I’m keen on self-reflection. I wrote a diary for years as a child and I dip in again from time to time now. I find it very therapeutic and I just LOVE reading it back. It helps me to be grateful for all I have and to set targets for the year ahead. It’s amazing how much you forget, even in the space of a year. I guess blogging and vlogging kind of replaces a diary in some ways but I’ll still be making my yearly entry looking back on the year I’ve had and making plans for 2016.
2015 has been packed. I can’t quite believe how much has happened. Work wise it’s been so hectic. The strains of being a GP in the NHS have really taken their toll with crazy amounts of work and increasing pressures from every direction.
I started working for Public Health England as a GP Clinical Champion in Physical Activity. This involves travelling around the north west of England teaching doctors and trainees about the importance and power of being active. I had forgotten how I used to want to teach and I’ve really enjoyed developing these skills, meeting like-minded doctors and getting to talk about my favourite subject too!
My writing work has flourished. I still have my monthly column for Women’s Running magazine and have written health features and online blogs for them too. I became the resident GP for UKRunChat and write a regular blog for them. I’ve also had guest blogs for Diary Doll, and Fitness 4 Mamas and been interviewed by Honest Mum and The Talented Ladies Club. Lots of people have contacted me for quotes for pieces ranging from The Telegraph and Top Sante magazine to Ultra Magazine and BBC Get Inspired. I was delighted to contribute to Nell McAndrew’s Guide to Running too.
I started this blog in February and it’s grown steadily month by month. I’m ever hopeful of being able to give it the time and attention it deserves! I’ve also started doing a bit of vlogging on YouTube. I’m only a beginner but it’s been something that the kids and I have enjoyed together. I think it’s a really useful vehicle to spread the message about being active everyday. I’m hoping that leading by example (including looking a bit stupid most of the time!) might inspire others to just get out there and enjoy exercise.
Most importantly I secured a book deal with Bloomsbury Sport to create a health handbook for active women. I’ve been finding extra hours in the day and hiding myself away to get down all my knowledge and experience into words to try to help other women to break down all the barriers to exercise. I can’t believe how much I’ve enjoyed doing it. Finding the motivation hasn’t been problem. Finding the time has!
Running wise I completed my double marathon challenge running the 261 Women’s Marathon in Mallorca followed by the London Marathon 6 weeks later. I was fund raising for A Mile In Her Shoes charity and managed to get a PB in Mallorca so I was over the moon. Since then I’ve been concentrating on short fast runs to maximise my writing time but I’m itching to crank up the distance again.
My running club Wray Women’s Running Club has gone from strength to strength and we’ve had 2 graduations this year of Couch to 5k runners. It’s a weekly dose of inspiration for me. Seeing women who never thought they could run learn that with support and encouragement they actually can is incredibly rewarding. We’ve had runners go on to run 10k, half marathon and even full marathon distances and enjoyed a lot of laughter along the way.
It’s been a super year as a family too. My kids continue to bring so much joy to my heart that I can’t begin to write about it. My husband has been so supportive of all my endeavours, I really couldn’t do all of this without him. We had a brilliant family holiday in Croatia this year.
So, that’s 2015! Well, the highlights anyway, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind! I’m so grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way this year. It’s been so much fun, if a little exhausting!
2016 has got me super excited. I’m taking a few months out of front line General Practice to allow me to finish my book. It’s really important to me that it’s the best it can be. My Public Health England teaching work continues and so does all my other writing as well as my blogging and vlogging.
I’m starting a new role with 261 Fearless to train coaches in English speaking countries and set up the UK 261 Fearless clubs. I can’t tell you how much this means to me. I first read Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer when I was training for my first marathon. I was immediately fascinated by this remarkable woman and the work she has done as an advocate for women in sport. I have to pinch myself (regularly) that I will now be working alongside her to help spread the word that running can empower even the most disempowered of women. I have so many new skills to learn to fulfil this role but I love a challenge and to be working on a project I feel so passionate about is thrilling.
I’ll be keeping the running ticking over until the Spring when I hope to start a marathon training plan in preparation for the Reykjavic marathon in August. I just need to convince the rest of the family to give up their annual dose of warm weather holidays first!
I think we already have some new starters for the running club in January so that will keep me busy too.
That’s a glimpse of what 2016 holds for me. I can’t wait to get stuck in. I haven’t even mentioned my New Year’s resolutions but that’s a blog in itself! I’d love to hear how your 2015 has been and what new challenges you’ll be taking on in 2016, why not leave me a comment below?