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Defy Your Limitations
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Defy Your Limitations

Lucy Ashton talks about her biggest life challenges, the importance of employee wellness, how she boosted her self-confidence, and how employee ownership is evolving at Network ROI.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all

The unexpected death of Lucy’s brother Martin aged just 50, in May this year was devastating. On Martin’s woodland grave the quote reads;

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all

The quote symbolises how he led his life, and how Lucy wants to follow in his footsteps.  It made Lucy release how precious time is and hearing about all the adventures Martin did during his life inspired Lucy to make a bucket list of all the things she would like to achieve in the coming years.

Overcoming her fears

After having children Lucy began suffering with severe anxiety and depression leading to a lack of confidence. This included fear of loud noises, busy environments or simply being out of the house.  She was eventually diagnosed with an underactive thyroid and openly tells people about her struggles in the hope to put an end to the stigma.

Eight years ago, she found a passion that helped her deal with her anxiety head-on, that was the day she joined Crossfit Teesside. A local box (that’s what Crossfit gyms are called) where you lift heavyweights in a noisy, busy, open environment, all her worst fears!

After speaking with the Head Coach Lee and working through a private “On-Ramp” induction course Lucy’s confidence grew. At Crossfit, no two days are the same and it is now a part of her daily life. She has even managed to compete in the stadium alongside hundreds of other competitors due to the confidence she’s gained from Crossfit

Lucy describes the experience

At first it was a bit overwhelming, but over time being a Crossfitter has helped me mentally focus and overcome my fears, competing really helped me come out of my shell and build up my self-confidence, but the support and community are what keeps me going back every day.

If an opportunity comes along, say yes to it!

Defy Your Limitations is Crossfit Teesside’s motto and has become emblematic of the way Lucy now lives her life. She even has it tattooed on her body along with the Crossfit Teesside logo! Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, Lucy has wasted no time in achieving some of the goals she set herself for 2020. She started the year by aiming to do her first duathlon which was a 2-mile run, 10-mile cycle, 2-mile run. She then decided to join one of her training partners doing a half marathon indoor row. After spending every day in lockdown walking and running she decided to run/walk/hobble a marathon distance along the Cleveland Way with her daughter. Wanting to put all that training to good use and to do something that her brother had wanted to do, she has now signed up to do an Ultra Marathon, that’s 100k round the Lake District next year in one day!

The importance of Employee Wellness

Another passion of Lucy’s is her role as a Wellness Coach at Weight Watchers.  Lucy explains how she motivates her members;

I believe anyone can exercise, young or old, fit or unfit. Losing weight is about building healthy habits for life, with no foods being off-limits. Even during the lockdown, it’s important people get out. I told my class that this week’s challenge was to go for a walk and get wet in the rain, your skin’s waterproof after all!.

Lucy Ashton joined Network ROI 14 months ago to work as our HR administrator.  Her role was initially to maintain our personnel database but now it has evolved into being much more people focussed. Lucy explained what she enjoys most about her role “I am a people person, even when we are working remotely and not in offices it’s important to talk to people, get to know your colleagues, and build rapport. At Weight Watchers I love interviewing people and peeling back the layers to get to the heart of what motivates them,” this is a skill she is putting to good use when chatting to the Network ROI remote workforce, “I feel Network ROI, being employee-owned genuinely cares about employee wellness. I like to think I am approachable, and people can talk to me about anything in confidence. I like the fact that we have an open-door policy, even when that open door is a Teams call on video these days”.

What makes Network ROI different from other companies?

Lucy feels Network ROI is evolving “I feel the senior management team are very approachable, no question is too daft to ask. I see how hard everyone works, going above and beyond for our clients, this makes me want to do more in my role. For me it’s about making people’s lives easier, whether that’s developing a “working from home” checklist, building improved HR procedures, creating a smooth induction process for new employees, or helping build useful information into our HR portal.  I love being busy and it’s great to have variety in my role”.

Overcoming daily challenges

Lucy explained that she is a big believer in positive energy and tries to go to bed thinking about three positive things that have happened that day. Lucy laughed when asked one thing that she hadn’t shared with her colleagues;

Fitness is part of my life, I work out before and after work, five days a week and I am proud of the fact that I can lift my own body weight above my head. But although I am focussed on healthy living, I don’t like fruit and veg, it’s something I need to push myself to eat every day.

Network ROI

At Network ROI we have a shared purpose. We are not just employees, we are employee-owners. With a strong culture and an emphasis on training, we believe our people are our greatest asset. We look after our people, so they’re ready to look after your people. Working with Network ROI, you have a UK-wide team of technology experts available to help with strategy, give you feedback on your plans, and guide your business growth. You’re getting more than an “IT person”—you’re getting a strategy team.

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