Reflecting on 2017

I thought about doing a round-up post for 2017. I know they are a bit cliché and every blogger is doing one, but truthfully, I enjoy reading them. It’s refreshing to read what people are proud of. It’s refreshing to see the honesty.

For me, 2017, like every other year, has had ups and downs. I haven’t spoken about many of the changes of the blog, although if you follow me on social media, you will have picked up on bits and pieces. So here’s a recap on things that have been important to me this year.

 

Running

Running has been up and down for me. I’ve been in and out of love with it. I completed the North London Half Marathon in a pretty terrible time, feeling miserable the entire way round. I did enjoy some pleasant runs on the trails at Bluestone in January. I entered the Spitfire Scramble to run as a pair with my friend Corey, unfortunately I got really ill over the summer and had to be content with walk/jogging just a couple of laps. However, I did score my first running trophy as Corey ran us into a splendid second place!

I also enjoyed trail running in the Isle of Wight and also checking off a couple of new parkruns, so it’s not all been bad. Now I’m just trying to find my legs again.

 

trophy2

 

Relocating

I moved out of London! This wasn’t something that I ever wanted to do, but the fact remained that the costs of living were getting too high. Working for myself meant that I never actually had to be based in London so a leap was taken into the dark and now I’m in Retford, Nottinghamshire. I love it here. I can be in London in 90 minutes so I don’t feel too disconnected and I’ve rediscovered the joy of a train journey and being able to watch the countryside whizz by, without being pressed into some random armpit. Retford is a market town, with a lovely canal which I’ve enjoyed running and walking along. I’m starting to make friends here and I’m typing this sat in the spare room of my house which doubles as my office. That would never have happened in London. Rose loves it, so it was a great move to make and she’s well settled now with fabulous childminders and nursery.

 

Trail running

 

Politics

Some of you may know that I’m a member of the Liberal Democrats. I’m not typing this to get into a debate over who people should and should not support, but I believe that politics is for everyone and that we all have a voice that we should not be afraid to use, if we want to use it. I have been welcomed into the Bassetlaw local party with welcome arms and have thoroughly enjoyed working as an active member. In August, I was approved as a candidate and I am currently the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Bassetlaw. I hope in 2018 to keep working on making positive changes to the local community which has been me so welcome.

 

joswinson

Jo Swinson, MP for East Dunbartonshire and I at the Lib Dem Autumn Conference

 

Bowling

I was hoping to be back on the lanes properly this year, but it hasn’t happened, although I’ve had the odd game here and there. I’m now a sub at Mansfield, so hoping for a few more games there as it’s a really lovely centre. I’ve been having fun on the admin side though and this year, I was lucky enough to be flown to Malta to cover the Malta Open and cut my teeth on commentating. A great experience, although being admitted to hospital with pneumonia wasn’t part of the plan.

 

church

Beautiful Malta

 

#EndGreatRunHerbalife

Will I ever shut up about this? Perhaps not, but I have been so proud of this. To recap, the Great Run series announced a Nutritional Partnership with Herbalife. I felt strongly that this was not a suitable partner for a run series that encourages mass participation in running. How could a company actively encouraging meal replacement be a suitable partner? With my friend Stephen, we spammed social media with our views and wrote a series of blog posts, calling our campaign #EndGreatRunHerbalife. I set up a petition calling to end the partnership and was shocked when Great Run actually listened and pulled the deal. Of course, we never heard anything from them about it, but a tweet stating that they’d ended the deal due to “feedback” confirmed that it was due to the efforts of the running community in supporting us. It just goes to show, you can make a change.

 

Great Run Herbalife

 

Learning to trust

Sometimes shit happens in life and that’s pretty crap. I am not going into specifics, but sometimes my downfall is being too trusting of people. Unfortunately, something happened recently that has made it difficult for me to trust and confide in people. I am sorry to people who I have been vague with over the last few weeks. I need to learn how to trust again.

 

Learning to step back

I am also guilty of trying to do too much at the expense of other things. I may not see friends, or put loved ones off until tomorrow. This needs to stop and I need to find some balance. I am not superwoman and nor should I try to be. This all came to a head in August. I was still feeling poorly from my illness and was going through my candidate approval, while launching a rebrand for an organisaton on a budget and trying to do a million other things all at the same time. I was worn out and my emotions were a mess. I need to start going back to yoga for relaxation and I also need to learn to say no, instead choosing what I say yes to.

 

What to do?

Slow down, say no.

 

Still with me? Jolly good of you to read this far. I used to believe in New Year Resolutions, but I don’t anymore. I have things that I want to work on, things that I want to do and I don’t need the start of a New Year to focus on it. It’s a blank canvas to draw, to write, and life is full of twist and turns. I don’t always know where I’m going but I usually end up somewhere in the end. And if that isn’t where I want to be when I get there? It’s okay to change direction. It’s okay to keep learning. We should always keep learning.

It’s also okay to celebrate successes and things that we are proud of. I’m proud of dipping my toe into the water with politics. I’m proud of standing up for what I believe in, even if it doesn’t always win me friends.

Tell me something that you’re proud of.

3 Comments

  1. December 29, 2017 / 7:28 pm

    Ah, Helen, you have so much to be proud of this year! Bloody well done. I like goal-setting throughout the year too rather than new year resolutions. 2017’s main achievement has definitely been being brave enough to go for the career swap. 2018’s goals are all focused on making my future as a personal trainer a big success!
    Anna xx
    http://www.glass-shoes.com

  2. December 29, 2017 / 11:31 pm

    Loved reading this! I’m proud of my part in the #WomenInSport campaign and taking part in things outside of my comfort zone. It’s been an amazing experience and something I’m hoping to grow on with regards to my self confidence x

  3. December 31, 2017 / 6:34 pm

    A great read- well done for the herbalife campaign especially- so good to see that companies still do listen sometimes.
    I like goals rather than resolutions, as often the latter seems to be giving up stuff, or a sort of less than healthy balance sort of thing. This year I managed to visit all the Herts parkruns (well, some I visited in previous years, but I finished it this year)- a bit of fun really but a nicer goal to aim for than a certain time or something.

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