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Oarsome Foursome (Mo O'Brien) | Oarsome Foursome (Mo O'Brien) | Saint Austell, UK
Community Organisation (Disability)

I have always tried to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone every few years, I was thinking about my next challenge but nothing immediately appealed to me until my daughter Bird bought me the book 'Four Mums in a Boat'.

I initially asked both of my daughters and step-daughter who all row, if they would like to join me. One daughter said no as she was in early stages of pregnancy, one had commitments and one said yes! We then started thinking about who would be good to ask and Linda came onboard next. The last team member was Claire - the common denominator within the team is Bird as she knows everyone but we didn't at the time know each other!

Until one of our sponsors provided me with specialist hearing equipment, I avoided as many social situations as I could. In the past I have been reclusive, battled with depression and often wouldn't participate in social situations unless one of my daughters were with me as they could interpret for me. Thanks to this new equipment I am heading towards a much more normal life. I never used to tell people I was deaf as I was very self conscious. I would instead just get by the best I could by pretending I had heard and by lip reading, but actually not always having a clue what had been said. Not many people wore hearing aids but when you look around now it is as normal as people wearing glasses. I would encourage anyone who has them, is considering them or have given up trying, to persist with them as it makes such a huge difference to leading a normal life.

We are all going to have to face new challenges within the boat due to my loss of hearing. Patience is going to have to come in volumes so that in situations such as bad weather, shipping containers ahead etc we know exactly what is needed from each other at all times.

Ultimately Oarsome Foursome want to inspire all women of all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities to overcome their own fears and obstacles and achieve their own aspirations no matter how large or small. The only person stopping you is you. It is also amazing to know that we are supporting 3 charities which are close to our hearts for individual reasons which have or will affect us all at some point in our lives.

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