January: In a month where I went on a family holiday for a week and still didn’t eat any chocolate or drink any coffee, I discovered Change Your Life is 7 Days by Paul McKenna which changed my life, and also fell in love with hooping (that's not me in the vid btw).February: it was a bellydance month when I performed with the Baladi Blues Band, my first time ever dancing with a live band which I LOVED; was invited to compere the annual Edinburgh University African and Arabic Dance Society hafla; and for the first time in a while, ran 13 miles without injury or too much ill effect.
March: I got my act together to apply for a college place to study fitness, ran the Meadows Half Marathon in 1hr 45m, which was a good time despite sleet, and won a place in the Edinburgh Marathon courtesy of the ESPC!April: I learned a lot about myself as I began my marathon training; had an excellent weekend of rehearsals with our bellydance troupe, The Peacock Project, working towards and completing the choreography for our entry to this year’s Shimmy in The City competition; and had an interview at Jewel & Esk college for a place on their Fitness HNC, winning a place despite there being 5 applications for every place.
May: I completed my first marathon in 4 hours, 19 minutes after only 8 weeks of training, on a really hot day, as well as rehearsing hard for and performed in Club Bellydance at The Pleasance, with the Bellydance Superstars, the biggest bellydance gig I’ve ever been involved in.June: I enjoyed seeing the Olympic Torch at Holyrood and I lost my toenail after the marathon! But also there were lots of bellydance highlights this month, including teaching children’s classes, organising and running both the Leith Festival Hafla and the Musselburgh Hafla, and performing in Glasgow.
July: Brought the summer holidays and the brilliant Big Dance weekend where I organised four performances, a bellydance flashmob and performed with The Peacock Project for the first time.
August: I Ran the Coach & Horses 10M race in Lancaster, went for an induction day at Jewel & Esk College and got offered the chance of a last-minute place at Telford College, which I accepted, and started full-time education for the first time since 1996 eek!September: I completed the Glasgow half marathon, found it difficult and learned that caffeinated energy gels make me terribly grumpy; held plank for four minutes, leading to ‘not disgracing myself’ in a team challenge at college and a whopping increase in my personal college confidence; started training in earnest for the Jedburgh Half Marathon, following a training programme to improve my speed and hopefully do a PB of 1hour 45; competed at Shimmy in the City bellydance festival in London with the Peacock Project which was an amazing, challenging, growing experience, and I survived the terrible disappointment of not winning.
October: I had a rubbish experience in the Dunbar 10M hill race, involving my first ever “getting lost in a race” incident; got sick and injured and failed to PB in the Jedburgh Half Marathon, learning that the training programme I’d chosen had too much running and not enough cross-training, but still finished Jedburgh in 1hr 54 and really enjoyed it; attended a brilliant book festival event by Dr Andrew Murray, ultramarathon runner and public health fitness champion; enjoyed a 7-day pass to Edinburgh Leisure, passed my first aid qualification, quit booze until my birthday, and continued to do fine at college, but realised that I had a long way to go when it comes to gym instruction and remembered how rotten it feels to be rubbish at something.November: I won a free gym membership in a raffle and enjoyed adding gym work to my workout routine, and improving my gym confidence; I made my tenth donation of blood; I decided to lose 3kg before my birthday.
December: Held plank for 6 minutes, completing my November plank challenge; and hit my target weight in time for my birthday!