It’s been 365 days since I last wrote here on this blog: a year of adventure and challenge, along with the standard everyday trials (like running out of coffee beans, or gas, or patience.) Here’s a few highlights from my 2017.
I’ve come to running gradually over the years, with no small dose of encouragement from Tom. This year I found a little more independent motivation, surprising myself by heading out for regular runs even when Tom couldn’t join me.
I packed running shoes for my trip to the USA in the spring and ran a variety of short runs from West coast to East coast: along the edge of San Francisco bay, past a snake winding it’s way along the path; up through the dry frosty chill of a Nevada desert morning next to mountain lion tracks and past dilapidated ruins from a pioneer era; up a steep zigzag trail to watch the sunrise spill across the flat midwest plains from the top of a Colorado ridge. I avoided any running in Michigan (because snow) and took a final run along the New York High Line before flying home. I didn’t run across America, I drove. But I sure was glad to have my trainers with me for the odd leg-stretch and hilltop view along the way.
I haven’t been in a swimming pool for years, but this year I took a fair few dips outside. We’ve made regular trips out West to Freshwater Bay, my favourite of swimming spots, with a steeply shelving pebbly beach and clear cool water. I had plenty of opportunity to confront my fear of deep lakes when we travelled to the Lake District this summer. I did dip in Lake Buttermere but couldn’t quite bring myself to follow Tom out to its deep dark centre.
It’s also true that running to your swimming destination makes a cold dip all the sweeter, as we discovered beneath a waterfall in Yorkshire, whooping and hollering in merry disregard of the civilised folk above peering down at us from their cafe balcony.
I love writing for Style of Wight magazine. It’s always a thrill to see my words in print. The editors pull it all together with Tom’s beautiful photos and there’s just enough time lag between deadline date and print date that when we do get our hands on a copy it’s fun to read my own copy. It’s also hugely humbling to have recognition from others about what I write.
This is also the year that I discovered the Bullet Journal phenomenon. As we near the end of this year, it’s a treat to have a single notebook crammed full of a year’s worth of work, ideas, plans and adventures. I even went so far as to print out some photos to stick in the pages. Old school, I know.
I’m heading in to my third year of self-employed life as a Speech and Language Therapist. I feel proud to have made it this far. And exhausted. And filled with self-doubt. I’ve been fortunate in building around me a network of awesome people for support and encouragement along the way. So, I’m excited about what’s in store for SaLT by the Sea in the coming year and I’m giving myself license to savour the positive feedback people have given me along the way.
Always reading. What is life without a book by your side?! I loved Carrot Quinn’s Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart, not least because Tom discovered it for me and it proved the perfect book for my hiker’s wanderlust.
Through all of these adventures, challenges and self-doubt Tom has been the running thread, who chivvies me along (sometimes quite literally, up steep hills in stormy weather), who leaves encouraging notes for me on the kitchen table or studies the map to suggest our next running route. We’re a team in everything, so we’ve decided to make this blog a team venture too. Here’s to a little more writing adventures and adventure writing in the next 365 days!