New Year - New Sneakers - New Start

Sooooo.. It's a New Year and I'm feeling good about the next few months. I have treated myself to a new pair of half price Nike's and they are no longer looking box fresh after a good starter run today with a few folks from Run Dem Crew.. Who would pass up the chance to clear the Red wine fog from NYE and end the run with a cheeky Nandos?.. All good reasons to get up and out of the house.

As the day moved on though I had a few moments to reflect where I began last year. The year started with me signing up to MyFitnessPal and trying in ernest to get my diet sorted. I had spent a while comfort eating and spending too much time in the pub, so did the usual January 1st "oh my god I'm on a diet" bullshit and hoped it would stick. I wrote a couple of blog posts - which were probably seen by me and no-one else, but the goals were set and 2016 would be different. It certainly was and not in the way I was expecting at all. I stuck to MyFitnessPal religiously until I got passed the Half Marathon in October. Then I thought "fu*k it" and relaxed a little. I upped my exercise after a few weeks off and started to enjoy my food again. I haven't put on or lost any more weight, but I will be going back to tracking again for the next few months. 

My 2016 journey has been way harder, stranger and more rewarding than I had imagined it would be. I feel like I had fallen, rebooted and become much more than the person I was. I have taken a full break over xmas and not run at all for a couple of weeks, but I think it's done me the world of good. I was really tired by the end of the year, but in a good place again now and ready to start again.

For those people thinking of kick starting their fitness this year and maybe taking up running, I would recommend two really good books which I read on holiday in September, some 6 months after starting. They both made me realise that I was doing okay and that I shouldn't beat myself up if I couldn't be a fast runner, a hardcore triathlete or the leanest. They were hugely helpful for confidence and reassurance that I wasn't the only one struggling to run, reduce my waistline and keep my head above the water.

The Angry Jogger Book - available from Amazon and his blog

But, the other major force of positivity has been meeting the running communities in London and finding some good people to hook up with, to talk to, to get motivated and inspired by. These groups were the main reason I stuck out the year and kept going. They made me feel welcome and supported. I have tried to maintain an openness about how I got back into running and have been rewarded for my honesty by some refreshing frank conversations over the year and a feeling that I was not alone any more. This has been my single best line of defence and I will always be very grateful for their presence, welcome and understanding. 

So I am looking forward to this year and taking myself off on a couple of adventures. So far, I have a Winter Training Camp in Girona, a Kayaking trip in Norway, 3 marathons, 2 Velothons and a collection of Half Marathons already filling the calendar. 

2017 is going to be a lot of fun and hard work, but each adventure is keeping my head healthy and helping me work out the rest of my shit whilst learning to be a little kinder to myself.

To everyone who has helped me get myself back together this past year, thanks for every little nudge, smile or chin wag.. You've helped much more than you can imagine - I will continue to do you proud and to keep fundraising to help others keep fighting the struggle to overcome mental illness

Big Ups for 2017 - It's gonna be glorious xx


My original blog post - Returning to Class.. Sorry I couldn't quite catch that (05/01/2016)

I'm not so sure that this affects only the big deaf girls and boys out there, but one thing that makes our return to fitness classes more amusing, is the realisation that we're moving to a different beat.
Each year I get to Xmas and wonder why I failed to keep fit the year before.
Each year I tell myself "this year will be different".
Each year I sign up for a new range of classes in the first week of January and forget how much I love exercise class's ..
Until I arrive..
Completely out of sync, watching the instructor like a hawk, giggling like a naughty child at the back.. Purely because I am a few steps behind everyone, my limbs have no co-ordination and I'm actually enjoying it.
When the music is super loud, I struggle when starting a new class. The instructors are always great but as a deaf gym bunny, trying to keep up by mostly visual changes, used to be alienating, but these days it just makes the whole experience so much more amusing
I forget each year how much I need the endorphins, the adrenalin buzz and the elation that follows the class.
This year will be different!
This year I will remember to enjoy myself...
This year when I start to feel depressed with other things in my life, I will remember to drag my ass to the gym, laugh at myself and grab a relatively cheap high... Exercise my old friend, how I have missed you xx

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