I used to write a post at the end of each year highlighting the things that I have accomplished, place I've seen and any other life events. Over the past few years, however, I've not done that so much, so I'm starting again but this time writing on my birthday. So, at Thirty-Five what have I done since Thirty Four?
To start off with I enrolled on an Astronomy degree with the University of Central Lancashire. This course is run through distance learning over the course of 6-10 years. I had already completed 3 years previously and now, after passing the module "Energy, Matter and the Universe" this year, I have 4 years under my belt. I've also undertaken the challenge of completing two modules next this coming year - "IT for Astronomy", and "Great Astronomers in History".
At the start of 2016 I started a new job in Glasgow city. Working in a small, quiet agency wasn't really working for me so I moved round the corner to a much larger software house working on medical applications. This move has proved to be one of my best career moves and has opened up a wealth of possibilities. The new role utilises all my existing skills and requires new skills and blends together new and old technologies.
I was also diagnosed and treated for a sleeping condition called sleep apnea, in which my airways collapse and become blocked whilst sleeping. It happens when the soft tissue at the back of the throat relaxes and covers up the windpipe. I have to wear a mask attached to a CPAP device which continuously forces air into my lungs, keeping the soft tissue from blocking my windpipe.
At the beginning of 2016 I decided that I wanted to lose weight and change the way I look. I started dieting (5:2 diet) in February and by June I'd lost over 2st (lbs). I started working out, initially just basic callisthenics and the static cycle then I moved on to running. Things didn't go according to plan when I started running. I knew my knees were weak, arthritic and painful at times, but I wasn't expecting them to be the strongest part of my legs. I've had ankle injuries, pulled muscles and blighted with shin splints. Hopefully, as I get fitter most of these will fade away, and I've just had some tailor made FootBallance insoles made which are helping support my high arch and over pronation. I'm currently running 10k in about 1 hour 10 minutes and I'm aiming to get this under an hour. I'm also shooting for a 10k fun run in November (Edinburgh Men's 10k) and probably a half, or maybe full, marathon next year in 2017.
I've also been working with John Maclachlan of Monkey Puzzle Training who has been a great help in assisting me to create some new plans, achieving life goals and recognising my own self-worth and value.
Well, that's pretty much me. The only other really notable thing for me is that I've been saving up hard this year to clear all my debts post-Brexit, no need to pay the bankers more than I need to, and it frees up monthly income for the inevitable inflation.
That really is it now. Lots of foundation work this year, hopefully, to make the next year a prosperous and enjoyable one. Here's to Thirty-Six!