114. Aneela Rose: Balancing powerlifting, business, and family

In this episode 114 of the Access to Inspiration podcast, host Sue Stockdale interviews Aneela Rose, the founder of PR agency Rose Media Group and a world and British powerlifting champion. Aneela shares her journey of embracing a growth mindset and how it transformed her life personally and professionally.

Learn about Aneela’s challenges of balancing work, family, and personal interests, the importance of maintaining a positive mindset, and the value of continual learning and collaboration. Aneela also discusses her achievements in powerlifting,  how she has overcome barriers and how it inspires her children and family.

About Aneela Rose

Aneela Rose is the multi-award-winning founder of Sussex PR Agency Rose Media Group and World and British Powerlifting Champion. Inspired by her two children, she adopted a growth mindset, which changed her life, both professionally and personally.  Her favourite mantra in business is “To achieve what you have never achieved, you must do what you have never done” and in her sport, “People said girls shouldn’t lift weights, I said – watch this.”

Amongst the many accolades Aneela and her agency have won are: Best B2B PR Consultancy in UK, Success in Business Award, Employer of the year Award, Dynamic Asian Business Woman and Asian Achiever Award.

Aneela represented Team GB at the World Powerlifting Championships in 2018 and won gold in her class, she won gold again at the ABPU British Championships 2019 and silver at the 2022 British Champs.

Connect with Aneela Rose via website: LinkedIn: Twitter

Key Quotes

  •  “I learned very early on that if you could control your mind, then you are going to win with yourself.”
  •  “Change the outcome of a situation by approaching it in a different way.”
  • “Taking a step back and breathing and thinking about the positive element of the task in hand actually can turn things around towards an upward spiral.”
  • “I was told you’re better at the strength training than you are the javelin. I think you need to switch sports.”
  •  “My husband said you can’t give up powerlifting because that’s who you are and it gives you the mental strength as well as the physical strength to be able to cope with everything else you’ve got going on in life”.

Time Stamps

[00:07:39] B2B PR agency and clients.
[00:11:47] Growth mindset.
[00:16:42] Being a world champion.
[00:21:18] Overcoming hormonal changes in menopause.
[00:23:02] Scheduling and time management.
[00:29:40] Switching sports for success.
[00:32:29] Female Asian powerlifting barriers.
[00:34:50] Age should be no barrier.
[00:38:32] Juggling a busy life.

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Aneela Rose Transcription

Sue : Hi, I’m Sue Stockdale and welcome to a new series of the Access to Inspiration podcast, the show where you can be inspired by people who may be unalike you. We’ve got a fascinating guest today for episode 114, Aneela Rose. She’s the multi award winning founder of PR agency Rose Media Group, as well as being a world and British powerlifting champion. After attending a parent’s evening at her children’s school, Aneela learned about the concept of a growth mindset and you will hear today how adopting this attitude changed her life both professionally and personally. She’ll also explain why a colour-coded Filofax is a vital tool that helps her manage her busy life. And as always you can follow along with the transcription on our website at accesstoinspiration.org Welcome to the podcast, Aneela. How are you today?

Aneela : I’m really well, thank you, Sue. And thank you for inviting me to talk to you today.

Sue : So the first question that comes into my mind is, what does a powerlifter have for breakfast?

Aneela : That is a fantastic question. Do you know it kind of changes every morning depending on how I’m feeling and how late at night I had. But generally we tend to survive on oats and porridge in the morning and fruits, so bananas and berries. So I tend to load up on protein. I have these vegan protein powders that I use that are made from pea protein. So, yeah, we put the powder into our oats, mix that in with some banana and some yogurt, and I’m good for the day on a massive bowl of that, to be honest, but otherwise it’s eggs.

Sue : Yesterday, there’s a couple of routes our conversation can go, because for the listeners’ benefit, there are two aspects, I think, to Aneela’s life and career, but certainly the ones that I would say you’re known for is a multi-award-winning PR agency that you run, Rose Media Group, and of course, you’re a world and British powerlifting champion. Are there any other aspects to your life?

