2016 – A review of the year

2016 is almost over and it has been a pretty mixed year for me. There have been some amazing highs, a few lows and a lot of stuff that falls in between. This blog is a review of my year, how I did against my goals and what I have learnt. At the start of 2016 I set out to achieve the following things:

  • Complete a 100-mile charity bike ride in less then 6 hours
  • Reduce my golf handicap to 24
  • Maintain a healthy body composition

Well I definitely achieved the second, I managed to maintain a healthy body composition for certain parts of the year and although I did complete the 100-mile bike ride it wasn’t in less than 6 hours.

Key lesson

Before I look at each goal individually there is one key lesson that I learnt this year, I tried to do way too much! Looking back at this time last year I was full of naïve enthusiasm and thought I could achieve all of my goals. Unfortunately what I didn’t understand was the level of dedication it would require to complete all three. If I could go back in time and give myself one piece of advice, it would be to choose one goal and throw all my energy into that. So with that in mind I am making sure I don’t make the same mistake again. I have already planned out my 2017 goal and it will be running the Birmingham Half Marathon in under 90 minutes. It is the second of my five goals that I want to do before I turn 40 and I am determined to smash it.

The 100 mile bike ride

This was my first goal and although I completed the ride I did not do it in under 6 hours. Reflecting on my preparation for the ride I can see where I went wrong, I didn’t do enough training. I should have started training in January but I kept putting it off and didn’t begin until it was too late. Ultimately I failed with this goal, however I am only 35 so have another five years to go back an complete this goal, which is plenty of time! The positives I will take from the experience is that I loved the ride and completing it with my dad is something I will treasure for the rest of my life.

 

The round of my life

The second goal for 2016 was to reduce my golf handicap to 24 and this was the one goal I smashed. Not only did I reduce my handicap to 24 but I also played the round of my life, shooting 85 on a par 70 course. What made the round even more special was that it was totally unexpected. I played the round in trainers as I forgotten my golf shoes and after nine holes I was 10 shots over par. I played the back nine in just five over and without a doubt it was the best golf of my life. I am now really confident that I can get my handicap down to 16 by the time I am forty.

Stronger if not leaner

Anyone who had followed my journey this year will know I have really struggled with maintaining a healthy body composition. I have failed to find the right level of consistency and that has had a knock on effect on my training and progress. However there have been times in 2016 when I have been in great shape. Looking back work pressure has played a part in my inconsistency but as I said earlier it really has been down to taking on too much.

One area that I have been really pleased with is the gains I have made in functional strength. I have worked really hard in the gym this year and just last week I set a new personal best for my deadlift 1 rep max – 135kg! To put that in context, it is one and half times my body weight.

The year ahead…

2016 was not the year I wanted but at the same time there are lots of positives I can take from it. 2017 will be a unique year for me and I know it will challenge me in ways I can’t comprehend right now but I am really looking forward to it.

Toby

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