Testimonials

Testimonials

I didn’t realise I needed Tom’s help until I started going for walks with Best Foot Forward during lockdown.

I often struggle with overthinking, anxiety and decision making, and going for regular walks with Tom has helped with these issues immensely. I always feel lighter and more energised when I get home, with a much clearer idea of where I am heading and a renewed sense of purpose.

Tom listens without judgement and uses his extensive training to coach and direct you towards finding your own solutions, or just allows you time to talk through what is on your mind, offering clarification and validation of your thoughts.

Being out in nature and exercising at the same time makes the whole process so much more enjoyable and freer, less confrontational and intimidating; in this way I find it so much better and solution-focussed than counselling.

Tom has got some great walking circuits and will try not to take you the same route twice, they are usually in the countryside outside of Bedford Town and as such it is rare to come across other people – I never feel like I have to monitor what I say or keep my voice down.

I highly recommend that you give his service a go, it might just be the help you are looking for.

Anna, Bedford

It wasn’t planned or organised as such, but a ‘Rantle’ walk with Tom at Best Foot Forward, was a superb tonic for my initial request just for coffee to deal with my reasonably long-term stressed mind.

I found that having a sincere and caring conversation, talking through hassles and bug bears, was dealt with far better through a fast hour and half of walking in the open air, with the listener to my side, than by sitting face-to-face in stuffy room with someone distracted by writing notes.

As we chatted through five+ years of niggles that were starting to make daily life less functional, including for partners and others having to share space with me and tired of hearing loud broken records repeat themselves more than a few times a week, I was able to receive loud & exasperated groans of frustration that matched my own, confirming Tom understood my struggles.

Much of the conversation was not entirely one-sided, Tom had mutual appreciation and acknowledgement of shared feelings, some very negative but others positive or hilarious.

The overall experience after the few miles of assertive and near sub-conscious exercise was down-right wonderful, and, as a ‘bloke’, I felt mutual understanding rather than just having someone give ‘textbook’ advice about how to change/address/respond to issues and feelings that are much more complex than simple intellectual activity can actually address.

I can only highly recommend a detox Rantle every now and then, my suspicion is it is likely to help make the world a better place!

It wasn’t planned or organised as such, but a ‘Rantle’ walk with Tom at Best Foot Forward, was a superb tonic for my initial request just for coffee to deal with my reasonably long-term stressed mind.

I found that having a sincere and caring conversation, talking through hassles and bug bears, was dealt with far better through a fast hour and half of walking in the open air, with the listener to my side, than by sitting face-to-face in stuffy room with someone distracted by writing notes.

As we chatted through five+ years of niggles that were starting to make daily life less functional, including for partners and others having to share space with me and tired of hearing loud broken records repeat themselves more than a few times a week, I was able to receive loud & exasperated groans of frustration that matched my own, confirming Tom understood my struggles.

Much of the conversation was not entirely one-sided, Tom had mutual appreciation and acknowledgement of shared feelings, some very negative but others positive or hilarious.

The overall experience after the few miles of assertive and near sub-conscious exercise was down-right wonderful, and, as a ‘bloke’, I felt mutual understanding rather than just having someone give ‘textbook’ advice about how to change/address/respond to issues and feelings that are much more complex than simple intellectual activity can actually address.

Will, Bedford

Why Walking? I am not sure if the conditions underfoot, that day in Wales, were as clogged and muddy as my mind at the time, but it was a close-run thing. Something was happening at home, in my married life and something wasn’t happening at work, this was conspiring to make me not be the parent, husband and son I wanted to be.

This wasn’t yet a crisis, it wasn’t even that obvious, but it was getting in the way of my potential in each domain of my life. What I sort was to break through into a new level in all realms of my life but it was just out of reach and I couldn’t understand why.

Walking with Tom at Best Foot Forward helped be set a new reasoning in my mind and a new tone and set of priorities in how I went about doing stuff and being.

As we walked the ancient mud of Offa’s Dyke, time was created and used in a different way as Tom’s questions opened space and became invitations for reconsideration and reflection.

I think the need to walk with care, our proximity and shared experience of the beautiful surroundings, if not weather, helped me to open up, explore and re consider in ways not available when held in the familiar and comfortable of an office or coaching studio.

Our conversation fixed a few immediate and needed issues and it gently change the trajectory of all my relationships and life.

Go walk with Tom.

Adam, Bedford

I needed a few days in the great outdoors to clear my head from both the stresses of work and to allow me to address some of my own personal challenges. 

For many years I had also wanted to climb Snowdon, so we decided that Capel-Curig would be our base, in the centre of an area Tom knows very well.  From the pre-planning over a pint in the local pub, to the debrief and goal setting on the journey home, Tom provided an excellent personalised service. 

The journey up in the car allowed me to start to unpick some of my issues, I am no doubt helped by our forward-facing aspects. Upon our early afternoon arrival we struck out into the hills, despite the poor weather, and I felt completely safe with Tom who has a wealth of mountain experience, always supported by Mrs Barwood’s excellent cake.

In the evening we discussed the walk and the plans for the following day but also began to consider the root causes of my troubles.

Being in the mountains I think really helps you to focus on addressing issues; removed from the constant interruptions from mobile devices, surrounded by the grandeur of the outdoors and being forced to focus on the here and now is a great way to get you to really explore your concerns. 

Walking one behind the other, hood up in the driving wind and rain on a narrow mountain path allows one moments of mindfulness, when your only focus becomes safely placing one foot in front of the other. I find these moments hard to find in my busy professional and personal life.

Tom’s questions are probing and insightful and he does not let you off lightly or with glib answers; his responses are enlightening, drawing on a wide range of knowledge, from history and geography through neuroscience, philosophy and spirituality, via yoga and cycling. 

He is happy to share his own personal experiences when he believes it might help unlock solutions for others. 

The weather was really poor during our 3 days in Wales but Tom understood my desire to climb Snowdon so on the third day we followed the Llanberis path, the longest but safest route to the summit.

Driving back to Bedford, tired yet refreshed, was a chance to reflect on good times, great company and determine some next steps.

I can thoroughly recommend Best Foot Forward.I can only highly recommend a detox Rantle every now and then, my suspicion is it is likely to help make the world a better place!

Matt, Bedford

“I approached Tom when I was stuck and overwhelmed with a career and life-changing decision that I wasn’t managing very well on my own.

With a mixture of excellent listening skills, intuition, a wealth of experience and structured thinking, Tom helped me to crystallise my thoughts and apply a value-based lens to my decision-making process.

Part thought-provoker and part cheerleader, after just one session, I was left energised, motivated, and inspired. With Tom’s help, I set some goals and I was able to manage my big decision and thoughts much more efficiently.

Mandy, Bedford

When visiting Bedford recently I went walking, talking, thinking with Tom. Well the walking and talking is obvious (Tom is both a great listener and a great talker); the thinking actually mostly took place upon reflection on the day and the conversation.

The conversation was easy as we set out on quite a long walk. I was a bit concerned as since being diagnosed with MS, walking long distance has been a bit of a physical and mental block (before my favourite pastime).

However Tom lent me some sticks and allowed me to make the pace. The walk went well with easy discussion and it was great to see it was my (and his) longest walk on Strava. As well as making the distance it was the gentle challenge that Tom offered to not be limited by my thinking (or condition) that really was the take-home, or next day, realisation that was the most valuable outcome, which remains with me still.

John, Bedford