Introduce yourself! Who are you?
Hello! My name is Tracy. I live in the very bottom of the UK in a tiny county called Cornwall which is surrounded by amazing beaches and countryside.
Did you always know what you wanted to do as a career?
No, not at all. I didn’t start my nursing career until I was into my 30’s. I found that specialising in cancer care was where my heart lay. I worked in breast cancer for the last 13 years and set up the first specialist nurse role in Dorset UK for women with secondary breast cancer in the last three years of my career. However, I have retired in the last year and have moved back to Cornwall and have now become a wellness blogger, encouraging other women that it is not too late to make changes in their life.
Were you scared to start the process?
At the time yes and there have been bumps along the road and making any changes in life as anyone knows is not a linear process, but if you find your groove it keeps going and takes on its own momentum and actually gets easier.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I have 3…
Sunscreen, sunscreen and sunscreen.
Look after your body and it will look after you
Meditate as it can positively affect so many areas of your life.
What would you say to 16 year old you?
…don’t worry so much, you are doing your best and your worth is not defined by how pretty you are.
Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel?
Of course, yes! You have to believe in yourself and that is not always easy. As someone who strives to be authentic as possible on social media it gave me a wobble. But I think sometimes these are lessons you have to keep learning in life…it can say more about that person than you.
What message do you think every woman should hear?
Women together can do incredible things. I love supporting and encouraging other women…fixing another woman’s crown does not diminish yours!
Have you always had confidence in yourself?
No it depends on the day I find! In essence I do think I have a drive of some sort and found that lifting weights definitely gave me a confidence that is somehow lost during those menopause years. This is a message I have shared on my Instagram as it has made such a difference to how I age.
What do you love most about yourself?
Oh my goodness! Well I try to be kind and compassionate and show empathy for others.
Do you remember a specific time you overcame adversity?
I’ve had some health worries at times in my life and I have had to definitely overcome some things as we all do along the way. I also found it a real struggle to adapt when I lost my dad to cancer. Working in that area too was hard on my soul.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Working with incredible women with incurable secondary breast cancer showed me the biggest lesson in adversity and courage and I learned something every day of my working life. It was humbling, inspiring and the best job of my career, but also the hardest for sure.
What motivates you most?
The small wins I think. Making a difference to someone is so important to me. Although I am older I still feel I have an energy to give to life.
How do you manage your work-life balance?
Currently I am working on my blog and website and although I am supposed to be “retired” I am as busy now as ever. I walk my dog every day (twice) and that is my opportunity to get in nature…and walking by the sea is my mindful time. I meditate and although it is a new habit I am working on it being consistent. Exercise is key for me and as well as the daily dog walks I do strength training 3x a week to stay strong and to help my bones and muscles as much as possible! Use it or lose it is my motto.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I love this question! I listen to podcasts on my walks and have learnt so much. I am finding my spiritual side which was always there but I am now reconnecting. It isn’t always easy to know you are growing older and perhaps time is running out but…but it is a privilege denied to many. I read self-help books too and I have found these tips to be so motivating and recommend it to anyone. Stay curious and you will stay in young in mind and outlook I believe.
Do you have a mentor? If so, what did they teach you?
I have had a few of course throughout my life and nursing career. But now I have met some wonderful women who I am learning from to reconnect with myself and that people want to hear what I have to say…so talk about it…share your story…inspire someone. Sometimes reading about someone else’s life and their journey helps you see the way forward for yourself. I hope so anyway. I have had to adapt and learn and grow in new ways this last year as I had never had any experience of writing a blog and I have had some wonderful women who have been in my corner.
What is one thing people would be surprised to hear about you?
Although I post videos about myself working out both in the gym and at home, I do it to encourage others to be honest. If I can deadlift at 60 you can too kind of thing! I am never confident as such…I am far too hard on myself and have to remember to be kind to me too! We are all just humans doing our best hey?
If you weren’t doing the job you have now, what would you be doing?
I love people and I do struggle at times working from home as it can be isolating, so I would love to be doing what I’m doing but with more human interaction I think! Who knows what is around the corner though…anything is possible.
Where do you find inspiration?
I can be inspired by so many things from some of the people I listen to on podcasts, to people who are making a difference in the world. People who aren’t afraid to live their truth. People who are facing the ends of their lives but strive to leave a legacy in some way such as raising awareness or charitable funds…people who overcome adversity…the list goes on!
Tracy Acock runs a blog, Return of the Cornish Bird, where she discusses everything from menopause to muscles and a dose of Cornwall lifestyle in between. Her aim is to inspire, encourage and empower others to make positive wellness changes in their lives. Her mantra is “age is just a number” and she believes it is definitely not too late to make healthy changes to live our best life as we age.