My 2018 Review.

Dear Blog,

Well, here we are, New Years Eve and another year has come and gone in the blink of an eye. I find that the older I get, the faster time seems to pass. It’s incredibly unsettling yet empowering and with each passing month, the more I try to cram in, rejecting mundane life while I can. 
My life has taken a huge (and pretty unexpected) turn during 2018 and to be honest, I feel absolutely amazing because of it. Its pretty rare for me to feel like this at the end of the year as I’m typically full of regret, having not achieved anything I had set out to do. I know a lot of readers will be able to related to that. Anyway, here is a breakdown of my 2018:

 

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  • In January, I visited Prague and marked my 25th birthday in another country. I visited an ‘Ice Bar’ where everything from the walls to the glasses were made of ice. You were only allowed 20 minutes in the bar due to how cold it was. 

  • I also started this blog in January!

  • Nothing spectacular happened in the lead up to May which is when I became single yet again. Looking forward to entering 2019 as a free woman. 

  • The end of May saw me begin the Arctic One challenge with my goals being: Cycle 621 miles, Swim 31 miles and collectively exercise for 100 hours, all before the first of September. unfortunately I didn’t succeed. My summer ended up being more jam-packed than i realised.

  • June was a month I’d rather forget as drama and mental health consumed my family life. However I did go to my very first photo shoot with my sister and it was a much needed confidence boost.

  • July has got to be my favourite month of 2018. Not only did I win 2 return flights to Spain via the NHS but I also won a cat hamper through my local pet shop. Clove was very happy.

  • On 1st July, I cycled 75 miles with Cycle Swam around Norfolk in the scorching heat.
     
  • Mid July, I went to my first ever festival and had an absolutely amazing time volunteering. It was, hands down one of the best things I have ever experienced and I am so proud of myself for doing it on my own. Thinking back and I’m still so pumped from the whole thing. 
  • Three days after returning from Latitude, I moved into my own little house! 

  • As August came around, my best friend from uni cames to visit. Using some gift cards I had obtained at christmas (and luckily not wasted on the Ex), we visited the Harry Potter studios in Watford. That was an amazing day out and took me back to being a kid. Definitely worth the visit if your interested in the making of Harry Potter or just to see the costumes and props.

  • Later on I did another cycling sportive (Tour De Broads) with one of my friends, this time only 50 miles but we completed it in good time and got some awesome medals!

  • 8 weeks later and I boarded the plane with my family to Spain. Having originally gifted the tickets to my Mum and her partner, it was decided to turn this opportunity into a family getaway with 6 of us in tow. A beautiful place that I would definitely visit again. 

 

The last few months have slowed down and been rather uneventful. I have worked almost ever day of the christmas season so nothing to report there. As 2018 draws to a close, it is a year I don’t wish to repeat but at the same time, I have achieved so much and developed my thought process, my personality and improved my general outlook on life. I have grown up this year and with 2019 already looking promising, I can’t wait to see what I’ll be writing this time next year. 


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Arctic One Challenge: Week 3

Dear Blog,

A rather stressful week and not as productive as I’d have liked. I have really let the cycling challenge down and didn’t commute to work as much as I could have. However, I have continued to improve with my swimming and beating my personal best every time.

Monday saw the continuation of the family emergency so for obvious reasons, exercise  was not high on my priority list. That being said, to clear my head, I did go for a lengthy walk through the woods.

monday challange

Tuesday was nothing but work. Wednesday I attended a spin class. I had hoped I’d be able to track my miles but the computer on my bike didn’t work which was super annoying. I then swam a mile.

tuesday

Back to work Thursday. Friday I was on a late shift so I manged to squeeze another swim in before work. I’m getting faster! I finally brought my bike home after Sundays events.

friday

Saturday I had some well needed ‘Me time’ and decided to give the gym a miss in favour for a little bit of shopping and spending time with Clove. I made up for it on Sunday by cycling too and from the gym, then to work for my night shift. I swam another mile.

saturday

Overall, week 3 has been as productive as week 2 however some noticeable slacking on the cycling front. I am really struggling to find the motivation even though I do love getting on my bike. Next week will suffer the same sort of pattern as I start the week on night shifts and have 2 days overtime at work. Slowly but surly, we are getting there.

