Thursday, 31 December 2015

Looking back at 2015

My 2015 has had it's highs and lows for sure. Highs were definitely seeing the Spanish Riding School horses in Vienna with my mum in April, spending three weeks in Bali in July and moving in with my partner, Nick, in August. Disappointments include missing the UK freediving championships with illness in March and then getting disqualified at the World Championships and coming home early in June. The first half of 2015 was so frustrated by my ailing health and poor recovery from training that I almost gave up for good.

Relaxing in Tulamben, Bali
Being diagnosed with hypothyroid condition was a great shock, although the gut issues I've had since then have caused more problems than my thyroid as I've responded well and quickly to my medication. The great news is that my stomach now seems to be back in good order and I can eat everything I used to eat with no apparent issues...just in time for Christmas! I'm hugely grateful for this improvement, and I can now look back at 2015 and see that my health issues have actually been a gift. Had I not been diagnosed at this early stage I may have become much worse before the condition was picked up.

Now we're on the threshold to 2016 and I'm feeling happy and excited about what next year could bring. The next few months will hopefully see us buying our first home in Bristol. With more time on my hands, having stepped away from intense training, I plan to enjoy some horse-riding lessons, open water swimming in the summer and trips to the beach. I also have my 40th birthday coming up in May, giving me plenty of excuses for a trip away or two as a treat! Bring on 2016, I can't wait!

Happy New Year to you all!

Saturday, 19 December 2015

In Transition

Since my decision to stop serious training for freediving, I’ve begun to enjoy the distinction between ‘training’ and ‘exercise’ but the inner athlete is still lagging behind. I’m still mindful of my carb intake before a workout (to the gram!) and pack my recovery drink and protein for afterwards out of habit.

I’m lost without my bag of floats, fins and paddles at the pool. My foam roller is getting plenty of use and I’m still checking my heart rate daily. I’ve stopped following a training plan, but when I go to the gym or the pool I still do the same workouts. The best bit, however, is that moment I decide the TV thriller that’s just started is far more appealing than sweating it down the gym, and not feeling guilty!

You can take the athlete out of training but you can’t take the training out of an athlete.

love to move, so I’m never going to become a coach potato giving up committed training, but it is a blessing to be able to pick and choose when I feel like exercising rather than be compelled by a spreadsheet. Exercise to me means being free to run for as long as I like, knowing it won’t affect the next training session as I’ll wait until I’m ready for that. Exercise means playing with the new equipment at the gym like the heavy ropes or punch bag, knowing its not really relevant to my sport but it’s a giggle nonetheless. Most importantly, exercise means staying healthy and eating well, sleeping like a log and smiling often. That’s why the first thing I’ll do on Christmas morning is run through the woods, feeling totally alive and happy.

Merry Christmas everyone! x