Get to know the Founder of GINA, Lisa Thompson, with a Q & A session.
Who is your role model and why?
Tim Smit, Co-Founder of the Eden Project.
The thing I love about Tim is that he emphasises how it is important to listen to and do things from your heart, even if it doesn’t always make sense in your head! I find his approach energising and it gives me confidence to tune into and follow my heart and to take risks. If I’d have just listened to my head and taken the “sensible” approach I would have missed out on some of the adventures in my life; like riding down the river Nile on a tyre, successfully running my first 100 mile ultra or setting up GINA while the UK was in a recession! Following your heart and doing the things you love (however crazy or illogical they seem) is what I’m excited about encouraging others to do, through GINA. It’s through these adventures that we really grow; inspire others and be inspired ourselves; nurture the very core of our beings by following what truly makes us happy and achieve our dreams. Life passes by too quickly for us not to.
What’s your favourite film and why?
At the moment it is ‘Untouchable': a French film. It’s a heart warming, funny and moving film. It’s a wonderful reminder that we can all enjoy and embrace new, fun experiences in our lives, whatever our circumstances. The main character in the film, based on a true story, is paralysed from the neck down and regularly faces a few challenges. However, despite these he retains a zest and positive drive for life and a desire to be treated equally; without pity. He reminded me of the desire we all have within us to overcome the challenges we face. It’s this desire to work through life’s obstacles, so we create our own experiences of joy again, that GINA aims to connect with.
What’s your favourite quote?
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” (Goethe)
Since the birth of my second niece whose name means ‘bold’, I’ve been very tuned into overcoming whatever is holding me back, following my dreams and embracing my own inner boldness!
If you could spend an hour with anybody from history or the present day who would it be?
I’d choose to spend an hour with my Nana Gina, to show her what an amazing and positive legacy she’s left behind for other survivors like her.
What have you achieved that you are most proud of?
There’s the things that immediately spring to mind, like running half marathons, marathons and a 100 mile ultra run (in 2014) or raising enough funds, year on year, so that RSVP can continue supporting and inspiring survivors. But the achievement or thing I’m most proud of is showing my two nieces and nephew everyday, that it really is okay to be uniquely, strangely and proudly you! (I’m known as their eccentric Auntie!) If they are encouraged by me and the other amazing people around them, to live their own lives, chasing and catching their personal dreams, they’ll continue to fly and spread even more GINA magic in the world!