Looking back, I can’t quite believe all that has happened to me in 2017, it’s been a roller coaster, whirlwind, crazy year! One I will certainly never forget. I’m so aware that it’s only been that way because of the amazing support, encouragement and championing from all of YOU, so I wanted to say a huge thank you … from the bottom of my heart.
April 6th saw the publication of my first book Sorted; The Active Woman’s Guide to Health’.
It still amazes me that I actually managed to write a book, a whole book, amongst the chaos of everyday life with work and children. It very nearly broke me but I managed and I’m so proud of it. Every kind comment and positive review makes all those early mornings and late nights worthwhile. Whilst I wrote it for the ‘everyday woman’ it seems to be finding a lovely home on the shelves of health care workers – doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, midwives etc etc (male and female) who tell me that it helps them with their knowledge and conversations with patients. I couldn’t be happier with that. I hope it continues to inspire, motivate, and educate through 2018 too. A massive thank you to everyone who has bought, reviewed, tweeted, insta’d and messaged me about Sorted. You can feel pretty vulnerable when you ‘put yourself out there’ and your support has meant so much.
Another life highlight – shortly after book publication day – was the Boston Marathon. It was a very special year to run Boston because it was the 50th anniversary of Kathrine Switzer first running that race back in 1967 and nearly being ejected from the course because she was a woman. Her story and advocacy for women in sport has been a driving force behind my own ambition. To be in a team of women starting with her was immense. To suddenly realise that she was coming up behind me at mile 25 and to run down Boylston Street and cross the finish line with was overwhelmingly incredible. That moment will stay with me forever.
Leading on from that, my involvement with Kathrine’s 261 Fearless global women’s running network has catapulted. I’ve become the Women’s Health Lead, establishing the curriculum for the education courses. I’ve also qualified as a Master Coach and have been leading Train the Trainer courses in the UK and the USA to educate and train new coaches to start their own clubs. The club network has grown to thirty clubs on four continents this year – WOW! I’ve been writing content for the 261 Fearless website and private communication platform and talking to women all over the world on a regular basis which has been truly life-enriching. Then, to top it all, I have become co-founder and director of 261 Fearless Club UK CIC. Learning business skills and setting up this community interest company has been challenging but I know it’s the start of a wonderful journey.
My work with Public Health England as a Clinical Champion for Physical Activity has expanded and I took on a lead role in the North West. It’s such a pleasure to be presenting lectures and workshops on my favourite topic all over the region and I’ve met some great, enthusiastic and positive people who feel the same way as I do about the importance of lifestyle in medicine today. It’s also made me realise how much I enjoy public speaking so I’m looking for opportunities to do more of that next year.
I set myself a ‘blog target’ for the year and I was so happy to meet it in early December. My Active Women Interview series has been very well received and I have so enjoyed sharing the stories of some incredible women. They don’t think they’re incredible, they’re just out there doing their best and having a whole lot of fun. That to me is the key. Finding what you love to do will pave the way to an active life with all the health benefits it brings. Sharing their stores provides inspiration for all of us, we all underestimate the power that our actions have to encourage others. I’m so grateful to all of them.
I want to share more of these stories, do get in touch if you’d like to feature in the series for 2018. Thank you to all my regular followers, those that have dipped in and out and those that just read the one thing that caught their eye. I hope you have taken some inspiration from what you have read and do pop back any time. I cherish this little space of the internet that belongs to me. It’s only time that stops me writing more. I’m set for some big life changes in 2018 and have lots of plans for my blog, so watch this space!
My amazing family continue to love and support me, unconditionally, through all my crazy ideas and adventures. I couldn’t do this without them. Goodness, this is turning into an Oscar’s speech!! Time to wind up and wish you ALL a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful 2018. Do join me for another year. I love to hear your feedback, comments and stories so tweet me, chat on Facebook or hop on Insta and say hello. Raising a glass to a wonderful 2018 for us all! I’m going into it with a smile and I hope you are too.
Featured image – Gratisography. Boston Marathon image and final image – Horst von Bohlen. Other images – Dr Juliet McGrattan