50 years ago women had to fight for a chance to speak their mind on stage. Nowadays we dare-to-try so much more and succeed in it. BBC’s Breakfast Louise Minchin shows how her newly discovered sport becomes her passion and how her enthusiasm and effort make her a GB triathlete.

Dedicated to the International Women’s Day

This past week I spent a lot of time in a company of two brilliant women. One was fictional and the other one – very much real. These two ladies could be sisters from two different generations: Midge Maisel of “The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel” and Louise Minchin of … well the real Louise Minchin off the telly.

I watched the film and read Louise’s book on what seemed like one breath.

Three reasons I thought both of them worthy of every spare minute of my time. They both did something really exciting, even groundbreaking. They introduced me to something that never was a part of my own life. And they were brilliant at telling the story about it.

  • One wore extremely elegant clothes and told filthy jokes from the stage. The other wore triathlon suits. She swam, sweated, pedalled, run and sometimes crawled through her challenges.

Both of these amazing ladies achieved recognition for their efforts despite the odds. But most importantly – they made themselves and their loved ones proud of them. That thing that we call inspiration – they are exactly that.

What a difference 50 years make

In the 1950’s Midge Maisel had to fight to prove that she can have a voice on the comedy stage despite being a woman. In this new century, Louise Minchin not only has the freedom to analyse and ask questions about current affairs on the national television, but she can also represent her country in a sport which she adopted 18 months prior to qualifications.

Admittedly, Louise is not the first and not the only to compete internationally in the age group beyond what supposed to be our prime years. But she is brilliant at telling the story how she achieved that level of recognition with her effort, enthusiasm and desire to succeed.

Being a mum and a wife is a great experience. However, it also can be really absorbing and if you are not careful – you won’t have much time left for yourself. It was true in the 50s and it’s true now.

I read Louise’s book “Dare to Tri” from cover to cover in a matter of three days. It was lovely to hear from her that she was impressed with my speed of reading! But what I found impressive was how she managed to fit in all the training and competing on the world stage around being a mum, a wife and a very busy TV presenter.

And she made her “hobby” exciting for her family.

AND that “hobby” made her daughters admire and respect her for what she did. Not just love her because she’s their mum.

Life full of the right kind of E components – Enthusiasm, Energy, Excitement

It took me about 3 hours to write the above paragraphs. Not because I’m a slow typer or have nothing to say. No. It’s the distractions of everyday family life. And even in a quiet few hours when everyone is out and you don’t have to cook or taxi kids around, it’s hard to find time for non-work stuff. As any self-employed person would know – we work all the time, any time. I spend hours in front of the computer every day on jobs which don’t always produce immediate results.

Finding time, energy and enthusiasm for non-work and non-family related stuff is hard. That’s why I loved watching and reading how Midge Maisel and Louise did it in such a marvellous way.

If you haven’t seen “The Marvellous Mrs Maisel” (on Amazon Prime right now) – do it. The story about 1950s New York life of what seems like happy families and finding talents which go well beyond making a good brisket. Turns out Midge Maisel is great at being a stand-up comic. And she does it her way – looking glamorous, elegant and incredibly funny.

Midge’s Energy and Enthusiasm are totally infectious. Her non-nonsence attitude and daring to try something “out of the ordinary” makes the film so much more than a costume comedy/drama about 1950s housewife. Plus I loved all the glamorous costumes and the elegant interiors of the Upper West Side. Add to this “such a strange mix of happiness and horror” of a Jewish life… makes this a supremely entertaining and inspiring film.

Professional Headshots

With all the publicity surrounding Louise’s new book (now in a second edition), she came to me for some professional headshots. It’s always lovely to see Louise. She radiates positivity and energy even on the days when she’s up from 3.30am.

These are some of my and Louise’s favourites.

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