While I was away on a residential trip for a week in the Peak District, and then a week in a local university halls of residence, I met a lot of new people. At first it was scary and daunting having so many unfamiliar faces around. But as I got to know everyone more and more, we became almost like a family.
All of the young people were my age or a year older, and most of the leaders were fairly young. So, they were easy to get on with, and brought me out of my shell more than I expected.
The person that interested and inspired me the most was one of the younger leaders, let’s call her Carly.
Her thick accent the first noticeable feature, would cause most people to immediately judge her as ‘common’. And yet here fairly tanned skin, free of makeup, shone with the beauty no expensive highlighter could ever recreate. Small in stature, she at first, seems unassuming. But when you notice the slight bend in her knees and her almost manly posture, the football side of Carly is revealed.
When she speaks, her voice is full of energy, just like her muscles, itching to be active. Competitive is not a strong enough word for Carly. As a leader she is supposed to encourage young people to take part in activities, not winning. But the streak melts away her leading exterior and she is one woman for herself. This fierce determination is funny to see, as her forehead crinkles in concentration, as her lip puckers with ferocity.
Whether she is au naturel with a messy bun and jogging bottoms or dolled up with straightened hair and a face of makeup she is Carly. Lively, outgoing, keen to encourage others. When you hear her laugh, you cannot resist joining in with her.
The stereotype Carly falls into may brand her as unintelligent, but she is far from it. Flying through her university course, and with her usual passion and determination, studies are another goal for her to hit. And when she has a target, she must hit it with all her might. Carly is an inspiration to anyone to go for things and laugh about them if they go wrong.