Kim Ingleby: Overcoming Personal Challenges & Learning to Be Brave


This week I have had the pleasure of chatting with Kim Ingleby, International, Award Winning, Mind and Body Coach from Energised Performance.

I wanted to interview Kim because I was fascinated by her extremely positive outlook and the physical events that she has done. I knew that Kim has some health challenges and I wanted to find out exactly what she did, what motivated her, how she kept such a positive outlook on life and what gems of wisdom she could impart to help us.

I didn’t fully understand what Kim actually did.  Kim explained that she was a Mind and Body coach which means that she helps people to grow in confidence to achieve their dreams.  This could be anything from a GB Athlete to a busy mum wanting to run a 5K.  Her clients are not always sport related, some are CEOs in business, some are working on body confidence. Whatever your dream is, Kim works with you to help you realise your potential.

Just writing this interview has really made me think about my own life.  It’s made me realise that some of the things I do are useful and I need to work on other areas.  It has also left me feeling extremely motivated and inspired to try some new things, move out of my comfort zone and become a better version of me! I hope that it does the same for you too.

Do you have any questions for Kim?  Comment below or email me on and your questions will be answered in my forthcoming Questions with Kim post.

I know you have had some health issues, what happened?

Health wise I have had a crazy journey over the last 3 years.  I contracted what is suspected as Weil’s disease from open water swimming which caused Encephalitis.  (Weil’s disease is a severe form of leptospirosis. A type of bacterial infection. You can contract it if you come into contact with the urine, blood, or tissue of animals or rodents that are infected with the bacteria, Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain, caused by infection or an allergic reaction which can leave the patients with lasting physical, psychosocial and neurological impairment) I was seriously ill and am now learning how to become better again.

How does this affect you now?

My situation today is that I am left with neurological complications.  Some of them I can learn to override and some I can’t.  For instance, I can work out how to run on a good day but I can’t sit in a pub with noisy music and lots of conversation and I can’t override that.  Watching TV or going to a gig is really difficult. So I just have to work out what I can do.

It can be very isolating as I need a lot of peace and quiet.  Luckily my background has really helped and I use all my NLP (neurolinguistic programming) skills to help me. Sometimes I have days when I feel stuck but that’s normal.  What is important is keeping that feeling in that moment rather than letting it spread into the rest of your life

So is this now your situation for ever or will you get better?

My opinion is that it will get better!  The opinion of the medical word is that I have learnt how to manage it better than they could imagine and they don’t expect further improvement. I am doing really well and it is difficult to predict the outcome. I believe that my biggest limiter is my own self-doubt but from this I can grow in self-trust.

It sounds awful, what have you learnt from this experience?

I can’t remember 9 months out of the last 3 years and there are another 6 months where I felt really stuck. I keep in my head that this is a process.  I have had some amazing times and I have had some big challenges.

What I have learnt from this is to really celebrate the things that make you happy and the good moments because those are the things that will get you through the bad times.


Where did your lust for adventure challenge come from?

My family has always been into adventure and travel.  I have family abroad in Zimbabwe, Jerusalem and the USA and all of this has really opened my eyes to the world. I read magazines and blogs and there is always something that jumps out at me! Charity is also a big part of my values as I want to give something back, so I look for events that fit both me and the charity that I am supporting. I like challenges and adventure that involve people and different cultures so that I can give something back to that country as well as the UK. I find that challenging myself helps me to learn as a coach.

Which are the most significant challenges that you have done?

Running a 10k a month for encephalitis society has been key this year for their support and to raise awareness.

I think that the best one I have done is the Transylvanian bear race, a 48k race through bear and wolf infested territory and the infamous ascent of the Sholars Staircase on top of the Sighisoara citadel.

Bear RaceJPG

It was a massive thing for me to choose to do it.  People want me to stay safe and to not put pressure on myself. But I have to balance this with a desire to be me and have adventure.  It was difficult to make the decision to go – I didn’t know if I could do it and I have an awareness that I cannot do everything which is hard to get my head around.

