Debbie Smith wanted to get fitter and healthier but with a busy personal and professional life, she’d been unable to make exercise part of her daily routine.

Debbie is a personal branding specialist. She coaches individuals and organisations and, naturally, understands the value of good coaching. Gail’s outdoor coaching programme attracted Debbie because she loves the outdoors and believes it makes her think more clearly. “Combining being outdoors with coaching therefore seemed worth a try,” says Debbie.

During each of the six coaching sessions with Gail, Debbie did the early parts of the NHS Couch to 5K programme. Whilst they exercised and talked, Gail took Debbie through coaching strategies and gave her tips on how to fit power walking or running regularly into her life.

Mindset, motivation and accountability were key

One of the key points I learnt from Gail is that you have to convince your mind that you can do things. You have to give it a go,” says Debbie.

“At the start of the programme, I loved the thought of running. I’d never run for exercise. To say out loud that I can run, albeit slowly, was something I wanted to say, so that motivated me.  By the end of the programme, and at the age of 53, I could – it felt amazing!” says Debbie.

At the end of each power walking session Gail gave Debbie time to reflect on the points covered and gave her action points to work on. To keep Debbie motivated and accountable Gail continued her support between sessions by sending Debbie plans and information.

power walking

Overcoming challenges

“Time management is a challenge for me. I live in two different places and travel a lot with work. During Gail’s programme I learnt to make time to exercise. As I felt great when I came back from exercising it became a priority. My plan was to fit exercise in first thing in the day, and sometimes I could go out and share the activity with my husband which was a bonus.”

Debbie wasn’t confident about exercising on her own outdoors. But to go out with Gail, who found local routes that Debbie could use, helped make it happen. Having conversations and talking through coaching strategies whilst outside made exercise an enjoyable experience and left Debbie wanting more.

Debbie is now focused on making time to exercise in her working week and she enjoys power walking every other day.

Stimulating coaching with a can-do approach

There’s something stimulating about being coached in the fresh air. It feels relaxed. It’s not as formal as being in a stuffy room. Your body is moving and your blood is pumping so you feel calm. You think more rationally too,” says Debbie.

“Gail was great at encouraging me and her can-do approach helped me overcome my barriers. This meant I felt I could exercise outdoors and I found time to do it. If you are experiencing a life or business change and want to explore coaching, you have to try outdoor coaching with Gail. It’s fun, energising and it challenges you,” concludes Debbie.

power walking

What made the difference:

  • Outdoor exercise brought clear and more rational thinking.
  • Coaching brought a change of mindset, motivation and a commitment to make exercise happen.
  • Coaching strategies during the sessions with action points to take home.
  • Accountability between sessions.
  • Gail’s encouragement and can-do approach.

Want to find out more?

If you are a professional woman or female entrepreneur and are keen to explore how outdoor business performance coaching could help you in life or business, please get in touch with Gail.

Contact Gail by email: or call +44 (0)7950 193312.