The start of a New Year has begun, and so I will do what a lot of people traditionally do- look back over the previous year to see what happened throughout the year and what has been achieved.
I started off 2016 with a list of 7 New Year’s resolutions. I only managed to achieve 3 of them, which was to find a full-time graduate job, join the Leicester Philharmonic Choir and become more involved in feminism. I start working as a Copywriter in February 2016 and joined the choir shortly afterwards, so the start of the year was looking pretty good. While I haven’t joined a feminist society/group as such, I wrote some blogs for Viral Feminism throughout 2016, and I participated in my second Reclaim the Night in November.
In order to keep track of my New Years resolutions, I wrote ‘goals updates’ towards the start of each month. I would look at how I was working towards my goals for 2016 however, I started to feel negative about myself. I was finding it difficult to work on so many resolutions while trying to enjoy my life at the same time. So after my fourth goals update, I changed the title of this series of blogs to just update and focused on what I did each month in relation to what I write about: feminism, fitness and food. Since making this change I have felt better in myself and rather than dreading each update, I now enjoy doing it.
Despite 2016 being such a horrid year with celebrity deaths, continuing terrorism, Brexit, Donald Trump and the list goes on, I had a pretty good year and achieved quite a few things, in particular fitness wise. I ran my second Race for Life in July, beating my previous time and again raised money for Cancer Research UK. I also participated in two other runs this year, the Color Run in Birmingham and the Iron Run in Kettering. The Iron Run was the hardest run I have done so far, while the Color Run was fairly relaxed with the added bonus of getting covered in coloured powder!
What sticks with me the most last year regarding fitness is discovering the parkrun. I went on a trip to Guernsey with my mother in May and I decided to take my running gear with me, since I was in the process of training for the Race for Life. On the plane I heard someone talking about the parkrun, and they asked me if I’d like to join them at the one in Guernsey. It was certainly a new experience running a 5km course by the coast on a Saturday morning at 9am. After completing my first parkrun I found out that there’s one local, which I had absolutely no idea about despite it being close to me. I ran a further 9 parkruns in 2016 at Braunstone park, running my 10th parkrun on New Year’s Eve.
One of my goals for 2016 was to run a half marathon. This didn’t happen due to poor planning and training, and because I was so focused on wanting to run my second Race for Life in 1 hour. I ran 14.5km in March when I originally went out for a 10km run, but decided to continue to see how I would fare. Therefore this year I won’t be running the Race for Life, but instead all of my attention for fitness will be focused on running 21km! I’m hoping that training and running a half marathon will help me to lose body weight, which is a struggle I’ve had for as long as I can remember.
For the second year running I gave up meat for lent. While I was brought up as Christian and no longer believe in the religion, I still continue the tradition of giving something up for lent. I enjoy challenging myself and find giving up something I have a lot of is a good way to do so. I must admit that the foodie aspect of my blog is most active when I abstain from meat for the period of lent. This is because I experiment a lot more with what I can eat as a vegetarian and my parents continue to eat meat, so I cook for myself a lot more during lent. I will continue with the tradition and will be giving up meat for lent this 2017. Expect an increase in foodie blogs around this time!
This brings me onto the final ‘F’ of my blog: feminism. I wrote some posts in 2016 on my blog and for Viral Feminism. My first post for Viral Feminism was about the British TV show Top Gear, looking at how the first female presenter was included in its 15 year history and highlighting the issue of gender inequality in motor sports. I also decided to keep an eye on the story of Nicola Thorp, a woman who was sent home from her first day at work because she was not wearing high heel shoes. As I mentioned earlier in this blog, I went to my second Reclaim the Night in November 2016. This was a great success which aims to make people aware of the issue of safety on the streets at night and gender inequality.
Many of you will know that I have a separate blog for poetry, which is called Poclaretry. I found it very difficult to write one poem a week, which was one of my goals for 2016. However, I did write some poems which I’m proud of, especially some feminist theme ones. My favourite has to be a poem called ‘It’s an act of life’, which attacks the issue of gender stereotyping and how gender roles are enforced upon us from the moment we are born.
This year I am not setting myself lots of resolutions/goals. My main goal is to run a half marathon at the Leicester Marathon in October 2017. I will continue with the parkrun and who knows, I might be able to achieve the milestone of 50 parkruns this year. Of course I will continue with my blog, focusing on the topics feminism, fitness and food. I will carry on writing updates at the start of each month, as it’s a useful way for me to keep track of how I’m doing.
A notable achievement last year in April was reaching 100 followers! Starting a blog has to be one of the best decisions I have made in my life so far. I enjoy writing and producing content, so having a blog gives me the opportunity to be creative, interact with fellow bloggers and readers and discover new topics to write about and explore. I’d like to say thank you to everyone who follows my blog and to WordPress for giving people the opportunity to express themselves through an interactive social media platform.
If you don’t know already, I have a Facebook page! So if you’d like to follow me on Facebook, you’re more than welcome to. I am also fairly active on Twitter, sharing my blogs through this social media platform as well.
Happy reading and blogging, and here’s to a great 2017!
Clare Bear 🙂