Michelle is a business trainer and coach who specialises in learning and management development for organisations of all sizes. Fed up of seeing training that feels great on the day but doesn’t have any long-term impact, Michelle set up Dive Deeper Development in 2015 to focus on interventions that create lasting behavioural change. After coming fourth on the Freshwalks leader board in 2017 with an incredible 169km, it’s been revealed that Michelle is eyeing up a spot in the top 3 for 2018; so, be sure to say ‘hello’ on one of our walks, or connect with Michelle on Linked In.
Tell us about your first Freshwalks?
I somehow managed to pick one of the hardest ones as my first Freshwalk. It was also unusual in that I was one of the only woman on that one; I was worried about keeping up with the guys… As it turned out, I didn’t need to worry. The group was of mixed ability and everyone stayed together. The other walkers were really friendly and I loved it. I’ve done the same route at least 3 times since!
How many have you attended?
I’m not sure, but I think about 10. I’m aiming for an average of one a month for this year.
Why do you come back?
Three reasons… Mostly, I love walking and being outdoors. It’s also a great way to get some exercise whilst you network. Finally, I work from home a lot and I can get a bit of cabin fever. I think it’s really important for your well-being to get out and talk to other people.
What’s your favourite route?
The first one I ever did: Edale Mam Tor – Lose Hill – Win Hill – Edale. I usually go for the longer and harder walks.
The something you always bring?
A hip flask, including my drink of choice (whiskey).
Favourite Freshwalks memory?
Walking up Mam Tor when it was dusted with snow and frost. It was very icy, but the whole hillside was glistening. It was beautiful!
Recommend three people you have met on Freshwalks?
Just three? Katya Willems, Tamsin Caine and Stephen Hughes.
How does Freshwalks challenge typical networking formats?
You are walking for hours so you get to have some really quality conversations and get to know the other walkers as people as well as professionals. It’s not the usual swapping of business cards type of event and that makes conversations easier – they flow more naturally.
Freshwalks is a combination of exercise, networking, sharing knowledge and thinking time. How do you balance those components?
I mostly attend to talk to people, but if I want to be lost in my own thoughts I just drift to one side for a bit. The great thing about walking in a large group is that there are loads of conversations going on and you can be as sociable or introverted as you like. Some people like to spend some time lost in their own thoughts, whilst others don’t stop talking the whole time.
Suggest one new place for us to go.
I’d like to do a weekender, maybe in North Wales or the Lakes.
Sum up Freshwalks in three words.
Blows cobwebs away (is that cheating?).