Caroline Boulton, Owner of Holistic Life Sports Injury & Wellness Centre

Working with clients to improve health and fitness, with services including sports massage and injury rehabilitation

It was 1992 when I was involved in a major car crash which altered the course of my life. Supremely fit, I’d been hiking with friends in the Lake District when we rounded a corner on a bend… An American tourist – driving on the wrong side of the road – collided with our vehicle. Wearing a lap belt in the middle of the back seat, my torso hurtled forward but my legs and pelvis stayed put…

My friends and I escaped with our lives, but the consultant informed me that although my strong body had certainly saved me from total paralysis, I was still facing life in a wheelchair. The following two-and-a-half years I faced – a gruelling road to self-rehabilitation through determination, hard work in the gym and intense sports therapy – were incredibly tough. Allergic and intolerant to painkillers, I overcame the odds through mindfulness – using meditative techniques to help my body grow stronger; all I wanted was my independence back…

Twenty-six months after the accident, I completed the Manchester to Blackpool cycle race – proving to myself that I’d regained control of my body, mind and destiny. I decided that I wanted to help and inspire others to improve their health and wellbeing – giving hope to people with life-changing injuries and to set them on a path of retraining. I’d qualified as a sports therapist during my own recovery so I could better understand my body and how muscles work.

Following a four-year career as a business analyst for Barclays Bank, I founded my business in 2003. Since then it has grown from a converted utility room at home to a fully-fledged wellness centre with two treatment rooms and a gym rehab area. The practice offers disabled access, which is extremely important to me because I’ve been working with both Paralympic and Olympic cyclists for the past five years.

It’s taken massive reserves of self-belief to get this far, but I always tell people that if you feel something strongly enough in your gut – whether that’s climbing a mountain or starting a company – just go for it!

When the time’s right, with a strong support network in place, that’s all you need to achieve your dreams.

Holistic Life Sports Injury & Wellness Centre