Fitness journalism degree

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017!

It’s hard to believe that we have come to the end of another calendar year and started a new one. As always, I become quite inspired and excited at the prospect of a ‘new start’ – I credit that to being an INFJ personality type, according to the Myer-Briggs personality indicator test. We “intuitives” thrive upon the idea of possibility and change!

When I thought about writing this year’s post, I was stuck – how could I summarise what I have learned in 2016 into a few succinct statements? I decided that I would take a trip back to the past, December 2015, to be exact, to see what that year, which was particularly tough, had taught me. To my delight, I sat there nodding in agreeement. I had written that “our mind is our most powerful asset – and how this superpower is used is how we craft our beliefs” and “education is the best tool we have to make informed decisions about our health”. That feelings are best given the “Shrek” treatment – better “out” than “in” – and that the world is a better place when you have the encouragement and support of friends. As of January 2017, I feel exactly the same way as I did a year ago.

In 2015, I decided that I would surround myself with the best support team possible to address the depression and weight gain I experienced in 2015. I decided to live a “Dauntless Year” – that was to be brave, change career direction, starting by heading back to university to study journalism at the ripe old age of 46. Living a dauntless year also meant facing my fears, and being a more active advocate for evidence based health practice.

These intentions translated into a year of action for me. I worked with a dietitian and a psychologist in addressing the grumbling depression I had been suffering in 2014/2015 and got my nutrition habits back on track. This resulted in a slow and steady weight loss of just over 10kg. I started studying journalism with a lot of trepidation – could this old dog learn new tricks? Not only did this old dog learn a few tricks, like my own dog, she took on an air of delight about any journalism assessment that was thrown her way. What a joy to be able to go to University and spend the day studying how to write well, create stories on Instagram and learn the ins and outs of Twitter – not to mention interview people about rogue magpies. I have again been surrounded by the most wonderful friends and family who bring me a lot of happiness. Although I have my moments, the crushing depression has left the building – amen to that! I still have a little weight to lose but am very confident that it will happen slowly, but surely.

I also found those newfound journalism and communication skills serving me in the area of coaching. I accepted a position as a cycling coach with Southbank Triathlon Club and get to help out a very enthusiastic bunch of riders every Wednesday morning. I expanded this to coaching one on one.

Overall, in 2017 I’m doing a lot of the same as I did in 2016. I am training for the Three Peaks Challenge in Falls Creek in March, with the guidance of my fantastic coach and friend, Liz Hepple. Unwavering in her support, Liz has traversed the entire road to recovery back with me and has seen me at my best and worst. I am heading back to University for another year of journalism, I will continue to coach athletes for both cycling and triathlon and I am continuing on with my cycling team, Koiled-Oncemore for a year of riding fun. Hopefully this will mean a bit of racing, but these days my number one priority is to enjoy what has been a tremendous hobby. I will continue working with my sports dietitian, Peter Herzig to keep improving my nutrition habits and performance. If I was to state any new intention or plans, it would be to secure a job in the field of journalism/PR by the end of 2017 and to secondly, blog more – for myself and anyone who is keen to keep reading.

Hope everyone reading this has a very Happy New Year. Who knows what is around the corner, but let’s all keep living our truth and enjoy the journey.

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