2015 Storybook – My Year in Review

I’ve read quite a few fellow bloggers’ “Year in Review” posts, and I’ve really enjoyed them. Some reflect on their favourite races and running accomplishments, some highlight their favourite blog posts of the year, giving an interesting round up of experiences. Most include the good and the bad. I’m going to call mine my “2015 Storybook” – a summary of my highlights, and the not-so-good bits. I feel as though it’s an opportunity to look back, reflect and learn.

2015 Goals

I started off with best intentions, setting myself a big ol’ list of things I wanted to work on in 2015. I chose things from each area of my life, whether that was work, blogging, social or family, and many people told me I’d taken on a lot… they were right. Fast forward to now and I haven’t kept up with my goals. Yes, things went wrong along the way, which didn’t help, but I now realise that I didn’t plan well enough – I was trying to focus on too many different areas at once, rather than tackling one thing at a time, then moving on to the next.

My Storybook

Family and Friends

My family grew quite considerably in 2015. There were two big weddings in my life this year – the first was my dad’s, giving me a step-mum and four step-sisters, and the second was my own, giving me a husband and a mother- and father-in-law.

After my parents’ divorce in 2012 it seemed a challenge to keep my time balanced between mother and father. I didn’t want either to think that I was spending more time with the other. And I don’t see my friends as much as I like. I know the answer is making time, and not just hoping for it, so I’m actively looking for ways to see my family and friends more in 2016.

Keeping up with everyone all of the time is just not possible, but I hope they can see how much of my life goes into making something of myself, not just for me – but to make them proud.

Relationship

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I married the love of my life in October. Yes, wedding planning was stressful at times, but we made an effort to keep calm and not let the planning take over.

Now I can honestly say that things just couldn’t be better. Perhaps we’re still in the honeymoon period, quite literally, but I don’t think that’s it – I genuinely think marriage has made our relationship stronger and we are more in love than ever (sorry for the soppiness!).

Work and Blog

 

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I’ve put these together as I see them both as the “professional” elements of my life. Work is going really well – the team I work in is great to be a part of, and I feel I get a good balance of being given direction, while still working somewhat independently.

The blog has been, like many things, up and down. I’ve been fairly consistent in posting, but had two to three months in the year where I dropped off the radar a little. Sometimes I question whether I still enjoy it or not, other times I wonder why I ever thought that. What it has brought me, though, is some fantastic opportunities.

This year I’ve been proud to write for various different publications, including big websites and print and digital magazines. I took part in a photoshoot for an active wear company, and was shortlisted for top fitness blogger lists and awards. I was also featured and interviewed as a top fitness blogger for a national magazine.

Education

As you may already know, I’ve gone “back to school” this year, picking up degree study with the Open University. I’m working towards a BSC Hons in Sport, Fitness and Coaching, with my current module on Sports Psychology, and it’s so interesting! I’m also part way through my Personal Training qualification with HFE, which I’m loving, and I hope to complete this early in 2016.

Studying on top of a full time job, keeping up a house, blog, relationship and social life is not easy. But I think education will always factor in my life – I love to learn and take in new information. If I never had to work again, I would probably be a full time student!

Fitness

This has been where most of my ups and downs have come from. I seem to have a continual love-hate relationship with fitness. Working out can make me feel both on top of the world (when I achieve a new skill, or get a personal best) and at rock bottom (when I get injured, or struggle with something I should be able to do). I’ll split my fitness storybook into four main sections – what makes up my fitness DNA.

Running

 

 

 

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I had races booked up throughout the year, from 10k to Half Marathon and everything in-between. With a fun start of the year of the London Winter Run and a last-minute appearance at the Brighton Half Marathon, I started to rack up the medals on my new medal rails. I then tackled Reading Half – achieving an almost PB – took on yet another obstacle race, the Warrior Adrenaline Race (something I may have to make more time for!), the Colour Run, and ran the very novel Wings for Life race (chased by David Coulthard in a catcher car!). I ran my fastest 10k for years, again narrowly missing out on a PB time, and then my mid-point race became my last race of the year with an injury sustained half-way round. My second stress fracture.

From there, running ceased. I’ve now run a total of twice since – though one of these times was at a really fun adidas event ending in a rooftop photoshoot! I don’t know if I’ll pick up running to the same extent again. I’m considering sticking to obstacle races because, despite them theoretically being more risky when it comes to injury, I think they’re perhaps better for me with the broken up sections of running interspersed with stuff to climb over/crawl through/jump off. I’m undecided.

