Living in Cornwall I am feeling pretty far removed from all of the Olympic action, despite the fact that I can join in online, on the TV and through the media, I was just feeling a bit left out, so you can imagine my delight when I discovered a friend of mine had been selected to be a masseuse at the London Olympics 2012. In fact, I was not just happy for her; I was positively fizzing with excitement. My friend, my sports instructor… is actually going to be there, in the Olympic Village. Not just meeting and greeting the hopefuls of the 2012 games, but actually assisting with their well being and health. Amazing.
I took the opportunity to pop along and have a coffee with Petra Rowden-Harvey, owner of Inspirational Fitness, a studio based in Truro in Cornwall, well, I had a coffee, and Petra opted for a healthy juice of some kind that has supernatural powers that will keep her fighting fit for her busy time in London.
The most inspirational aspect of this in my mind is that Petra is a local business woman, working hard every day, caring for the people of Cornwall and their health - and she is one of the real people behind the scenes up there in London, doing what she does best and representing Cornwall at the same time. I could not think of a better person to have achieved this selection.
Over our drinks on a sunny Cornish afternoon Petra described how she managed to find herself pressing the flesh at the Olympics. It started with an application online, which resulted in several phone interviews and a mountain of form filling. She tells me she had to suppress screaming for joy as she moved further through the system, working her way through the lengthy process. After a torturous four weeks her confirmation arrived and she performed a victory dance around her fitness studio to the amusement of her clients.
Her absolute, sheer joy at being selected is contagious and I found myself almost sweating with excitement as she told me that it was one of her lifelong ambitions to work at one of the largest sporting events in the world. She is hoping to meet as many sporting personalities as possible and also to catch up with Dame Kelly Holmes who she has actually given a dance class to in the past!
Petra is travelling up to London where she will be based in the Jonathan Betser Legacy Project Massage Centre MPC In the Olympic village and taking part in the behind the scenes action for five days.
Talking about the legacy of being on the massage team at the Olympics, Petra said that being a part of the team and involved means absolutely everything to her and knowing that she can now say that she was a masseuse for the Olympics will impact on her life and business for years in the future. She said that even her family and friends thought she was joking when she called to tell them of her exciting news, seriously, who gets to say they were a part of the Olympic team from all the way down in Cornwall!Petra is packed and ready to start her journey up to the Olympic Village, and as for me, I am just happy to say that I am friends with one of the team behind the scenes at the Olympics so Petra's personal legacy extends beyond her world, it has also impacted on all of us in Cornwall who are sending off one of our own with pride in our hearts.
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