Penny Mallory interview
By Cristina Parry
Penny Mallory ran away from home at 14 and lived a hand to mouth existence on the streets and in hostels in London from the age of 16. She was a tearaway; a self-confessed destructive teenager heading nowhere...
Except Penny decided to take control of her own life and turned her wild child lifestyle into a successful career as a TV Presenter, World Rally Car Driver, and mother of two girls.
She tackles motherhood like she has tackled the rest of her life... head on. Her daughters will not coast through life if she can help it! She feels it is important to push yourself out of your comfort zone... and therefore really feel alive and increase your self esteem. She says her daughters get a thrill out of doing something they thought they couldn’t do, and get an important life lesson in the process.
“Something that has totally held my fascination is what makes people perform to their best,” says Penny.
Performing to her best is something that Penny has made a kind of personal challenge... she only has to hear the words “you can’t do that!” and off she goes!
This is how she initially got into Rally driving. She went on a one day course in Enstone and was hooked; the flame of passion for the sport was lit. “Within 6 gear changes on an airfield in a Mark 2 Escort, that was me, job done,” says Penny, “I wanted to be the best, be a champion. There are no half measures for me.”
She didn’t realise how hard it was going to be but she put in the hours, got herself a car, sponsorship and a team, and a few years later was the first woman in the world to drive a world rally car.
The adrenaline rush she gets from trying new things is what she lives for. “I get bored incredibly easily. I constantly need a new challenge and for the last few years every year I have had a physical or mental challenge that I have set myself, something that is almost impossible, I think 'I can’t really do it', therefore I have to push myself to do it.”
Penny in action
Now based in Oxfordshire, Penny's addiction to new experiences combined with her knowledge of how to get the best performance from herself in everything she has tried has led her to a new career as a Performance Coach. She offers her wealth of experience to everyone from athletes to business managers.
“I do know how to get the best out of other people and it is so rewarding!” says Penny of her new role. “What I say to people is, I don’t give you advice, I don’t give you anything, but what I will do is drag everything out of you that is already there... I’m going to unlock it and it will transform your performance.”
What Penny Mallory sets her mind to next is anyone’s guess but one thing is for sure, it will be challenging. “My life is constantly changing and constantly challenging and from one minute to the next I don’t know what’s coming, which is the way I love it.”
last updated: 30/01/2009 at 16:59
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