A week in the life of an NWUK Tutor!

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DawnMcLean3-150x150Dawn McLean is one busy lady! As one of our Tutor team, she delivers Instructor training & conducts assessments/ quality assurance for NWUK which she combines with a similar role for Later Life Learning who specialize in postural stability and mobility for Older Adults.

Like most of our team, she also has a lively Nordic Walking group of her own and is committed to looking after her own health by making sure she is active every day.

Here she diaries a typical week!


0945     Nordic Walking Taster session – a good buzz on this one and all signed up for a learn to course, yae!  Timed it well and got back as the regular group were arriving – every little helps!

1030     Monday morning regular Nordic Walking group.  A gradual warm up then a good burst through to the end of the woods with interval training and up along the golf course today.  We love that route, lots of variety.

1145     The group and I pile into the pub for a (non-alcoholic) drink.  Only seems like yesterday we were sat outside with our sun cream and hats on and now we are hoping to get the sofas by the log fire.

1500     Checking and responding to emails (desperately trying to get the inbox a bit lighter) and with two different work accounts and a personal one it’s a never ending battle of course.

1700     So glad I got up early this morning to prep dinner, our slow cooker is a life saver in our house

1900     Monday evening regular Nordic Walking group.  Everyone lit up like the Blackpool illuminations or like we are about to be filmed for a road safety campaign.  I love it with the fluorescent jackets, head torches, pole lights, flashing arm bands, reflective tape on trouser hems, discussions about whether best to have the back lights flashing quick slow or continuous.  Our local police pass by with their usual smiley wave and adding a comment of us looking like something out of a Sci Fi movie.

2045     Just home – that was a long one tonight, we were on a mission.  Quick check of my emails and voicemails again along with a peek on Face book (as one does) before a catch up with recorded TV and a cuppa with husband Jimmie.


Dawn in the lime green top teaching an Instructor training course in Bristol

Dawn in the lime green top teaching an Instructor training course in Bristol


0900   Two hours of skype calls to support European Physiotherapists as part of my work on the Later Life Training European ProFouND project.  It is great to see them again.  I love teaching this course and I always learn so much too.  This year I have been very lucky to work in Germany, Norway, Greece and Sweden.  Next year it will be two courses in Spain and possibly Italy and another Sweden course looking promising too.

1145    Tuesday morning regular Nordic Walking group in the beautiful surroundings of Avenham Park.  Added in some static balance training today and it was a great achievement for all.  Homework set to help with progression, all are up for it, great stuff.

1300   Tuesday afternoon regular Nordic Walking group.  Great interval training today on the old tram road and lots of the usual discussion about scones and the strength (or not) of the coffee….

1400   Into the pavilion cafe after our walk and joy of joys, still warm and very tasty scones going down well with our Nordic Walking group discounted coffee.

1500   Quick scurry around Sainsburys (other supermarkets are available) well, it has to be done.  I quite enjoy my usual game of “avoid the person in the middle of the store with the clipboard” whilst trying to remember the shopping list I wrote but never seem to remember to actually bring.

1600   An hour of Internal Quality Assurance work gets my in tray down a fraction of an inch.  I have a fuller schedule soon for it, so this is just taking stock so can plan my priorities.  I love my home office, half of it is a working area and the other half is a cosy chill out space with lots of great clutter which I adore as I am quite minimal in the rest of the house.  I have bought a BOSU (both sides up balance trainer) and have it placed so when I am on the phone my aim is to balance on it.  Often fall off it and have to stifle the giggling somewhat.

1730   Tuesday evening regular Nordic Walking group.  We meet at my home and this evening was like a farmers market – I love it!  Not only did I get some great tasty bits and pieces from this weeks healthy recipe tryers, but everyone was playing swopsies with their homegrown produce.  We had damsons, parsnips, pears, honey, jam and herbs – wonderful.  Walk was very informative with recipe ideas.  Dont know what it is about this group but we always end up talking about food!

1900   Produce shared and everyone gone, poles stored in the garage.  Time for dinner and a catch up with the family.


Dawn (right) shares a joke with another Instructor at the NWUK Conference!

Dawn (right) shares a joke with another Instructor at the NWUK Conference!

0700   Out for a run, no head phones as trying the mindfulness approach today – in between the gasping and grunting but still being mindful (of sorts) in amongst the wandering thoughts but that’s good too.

0900   Office day at home with varied tasks waiting for me which include the setting up and staffing of courses for Later Life Training.  On the go today are courses in the Isle of Bute and in Greenock Scotland, Bangor Northern Ireland, Leeds, Eastbourne, Preston and Swansea – we get about!  Also ordering tutor fleeces polo tops and name badges.  Emails arriving into the overflowing inbox, must work smarter and get things into files quicker, the number showing now on the screen is embarrassing – thinking of putting a blob of blu tac on the screen to hide the total….

1800   Whilst Jimmie is making our dinner, time to respond to voicemails and email the NW groups with our festive meal and walking suggestions.  Where has this year gone?!?

1900   Dinner, catch up and settle down to watch a film with a cheeky G&T – I hardly ever finish mine but do like the first half of it – Jimmie is always quite happy to finish it of course.


Travel to Buckinghamshire for an Internal Quality Assurance visit. The journey is a dream, eleven trains in two days and all like clockwork.  Downloaded some good programmes onto my iPad for the lengthy journeys and the world is shut out as I lose myself in the drama.  Journey flies by, broken up with walking up and down the train platforms in between connecting trains, followed by a swift power walk from the station to my hotel then to venue then again to the station.  On a mission and have got to get my Fit bit flex buzzing to show goals met now that I have increased it from 10’000 to 12’000 daily steps.  Easily double this on Nordic Walking days but other days have to make sure it’s done.


Park run – We love this! 5k route 9am on a Saturday morning at Avenham Park with great people, lots of motivation and fun.  Sometimes Jimmie and I help out as it is run completely by volunteers so we like to do our bit when not chasing that PB.  Followed by a second breakfast (of course) and then the sending up of a few ZZZzzzz’s in the chair.


Today is full on with assessing Nordic Walking Instructors. Had a great day, lovely outdoor space and lots of sunshine.

Now at home, hot shower, PJs on and ready to spend the evening with the long suffering James. But first just need to send texts to those people booked onto the 0930 taster session in the morning to say that I am looking forward to meeting them and sharing the wonderful world of Nordic Walking with them.

A great week, now where is that blu tac…



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