'I want to thank Lewis for making me who I am today'
PUBLISHED: 13:55 29 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:45 17 September 2018
Celebrating 10 years of her sports injury clinic, Baldock businesswoman Samantha Holland looks back at how she got to where she is today.
"I had to leave foster care suddenly at the age of 15 for reasons beyond my control and fell pregnant at 16."
This year I am celebrating the 10th anniversary of my running a successful sports injury clinic, where we treat, amongst others, European and World Champions.
This milestone is not only a success for the business but a major personal achievement for me and a time to celebrate just how far I have come. This is me now, but it’s been quite a journey getting here!
I was raised in a very abusive household, the youngest of four children. The eldest two had moved in with our grandparents and so my sister and I were taken into care. We were promised we wouldn’t be split up, but eventually were separated into different families in different towns.
I endured an abusive relationship for four years from a very young age. I had to leave foster care suddenly at the age of 15 for reasons beyond my control, and fell pregnant at 16.
I hadn’t done too well at school and was enrolled in college, but the baby was to be born before my course had finished.
I was concerned about how I would look after my baby. After all, I had minimal contact with my mum and have never had contact with my dad. The relationship I was in was no place for a child.
I had a lot of people telling me how it was a bad idea to have the baby and that if I did then I was sure to end up on benefits – some even suggested I was only pregnant to get a house.
It was hard to take it all in but, as soon as my son Lewis was born, something clicked in my head.
"It was possibly the worst three years of my life at university. I found myself juggling three jobs and being a single mum. I hardly ever had the chance for “me time”."
I realised that I did not want Lewis to have the life I had. I never wanted him to feel rejected. I wanted him to be loved, wanted and well-cared for. I ignored the haters.
I spent the first two fantastic years with my son and then started planning for the future.
I enrolled at college for two years, and then went on to university for three years gaining a 2:1 BSc (Hons) in sports therapy.
It was possibly the worst three years of my life at university. I found myself juggling three jobs and being a single mum. I hardly ever had the chance for “me time”.
However, spending time with Lewis was precious and my siblings and childminders cared for him when I was working.
Exhausted, I just kept the vision in my head of the next stage of the plan and my long-term goals and fought on.
I established my company a year before I qualified at university and I rekindled some of the relationships with my family.
It took me a long time to accept that you cannot change your past, but you can change the future. To always look back just keeps you from progressing forward.
"When you have a child, they are looking at you, watching you and learning from you. What you do is what they become, and I never wanted my son to live in the detriments of my past."
I was on my own with Lewis for nine years. When you have a child, they are looking at you, watching you and learning from you. What you do is what they become, and I never wanted my son to live in the detriments of my past.
I knew it was my duty to “break the chain” and love life. Lewis gave me the strength to push on, and I genuinely believe the person he is today is a reflection of the love and pride I have for him.
Lewis is now going into his last year of senior school and has chosen his GCSEs with the intention of going to university to become a sports therapist and taking over the business one day.
I am holding a charity fundraiser for Garden House Hospice Care on September 9 to mark this incredible 10th anniversary. Not only is this an opportunity to raise much needed funds for an amazing local charity, but also an occasion to celebrate life and thank everyone who has supported me on my journey so far.
More importantly, I want to thank Lewis for making me who I am today.