Today is the first day of 2018. A new year brings with it new opportunities but also a chance to reflect on the previous twelve months. For me 2017 was a year of many changes and challenges both professionally and personally. December 19th, 2016, I moved back to Swindon after eleven years to work in a private gym. I ended 2017 with a job in a super market but also with an offer for a Zero hours contract at a local gym to begin shortly. Professionally 2017’s main challenge has been related to finding a new purpose. Sometimes it has felt as if I was destined for short term work, however I now have an opportunity to work as a Fitness Instructor again.
Personal challenges for 2017 have been many. Finding a new direction in my professional life, being more open about mental illness and learning new styles of exercise would be the main three. Up until last year I only aloud a very select few people know that I have mental illness. The reason for this was because I don’t want people to treat me any different to how they treat other people. I also refuse to let my life be defined by mental illness. That is another reason why I say that I live with mental illness as opposed to saying suffer from mental illness.
Finding a new direction in my professional life lead me back to what I already knew. Fitness and Nutrition are two of my passions in life and helping other people live healthier lives is another. I have heard people say that if you are not doing what you are passionate about then you are wasting your life. This may be true, however most people are not lucky enough to be able to do that. I was very lucky to be able to make a career out of my passion for ten and a half years. At various points in 2017 it looked like I would have to settle for any job I could get. The personal challenge to this was to be able to live with it. Now that I found the opportunity to work in the fitness industry again I don’t have to feel like I’m wasting my life, or made a mistake in moving back to Swindon.
Learning new styles of exercise is not a huge challenge for me as I have always been open to trying different styles. The challenges have been finding something to train for. In 2016 I completed two obstacle races. The Yorkshire Tough Mudder and the Royal British Legion Major series. This gave me two clear deadlines for reaching peak fitness. In 2015 I completed a 26-mile cross country hike to Stonehenge. In 2017 I didn’t have these deadlines which made it difficult for me to stay motivated. I am not competitive in the sense that I must win or be the best at something. I am focused on achieving my best in whatever I do. For the obstacle races my goal was to be fit enough to complete the event.
2017, like every year had its ups and downs, I like to think that I have learned a lot from 2017’s challenges. 2018 will show me how much.