New Year - Old Resolutions
I had been managing my stress levels by trying to cram in as much sleep as possible around some long hours of desk time. The end result was that the job got done, I didn't lose the plot, but unfortunately all was not well in other areas of life. The overall outcome has made me eager to make some changes following the holidays.
So.. I have spent the last couple of days getting ready to face a new year of Soph and working out how I am going to take back the balance to keep my head and body in good shape. Listening to the sound advice from a close friend, during relaxed walks over the break, I am going to try to go back to basics. Eat well, move regularly and sleep often.
Starting out with a couple of easy bike rides I have been tootling around the neighbourhood between home and gym, to find the pizazz necessary to get myself moving again. I have been reflecting on what I love and hate about this whole exercise thing and have realised there are a couple of things which I need to keep in mind this time around.
I like fundraising - it keeps me on track and helps me feel like I am doing something worthwhile for others - it also helps me too, but I don't often feel like I should be the person that deserves to be the main focus of the thing I am doing... if that makes sense?
The temptation is to try and set up some monumentally difficult challenge and go "Hey, look at this, give me some cash and watch me try my hardest to complete it". The problem is, I can't naturally do things by halves.. I'm either all in or doing nothing.. so my last fundraising year in 2017 was ridiculous at best and fundamentally stupid at worst.. I was competing with myself and ultimately, being knocked off my bike was probably the best outcome as it forced me to stop, rest and reassess. It also made me sleeeeeeeep loads and with that came sense and relief from years of insomnia and too much activity.
I also like running and I love being with my crews, RDC and CLC, but if I am 100% honest with myself, I've put on so much weight and feel so unfit at present, that I am going to be exercising on my own for a while, until I feel ready to join everyone in the coming weeks. I like the solitude of the morning runs on my own and I've a week away with work, to start the month off, but - I will be back to club soon - I promise.
In the meantime too, I remembered that I also love cycling, but not the full on "peloton 200km journey at break-neck speed" type of cycling.. I like the "investigating the area, getting out and exploring" type of cycling.. The type where you think and pedal and see where you end up, rather than grabbing the high octane gel pack, tight lycra and ego tripping. This does not excite me, nor make me want to join a club, make me want to take endless selfies and tell the world how excellent I am because I managed to spend a fortune on a bunch of kit, that quite frankly makes me look like an utter tosser. I just like to ride my bike.
So.. I am going to try something different this year. I am starting January by raising funds for Mind once more, by moving every day for the 31 days of the month. It's titled RED - for Run Every Day, but there's no rules on this. The main point is to raise awareness for the positive outcome of exercise each day, through one of the months in which a lot of people struggle with mental health issues. That's not to say that benefits are not also applicable all year, but with the Old tradition of setting resolutions, January seems like a good time to start.
The calendar below will be kept updated with my runs, rides and activities and my Mind fundraising page for the year has been started too. It's going to be good to have something to keep me on track, without the next level pressure I have imposed on myself in previous years. I'll try to keep this up-to-date over the year with other activities, as the good habits hopefully start to stick.
Following on from RED January, I've signed up with Diabetes UK to swim 22 miles in my local pool between February and May. Something I actually will struggle with, as I am not a great swimmer at all.. I did the 1 mile of the Serpentine in 2016 but doing this regularly and amongst work commitments, will hopefully help me unwind too.
I have a place in the Big Half in March too, which is the London Marathon's younger sibling event. So I will need to run and get prepped up for this too, but I am going to leave it a one event a month this year around. No marathons planned at present - Just the desire to keep healthy, keep the mind well and help a few people on the way too.
To everyone who is starting a new resolution list for 2019, I wish you good vibes and best chances for your own challenges.. Be kind to yourself and make it something that will benefit you for the long term.. It's great to take on new resolutions, but they will work best if you know they will become new habits and help you with all areas of your life
Good Luck & Keep Keeping On xx