2014 in Review

So after yesterday’s post, I received a few comments from people saying they thought I should actually write up 2014’s achievements in one post.  Okay, so they were pretty much all family, but since they’re the ones who have to put up with me banging on about various races/climbs/hikes etc, and are forced to endure the sight of my feet with no big toenails (they fell off after trail running in the Alps – I’m secretly rather proud), I figured I should do as they requested, and put a post together.

Now, I like writing lists.  I especially like writing lists at the end of year with a big long list of all the things I’d like to accomplish in the following year.  They’re not always practical; some are goals I’ve had for years, some are pipe dreams, some are wishes but each year I have a list.  Last year was the first year I realised my priorities in life had changed somewhat when 2013’s goals of buying a new car and a 4 bedroom detached house were not achieved, but instead I was the proud runner of a marathon and owner of a pink mountain bike – and I wasn’t bothered at all about not achieving those goals.  I realised how much my mindset has changed.

In 2014 I had some goals relating to personal finances and work; I’m not going to mention those any more cos they’re of no interest to anyone else at all.

Under the heading ‘Hobbies’ though, I had the following:

  • Become a proficient climber
  • Attempt ice climbing
  • Take part in an ice skating race

Under the ‘Writing’ section, I had:

  • Be a regular contributer to a magazine
  • Receive payment for an article

Well, climbing did feature heavily in 2014.  I’m not entirely sure I’d use ‘proficient’ as the word to describe my climbing, I have a hideous style and tend to breathe heavily and squeak, followed by hysterical laughter.  It’s all down to fear but I still sound like every perverts dream dirty phone call.  I can, however, belay safely and remember how to tie in.  This is a bonus, since when I get scared all prior knowledge falls straight out of my head.  In the Alps this summer, I completed my first multi pitch climb, and took care of the ‘Attempt ice climbing’ goal too.  Bonus! I got some shiny new climbing shoes for Christmas so I have big plans to become a far more proficient climber in 2015.

Utterly petrified!

Utterly petrified!

The ice skating race didn’t happen – it’s something I’d still love to do but it’s parked for now.  They tend to be expensive to get to! Incidentally, I’m actually a pretty good skater.  I took several figure skating exams a couple of years ago – whether this translates to be able to race, well, maybe I’ll find out in 2015!

With regards to the Writing goals, well, it’s turned into an amazing year! I contribute regularly to Merrell’s online blog.  If you haven’t seen any of my articles, have a look here.  I think this takes care of my first goal!

The second one was smashed when I received my first ever payment for writing up our Caledonian Canal trip! Amazing!  If you missed this adventure, by the way, you can read it on my blog here.

So, goals were met.  Brilliant.  But not only that, a whole load of other amazing stuff happened! I wrote a list of my 2014 achievements next to my Goals list;

  • I finally ran a sub 30 minute 5k.  As you probably know, I’m a shocking runner and generally don’t care about pace – but this one has been on my mind for several years now!
  • I ran a successful marathon! Yes, it was slow (5 hours, 26 minutes and 35 seconds) but compared to the disaster than was London Marathon 2012, I was over the moon with this one.  I got my nutrition nailed, I got my pace right and I finished it with a huge smile on my face – and had the energy to go celebrate in the pub afterwards!
  • I was asked to be an ambassador for Sealskinz. My husband Owain has been a huge fan of their products for years and introduced me to their waterproof socks.  I loved them, and was delighted to be asked as an Ambassador.  I’ve loved working with them in 2014 and am looking forward to continuing to do so this year.  Check out my blog for them here.
  • I canoed across Scotland.  Owain and I did this amazing trip this summer; we paddled 90 odd miles, bivvi’d on Loch Ness, ate copious amounts of chocolate and loved every second of it.
  • I got certified in Outdoor First Aid.  My concentration span is limited, so I had to work hard at this, but it meant a lot to me after watching my buddy Charlie fall off a climbing wall and break her ankle.  I realised I had no idea what to do if someone I was with got injured in the outdoors.  Now I have the knowledge to splint a broken leg with a walking pole.
  • I experienced Alpinism for the first time!  An absolutely amazing trip, and one that I will be revisiting this Spring.
  • I completed the Long Mynd Hike!  This was a biggie, and one of the proudest moments of my life – shame I was too busy crying to really relish the moment!  50 miles, 22 hours, 8000 feet of ascent, huge blisters and a mild case of hypothermia.  Amazing.
The last hill.  48 miles done.  Just about staying on my feet

The last hill. 48 miles done. Just about staying on my feet

So there you have it.  My achievements of 2014.  2015 has a lot to live up to!

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