Aneela : Well I would say yes I’ve got my lifting, I’ve got my business and then kind of what’s holding it all together for me personally would be my family. So I have a husband, I’ve been married for 20 years now, we just celebrated our wedding anniversary and then I have two children, a 13 year old boy and a 10 year old daughter. And that is the other facet of my life. So if you look at it, there’s almost like these three cogs, and they’re joined up. And actually, if you remove one of them out of the picture, then actually my whole life, it wouldn’t fall apart, but it just wouldn’t work as smoothly.

So when I was going through a phase of finding it difficult, keeping it all together, running the agency, the training that I do five times a week at the level that I do, and then the family life, doing all of that at the same time within a normal kind of week is tough. It is a challenge. So when I was finding it hard, I thought one of those has got to go, and the one thing that I thought would have to go obviously would be the power lifting. And it was my husband that said to me, he said, Aneela, if you stop doing your sport, just think about what effect that would have, not only on you personally, but on your family and on your business.

Because essentially, my family are the the reason in a way that I do everything, isn’t it? We all live for our children, we live for our partner, we do things for ourselves. It’s about people, isn’t it? So inspiring my children who I know watch me, learn from me, they’re observing all the time the way that I act, behave, the words I use. Every day I’m influencing my own children in a really great way, I hope.

And then in my business, I’ve got a team, we’re a small team of eight. And they are individuals who need a leader the person that runs the agency, the founder of the business,  the inherent culture within the business, it comes off the person leading it, right? So it kind of filters right down. So I think it’s just really important that those three facets work really well together. And actually, if you took the power lifting away, that gives me the physical strength. The other two elements, the family and the business, give me mental strength and that strength in the head to be able to do everything else. So power lifting is extremely empowering for me.

Sue : Well, I can see how those three things are very much interconnected. Perhaps if we take your business first. Your business has been going for 20 years. Tell me about what your agency does and what types of clients you work with.

Aneela : Yes, we have been around for almost two decades, incredible. We are mainly a B2B PR agency, so it’s business to business, working in mainly niche markets within manufacturing and engineering across many different verticals, ranging from automotive, aviation, construction, retail, and food, and food is very exciting, I will tell you. So we raise the profile of a brand or an individual or a range of individuals like a management team in order to create greater awareness of themselves and their product and their service through working with the media mainly. So it could be broadcast, it could be print.

Sue : What prompted you to start up the business in the first place?

Aneela : Mmm, that’s a good question. So I’d worked in-house for about eight years within manufacturing, actually within an aviation company and within IT. That’s about eight years after I graduated from uni and actually just decided one day that I would like to work for myself. I’d got to that point where you think, you know, I think I’m actually quite good at what I do. So yeah, I jumped ship and thought, you know what, what’s the worst that’s going to happen? I will always be able to find a job in marketing at some level. So let’s work for myself, become self-employed, and that’s what I did. And I haven’t looked back since, and that was in 2004.

Sue : Well, I can already tell by the phrase you used there, well, what’s the worst that can happen? That perhaps your mindset or your attitude towards what you’re doing maybe plays a role in your success. Would you say that’s an important thing about your business?

Aneela : Absolutely. I don’t think I would be here with my agency still running if my head wasn’t in the right place. I learned very early on that if your head, if you could control your mind, then you are going to win with yourself. Internally, if you can just get your head, your mind working in a way that is more positive rather than negative and is more uplifting rather than going into a downward spiral, then you are going to achieve more.

Sue : So if we were in your agency and I was one of your employees, what would I observe about how you conduct yourself as a leader that would give me a sense of that attitude that you bring to work?

Aneela : So you will see an individual that is clearly very driven, who is very goal orientated and likes to have schedules as well. So for me it’s about surrounding myself with quite an eclectic mix of people and constantly learning from others. So I ask a lot of questions, that’s what you’ll also observe. I ask questions of my team. through understanding how they’re feeling, what they’re thinking, because everybody has a talent. I believe everyone, no matter who you are, whatever level you are at, whatever job you do, you will know something that I don’t. So I don’t know everything, and I know that, and I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember. So for me, my network of people that I know is huge, and I soak up information. Whether I remember it, that’s a different story, and that’s an age and hormonal thing that’s going on now. but I certainly absolutely marvel at other people’s knowledge and as a leader in the business I have a mixture of talent and also ages and types of people and it isn’t a one size fits all. I have a team so I have to work with them And we work together, you know, they don’t work for me, they work with me. And that’s the difference.

