On the other side of fifty….

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There’s really only one thing to do when you find yourself on the other side of 50; take on challenges you would have turned away from in your younger days.

This has two benefits.

  • The sense of empowerment you feel when you have the nerve to make the effort will surpass any niggling doubts you have about getting older.
  • You often get the chance to attach the project to your favourite causes.

That’s why last week I modelled in the @TrueloveBarnes beachwear fashion show. My 57th birthday was less than a week away and I needed to do something I would never have contemplated twenty years ago. Also,  I wanted the chance to help raise money for the Victoria Foundation (I am one of their Ambassadors) and Great Ormond Street Hospital, a charity based at a hospital where I have spend much time filming when I worked on ITV’s Tonight program.

I must say this did require some nerve. I have featured a photo with this post where I am wearing a great beach dress…I won’t be posting the swimsuit shots which were so revealing I had to maintain an out of body experience as soon as I walked out in front of the audience. West London-based photographer @FionaFletcher is truly marvellous at shooting real women and the moment when they look happy in their own skin but will step keep some shots under the radar! More than 50 people packed into the upstairs room at the Tree House in Barnes and that is as far as it goes!

I had spend the day media training at the London Business School so thankfully I did not have time or the mental capacity to get too anxious but half way through the show I found I was still so nervous that my hands refused to unlace my gladiator sandals so I had to go out bare foot.

By the end (when the featured shot was taken) I had completely relaxed and allowed myself some alcohol. The temptation to knock back a tequila (prepared by the visiting mixologist) was almost overwhelming but I always advise people who are facing any kind of public performance never, ever to take even a sip  of anything alcoholic before hand.

Afterwards is a different matter entirely.

So onwards and upwards. There will be a few more challenges this year. I am training for a triathlon and there’s a lingerie show to prepare for in the autumn. I wouldn’t mind fitting in a bot of stand-up comedy as well.

It’s all a lot of fun…and all work and no play makes Jill a very dull girl.