I'm not sure how successful this was one the broader scale. I ran 99 miles worth of races, and cycled 170 miles of sportives. I climbed four mountains - one of which I descended by zip wire, took up fell running and had a rather terrifying few hours mountain biking with my Dad.
|A few hundred feet above Honister Pass - spot the road in the top LH corner!!|
And when I think back to the highlights of 2011, these things are exactly what I think of. I think of the sweet melon that we ate 80 miles into our 100 mile ride. I think of the evenings when I arrived home eager to get out on my bike in the dusk light and forget the day. I remember the 13 mile run and 70 mile bike ride that I did while unemployed, and that dark evening run right after my Uncle died when I had to stop to choke on my tears. It seems that intensity is how I get by, and as ridiculous as I realize I may appear at times, the intensity and adrenaline of these adventures is what drove me through 2011; I'm not going to let that stop now.
But, on the contrary to all of the above, I do think I learned a little about being kind to myself in 2011, especially towards the end of the year. It still takes a lot of effort, but my general pace has slowed to a steady lilt; I take time to sip a herbal tea before bed, I sit and write whenever I feel the urge, I listen to the radio more and read magazines as well as books. Taking time to simply sit and sip tea (a tip suggested by Rachel, which I highly recommend) has become an integral part of my day, and instead of the short and intense home-yoga sessions that I used to do a few times a week, I now enjoy a full and completely wonderful yoga class once a week (during which I inevitably fall asleep). I always knew that these things were needed in my life; they don't only complement the amount of activity that I do, but they also drive it and help my body and mind to re-charge afterwards.
Along with the physical aspects, of course, nutrition has to also play a large part. This is still very much a work in progress, but I am working hard to eat well and with mindfulness on every occasion. I now drink much more water, and have stopped using nasty squash packed with nasty sweetners to disguise the wonder that is H2O. I cook lentils a few times a week (packed with protein and hugely versatile!) and have started eating eggs much more often - and feel amazing for it! All pasta is now wholemeal, and rice is almost always wholemeal (white basmati rice is my ultimate indulgence - it could be much worse, I reckon!). On top of that, nuts, oils and seeds feature in my diet on a daily basis.
Eating healthily hasn't been a problem for me for a very long time now, but I am conscious of how hard I push my body on a weekly basis, and along with the copious amounts of fruit and veg that I feed it, I know I need to consider the fats and proteins and sugars that were never really an issue before. It's all part of being kind, and in fact it's the part that I take the most pride in!
As for 2012? Well, I'm still a little reluctant to set my intentions in stone for this year. I have some massive goals that I am working towards right now, and I'm quite prepared to let all hell break loose in every other aspect of my life to give myself every chance of getting where I need to be. I suppose that I want more of the same in 2012; I want to continue working on acting mindfully in every aspect of my life, and for it to become a natural part of myself, rather than a concerted effort. I also have a long list of goals, which I may share in an up-coming post.
*Did anyone else see this film with Jack Black? I saw it at the cinema and from what I remember really enjoyed it...anyway, that has nothing to do with this post!