Sue : Well, I can hear that in how you’re describing your leadership style, that you’re there to bring out the best in other people and to recognize everyone has different talents. And I understand that you went to a parent’s evening and learned something there that was really helpful to you about the growth mindset. Am I right?

Aneela : Absolutely right, Sue. And I love this story because it encompasses so many facets of, as an adult, how we kind of assume that we know it all, or as a parent, we know more than our kids. And I went to this parent’s evening, obviously for my children, and just to listen to the head teacher and absorb myself into the whole educational system, as it were, for that night. and actually came away learning something that I never knew about or maybe I did know about it but just wasn’t quite sure how to articulate it. But that is about a growth mindset. So the head teacher was explaining to us how they were incorporating and instilling this of positivity within your mind, this called this growth mindset into the children. And they were asking the parents a number of questions about how they would handle a situation or how they teach their children and how did they react to when their children perhaps are finding something a little bit hard. And it was a questionnaire for the parents and I was filling this in absolutely on the edge of my seat saying to my husband, this is a great question. Oh my goodness, what would I do? Wow, wow, wow. It was that kind of a moment And that was a number of years ago.

And then that was my, that changed me. I walked out of that primary school that night and immediately Googled growth mindset, was just wanting to know more and more about it. And so that’s what I did. I then, that literally the day after, I was just hooked on how you can change and step up your thinking around everyday situations and just change the outcome of a situation by approaching it in a different way.

Sue : And have you got any examples of how you use that growth mindset?

Aneela : Actually I use it in my powerlifting which we’ll come on to I’m sure but in my work yes a growth mindset so every day at work there will be a situation which will test you. So in order to be able to deal with that and to be big enough and confident enough and strong enough mentally to deal with that, you’ve got to look at a situation, you’ve got to take a step back. Your client is saying to you, look I’m wanting to know how this campaign is going, maybe we’re not quite reaching the numbers or we need to change it up. Rather than being defensive about it, we think about the positive aspects of what is going on with the client, with our work. We pull out knowledge that we have about our industry and about what we’re really good at and why the company brought us on board in the first place. And so it’s a case of just looking at the situation with more positivity than there is negativity. and breathing through it as well. There’s also breathing techniques, believe it or not, as simple as it may sound, just taking a step back and breathing and thinking about the positive element of the task in hand actually can turn things around and what we call an upward spiral.

Sue : And I’m imagining that behind that is a willingness to learn and accept that I think you said already, we don’t always have all the answers already and that we can learn from other people.

Aneela : It is, absolutely. It really, really is. Continual learning and not being afraid to learn. And that’s what I said right at the start about learning from other people constantly.

Sue : And if we can turn our attention now to powerlifting, so that second aspect of your life that you spoke about, Anila. Tell us what powerlifting is, because I know I went to watch weightlifting in the Commonwealth Games and that’s subtly different, isn’t it?

Aneela : It is. So again, there’s a little bit of confusion, I think, sometimes around weightlifting, powerlifting and bodybuilding. And there are three different things. I get asked this quite a bit, actually. So some people might look at me and think, oh, you don’t look like a bodybuilder. Oh, guess what? I’m not a bodybuilder. Oh, and are you going to the Olympics? And I’m like, no, powerlifting is not an Olympic sport. So unfortunately, and it’s a bit too close to weightlifting to ever be in the Olympics. So I don’t think that would happen. So yeah, powerlifting very simply is a strength sport, and it consists of three types of lifts. You have the back squat, you have the bench press, and you have the deadlift. And the sport is about attempting those three lifts for just one rep, but lifting as heavy a weight as you possibly can, but just once. and in competition you have three attempts at each of those.

Sue : Now, given that you have been world champion and British champion, how did it feel to be world champion?

