In May 2007, I cut a strange and alarming figure as I entered a room full of peers in Morpeth Hall in Northumbria. I'd had a near serious cycling accident a few days earlier. But nobody seemed to give me a glance, though I looked like a bad advertisement for cage fighting. I was determined to attend the course and I am glad, ever since, that I did.
The two weeks were filled with hard work, intensity, bouts of laughter and some tears as we found out more about ourselves, how we react in different situations, and how we form working relationships with others. We were tutored and coached by experts from diverse fields such as law, media, finance, negotiating and teamwork. To call it a cultural boot camp is true in that we experienced an intense, galvanising process. But there was no being ground down individually, to be rebuilt anew. Rather we were encouraged to identify our strengths and make best use of them, recognise areas that we are less able, but not get held back by them.
The Clore Short Course gave me knowledge, confidence, new trusted friends and a bit of grit. And yes, I continue learning and am still cycling.