Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

As you know I read a lot…or maybe you don’t, although now you do 🙂

I read anything and everything I can get my eyes onto – training techniques, new methods for mass gain, getting shredded, tweaking your program to gain that 1% extra. I love reading about nutrition, diet styles, eating philosophies and practices, food for healing – especially food for healing.   I love learning about photography, life, business, entrepreneurship, goal setting, mindset you name it I will read it.

living-the-dream

So I was halfway through a post ‘10 things people who live their dreams don’t do’ on one of my favourite blogs ‘Lifehack’ when the following lines jumped out at me:

Do you ever look in at your life and wonder where you could have swerved wildly left to lead you down a different, more thrilling path?

 As we approach the end of 2013, its a good time to evaluate a few important questions:

 Did you accomplish everything you set out to do this year?

What would truly make your life meaningful and fulfilled?

Are your current experiences in line with your desires?

If you could do anything, what would it be?

Ponder these questions with uncensored thoughts and formulate some new intentions.

 So as we’re at the end of 2013 and I’m about to head off on a well earned and much needed holiday, I thought I’d go through these questions and see where my wild swervings have taken me this year.

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Did I accomplish everything I set out to do this year?

 

The answer to that can only be a resounding ‘hell yes!’

I planned to double my magazine subscriptions and take it from about 150 in January to over 500 by June. I reach the end of the year with over 1000 subscribers!

Along the way I have met, trained with and interviewed some beautiful, incredible people. All of this took me right out of my comfort zone by approaching people to ask for their help and I was blown away by how generous many people are with their time, and knowledge.

An absolute highlight of this year was not only meeting my ‘idol’ Erin Stern in person, but tanning her backstage and then scoring an exclusive interview…never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I’d be tanning and interviewing Erin Stern!

I also met and interviewed Candice Keene…and gave her some shopping advice as well.

Wow.

Lil’ole me doing exclusive interviews, tanning, photographing and talking shopping with the top two IFBB Figure Pro’s!! (pick jaw off the floor!)

Erin Stern Candice Keene Erin Stern Erin Stern Mallory Haldeman Candice Keene Erin Stern Mallory Haldeman Candice Keene

On a whim I asked the INBA if I could blog for them and am very grateful for them for saying yes and giving me such a huge opportunity. Again, I have met and had some great feedback from many people. It still humbles me every time someone tells me they follow my blogs – so thank you all of you for letting me ramble on, whinge, cry, rant and maybe even offer up a shred or two of something sensible  🙂

I also continued to photograph shows, do write ups and blog for the ANB all of which I have loved doing.

Another incredible highlight this year was my comeback to stage. It has been a long, difficult, often frustrating journey, patience is definitely not my strong point and it has been tested to its limits many times in the last 2 years. Aidens strength and belief as well as his ability to adapt to every obstacle that has come across our path has been the critical factor in not only making a comeback, but coming back and smashing it out of the ball park – it certainly exceeded my expectations (I think Aiden was quietly confident, but he didn’t want to count too many chickens too soon!).

We now have an incredibly solid foundation on which to build for 2014 and that is exciting.

Sarah Taylor Janet Kane Molly Gibson Stewart backsym frontsymme

So yes I achieved, and exceeded everything I set out to do.

What would truly make my life more meaningful and fulfilled?

Tough one!

I love my blogging, I love the feedback I get, I love that fact that by being out there, being real – succeeding and failing publicly there are lessons to be learned and I like to think that my learnings can help people in similar circumstances to see a way forward.

My writing is my serenity and I’m very grateful to have discovered it, having more time to write more would be deeply satisfying.

I love taking photographs at shows – I love the intense focus, concentration and connection with the subject trying to capture the perfect moment – again I think it gives back to people and brings them joy and that can only be a good thing.

I sponsor businesses around the world through Kiva.org. I don’t believe in handouts that just encourage dependence, but donating $50 to a mother of 3 in Somalia so she can buy a cow and sell any excess milk to buy seeds to plant crops to feed her family – that is a worthwhile cause. It encourages people to help themselves, and it gives me great pleasure to see the people who I have sponsored, succeed and then go on to bigger and better things.

On a personal note, I adopted (with Aidens help) a badly neglected cat with a broken leg that had to be amputated to save his life. Shadow has firmly established himself as my favourite little man, he’s added a whole new dimension to my life. I love him to bits and wouldn’t be without him now. It really has been a very rewarding experience – just look at that beautiful face 🙂

shadow

I find I get more out of giving than getting, the rewards come back to you 10 fold, I love that.

Are my current experiences in line with my desires?

Another tough one!

On the whole I would have to say ‘yes’. As soon as I was told I would have to have surgery or stop doing all forms of training all I wanted to do was to be able to get back on stage and take bodybuilding as far as I could.

I did, and I did it brilliantly, and I still haven’t reached my full potential.

I wanted to get better at writing, photography and reach a wider audience – suddenly the perfect platform came to me – a magazine! So what if I had no idea what I was doing, I was going to give it a red hot go anyway – there’s a great book by Susan Jeffers ‘Feel the Fear..and do it anyway’

Yep, that’s me, all the way – jump out of the plane, then ask where the parachute is!

And now I’m global!

🙂

In 2014 what are my desires?

Improve my physique, win Natural Olympia, pull all my disparate blogs/talents into a coherent well thought out strategic plan, find the perfect mentor to take me to the next level…but do it gently in a more holistic, nurturing manner that allows me to take life at a more relaxed pace.

I guess when I originally decided I wanted to change my life, my experiences since have totally been in line with that desire – I’ve been doing nothing but change for the last 4 years – jobs, careers, houses, my body, friends, pretty much everything. I have achieved so much and am heading towards a place I want to be, so now I desire a period of stability and of consolidation.

If I could do anything, what would it be?

A wildlife photographer for National Geographic.

National-Geographic-37th-Week-in-Breathtaking-Photos-02

So goodbye 2013, it’s been a crazy, full on, often frantic, whirlwind with many ups and downs and a lot of success. In the last 4 years or so, I’ve been on a path that is twisty and winding, with the next bit of it often hidden around a hairpin bend, with rockfalls blocking the way creating diversions and going off the beaten track. But the path is leading somewhere, the destination is getting closer, I can feel it.

Alpe-d-Huez

I am optimistic about 2014, which will contain plenty of surprises and tumbleweeds I’m sure, but hey, that’s what makes life interesting!

Confuscious say: ‘May you live in interesting times’

I am, Confuscious, I am.

It may be thrilling, it may be wildly swerving…it may even start to straighten up – just a little.

And of the 10 things livers of their dreams don’t do?

I don’t do 9 of them

🙂

Happy Christmas, see you all in 2014

Xx

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