This week we talk with Boo Forster-Haig, also known as Ellie's youngest sister, about her journey with ADD, dyslexia, body image, adventure, and finding her way as a military wife and mother.
Based in Wiltshire, Boo runs her own business focused on Sports and Physical Rehabilitation. Originally from Northamptonshire, the youngest of three sisters, Boo completed her first Degree in Fine Art and following graduation found herself employed as a PA to an Agent representing Television Personalities.
Knowing she hadn’t found her true passion, she returned to University for the second time to study Sports Therapy BSc. It was at this point Boo joined the military community, meeting her future husband at an adventure race. following marriage Boo moved into married quarters completing her final year of education while also learning what is was to now be ‘On patch’. With her husband deploying on exercise regularly during this time, she was immediately immersed into the new military way of life learning quickly the importance of the support of those around you!
“When you marry into the military you are absorbed into the family and made to feel at home. It has given me confidence in my own ability to deal with uncertainty and change”
She had previously struggled with academia being diagnosed with Dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and was stunned to leave University with a First Class Degree. This was an enormous shock but the confidence in herself as a person grew and grew.
With now eight years’ experience as a Military wife under her belt, now living ‘off patch’ in her own house, she is adjusting to her very different Forces wife’s experience. No longer surrounded day to day by the unique understanding of the force’s community, it makes the network and support of the community more important than ever, providing a group of like-minded people always there to dissipate feelings of distance and seclusion.
“I always struggled to find my place growing up, no one seemed to enjoy the same things I did. To be a partner of someone in the military it takes certain personality traits to cope with the lifestyle. With FWC I have now found my place and with it some fantastic like-minded friends for life. Being a military wife, the word resilient resonates with me and those kindred spirits I have met during the selection process for this expedition. It is not easy having a partner in the military, a lot of sacrifices and compromise is needed but the main ingredient is love. None of us would be in the position without it!”
She has always sought to inspire people through her lifestyle and challenges, patients and family alike. Since having two rather large babies, Boo now has a condition called Diastasis Recti (a permanent separation and weakening of the abdominal wall). Treating postnatal women in her clinic, Boo has seen the damage the stigma and misunderstanding of postnatal complications can have on women of all ages. Boo is committed to setting the very best example she can and following her own rehabilitation she feels being able to complete major challenges, testing herself physically and mentally is the best way to show there is not only life and opportunity after babies, but more importantly the sense of achievement is all more greater.
“I’ve always been passionate about the benefits of physical activity, fitness and fun are at the centre of our family life. With two girls and three dogs, we’re always out doing something, I firmly believe that this helps our family manage the very unique challenges that come as part of being a military family, with frequent relocations and deployments.”
Boo believes life is a series of chapters to look back on and to leave a story behind. She sees her aim in life as making people feel comfortable and never misses a chance to make people laugh. Her time as a mascot for Northamptonshire County Cricket Club was this personified!