Holly Gillingham has been water skiing since her early teens and when she's working as an assistant planner at CBRE she is balancing on the blue surf abroad or on the frigid waters of a Scottish loch.
How did you get into Mono-skiing and water-ski teaching?
I have been water skiing since I was 13, I first tried it on holiday in Greece and loved it. I was taught how to instruct in 2011 so that I could teach kids how to water ski at a camp just outside Washington DC. I taught children between the ages of seven and 16 of varying abilities and absolutely loved it.
What does it involve?
I mono ski as often as I can, on holidays or more often in a freezing Scottish loch.
Why do you do it?
It gives me a brilliant combination of adrenaline rush, speed and a really great workout.
What’s the toughest thing about it?
Teaching involves a huge amount of patience as some people can pick it up instantly while others take multiple attempts to stand up. I lost my voice on a daily basis while teaching as I was shouting “keep your arms straight!” so much. It is also a huge amount of responsibility to keep children safe in the water while making sure I'm not decapitated by the rope myself.
What’s the most rewarding thing about it?
It’s really rewarding to see a child who has been trying all week to finally get up on their skis. It’s also great to see progression as they go from water skiing on the boat bar, to the rope, to crossing the wake to jumping and trying out mono-skiing.
Are there any similarities between your day job and water skiing?
Patience and persistence is key to water skiing which is also the case in gaining planning permission for a scheme. When you fall while water skiing you have to pick yourself up and try again, I have found as a graduate planner this is something that I have to do on a daily basis as I am constantly learning.
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