It wasn’t going to be hard for this year to be good. I make no secret of the fact that 2014/15 were two of the most difficult years I have faced in real life adulthood. But consistency, positivity and a bucket load of prosecco got us to 2016 and it held so much promise.

It was the year of 30for30, it was the year I turned 30, it was the year #3 was discharged from neonatal care, it has been the year of many things, some bad but mostly amazing.

As the year draws to a close I find myself wondering what 2017 will bring (hopefully lots more hills to run up and much less prosecco!!) but also pondering the things that I am grateful for in 2016, the things that will carry me through the hopefully infrequent bad moments of the coming new year. 

1. My Girls…

Yes they are wild and there are more of them than I have hands. Yes they bring some almighty attitude to the table and they make me question why I even had them almost daily, but they are my entire world. They are funny and kind and clever and witty and so much fun to be around. They make me well-up with pride so often that one day I swear my heart will explode. They deserve the whole world and if I can even open their lives to a small part of it then I will have done a good job. They are everything…


2. Old Friends…

Not old in age obviously. But the friends that have been around so long they just ‘know’ exactly what’s going on and how to help. I hope I’ve moaned less this year and required their romantic dissections in smaller doses than I have done previously but without these girls I wouldn’t be the person I am today. They all, in some way, helped put me back together when it all fell apart last year and I am so lucky to have such an amazing group of friends…


3. New Friends…

These guys. Wow. I definitely wasn’t expecting this lot in 2016 that’s for sure. From that fateful night in March it has been an amazing journey with them through the rest of 30for30 and beyond. I have been absent from training recently, a distinct lack of confidence and fear that I’m just not good enough has rendered me useless exercise wise. But this lot have helped push me to levels I wouldn’t have reached otherwise and I am very thankful to have them in my life. 2017 is going to be some year for us (or just them if I continue to dodge training…)


4. My first ever podium finish… 

I am grateful for this in two ways; one because it showed me that I am good enough to be up there, and two because it reminds me that you still have to work for stuff like this. Finishing on the podium doesn’t mean you’ve ‘made it’ forever. I had a massive crash in confidence shortly after the Bear Grylls race and it plagued me for the rest of 30for30. After the Total Warrior Edinburgh I just wanted the whole thing done and I worried that if I didn’t make Top 10 then I wasn’t good enough. I forgot that actually, I don’t want to win. I am not and will never be an elite athlete, I just want to do my best and run as well as I can do every time I go out. That’s what I did the day of Bear Grylls and it’s what I’ll hold on to going into next year…


5. My dreams and my drive…

I was never going to let 2016 be ‘it’. There was always going to be more, I just wasn’t sure what to do to top it. Well I’ve got a plan (of sorts). I’m going to run up Snowdon (and back down again hopefully), I’m going to run a marathon across Morecambe Bay and through the Lake District. I’m going to run, bike and kayak my way through the Highlands of Scotland and I’m going to run an Ultra (or two).

Why? Because of mental? Maybe. But mostly because, why the hell not? 

One life, that’s what we get. No second chances and we will all be old and incapable before we know it. Why the hell not do as much as you can, as spectacularly as you can, while you can? 

For me, that’s pushing myself physically and mentally to see what my body can do. To see how far I can run and to soak in as many memories as I can while I do it.

It might not be the same for you, you might what to travel and take photos, or maybe you want to make cakes or teach or learn a language or an instrument. But whatever dreams you do have, make steps to fulfill them in 2017…this is your one shot at life, don’t waste it.