Inspired by a post on my friend’s blog www.thetravelhack.com, I thought it was a good idea to take a moment to reflect on 2016 and put together a list of the highlights. Life is sometimes so fast paced that we forget to take the time to look back on what we have accomplished and how far we have come. Looking back on my instagram feed and photos app, there were so many different memories which I had either forgotten about or probably didn’t take the appreciate enough at the time.
I am sat writing this blog on the beach in Koh Phangan and I realise just how fortunate I really am to have the means to travel the world and spend time with my family.
I encourage you all to just take a moment, scroll back through your social media accounts or your photos and remember your highlights of 2016!
Here are mine:
#1. Starting my business as a Personal Trainer – February
I passed my qualifications and exams back at the beginning of 2015, but it wasn’t until the turn of 2016 that I finally developed the courage to just go for it! Before I was worried about failing; not knowing enough; people laughing at me; not having any clients amongst 100s of other things. But this year I put those fears to the side and just started.
‘Never let the fear of striking out stop you from playing the game.’
I created a Facebook post and I dipped my toe in thinking I would just get a handful of clients and be able to carry on working with my Dad alongside; but things soon escalated and I could not be more appreciative of how things have turned out! I am still learning every day, and yes I have made mistakes along the way but I am loving it and cannot wait to see where it will take me in 2017.
#2. Sunrise Trek to Lake Ijen and blue fire (Indonesia) – August
You know that saying that if everything went perfectly you would never have any stories to tell? Well that saying is so true for this memory. It is one which I will never forget, and to be honest is so hard to explain to anybody. My best friend Laura and I spent the majority of August in Indonesia, the idea being that we would do a few sightseeing bits before relaxing on a beach in Bali. We didnt appreciate that the few sightseeing ‘bits’ would entail climbing mountains, volcanos, 16 hour bus rides and sleeping in what can only be described as a negative star hotel. But stories = memories.
I had seen photos of Lake Ijen and blue fire online before we set off so knew it was something we had to experience whilst we were in Indonesia. I don’t think either of use were prepared for the 1am pitch black mountainous trek which we signed up for. BUT seeing blue fire (with full on gas masks on) in one of only 2 places where it is present in the world, as well seeing the sun rise of Lake Ijen was 100 % worth the trauma!
#3. Best Ice-Cream of my LIFE – October
In October, my sister and I went on a 10day trip to Los Angeles. We stayed in Venice Beach and spent the time either walking, training or eating. It was amazing. One of the trip highlights has to be the ice-cream at Salt and Straw on Abbot Kinney. You know it is going to be good when there is a queue out the door and round the corner from the moment it opens! I think we went 3 times in total and favourite flavour had to be ‘Almond brittle and salted ganache,’ I have genuinely never tasted anything like it. It is probably a good thing I don’t live nearby (yet) as it would end up being a daily trip!
#4. Sunset in Ubud, Bali – August
This is the only time that I think a sunset has brought me to tears. The sun was setting just as we were being shown to our room for the first time in Ubud. The setting and colours were just so gorgeous that both myself and Laura shed a few tears. The photos don’t do it justice bit it was just incredible.
#5. Being hospitalised – September
You may be wondering why this is on my highlights list, but after spending the majority of September in York hospital, I was given the opportunity to realise how fortunate I am to be healthy the majority of the time. It is something which we just take for granted on a daily basis, but ‘feeling normal,’ is a blessing and one which we should appreciate.
#6. Seeing one of my best friends get married – April
One of my best friends Alex got married to Craig back in April. It was such a lovely wedding in the local village surrounded my good friends. She looked absolutely beautiful and it was a pleasure to be there. Hopefully one day it will be me in the white dress!
#7. Meeting Frank the baby for the first time – November
Lindsey was one of the first friends which I made at University (which was in fact 10 years ago!!). We have remained close friends ever since and try to see each other on a regular basis. Baby Frank was born in July but it wasn’t until November that we got the chance to meet him! Such a cutie, and she is probably the most chillaxed Mum I have ever seen!
