Turn it around!

This year I had all sorts of plans, dreams and ambitions… it was all very complicated, too complicated. Then I had that moment of clarity and thought… no, lets boil this down to the essence of what is actually important.

My health has not been great over the last few years. Too much stress, too little sleep and too many injuries (mental and physical). I started unpicking this tangle last year with hypnotherapy to try and straighten out my inner demons, which did largely work in that it has taken the edge off and allowed me to start dealing with issues on my own terms rather than letting them control me. Next stage, then, is to start dealing with the physical damage whilst continuing to work on my emotional health.

I have started a lot of this process already, I kicked off a C25K program last year which was due to finish at the end of this month, but having just taken the last week off I am going to push that end point back to the end of the first week of February. I embarked on the RED challenge from Mind this year too, which again I have had a bad week on so may extend this into February… actually… part of me is thinking about extending it for the full year! These will help with physical fitness, and I will bring the mountain biking and fell walking back into the mix as the year progresses. Finally I have started a yoga class to tackle some muscular imbalances and stiffness that have resulted from injuries.

Next month I start physio, and a CPAP trial which may help with some physiological issues that are feeding back into health, fitness and weight.

So, that is the plan. The reason, a few years ago before accident number 1 I was in reasonable shape. I didn’t think things had gone too far awry until I saw a photograph of myself in Utah from back in the spring. Now I can see the deterioration and now I am going to fix it!


There is also going to be an element of cleaning up the diet to double down on the effects of being more active and I have given myself a few goals that I would like to hit, with the ultimate one being a substantial 33kg+ off. What is actually achievable doesn’t matter, but I want to end this year happier and healthier than I have been in a very long time!

Hopefully I will get in the swing of regular updates and progress reports!

Of course, you are wondering how this will impact the photography? Hopefully a lot - a clear mind will help with creativity and improved fitness should get me to new and exciting locations!

The Quest for Fitness

A big part of the plan for this venture is to take people out into the mountain regions of the UK to photograph the scenes that are missed by many.   In so much of our country it feels as though you are placing your tripod in the marks left by many others.  I want to help people break this mould, to find places seldom photographed and get unique images to add to their collections.  I want to teach people to photograph in the mountains and gain new skills and appreciation of our dramatic uplands.

But to do this I need to get fit again.  

Things went wrong a number of year ago.  I moved south to the Lake District and lost my network of friends whom I used to mountain bike with.  I found it difficult to break into a new group and never really settled in to life down here.  Along the way there were family tragedies, injury, illness and, more happily, the commitments of a new family.   My fitness has suffered badly as a result - particularly over the last 3 years following a broken ankle in September 2015 which required surgery to repair and still remains weaker than it once was.  Just as it healed I tore my lower back... more time out of action.  Looking at photographs from before the accident and a recent picture from Utah really hit it home, so now we start the long process of rehabilitation and regaining my health and fitness.

Just as well I have a good window before I need this new venture to take off!  The next 12 to 18 months I will attempt to dedicate most of my efforts to fitness training and preparation for a professional qualification that I intend to gain to facilitate my plans.

I kicked things off 10 days ago with a climb up Pike of Blisco, which was a nice starter.  Hopefully I will get a few more in before the latest addition to our family comes along, and I need to get back on the mountain bike regularly too.  For starters, though, probably just boosting my daily steps would be a start....

So this is a statement of intent.  I need to get back to where I was before it all went wrong, and in half the time it took me to deteriorate to this stage!

Its time to get "hill fit" again!