By Megan Smiley, Sep 25 2017 09:08AM

I believe you should try and continuously challenge yourself in life. They don’t need to be big challenges all the time, they can just be little things that put you slightly out of your comfort zone. I think it’s important for many reasons, mainly to help you to develop as an individual and to stop you getting bored with life

But I also think challenges are good as sometimes people succeed and other times they don’t. Some people might think of not succeeding as failure but it shouldn’t be and it isn’t a negative thing. Not succeeding at things can be beneficial on many levels. It can provide a certain clarity on an issue, and you can gain skills that are useful for other areas of your life, and maybe one of the more obscure but I think important benefits is people see that not everything is perfect, easy, right, fun, and that sometimes deciding to give up on something or not succeeding on a task is actually the best thing. Think of a failing relationship...

With social media encouraging a portrayal of perfect lives with success stories of nobodies becoming rich, famous and successful, it’s good to see and hear about the other side too. Many of these rich, famous or successful people had failures before and maybe that’s what made them succeed in the end. So another lesson there is to keep going with challenge after challenge!

My stance on challenges is probably why four years ago I left my steady office based job and became a personal trainer, and is probably why after nearly a decade in London, I’ve moved to Glasgow, leaving a place that is very much my home, where I started and established my own business and where many of my friends are, to set up all over again. Albeit this is with my husband, which makes it both less of a challenge - not so scary as not doing it on my own, but more of a challenge in the way that marriages are!

So I’m in full settling/setting up mood (or procrastinating by writing a blog post?!) and the house refurbishment is in full swing, my basement studio is nearly finished, so I now just need to find a load of new clients, make new friends and… book a holiday to ensure a certain level of sunshine in my life!

Why not set yourself a little challenge, by doing that thing you’ve always thought/talked about, be it swimming lessons, learning a language, changing jobs, getting a personal trainer (sorry!) and if you succeed great and if you don’t that’s great too!

By Megan Smiley, Jun 27 2016 10:05AM

If you haven’t seen me, heard from me or noticed my social media #PinkCast posts this month, you won’t know that on 1st June I had an operation on my foot, an arthrodesis of the first metatarso-phalangeal joint to be specific! This was due to osteoarthritis in my mid-foot/ big toe joint due to (some unknown but most probably sporting injury) trauma.

Now as a fit, healthy, 32 year old personal trainer this wasn’t ideal and as you might imagine I’ve had a few surprised people when telling them I have arthritis in my foot. Even my podiatric surgeon said I’m the youngest person he’s done that operation on!

Now nearly four weeks after the surgery, having had a fair bit of time to reflect on things (although amazingly I haven’t be bored or watched any daytime TV yet!) there are a few things I have realised about having a major operation:

1) However healthy/ fit/ young(ish)/ determined/ stubborn you are, you don’t bounce back straight away and your body needs time to recover and recuperate. That includes plenty of rest and proper nutrition – your body is healing, creating new bone, tissue, skin cells and needs plenty of nutrients, vitamins and minerals to give it the best fuel to fix it.

2) How even the smallest things can be a big challenge, and you can feel a real sense of achievement in doing these things. Think showering on your own, getting a cup of tea from the kitchen to the sofa, making in down the two flights of stairs from your flat to the outside world.

3) How important and amazing your family and friends are. I honestly would have struggled with a lot if it weren’t for their help and support. It’s made me truly appreciative of them and realise how lucky I am to have them.

4) How amazing the body is. After just two weeks I had an x ray and where the bone had been broken and cut away and screws put in to hold it in place, bone had regrown and was fusing together nicely. Also, the foot looked surprisingly normal albeit a bit swollen, yellow from the iodine and with a big slit down the side, but not that bad considering. And luckily they put another cast on quickly so I couldn’t inspect it any further!

So four weeks down and six more on crutches to go, but it’s all going in the right direction and at the end of it I will have a foot that doesn’t cause me pain to walk and in time I should be able to go back to playing sport and being as active as I once loved being. So all in all I feel very happy, lucky and excited about my new and improved foot. I just have to wait a little bit longer...