This week’s Friday’s Child is Carol Watkin (nee McGrotty), newly appointed volunteer Health and Wellbeing officer at Star Running Club. Carol 41, from Derry, is a qualified counsellor currently working for the Lifeline service as well as running her own Holistic Therapy business The Holistic Butterfly. In her new role at Star, Carol hopes that with the knowledge and background she has gained through her own career she can offer her time and advice to those runners within Star who are out injured or struggling with various life stressors.
How would you describe yourself?
Warm, kind, compassionate and adventurous with a wee bit of stubbornness thrown in.
Happiest childhood memory?
When I think of my childhood my happy memories are all with family and especially any with my grandparents.
What was your first job?
My first proper part-time job was when I was 16 and it was with
McDonalds. I was there working with them in Foyleside the very first day they opened their doors.
My favourite book would have to be ‘Sleepers’ as this started my love for reading.
It has to be ET. It’s a running joke within my family how I still cry at the end when ET leaves, lol.
That’s tough it would have to be either Gray's Anatomy or The Walking Dead. They are complete polar opposites but I’m addicted to them both.
What’s the craic?
Favourite method of
It has to be running. I find when I run I completely switch off and it is such a good release mentally.
Favourite holiday destination?
We have a caravan in Rossbeg which I try to get down to as much as possible. It’s my wee haven that I can escape to and has helped get me through a lot of tough times over the years.
Who would you most like to meet?
I am not afraid to admit I am a
massive Take That fan so would have to be them, especially Gary.
What makes you angry?
There are so many amazing services across this city working hard to help people who are struggling but it makes me angry that more money isn’t being put into mental health services especially for long term support. I want my son’s generation to have better supports available.
What makes you happy?
Being with my family and friends. They are amazing and I have the best people around me which I know I am very lucky and grateful to have.
What human quality do you most admire?
Kindness. One small act of kindness could change someone’s entire world for them.
What human quality do you least admire?
Those that know me well know I hate lying.
What has been the most embarrassing thing to happen to you?
Lol, oh no, there are too many and some am not sure I want people to know. I would say my worst was when I was a very naive 18-year-old away to England for uni. During fresher’s week, I went on a night out and lost the people I was with as well as my bag and phone. I didn’t know the address to the halls and I was lost somewhere in Cleethorpes. So I rang the only number I knew and got taxied back to the halls courtesy of the police.
What was the worst thing to happen to you in your life?
My family have had a lot of loss recently which has been hard but I would say the worst part is watching those you love hurting so much because they are missing loved ones and feeling completely helpless because you can’t take their hurt away.
What is your greatest fear?
Yes I did say ladybirds, lol.
What has been the high point of your life to date?
Becoming a mother and have the opportunity to watch my son grow into the amazing adult he is today. Also getting my counselling degree. It was a tough decision deciding to change my career at 30 but I have never looked back.
As they saying goes when you love what you do you never work a day in your life again.
How would you like to be remembered?
I hope I am remembered as simply being kind.
What is your most treasured possession?
There are two things in life I treasure above everything and it might sound cheesy but its 100% my family and friends. I wouldn’t be who I am without them.
If you won the lotto what would you do with it?
Firstly sort out my family.
In Rossbeg there is a house that I would love to have the money to buy and renovate it into a retreat offering different kinds of therapies so that people can escape.
If you could be granted one wish in life, what would you ask for?
That wee house in Donegal that I mentioned earlier.
If you could write your own epitaph what would it be?
Here lays Carol. She lived life to the full.