Aneela : I think for a lady of my age it feels quite nice you know I’m not in my teenager anymore I’m not in my 20s or 30s or even 40s so it’s something that is really satisfying for me to think that I’ve persevered in a sport now I’ve been doing it since 2016 and I feel really proud of myself that I have persevered in a sport that is quite challenging for someone that is quite small as well and fitting it into my whole lifestyle. Yeah, I just feel really positive about my achievements and the fact that I’m inspiring other women, especially my children as well, my daughter. I’ve really inspired her and that’s a massive deal for me actually. I look at the people at work and my team and how that’s inspiring others as well, which I didn’t think would be an outcome of me doing this because the powerlifting is just something I fell into by accident.

It seems to have had this knock-on effect which has been amazing and I’m loving it and when you think you might be influencing people and changing lives, because that’s what I’m hearing, which is incredible, the fact that my story and my achievements that I’m doing is helping others to believe in themselves and to break down those barriers. It’s great for me and it’s something I want to carry on doing for as long as I can. I want to show others what is possible, despite what you think is a limit. that actually is something that I think people put on themselves it’s not other people it’s yourself you’re putting a limit on yourself and I want to show people that you can absolutely do it and that limit that you’ve put on is a personal

Sue : And if you’re enjoying this episode about an inspirational woman, you also might like episode 68, where I spoke to Caitriona Jennings, an endurance athlete who has represented Ireland in the Olympics. And she’s also vice president for a company in the aviation sector. Caitriona talked to me about the preparation, training and mindset required for her to perform at the highest level. You can find that and more than a hundred episodes on a wide range of topics at access to inspiration.org. Well, I’m sure that mindset is such a critical part of the powerlifting. Since we are doing this recording on audio, and of course, our listener can’t see you, Aneela, I’m wondering if you could just describe to our listener, your size and stature so they can get a sense of who you are and what weight you’re lifting.

Aneela : I love this question. That’s great. I’ve now got to describe myself. OK, so just very quickly, I am five foot two. I weigh just over eight stone and that’s what round about 52 kg. and the weights that I’m lifting so the deadlift record that I hold for my weight class because it’s categorized in powerlifting which is why it’s such a fair sport is 120 kilos which I think is around about 18 stone so yes the numbers are big the numbers that you aspire to and within the powerlifting world so with The back squat, this is where you have a barbell which weighs 20 kilos in itself without any weights loaded. With the back squat, so you squat low down with the weight on your back, you want to squat one and a half times your body weight.

With the bench press, where you’re lying down on your back and pushing the weight above you, you want to bench press your bodyweight. That for me would be at least 52 kilos. And then for the deadlift, which is the weight on the floor that you lift up from the ground to knee height, would be double your bodyweight. So for me, 52 kilo bodyweight deadlifting 120 kilos is way over the double. that is a real achievement for me and one that I didn’t think I’d ever be able to lift when I started out in powerlifting but what happens Sue is that you get addicted to this and that’s why I’ve carried on doing it you want to beat the numbers you get you reach a number you have a goal.

This is where my whole goal attitude in life comes from have a goal, have an objective you reach that, and then you go oh can I go above it, and then you do get above it, and then you want some more and some more you keep training for it,  and you keep going and going and going.  This is what’s happening you know with powerlifting it’s an amazing sport for women obviously being menopausal now my hormones are all over the place.

So I’ve been told by my nutritionist and my coaches that actually the fact that I’ve been lifting now for some time has really helped me to overcome the hormonal changes and actually the bone density and the bone strength and all of that It’s been great for me physically. So yeah, let’s see where this goes, but I’m now in a phase of life where I’m thinking Do you know what as a menopausal female? I’m not getting any younger. I am going to see how far I can take this and show other women that it’s possible to just keep going and keep improving. I want to be fitter than I’ve ever been and I’m going to aspire to that.

Sue : So given that you have this aspiration to keep going and keep improving, It sounds like it requires a lot of training to maintain a level of fitness. If you were describing to us a typical week for you, for example, with your business and your family and training, how do you juggle it all together?

