What an awesome 2016

Last year I took a moment to do my first year review and remind myself of all the things I’d said yes to that year. I’m chuffed to have surpassed 2015 in so many ways and look forward to what 2017 has to come.

Here’s a quick summary of my 2016.

Jan:

Jason’s photo of his recce for his January Awesome Camp Out

In 2015 I did my first 2 camp outs, ditching the tent and experiencing what it’s like to wake up under the stars and be greeted by a beautiful sunrise come morning. So in January 2016 I took the plunge and went on my first winter camp out. Right in at the deep end it was really bloody cold. Luckily we didn’t quite get snow, this picture is from Jason’s recce before hand. I definitely need to up grade my sleeping bag if I’m going to do any more sleeping out in winter!

Feb & March:

February was a down month for me, some time to take a break and recharge. Come March I’d been working on my second business, a veg box scheme, for nearly a year at this point and decided I’d learnt all I could from it. So I switched from hauling bags of potatoes around to teaching kids, and the odd adult, to cycle. By the end of the year I’d helped around 230 kids to cycle on the road and 90 to scooter politely on the pavement.

April:

Come April I’d decided I needed some relaxation and what better way than to combine a camp out with a morning Spa session. I also had a go at making my first film.

Later in April I embarked on my first medium sized adventure. The CamTriathlon took the idea of a triathlon and made it my own — i.e. I hate running and swimming, so I swapped them out for walking and SUPing. The plan was to travel the length of the river Cam from source to sea three times, totaling 180 miles. I decided to take my time, so April saw my friend Chantell and I begin the cycling length. Here’s the final film for this section.

May:

I went back the following month to complete the walking leg of the CamTriathlon. Day one was a beaut. Lovely weather, a good 20 miles under my belt and my first camp out on my own. Luckily the cows that found me in the night managed to miss me by a good meter…( if you look closely you can see the cow pat to the right of my bivvy bag!).

Grantchester Meadows with the river Cam running next to the tree line.

June:

With the last leg of the CamTriathlon still to come I was feeling pretty nervous about getting on the water on my own, so I gave a talk at YesStories (jump to minute 55) to get moral support, and help with the small detail of finding a SUP to use.

July:

Needless to say the YesTribe came to my rescue and I was joined by 9 friends and Mabel the dog on the first day of my 40 mile SUP section.

Aug:

Bye bye lovely flat, hello friend’s sofas.

It was now time to move out of my beautiful flat in Surbiton, and rather than take on a new base and all the financial commitments and ties that go with that, I decided to have a go at being a digital nomad. Earlier in the year I’d started a coaching business, helping entrepreneurs create a life and business they love, which meant that I was now (apart from the PT job as a cycle instructor) location independent.

Mostly house/pet sitting while friends were on holiday to start with and latterly staying with an amazing friend, Erin, in Guildford for a while, it’s been a lovely way to spend time with people I otherwise only see for a short period.

Sept:

Having firmly fallen in love with SUP during my CamTriathlon I helped Dave organise the YesTribe leg of the Thames River Relay. While it might have chucked it down for most of the day, it was a lovely way to get out of London and make some new friends.

Photo credit: Dave Cornthwaite

On the business front September was the month I launched the Action Collective, my first group coaching programme, and gave a talk to the Surbiton Business Expo about avoiding false data when everyone is lying to you — it was more interesting that it sounds, I promise!

Oct:

Just 8 weeks after I’d finished my CamTriathlon I’d decided it was time for something a bit bigger so I set off to Cycle Great Britain. From Lands End to John O’Groats, I cycled over 1000 miles up the length of the country, solo and unsupported, and stopped off en route to share my story with school children and entrepreneurs. Find out how it went here.

Photo credit: Andy Bartlett

On returning I then headed straight over to Yestival for one of the most awesome weekends of the year. Packed full of positivity, adventure and amazing hugs, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough — get your tickets for 2017 now!! (released soon…)

Photo credit: Emma Reed

I also gave a talk at Yestival about choosing a start up idea. My main advice is always to start with you, and consider what kind of life and business you want to create. This will help you focus down on choosing an idea that not only works for your potential customers, but crucially, also works for you.

There’s clearly a swell of desire in the YesTribe to make the world better through social and sustainable enterprise, which is always lovely to see.

Nov:

My biggest talk of the year came in November, but as I write this the video is still being edited so I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a bit longer to see it.

TEDx Kingston upon Thames was definitely a new experience and really reminded me how important it is to do things your way. Even when you feel you need to raise your game, there’s always a way to do that that suits you — don’t be afraid to find it.

At the end of November I launched my new Monday #PowerHour videos. The idea is to kick off the week in a positive vibe. Each week I’ll report from a different location and share what I’ve got planned for the days ahead. It’s been a great way to share the energy from my group coaching programme check-ins and I’ve been to a variety of places so far.

(clockwise from top left) Barcelona, Liverpool, Surrey Hills and Thetford Forest.

Dec:

Montpellier (where the bears live!)

I was excited to be flying out to see friends in Barcelona in December, but decided to mix things up a bit and add some adventure into the mix, so I flew initially to Montpellier to explore somewhere new. I had planned on cycling from there to BCN but that didn’t work out, so I plumped for a night under the stars, which turned out not to be by myself… a bear found me in the night!

Christmas is a great time to fit in some adventure, get some head space and figure out where you want to go in the year to come. In this vein I attempted to walk home for Christmas. I didn’t quite make it in one go, but it taught me a lot about walking in the dark. Something that will come in handy in 2017 for my next big adventure!

I then headed over to Wales for the first time to explore the Brecon Beacons and summit Pen y Fan over New Years. What a way to kick off 2017!

Photo Credit: Jason Webber
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