My Year – 2016

I love reading everyone’s ‘Year In Review’ posts. They usually highlight the best parts of the year, and look on any negative moments with reflection and resolution. I find myself feeling proud of fellow bloggers for their achievements, and can’t wait to share my own.

So here’s what I got up to in 2016.

1. Turning the Big Three-Oh

Yes folks, I made it to 30 years on this planet! While I didn’t have any life affirming revelations the moment I woke up on my 30th birthday, over the year I did find myself looking sensibly into the future. Inspired by my best friend working super hard to get on the property ladder, I looked into moving house myself, still renting for the time being, and from that started planning a whole new side of my career in the fitness industry. I felt calmer in my own mind, happy to be single, and not settling for something that isn’t good for me (OK, I’m still working on the latter).

new year, 2016, blogger

Credit: Will Patrick

2. My First Yoga Retreat

As part of my 30th birthday, my very generous Dad sent me on my first ever yoga retreat with my favourite teacher; Adam Husler. Having practiced for nearly 3 years, I was super excited to immerse myself in a week of yoga in the Spanish sunshine, improving my technique and my practice. I not only achieved those things, but also made a whole new bunch of friends and had the best week laughing, practicing and being kind to myself.

yofa retreat, 2016, new year, blogger

Credit: Adam Husler

yoga retreat, 2016, new year, blogger

Credit: Adam Husler

3. My Nutrition Qualification

This took longer than I had expected, and required a lot of dedication and hard work on my side, but in the summer I achieved my Advanced Diploma in Nutrition and Weight Management. I learnt that online learning is something that I don’t always find the time to do, and I should have made it more of a priority. In doing so, I became more organised with my time when it came to starting my PT course at the end of the year.

4. Becoming An Ambassador

One huge achievement for me was becoming an ambassador for one of my favourite brands; Sweaty Betty. I used to work for the company many years ago, and it is because of Sweaty Betty that I found my current place in the fitness industry, so I owe a lot to them and the inspiration I found in my colleagues. Check out their #31DaysToFit challenge for January, and join me in making January 2017 your healthiest yet.

sweaty betty, fitness, yoga, 2016, new year

Credit: Will Patrick

5. The Big Holiday

A big 30th treat to me, from me, was an epic trip to New York with my best friend of 28 years (who also turned 30 this year). Although I’ve been before many times, this trip seemed special. I’ve never walked so far, seen so many things, laughed so hard…or wanted to move there so much!  NYC will always have a special place in my heart.

nye, new york, 2016, new year NYC. new york, 2016, new year NYC, new york, 2016, new year

6. Trying Something New

With my Dad living just 10 minutes from Nazaré in Portugal, one of the surfing capitols of the world, it seemed right for me to give it a go! Search Nazaré online, and you’ll see articles about 100ft waves and a Big Wave surf competition. Fear not, I’m not going to have a go on them, but I have been learning to surf with an amazing local surf school Surf4You. With expert 1-to-1 tuition from Miguel, both he and his colleague Henrique have made me fall in love with a new sport. It’s tough, and I ache all over, but I love it, and will be no doubt be popping by for a lesson every time I visit Dad.

surfing, travel, 2016, new year

Credit: Henrique Silva @ Surf4You

surfing, travel, 2016, new year

Credit: Henrique Silva @ Surf4You

surfing, travel, 2016, new year

Credit: Henrique Silva @ Surf4You

7. Moving House

I love my job at barrecore, but I make it no secret that my big plan is to have my own studio one day. Right at the end of 2016, I made a big move towards that. After 7 years in my little 1-bed flat, I decided to move, taking a risk by increasing my rent, to a 2-bedroom place. Why, you ask? Well, that spare room is to become my little PT room, so I can start to see clients in my own space. It’s a tiny step on the road to a fully fledged studio, but a brave one for me, and I’m so excited. Stay tuned for how I’m going to kit it out once I’m a fully qualified PT (because having that qualification is important to me).

new year, 2016, blogger

Credit: Will Patrick

So I’ve had a very lucky 2016, no major injures, lots of travel and achievements in my career. It’s not all been rainbows and unicorns of course, I’m still dealing with the constant pain of hypermobility syndrome, having other ailments investigated and let’s not forget, my major self-esteem slump in the last couple of months.

But I’m writing this post on New Year’s Eve, on a plane home from my Dad’s place in Portugal, with the sun setting on the horizon and looking forward to an awesome NYE night out as soon as the plane touches down. Life is good, and I’m super grateful for every opportunity I’ve been given.

Happy New Year Folks!!

Plenty Of New…And Surgery Too!

How has your 2015 been? The end of the year is a great time to reflect on what’s been happening, and to plan for next year’s adventures.


2015 has been an odd one for me, it started with a fabulous new position at barrecore, opening up their Kensington studio as Lead Instructor. I loved the opportunity to take a more senior role, and opening a new studio was super exciting. Kensington is a gorgeous place to work with the palace and gardens nearby and, of course, Wholefoods Market just across the road. Guess where I spent most of my pay cheque?!

I also enjoyed an amazing Fit Trip to New York City!! Spending a week in my most favourite city, exploring the barre and yoga studios, as well as shopping of course, was just perfect. I’d do it again in a heartbeat….I even loved the cold and snow!

snow, yoga, nycFITtrip, yogabloggers

Not long after my holiday, it became apparent that the aches and pains in my knee weren’t getting better and were becoming an issue. Teaching 18 classes a week, with 2 or 3 yoga classes on top of that, was not good for my body, and it took a lot for me to listen to it and start to slow down. After a period of time seeing a knee specialist, and my physio, it was soon established that my knee would need some serious intervention.

knee fitness, injury, mri scan

This is where my year sort of went a bit pear shaped. CT scans shows that I not only had a Fat Pad Impingement in my knee, but that the cartilage underneath my kneecap was damaged, causing chondro-malacia patella. At first, my orthopaedic team tried a steroid injection in my knee (ouch) to try to reduce the swelling and pressure on my knee cap. After 3 months of gently testing the knee, it was decided that surgical intervention would be needed. I was booked in for a arthroscopy at the beginning of April, and prepared to take the summer off to recover.

Surgery was simple, but came with its own complications. I was to take 2 weeks of no exercise completely, then I was able to start gentle physio, and more importantly for my bank balance, take a few Private Training clients. After 8 weeks I started teaching again (more on the in a moment), 12 weeks I went to my first yoga class in 6 months, and now, 4 months later I back teaching and taking class almost as normal. I’ve had a couple of set-backs in my recovery, mainly because I’m trying to be quite highly functional and I have a tendency to push things a little too far…I’ll never learn.

arthroscopy, knee injury

Getting back to teaching was exciting in two ways, one because it marked a stage in my recovery that was very positive, but also because I was opening yet another new studio for barrecore! I’d handed Kensington over to a colleague at the start of summer, and happily took on the new barrecoreHAMPSTEAD studio at the beginning of October. Cutting my journey time in half, spending my days in leafy Hampstead has been amazing. I love the new studio, the clients are lovely, and it’s a great area to work in.

I’m now back at yoga twice a week, my old favourite, Rocket Yoga, and I’ve found a new teacher who suits my style perfectly. Happy times for me!

beach, yoga, travel, sunset

That’s my fitness year in a nutshell. In my personal life, it’s still me and the cat! The bigger news is that my dad re-married and moved to Portugal! I’m looking forward to some mini-breaks in his new home in the years to come.

I’m hoping that 2016 will being me less injury, more fitness and even more happiness, stay tuned for my 2016 plans very soon.