2013 - A Great Year

As the final hours roll in of 2013, i have been reflecting on the last 12 months.  This time last year i sat down and wrote out my goals, all of them - family, health/fitness and business goals, and hand on heart i am delighted as this past 12 months has seen me hit the majority of them which is a great return for my efforts in 2013.

I have been doing my blog now for over two years and in it I try and raise awareness of Multiple Sclerosis and also try and help people believe that little bit more, that with a plan, effort and the right attitude, absolutely anything is possible.  I can tell you that in the past 12 months i have had over 7000 people read my blogs and i would like to thank all those who find them interesting and have sent me nice emails and words of encouragement in this timeframe - it really helps my mindset and desire to continue to challenge my MS situation and also drive forward with tenacity in terms of my business, health and fitness goals.

The birth of my son Conor Junior, was clearly the highlight of the last  12 months and its predominantly for family reasons that I will continue to work hard to make sure I am as healthy as I can be so I can continue to play a key role at home.

Another huge achievement for me this year was learning to swim properly and doing my first triathlon.  I always wanted to compete in Triathlons, but the swimming part has always been a huge problem for me ever since I was a young boy and watched my first Jaws film.  It had a very disturbing effect on my relationship with open water. Thankfully I fought my fear with my fear and   In June and August this year I completed the Derry and Belfast Triathlons respectively and the feeling was absolutely tremendous.  I have to admit I now have the bug and I will be competing in several triathlons this coming year and cant wait for them to start.

Christmas is my favourite time of year for different reasons, one being its the only time in a busy year that I actually get a few days to myself without the emails coming in, phones ringing and meeting requests etc. When I have some downtime I try and get stuck into a few good books to keep the mind sharp.  A month ago I was reading an article in the Sunday Independent whereby Padraig Harrington was recommending some books to read.  One was the Talent Code by Daniel Coyle and the other a book called Bounce by Matthew Syed.  Both books are incredible reads and as we head into 2014 where the perfect tonic for me in terms of planning for the year ahead. Tomorrow I will sit down and write out my goals all over again for 2014,  and I have to tell you, I intend to raise the bar again.

For me I am now absolutely convinced that exercise has played a fundamental role in me continuing to beat Multiple Sclerosis on a daily basis.  I have been very fortunate this year in that I have had the opportunity to speak at a number of MS events that has taken me across Europe.  Through my blogs and overall MS awareness campaign, I have had the pleasure to meet and connect with fellow MS'ers from across the world.  I have to tell you that it is incredible the amount of people who are using exercise as one of their main weapons to fight Multiple Sclerosis. Can I also tell you that these findings are not restricted to MS (as you know), most people who are embraced in exercise live happier healthier lives - that's a medically accepted fact and my wish for 2014, is that all of us do take the opportunity to do more exercise.  I speak a lot to different groups now, MS groups, schools, business events and the one thing I say to everyone is to try and encourage people to get fitter.  Exercise is FREE and is crucial if you want to keep your body strong enabling it to fight illness and disease.

Health permitting, I hope to run a few marathons and a number of triathlons this year, and in the Summer of 2014 I hope to complete my first half Ironman.  For those of you whom aren't too sure what a half Ironman is its a 1.2mile swim, 56mile bike ride and 13.1mile half marathon.  I am excited even typing about it, so bring on 2014, and like always I will keep you abreast of my progress. 

In closing thanks again for all your kind words and support in 2013 and I really look forward to raising the bar in 2014.

Happy New Year all and remember #Attitude Is Everything