. Once I had learned the processes that were in place there, I set about reviewing and changing many of them. My skills were recognised which led me to being appointed the team leader early on. I enjoyed my time working through these processes, but once I had established and helped install systems that would work without my input.
I was now again ready for a new challenge. While I was in this role, I undertook a Bachelor of Applied Management (BAppMgt). I learned a lot more about myself, I am very process driven and systematic and I am adept at looking at systems and finding ways to make them simple, straight forward, and lean. I ‘plan’, ‘do’, ‘check’ (evaluate) and ‘act’ – a process that I learned about during my studies, even though I have been doing this a long time.

This is where it all started, undertaking research tasks for my BAppMgt. I was required to explain my business, its operations and philosophy while doing this, I explained that I had been diagnosed with Irlen syndrome (IS) What Is Irlen Syndrome (2021) in a routine vision check-up Irlen Syndrome is commonly defined as:
A perceptual processing disorder, suggesting that the brain is unable to properly process visual information from the eyes because of sensitivity to certain wavelengths of light. Symptoms are said to include poor concentration; difficulties with reading, writing and comprehension; glare sensitivity; headaches and poor depth perception.

I had never enjoyed reading long passages of text. When I read, words move around on the page or have shadows around them. Prior to receiving this diagnosis, I thought this was how everyone saw words, so I had never thought to investigate why I saw things this way or what effects this may have had on me through my schooling, I just accepted it but wasn’t overly curious. While looking into IS, I discovered that I could possibly have dyslexia as it is often co-located together with IS. The more I investigated this the penny dropped, this may be why I have struggled with learning.