Aneela : So I’m a list person, I’m a scheduled person, I have to be otherwise I wouldn’t achieve anything. I love lists, I always have done. I’ve got my things to do today book that I have. I also have a Filofax, believe it or not I am a Filofax girl still, as well as my smartphones and my calendars on my PC. So I’ve got mobile, I’ve got desktop, I’ve got physical in print. So I’ve got it written everywhere. And what I do, I do have schedules for everything. It’s advice I was given to me years ago by a close friend of mine when I was struggling to fit it all in and I was just like, I want to do all these things but I just don’t know how to fit it all in. How do I do this?

And my friend just looked at me and he said, well, do you know what I do, Aneela? I just treat everything as a business meeting. So I write it down and I just assume, right, that’s a business meeting because you would never not go to a business meeting because I’m a very loyal, I’m a very regular person. When I commit, I commit. That is who I am. I don’t let people down unless obviously an emergency or something serious has come up. But otherwise, I will get the job done somehow. And he said to me, just put it down, treat it as a business meeting, write it in pen, in your file of facts, because then you can’t rub it out and it’s going to happen, because that’s who you are.

And so that’s what I do with my family life and my kids doing after school clubs and they go to different schools at different ages, they do different things. So fitting that in, fitting in the training, which is when I’m competing and I’m on my strict schedule, that’s five times a week, often at six o’clock in the morning. every morning and then I do my stretching and other exercise in the evening, so it’s kind of doubled up, topping and tailing my day.

With the school runs, the after school clubs for the kids and then the business as well, I had no hope in hell of getting any of that done if I don’t schedule everything in and it’s timed. So if you look at my diary, everything has got a time and it’s color-coordinated, so I have different colors for the different facets of my life. So my business, my sport, and my family. Remember those are the three things I have going on. And actually it just works really well. I’m just really good at making things happen. And the other thing that I do, and a bit of advice here, is that I involve other people where I can.

So in my training, I try and involve my children in my training. Say, come with me. if they can and they get involved in my work sometimes my daughter comes along as well after school and she’ll just sit in the office or in the meeting room or give us some jobs to do and so my family I’m involved in what I do and I also have my team are aware of my life as well so they know what I’ve got going on and they will support me.

Sue : it just sounds like it’s the skill of scheduling things and being organized really helps you in what you’re doing. I just want to go back to answer the question that I’m sure is in some of our listeners minds is how did Aneela get into powerlifting? And I think it was as a result of a javelin injury. Am I right that that’s what took you into the gym originally?

Aneela: You are.

Sue: Tell me about how did you, A, how did you get into javelin? And then B, how did that morph into powerlifting?

Aneela : It’s a funny story really because at school I wasn’t very academic. I went to an all girls grammar school, found it quite tough but discovered in a PE lesson when the teacher asked us all to throw a javelin that I was actually really good at it and I lobbed this javelin, this spear, about 14 metres on my very first throw and I must have been about 13 and the feeling, Sue, the feeling that I had holding this spear in my hand and throwing it, I tell you what, even now it’s given me goosebumps remembering back because I do remember it a long, long time ago now It made me feel powerful, it made me feel confident, and that feeling I wanted more of.

When you feel powerful and confident, why wouldn’t you want more of that? And I decided that I wanted to carry on throwing the javelin, so I ended up just being very good at it, represented the school at county level, and got some medals, and at that time in the 80s, Tessa Sanderson, Fatima Whitbread, they were my idols. I absolutely was hooked. I was watching them all the time. I followed the Olympics. Tessa Sanderson won her gold. Oh my goodness. So javelin was there and my dream was I wanted to be in the Olympics and be the next Tessa Sanderson. That was my dream. I carried it on through school but then when I went to university life and other things took over and I stopped throwing the javelin. It wasn’t until the 2012 Olympics that came to London that I was just totally inspired again. I actually messaged Tessa Sanderson, I actually tweeted Tessa in 2012.

She responded and she put me in touch with a javelin coach at Crawley Athletics Club. and I started throwing the javelin again after 25 years I started throwing and absolutely loved it but obviously a lady of a certain age I was in my 40s and I injured my shoulder and so I was told to get down to the gym and start strengthening my body and particularly my upper body and my shoulders so you know where this is going I went down to the gym got myself a personal trainer who started helping me with my strength training and he took me to that part of the gym that most women would totally avoid where all the big heavyweights are the barbells are and the men huffing and puffing and looking at their biceps in the mirror.

