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Sometimes inspiration is just what we need. To keep us on the right track, to help us achieve our goals, to provide the energy to try something new or to just give us confidence. Inspiration comes in many guises. For me, it is often provided by friends, family, clients, nature, books and music.

This weekend I was on a string quartet coaching course in St Andrews. I play in a quartet with three wonderful people, all of whom inspire me for different reasons. We were coached by professional quartet players and they each provided musical inspiration. So I’d ticked the ‘be inspired’ box already. Then I met Sue. We ended up sitting next to each other at the Saturday night dinner. Sue seemed timid and admitted she was overwhelmed by us three confident, gregarious women who’d plonked ourselves at the end of their table! But timid Sue isn’t …

Sue turns 75 this year. After she retired, she took up rock climbing. She particularly enjoys ice climbing and makes an annual trip to Norway to scale frozen waterfalls. Her more mundane climbing involves Snowdon and Ben Nevis and she walks regularly in the Lake District, where she lives. Having realised the local Age Concern support was declining, Sue and her husband established a weekly walking and social group for people in their 80s and 90s. They have made a positive difference to their community in doing so. Sue plays viola as often as possible, attends a few music courses each year and has grandchildren she loves to spend time with.

Sue is fit, active, healthy and positive about life. ‘Retirement’ isn’t the right word for people like her. Which made me think about my parents who are both very active (although they haven’t taken up ice climbing just yet!). They are members of their local U3A – University of the Third Age – and this seems a more appropriate description.

Sue is making the most of her Third Age. I find that really inspiring.

Who or what inspires you?

(Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of Sue but my string quartet colleagues are just as inspiring so you get a lovely photo of them instead!)