 

CrossFit

 

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Ahhh, my one true fitness love. CrossFit has been a constant for me over the last couple of years, and is still the place where I feel the strongest sense of community. I took part in the CrossFit Games Open for the second time, finishing 808th in my category in the UK. I also did my first Weightlifting Competition – something which definitely gave me an ego-check. I started looking more scientifically at CrossFit, and have been working hard to try and position myself as a point of trust in the UK community, helped by my articles for PT Magazine, Breaking Muscle, MyProtein and more. I hope this continues into 2016 as I have big plans for my blog in this area.

Unfortunately my injury mid-way through the year put a bit of a halt to my fitness goals for this year. I was getting really close to achieving my first full strict pull up, but when I stopped training for five weeks, and then only went back once a week for a further six or seven, this regressed considerably. I have also been pretty down on myself for not achieving skills that, in my opinion, I should have nailed by now. I started having Personal Training at the end of October, for precisely this reason, and I had a little whinge to my coach the other day about my lack of skills. He’s given me some advice which I aim to put into practice from now, and I WILL be nailing those skills this year.

Yoga

 

Having finally found a class that was both convenient and enjoyable towards the end of 2014, I was sure that yoga was going to be a regular in my life. But, unfortunately, the class was cancelled in early 2015 through lack of attendance. The instructor, Paul, is brilliant, and still teaches loads of other classes around the area in which I live, but unfortunately they aren’t as easy to fit into my schedule and so I’m not sure how consistently I’ll keep going.

I have, however, found Yoga Gym – the yoga training book written by Nicola Jane Hobbs, complete with home training programme – which I will be tackling to try and make yoga a more consistent part of my training.

New Fitness Concepts

I always say how much I love to try new classes and ways of working out, and this little section is devoted to that. I have tried an eclectic mix of classes and fitness venues/concepts, including:

And that’s to name a few! I will continue to try as many new and interesting ways to work out as I can – you never know what you might enjoy doing, or when what you currently enjoy might not be so much fun anymore.

Body Image

I thought I’d end on this topic, as it’s probably where most of my insecurities come from. This year I feel as though I have truly said goodbye to diets. I opened up massively in June about my body hang-ups and my troubled history of dieting and a minor eating disorder. Honestly, I received the most overwhelming response to this post – and I can’t thank you enough for every kind word I got. I’ve yo-yo dieted for years, and tried everything from intermittent fasting and detoxes, to meticulously counting calories. And quite honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been as happy as when I HAVEN’T been on a diet.

Finally now I’m starting to accept my body for the way it is: cumbersome (because I’m quite tall!), slightly squidgy, but strong and capable of almost anything I throw at it. What I’ve learned the most is that we all have “fat days”, it’s just learning not to beat yourself up about them that is the important part. As soon as we can learn to love our bodies for the things they allow us to do, the better. And I have an exciting project I’d like to get off the ground in 2016 in that respect too… watch this space.

Looking Forward to 2016

I haven’t settled on my goals for 2016, but I think I’m going to learn from this past year and take them as they come. Things change – goals change. And that’s ok.

First up? Pull ups… it’s time to really devote some effort and focus and get shit done!

Happy New Year!

Have you written a year in review post? Or decided on your goals for 2016? What have your biggest achievements been? Please feel free to post them in the comments below so I can have a read!

6 Comments

  1. 31st December 2015 / 4:27 pm

    Wow, a busy year for you! Keep up the blogging, I always enjoy reading your posts 🙂

    • Georgina Spenceley
      5th January 2016 / 11:46 am

      Thank you so much – that’s really lovely to read! Hope you have a fantastic 2016. I’m reading your running round-up right now 🙂

  2. 1st January 2016 / 6:37 pm

    Wow – what a year – your wedding photos are so beautiful and I love those ones from your Lexi shoot too. Lookforward to seeing what 2016 holds for you. Thanks for being one of my fitness inspirations.

    • Georgina Spenceley
      5th January 2016 / 11:48 am

      Thank you so much Becca – that’s really kind of you! I’m looking forward to seeing what you get out of 2016 too – I really enjoy reading your blog 🙂 x

  3. 2nd January 2016 / 12:22 pm

    Haha, I think I’m ‘slightly cumbersome’ too (I’ll never forget a former employer describing me as ‘hardy’) but I too find that my body can take whatever I throw at it!

    Great round-up anyway, all the best for you and your fitness for 2016.
    Xx

    • Georgina Spenceley
      5th January 2016 / 11:50 am

      I never would have described you as “hardy” haha! But then I’ve only ever Insta-met you! We should do a box-swap this year – would be great to WOD together! All the best for you too – I’m looking forward to seeing how you get on with your 2016 CrossFit goals 🙂 x

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