And I’m thinking why is my trainer asking me now to lift a weight on my back it was actually a squat he asked me to do and one of the first squats that I did was about I think 40 kilos and then we quickly went up to 50 kilos after he saw me do my 40 and at the end of the session I squatted 60. Can you believe it on one of my first sessions! He turned around and said to me Aneela you are freakishly strong girl.

And I didn’t really think anything of it. I just thought, oh, he’s just saying that just to make me feel good. I had no sense of what the weights were, really. I could see they were quite big weights. And I started thinking about it and started really getting into doing more and more of it because I could see my body shape changing. I didn’t really know anything about powerlifting, it wasn’t even really mentioned back then, but I ended up carrying on doing it and I told my javelin coach at the club what was happening with my strength training and he turned around and he said to me, well Anila, You’re better at the strength training than you are the javelin. I think you need to switch sports. And it was that moment my heart sank, but actually it did me the world of good because I then switched sports.

Sue : So out of disappointment came a new route and actually ultimately success in something completely different.

Aneela : Absolutely right.

Sue : It also strikes me that from a cultural perspective, doing sport is not the norm necessarily. Would that be right?

Aneela : Yes, I think in my culture, the heritage that I have, which is, you know, I have a Pakistani background, brought up in a Muslim household. And as a youngster, well, my father was very sporty. He was the one that encouraged me in sport. But, you know, being female, being Asian, yes, we weren’t encouraged really to follow a career in sport. At school, it was OK to do because it’s part of the curriculum. But really I wanted to do more with my sport. If I’d had my time again I would have had a career in sport. I might even have become a PE teacher, you know, because I absolutely love, I love teaching now and I love sport.

So combining the two would have been ideal for me. But no, it wasn’t encouraged. So for me, Maybe part of the reason why I never carried on after school would have been because it wouldn’t have been encouraged by my parents to follow a career in sport. No, not at all. And also what you have to wear, you kind of alluded to that there, what you have to wear in even just going to the gym and then competing. In competitions and powerlifting you are required to wear a singlet. Now that is an all-in-one outfit where it makes it fair that all competitors are wearing the same thing and it’s easier for the referees to judge as well when you’re wearing the same thing.

So you are obviously kind of showing a bit more of your of your body wearing a singlet so it’s not encouraged. So yes it can be a bit more difficult but then again I’m not I suppose I’m not like an orthodox Muslim you know I am a little bit more relaxed with things so I do compete and it’s okay and acceptable for me to do that but that’s the decision and choice that I have made in terms of how strict I am with it. But actually, you know what, Sue, I believe there is Muslim powerlifters out there now and some federations, I’m not sure in which countries, which are allowing Muslim girls to compete wearing hijabs and to cover themselves, which I think is fantastic that it’s now changing to allow inclusivity of women from all backgrounds to participate in this sport, which is fabulous.

Sue : So it sounds like from what you’re telling us, Aneela, that there’s a number of different barriers across different aspects of your life that you’ve really broken through and really proved that anything is possible.

Aneela : I have entered into a sport that has been very male dominated. So I think firstly being female is a barrier. You know, when I did my first competition in 2016, I was the only Asian female and I continue to be one of the very few, if only Asian Pakistani females doing this sport. I know there are a couple of other women that are now coming up and youngsters, which is fabulous to see. But yes, being Asian, definitely being female. Now there are more and more women competing or taking part at least in powerlifting, whether it’s just informally, just in the gym or competitively.

I’ve seen a bit of a change now in the last few years which is brilliant. The size that I’m at, yeah that’s a barrier, well not a barrier I would say, I think you have to acknowledge your size, your weight, your height in a sport that is completely geared up and affects your training and the weights that you lift completely depending on how big small you are. So I’ve had to acknowledge and be very aware of how much I weigh because you have to weigh in it’s a bit like boxing so with powerlifting you have to weigh into a particular weight class in order to compete in that weight class and what’s really great about powerlifting it’s benchmark so you’re competing against women who are the same weight or in the same weight class and say same size as you so I’m not competing against women who are double my body weight and half my age so that’s what’s really great about powerlifting and I think anyone out there that’s listening to this thinking oh I’d really like to give this a go then please do because I’ve competed against women who are in their 70s.