My second favourite is the Sierra Leone Marathon.  This gave me a real prospective on life and showed me what is possible using DNA Fitness.  I did this on only 1 run/week training. It just goes to show that whatever condition you have, if you have the time to trust me, you are prepared differently a lot of things are possible.

Sierra Leone

Other things that jump to my mind are trekking across the Andes on a horse, riding for Scotland, representing my age group in triathlon and organising The Strictly Energised Ball which I organised from scratch myself and co-hosted with Gethin Jones.

What’s the next big thing for Kim?

Well I have lots of hospital appointments and tests to find out exactly where I am neurologically and to work out which parts of my body and brain are working and which are not.  I am going to write my first book which is a big project and something I have been thinking about for a long time.

I have a couple of ideas that I need to make a decision on but these are just ideas!!

  • The Himalaya 100, a 100-mile stage race at altitude
  • The Mongolian Marathon
  • Taking a group of people to do the Jerusalem Half Marathon

I am apprehensive about long haul flights and attitude but I need to trust myself and accept that if it doesn’t work it’s OK.


What drives you to do these things?

I am motivated to make a difference and explore.  I want to see what is out there in the world.  I am an adventuring soul and love different cultures and people.  The world as a whole is a fascinating place and to move myself out of my normality and comfort zone adds a huge amount of value to my career.

I am equally as happy at home in my garden or seeing friends.  You don’t have to be adventurer , go for a walk and walk a different route, just don’t get stuck in your habits.  The funnel of life gets narrower as you get older and you need to continuously widen it.  Passion and excitement give you a new appreciation of life.  They help you to become better as a person.

What’s the best piece of advice you could give my readers?

  • To like the person, you are. In the process learn about your fears and your limits.  Fear and limits are there for a reason so you need to decide if you want to change them and think about how you could change them.  That will be uncomfortable but its more uncomfortable to stay where you are.  Be brave enough to make changes whether they are big or small.
  • Some days you will be more accepting of yourself than others. On the days that you are less accepting re-learn to like yourself again. It’s a constant journey.
  • Have habits that are helpful and useful but don’t worry, just go and be you and have fun. Don’t lose you in trying to change you – whatever you are doing find some fun in it.

3 things people don’t know about you?

  1. At 19yrs old I had an HGV license and drove lorries for crew clothing!
  2. I once had a beef worm in my head! When kayaking through Belize doing environmental work I was stung by a Bot Fly and a beef worm grew in my head. I had to have it cut out in an army hospital. It was at least an inch long and hairy! I wanted to keep it but they wouldn’t let me!
  3. I have a degree in International Business Management!

What would be your advice to someone entering a race for the first time?

  • Plan the length of your training sessions and put them in your diary
  • Talk to your family unit to get their support. Make sure they are happy to support you and that they know that it will take some of your time.
  • Think about nutrition, stretching and rest.
  • Have regular sports massage if you can afford it as it supports and reduces risk of injury.
  • Write a mind map of how you want to feel, what you want to gain, your fears and how to overcome them and how you want to celebrate.
  • However long you think you need to train for it, add a bit longer so it doesn’t stress you. Give yourself a buffer in case of unplanned events such as illness or having to work late.
  • Focus on what you have done rather than what you haven’t done.

How are you so damn happy all the time?

People have a perception with social media which isn’t always the reality, it’s just a snapshot of that person’s moment in time.

However, I am naturally happy. All the medical challenges have made me resilient and appreciate life.  You just have to find something that makes you happy.  I have had a lot of coaching myself and done so much training that gives me something unique to help me to feel happy and content.  It’s taken me a long time to feel like this and I’ve had to learn and relearn.

Kim and Jake

How do you manage to fit everything in?

I have a plan!  I take time out of my schedule to spend time planning, 3 – 6 months in advance and then I also have a plan and structure for the week.

Taking complete time off is really important.  It gives you a chance to find out where you want to go next or what is not working for you right now.  It allows you to be happy and productive when you are switched on.

In the next interview we will find out how Kim became a Mind and Body Coach, the types of clients that Kim works with and how she supports people to achieve their goals.

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