 

Cycling: 58.93 / 621 Miles.
Swimming: 6.5 / 31 Miles
Hours of exercise: 16.39 / 100


For more information on Arctic One and where you can donate money if you wish, please visit www.arctic1.co.uk

Arctic One Challenge: Week 2

Dear Blog,

Well this week had been a much more productive in terms of the Arctic One challenge. I have defiantly felt more active and although I know I’ve barely made a dent in my cycling challenge, I have consciously made the effort to cycle as much as I can.
Annoyingly, my firbit has been playing up this week so don’t pay any attention to the calorie information on the stats.

So, kicking off with Monday, I cycled too and from work. No idea why the fitbit decided to label one as ‘Outdoor bike’ and one as just ‘Bike’.
monday challange

Tuesday was very much the same. Due to road works, I had to take a mini diversion though I can’t complain as it added up the miles.

tuesday

Wednesday was my day off so I spent a good portion of the day at the gym. I signed up to do two classes: Aerobics and a Yoga/Bodybalance class. Aerobic was an… experience. I was the youngest there by about 20 years. Once I got into it, it was rather fun though I learnt I have no coordination what so ever. The Yoga class was quite refreshing afterwards. I also swam another mile, shaving off a few minutes from my previous personal best.

wednesday

I didn’t cycle to work thursday as my body ached so much from yoga. Friday I was off but spend the day in my PJ’s with Clove. It was needed.
Saturday, I bussed to work as I was on a mission for boxes for moving. I walked to the gym afterwards and swam another mile. Getting faster!


saturday

And Sunday… I cycled to work but due to an urgent family emergency, I had to quickly bus into town. So as I type this, my poor bike is still locked up at work.

sunday

So overall, I’m impressed with how I’ve done this week. I can certainly see an improvement, especially with swimming. Lets see what week 3 brings!

 

Cycling: 45.77 / 621 Miles.
Swimming: 3.5 / 31 Miles
Hours of exercise: 9.56 / 100


For more information on Arctic One and where you can donate money if you wish, please visit www.arctic1.co.uk

Arctic One Challenge: Week 1

Dear Blog,

The first week of the Arctic One challenge is completed and boy am I lazy… I have found myself feeling very unmotivated (I blame the weather) and my whole week has felt it.
I started off pretty well. I went to the gym Monday. I cycled there and back plus spend a little time on the exercise bike*. Great start. I then jumped into the swimming pool for 55mins, completing half a mile before loads of kids came and spoilt the atmosphere.

*I’m not using my Fitbit while on the exercise bike as it doesn’t provide an accurate reading. Instead, I’ll take photos of the bike computer as proof. 

 

monday challange

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I was at work for the rest of the week and shamefully admit that I bussed every day (in my defence, it has rained most of the week and I don’t own mudguards).  My next day off was Saturday which was much more succesful. I opted to walk to the gym as I had errands afterwards but I did a further 20 mins on the exercise bike and I swam my first mile! And I completed it using nothing but breaststroke. Go me!

monday challange 2

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All in all, it’s been a very uninspired week. I am a bit shamed of myself. Lets hope I can get my butt in gear for week 2.

 

 

Cycling: 14.22 / 621 Miles.
Swimming: 1.5 / 31 Miles
Hours of exercise: 3.18 / 100


For more information on Arctic One and where you can donate money if you wish, please visit www.arctic1.co.uk

Arctic One Summer Challenge 2018.

This summer, I have partnered with Arctic One to partake in their ‘Summer of Sports’ event. Arctic One is a charity with aim of getting more people of all ability, involved with sports in one form or another. Though their work and the support of the pubic, Arctic One have been able to give grants to 115 people since 2015. These grants give people with disabilities an oppotunity to pursue sports and inspire the next generation of para-athletes. It is a brilliant charity and I am super excited for the next few weeks.

So the challenge: beginning the 28th May, I have until the 1st September to complete three challenges:

  • Cycle 1000km/621 miles.
  • Swim 50km/31 miles
  • Complete 100 hours of any Sporting Activity.