I mean they wouldn’t be in my class but at a competition you have different masters categories M1 right up to M7 or M8 I think so that’s 70 and 80 year olds so it’s fabulous it’s very inclusive I think my background where I come from has been a little bit of a barrier but I’ve broken through that and proven that you can do it with the right attitude and wanting. I’ve wanted this for myself. I wanted to see if me, Aneela, can lift a heavy weight and can I inspire others through my actions.

And is it a good thing that I’m doing? And I put all that together and I think, yeah, this is great for my children to see. I want to be a role model for my children and I think that’s where my inspiration comes from. So age, for me, should be no barrier. Your size, your weight. should be no barrier. The color of your skin should be no barrier. And I like to think that I am proof of all of this in terms of breaking those barriers.

Sue : Well, it’s lovely what you’ve had to say, Aneela. And I know you’ve talked about being a role model for your children. And you’ve talked about what you love about your sport. And we’ve talked about your business. And the one person we haven’t given much attention to is your husband. And I’m wondering, given he’s a really important part of your support team, what does he make of all the things that you get up to?

Aneela : You know, he’s just used to it now. We’ve been together a long time. We’ve been married for 20 but we’ve been together 27 years now and he is at the heart of everything that I do. It’s funny because years ago when I was trying to work out how everything fitted together and why I do what I do. I think when I thought that it was me at the heart of all of this, when I broke it down, I looked at those three cogs that I mentioned to you earlier, you know, my business, my sport and my family, and they’re like three cogs that are all joined up and they’re all moving around in a circle. And right in the centre, when I thought it was me that was in the centre, because I’m the one that’s obviously the commonality with all of this.

No, it’s my husband that sits in the centre because if it wasn’t for him, none of the other facets of my life would really work because I need childcare, I need someone to help with the children and the school run when I’m training and that’s him. With the sport, he is there giving me my confidence in terms of belief in myself because at the end of the day my husband is my partner in life. And it makes me the stronger person. It makes me a bit of an easier person to live with, being able to do my sport. And he recognizes this. So when I thought about giving up powerlifting, because I did, COVID was hard for all of us.

But during COVID, I did find it quite hard running my business and just trying to fit everything in. And it was my husband that said to me, You can’t give up powerlifting darling because that’s who you are and it gives you the mental strength as well as the physical strength to be able to cope with everything else you’ve got going on in life and it’s good for you. You can see how positive and what mental strength that it’s given me and confidence it’s given me to be able to cope with running a business and being a leader. to being a wife and a mum as well and for being Anila and so he is central to all of this and so I’m so happy that you have mentioned him and I can talk about him and mention him in this podcast.

Sue : I think we’ve mentioned all of the points that you described right at the outset Aneela. I can get a sense of that busy life that you have and the inspiration that I’m sure you’re giving to those that are around you and I hope to our listeners today as well. Finally, how can our listeners find out more about you?

Aneela : I’m in LinkedIn, so if you want to find me on LinkedIn, that’s probably the main channel you can find me at, it’s just Aneela Rose. I am also on Twitter and you can find me on Instagram as well. So there are different ways and we also have a website which is www.rosemediagroup.co.uk.

Sue : Well thank you again for your time, Aneela, today. It’s been fascinating to learn about all of those different aspects of your life and I can see that you’re such an inspiration. Thank you.

Aneela : Thank you, Sue.

Sue : Well, thanks to Aneela Rose for sharing her story with us and for those practical tips for juggling a lot of activities in a busy life. Well, let us know what you enjoyed about this episode by sending us a voice note or a message via our website contact page. And remember to subscribe to the podcast so that you will easily get notified about new episodes. Next week I’ll be talking to Georgina Bark, or Bo as she likes to be known, who swapped her office job for an outdoors life as a dry stone waller. I hope you can join us then.