The "Limitless Pursuits" website is dedicated to bringing you the stories of men and women from around the world who have beaten seemingly impossible odds to achieve greatness in in extremes sports, adventure and travel. The strength of human spirit is at the core of what we promote. Whether it be pushing themselves to the limit or having an impact on the lives of others through giving and philanthropy the stories we share are sure to leave you feeling inspired. It was an amazing opportunity to chat with Tom Burrington and share my story with his readers. Thank you!
1. When did you first become passionate about the outdoors and sport and who were any early influences in these areas in life?
The Great Outdoors has formed a common thread throughout my life though astonishingly I’ve only appreciated its’ immense influence recently. Hanging in my office I have a photo collage my parents created for my 21st birthday where every single photo captures a family memory outside, playing, camping, walking or exploring. During the 80s and 90s numerous weekends were spent in the Lake District each summer whilst my father participated in classic fell races alongside legends such as Billy Bland and Joss Naylor. The outdoor and active theme was firmly reflected in Watson holidays where the annual calendar involved everyone in destination discussions, itinerary ideas and meticulous planning poring over maps and guidebooks in the pre-internet era (hard to imagine now…). It’s interesting how history has repeated itself as holidays nowadays generally involved running, trekking, cycling or kayaking around or up something with my husband.
2. Tell us about your time with the British Army and how it helped to shape the person you are today?
My connection to the British Army spans back over twenty years when I eagerly joined the Newcastle Royal Grammar School Cadet Force as a wide-eyed teenager keen for fun and adventure. Initially the lure of travel and sport appealed with the added benefit of mixing with the boys’ school next door and an Army Sixth Form Scholarship subsequently led to Cadetship sponsorship at The University of Manchester.
After commissioning from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst I served in the Royal Logistics Corps for nine years, from 2000 - 2009, reaching the rank of Captain and completed three operational tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. During this time assignment locations ranged from icy snow holes in northern Norway to the heat and sand of the desert in Central Asia. My final role as training manager for military and civil service students attending Northumbrian universities provided an ideal stepping stone for my future learning and development career.
I’ve undoubtedly changed and grown since I left the green machine over six years ago as most people experience an immense period of transition from military to civilian work and life. The British Army has literally touched every aspect of my professional and personal life and the core values of discipline, integrity, loyalty, courage, respect for others and commitment undoubtedly remain engrained. I still have strong Military links as my husband, Major Ben Psaila, is an officer in the Royal Corps of Signals and is currently Second in Command of the 21st Signal Regiment; my brother Captain David Watson serves as a Reservist in The Royal Jersey Militia, part of the Royal Engineers; and many friends still pursue a military career.
Through my performance coaching business Reach for More. I publically support the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant alongside hundreds of other British businesses. I’m extremely proud of my previous military career and current military connections so find this organisation the perfect platform to demonstrate my support. I also support the independent enterprise Recruit for Spouses (www.recruitforspouses.co.uk) that supports military spouses and bridges the gap between military and business communities.