They don’t have to be done in one sitting (thank god) and if I complete all three then I’ll receive a medal and piece of clothing. Cycling will be the hardest. On the 1st July, I am participating in a 75 mile sportive around Norfolk, although that will barely touch my 621 mile target. As for swimming, I aim to swim a mile (64 laps of a 25 meter pool) each session and if I go every other day, I’ll be done in a month or so. I have no way to officially document this so you’ll have to trust me when I say I’ve completed a mile. If you have read my ‘From Frogs to Breaststrokes‘ blog, you will know that swimming isn’t my strongest ability (you’ll also be happy to know that I have somewhat mastered the breaststroke) so this task is just that little bit harder.
With both these task combined, challenge number 3 should be easy to complete.

I’ve decided for extra motivation, to write a blog every week to document my progress. It’s not going to be easy but its a challenge I’m excited to undertake. Wish me luck!

For more information on Arctic One and where you can donate money if you wish, please visit www.arctic1.co.uk

I Absorb Personalities.

Dear Blog,

At the moment, life isn’t as easy as I would like it to be but it has given me a lot to think about such as, me as a person and where my issues lie. Then I had a thought, an epiphany if you will: I have a personality draining demon.

As I have grown up, especially in the last 4 years, I have gone through a huge personality shift. Things I thought were important, things I’d dreamed off for years, faded into the background and I learnt life didn’t have to be linear, we aren’t in the 1950’s. I am free to go, do, be anything I want to be.

In 2014, I dyed my hair bright blue, straying away from my long, natural blonde hair. I saw a youtuber who had the same shade who seemed to have a pretty decent life at the age of 26 and I was inspired. So I changed my appearance to embrace this new-found youth. I have not been my natural hair colour since.  Now I know back then, I was more copying her rather than being motivated by her but I do still believe it triggered a change in me. From that moment, I have been absorbing different parts of people’s personalities.

Later that year, I got into an unhealthy relationship. I hold my hands up and admit I was 75% the cause and thankfully it didn’t last long. However, I met this person and listened to their stories, their families stories and was again inspired (can you see a trend?). This person was a keen guitarist and singer and although I have been playing guitar since I was 16, I am nowhere near pro (and unfortunately it is a skill I have completely given up now), I was starstruck. His favourite band soon became mine, I started taking my guitar more seriously and would often bug him so let me play on his until it became such a focus of mine, a obsession, that I soon overtook him and his passion until he couldn’t keep up. He went back into his shell like a freshly dried raisin. Then things ended.

So now we are in 2015/16 and I am this blue haired, semi-rock chic with guitar chords pumping through my veins. What would be the next thing I’d add to my arsenal? How about traveling.

In 2016, I met my current partner. When we met, I was hung up on the idea of getting married and having children. That was my goal in life. But when we met, I heard stories about living in Australia and Vietnam. Going from country to country on your own. This was like giving sugar to a bee. I adored that idea. I craved that idea. I stole that idea… Over the course of 2 years, children were out of the picture, replaced with plan after plan of going on holidays, month-long breaks and even moving to New Zealand. Everything sounded so exciting and was feeding this demon.
Cycling was another trait I adopted from my partner. Before I knew it, I was entering sportives left, right and center. I bought a bike worth hundreds of pounds, cycled everywhere and invested so much of my spare time watching cycling videos on YouTube. Weekends were filled with the urge to cycle more, further, faster. It was a sport my partner had partaken in since he was 8 years old and here I was, going crazy, addicted. I wanted it all but I couldn’t see that I was draining him. I was literally sucking the life right out of him and he became just another shell of who he had been. Because of me. So much inspiration that I adored but instead of cherishing his traits and talents, I wanted them for my own.

Here, in 2018, I am an energised, motivated, inspired ball of raging energy, yet I am alone. I took what I loved and I killed it.

I hope that I have found who I am ment to be and will stop this destruction otherwise I will end up with nothing to show but a list of failures and broken hearts. In a world with so much opportunity, where it is normal to go against the norm, how will I find my balance? Or am I still a naive 25 year old?