#8. Sunnyside Up Festival, Seminyak, Bali – August
I am a big fan of music concerts but going to a festival abroad was a brand new experience for me! The headliners were Mark Ronson and Disclosure, so a bit different to the usual genre of music which I prefer but nonetheless it was a great couple of nights. One memory which will stick with me is that there was a security guard fully dressed in the swimming pool – he did not look to be enjoying life! I would defo recommend this festival if you get the chance!
#9. Making friends with my clients – February ->
I can class pretty much all clients as friends now. It has certainly been a highlight getting to know them all, laughing and just generally enjoying spending time with them. I am an introvert personality, so making friends and talking to new people can sometimes be a of a hard thing for me to do. But this career has thrown me in at the deep end in this respect! From discussing our favourite restaurants, travel experiences to them teaching me how to be girly(!) every session is different and I am not only teaching but learning and constantly laughing at the same time!
#10. Joining the SBS Academy – March 2016
I cannot stress the importance of constantly learning and trying to better yourself. So in March of this year I signed up to the SBS Academy which is a year long training programme for Personal Trainers. By doing this programme, I am not only learning practical elements which I can apply with my clients, but I have become part of a team of like minded individuals. I have access to the knowledge of 100s of trainers, which people would pay a lot of money for and i am provided with daily support and encouragement if I have any problems or queries. It forces me to think critically about my business and always strive for more. It is 100% worth the money which I invested as not only have I been able to learn from some of the best in the business such as Eric Helms and Mike Zourdos, but I believe it has challenged me as a PT and forced be to become a better individual all round.
#11. Training at best gyms in the world – October
I mentioned that we spent a lot of time training whilst in LA, and that meant we had the opportunity to train at some of the best facilities including Gold’s gym in Venice and Barbell Brigade in Downtown LA. I absolutely love experiencing new gyms, they take my motivation to a whole new level. I had trained a Gold’s gym in Summer 2015, but this was my first experience of Barbell Brigade, and I loved it. Being surrounded by like minded people just makes you want to reach higher levels. This is the type of gym which I would love to train in on a daily basis and perhaps even own similar one day in the future.
#12. Thailand – January and December
I am so so lucky to have been away for the Christmas period for the last few years. Thailand is a family favourite and we have visited different areas of the country on numerous occasions. These trips also mean spending time with my family. We brought in the 2016 on the beach in Patong, Phuket and we will be signing out on the beach in Chaweng, Ko Samui. I love everything about this beautiful country, the food, the people, the weather, the beaches…. A part of my heart will always be here that is for sure.
#13. Bodypower – April
This was my third Bodypower expo and probably my best experience. I was able to meet some of my fitness inspirations and people who motivate me on a daily basis. I always come away inspired to want to do better. Some people view it very critically, but personally I really enjoy going and being in that environment. Chatting to different people, listening to talks and trying new products were the highlights for me; oh and meeting my man crush Steve Cook obviously!!
2016 has been the year where I have tried to focus more on my mindset. I have read more, listened to more podcasts, spent time reflecting and created time to plan. I feel like I have developed as a person, yes it is still a work in process but I am getting much better at it.
#15. Christmas Dinner at the Jones’ – November
Laura is my BFF, my partner in crime, my twin. Her family is like my second family. So each year they throw me a Christmas weekend as I am away for the real thing! This year we had a mega Christmas dinner, played Guess Who, drank Kir Royales, went for brunch and explored the Manchester Christmas Markets. I couldn’t be more thankful for having them in my life. They are so generous and such a special family.
#16.Becoming Best Friends with my sister
This year we have become so much closer. I can’t imagine a day without speaking to her, or sending a stupid message. I think we have both grown up a lot which has made each other appreciate the other a lot more. Don’t get me wrong, we can still argue and fight like the best of them, but these times are now few and far between and it still does my head in that she reads messages on whatsapp yet doesn’t respond immediately! A couple of years ago I would never have imagined going on holiday just the two of us, but spending time together in LA was the best and something which I think we will endeavour to do more of in the future. From challenging each other to have one more ice cream scoop, to encouraging each other in the gym, there is nobody else I would rather split a human sized head doughnut with.
So that rounds up another year. I have big plans for 2017 so I hope that this time next year I will have even bigger highlights to share!
I encourage you to look back on your 2016 and figure out your own personal highlight reel. You will feel all warm and fuzzy inside after doing it!
Love Abi xxxx