It’s that time of year again… when we dig out that list of the things we said we were going to do in 2017, blow the dust off it and ask ourselves honestly whether we achieved them…

I think that reflection on this sort is very useful- not for beating ourselves up if we fell short of our goals, but in analysing what went right, what went less well, what challenges we faced, how we overcame them- or not- and the things we can do to make us more likely to get what we want to out of 2018.

This is very important to me. I turn 48 in January (eek- how did that happen!?!) and although I feel fit and healthy- well, maybe healthy- I don’t know how many active years I have left! I need to make my years count. Nobody knows what’s around the corner so if there is anything you have a burning desire to do why not plan it now?

I realise I didn’t actually set out my goals in the traditional sense at the start of this year, instead I listed the events I had entered with some vague ideas on losing weight and becoming fitter (ha! Well I can tell you know that didn’t really happen!!!)

So what did I set out to achieve this year, and, more crucially, did I do any of it? (Drumroll…)

The Wilmot Wander. This was a 31 mile walk round Derby- it was very muddy and thanks to rather sparse instructions route finding was challenging. It was lovely walking with Sue and Elaine but after being slowed up so much by the terrain and navigational errors (including a rather serious one by me) we called it a day at the last but one checkpoint.

The Millennium Way Ultra. Although it was wet, freezing, flooded and muddy I completed this just within the time limit although I did manage to get lost!

The Forest of Bowland 100k walk– 60 miles in the Forest of Bowland in March probably wasn’t the greatest idea. I did this with Sue and we encountered driving rain, serious bogs which sucked people in up to their waist, and organisational errors leading to our decision to quit at around 20 miles. The event was cancelled shortly afterwards.

The Millennium Ultra Way Back, Coventry Way Challenge and the Outlaw Half. Due to the rubbing my back suffered in the wet conditions of the Forest of Bowland and Millennium Ultra, I ended up with an infected cyst on my back which required surgery and weeks of open wound healing. This meant that I was unable to exercise for a few weeks and unable to swim for rather a long time so this put paid to these three events.

The Coast to Coast– was a resounding success! Two of the best weeks walking across some lovely areas of England and my first solo longer distance walk.

Other Achievements
Did I mention I gave up chocolate for the whole of March in aid of the British Heart Foundation? As a fully paid up member of the chocoholic club this was tougher than any of the events I completed this year but I managed it- I even refused the chocolate bourbon biscuits offered to me in the recovery room following my surgery!

I have also completed a lot of little challenges this year. In January Helen and I attempted to walk home from work- to her home, 24 miles away. It was so very muddy we ended up abandoning our challenge 6 miles before the end, but went back again in July and smashed it.

We headed to Wales in May for a misty ascent of Snowdon and some general bumbling around the mountains.

Eager to conquer more of Derbyshire’s Dark Peak area, Helen and I completed an ascent and traverse of Kinder Scout and its massive sprawling plateau, before knocking off Mam Tor and part of the Great Ridge for good measure.

We also completed the 28 mile Baslow Boot Bash with Sue on one of the hottest days of the year in June.

In August I climbed the three highest points in Nottinghamshire in one walk. The Run For All York 10k was also completed.

September saw us heading to France to explore the Creuse Valley and La Brenne National Park– and I saw my first pine marten and coypu!

In October we completed the Spires and Steeples plus part of the 230 mile Midshires Way through South Derbyshire.

I gave blood for the first time in November- I thought I’d be fine as long as I didn’t have to see anything, and the nurse who hooked me up was lovely and discreet. However when my donation was done a different nurse came over to remove everything and, as she did so, announced ‘here’s your donation’, showing me a bag filled with my blood. She then proceeded to hold it against my arm, exclaiming ‘feel how warm it is!’

This year I joined Country Walking’s annual 1000 mile challenge– the idea was to commit to walking 1000 miles over the course of the year. Some people were using Fitbits to track every step but as I walk a lot I thought it would be more of a challenge to only count walks outside the house. I reached my 1000 miles on the Coast to Coast in July, so set myself another goal for 2017 miles in 2017- and have done it.

 

Interestingly I was also looking at Trail’s ‘Everest Anywhere’ challenge– a commitment to climb the equivalent of Everest over the year. But then my Coast to Coast guidebook told me that completing the route without the high level options involves climbing more than the equivalent of Everest so I kind of did this one by default! Both challenges are worth considering for a bit of added spice to your walking. You can always add to them if you think they will be too easy, for instance some people have walked 3000 or even 5000 miles in 2017 and for the climbing challenge you could commit to climbing the height of the Seven Summits!

There have also been lots of other walks, trips to Bradgate Park, runs… looking back it’s been quite an active year. I am happy with the amount of walking I have done.

Ok my forays into Triathlon didn’t work out and I didn’t lose weight. This is something I need to address as I know I could do so much more if I was lighter.

I also need to get the courage to actually ride my bike!

I am in the process of setting my goals for 2018 and will share them as soon as they’re ready. In the meantime how about doing your own review of 2017- I would love to hear what you achieved this year!

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