Always building a better future

There’s a book I’ve gone back to recently, and recommended it to a colleague too… How to take charge of your life with NLP by Richard Bandler.

I’ve written about it before, and the summary chapter is written out here –

But a key part for my that I’m reminding myself of just now is these paragraphs here – a way of changing your mindset so that trauma is left in the past and instead you focus on the positive, and allow yourself to move on from the past.

> Personal freedom is the ability to feel what you want, so that the chains of fear, sadness and hate are broken. These chains are made up of negative feelings, limiting beliefs and destructive behaviours. >

> A lot of people have had bad things happen to them. So instead of being glad that it’s not happening now, they go through it over and over in their heads, so that their present is destroyed by their past. Many people feel trapped by their past, but they aren’t really trapped. They’re just practicing a habit of feeling bad. >

> We always have the choice of taking our past and limiting our future, or taking our past and building a better future. NLP is about teaching people how to make it so that when they look at their past, they learn from it. They avoid suffering because of it. >

> Life is not about remembering and reliving unpleasantness from the past, but about going forward to look at life as the adventure it can be. Maybe reality isn’t what you think it is. Maybe whatever you think becomes your reality. >

> Tragedy exists only in the mind as a terrible memory. A memory is just a representation of an experience. When you change the way you represent an experience, you change how you feel about the experience. >

In the last six months, I’ve settled into a new chapter in my career and in my life… the next 8 year cycle of my life it seems – I’ve settled into a really good job, in a great team, in a good and relatively new organisation that works to my values.

I’m working for the people of Scotland, to deliver benefit to the people of Scotland (and the people in the organisation), and as a result of the new organisation being set up and expanded, I’ve now been given the opportunity to shine.

This blog has been inspired from speaking to people in my team, and just two people saying that they liked my blog and really connected with it. It can be a lot of writing, and I’ve got out of the habit of writing it, but if it connects with and helps people (and me) then that’s what it’s all about.

Now in my new role sitting in my spare room, on my laptop, in Teams calls and getting to know my role, team and the culture … sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s real. I know I’m a civil servant now, and I believe I have a great rest of my career ahead of me – but sometimes it’s easy to get sucked into the past.

Sometimes I’m brought back to the bumpy ride of the last two years of my BBC career, where I seem to have brought some gremlins from. Whilst there were quite a few good people there that made the place, there were a few not so good – and I’m sadly still looking over my shoulder expecting the knife to go in.

But then, I realise that a lot of it is probably in my head. That I have the freedom to move on from it all. To not go over the fact that I spoke up when my job disappeared from me and I nearly fell apart but no one was able to help me and pick me up and move me on. It is what it is – stop letting it haunt you.

But still, no one – right up to the top of the BBC, thought or was able to say – ‘

‘there’s Lorn, she’s great – that new job we have for her isn’t quite her. We can see that her job changed and disappeared, and this new one isn’t a good fit. Let’s help her.’

‘The job she was great at in News isn’t available for her as it was an attachment Let’s see what else she could do. She’s great – with so many skills – she’s given us 13 years of her life. Lets move her into retrain to be a Production Coordinator, and she can pick up her BBC career from there and help us make programmes. Or maybe she’d be good in HR.’

But no, no one was able to do that. Red tape, policies, trying to not look unfair, no budget, no roles, too big an organisation? No one willing or able to take a punt on me.

They weren’t able to help when I felt like I was drowning for months, and in the end, years. Like I was waving / asking for help with my career and mental health… like I was on the edge of going under for so long, and waving and shouting, yet no one was able to drive the life boats to come and save me and my career.

I spoke up and tried to prove that a couple of managers did wrong, and instead of being listened to, it was all covered up and I floundered, became quite ill and tried my best to stay afloat. Luckily my friends, some good colleagues and I managed to get my life jacket back on, and I bobbed slowly to the shore and got myself out.

But my life has made me resilient and I tried to reframe it all and take positive learnings from it all – all of which I won’t go into here – but when I think about what I went through, I try to reframe it and remember the positives. But none of it really matters anymore.

It simply wasn’t to be, and now I can take what I’ve learned, and who I am, forward to benefit another organisation and team, and the people of Scotland again.

I’ve been swimming all my life, sometimes up stream, sometimes in choppy waters and sometimes in nice pools and lochs. But I’ve got through it all, sometimes thrashing about, sometimes nice and smooth swimming, always able to get my life jacket on and float.

And as Richard Bandler wrote above:

> We always have the choice of taking our past and limiting our future, or taking our past and building a better future.

I choose to take my past and build a better future, every single time.

And it’s all getting easier – being part of a great team, with good managers, with an organisation that’s going to invest in me and get the most from me. An organisation that listens, that has good processes and policies and systems in place. It’s honestly like night and day.

In the last 6 months when I’ve been learning about the my new organisation and team – there have been times when I’ve actually cried a little at just how good it is – and that’s compared to just how bad it had been. Crying with relief, or happiness that I’m here and finally out of a chaotic mind fu&k of a place. I’ve been able to let go at the start if the year, and finally move on after so many pointless months and years trying to hang on. I’m slowly being de-instituitionised, and it feels good.

This week, something brought a happy reality to where I’m at – I met nearly all of my new team face to face for the first time in nearly 6 months. As one of my colleagues said, butting bodies and limbs to the people we’ve worked with for so long (on Teams) and on the screens.

6 months in our team wins an organisation wide award for best team… and I’m a part of it. The team has been invested in so that we can make a difference, and I need to remember how fortunate and lucky I am to be here and to be a part of it.a hand picked team, shaped to become the team we are. New blood, each and every one of us love working with and helping people. Not politics or knives – just good good people. It’s truly and quite simply, magic.

Last night in our work night out where we met up for the first time ever, I was struck by how encouraging and lovely everyone is. Each getting to know each other, part of something special, something that’s been in the planking for months, probably years – we’re at the start of something amazing and it’s all been curated to perfection.

I remember being so proud and motivated to be a part of the team who set up the new News teams for the BBC Scotland channel. With my excel as my right hand, I made up the list of all the jobs that they decided they needed. I helped from start to finish of hiring in around 100 brand new staff, and helped to coordinate in the delivery of about 180 roles being recruited into.

I made it my mission to make it a good experience for those new staff coming in, but also a good experience for staff who were already here. I really was able to shine and grow. One lovely person called me the light of the newsroom and I got so much other positive feedback, it’ll stay with me forever. I built great relationship and had the time of my career.

But the sad and horrible thing for me was, that the big long list of new jobs and people, didn’t have my name on it. I tried to suggest a spot for me, but I was on attachment coving someone else, so it wasn’t to be. As much as I wanted it; and maybe others did too, there wasn’t the budget or the push for it to happen, so it didn’t.

When I left news in around May 2019, I had a good meeting with a lovely leader in there… and he quite wisely said to me – the next job will be the one. And at that time I was still thinking BBC – but I also knew how unrealistic it was to think that in a shrinking organisation, that the next job would be able to be amazing in there… because there simply were no jobs in the sort of area I knew I could make a difference.

I want to tell him he was right – my next job is ace, and he and the news teams helped me to be able shine so I could get the experience to be able to secure it. And now I’m going to fly.

The truth is, it probably all happened at the BBC for me for a reason. So I could get the know some great people in there, and then so I could let go, and move on. To pastures new, to get my contractual redundancy for some financial stability and reward for the last 13 years, and to move on and make a difference elsewhere.

I was allowing the BBC to turn me into someone I wasn’t – a negative victim. I’ve never been a victim in my life and it was time to move on to stop the cycle.

I’ve said before that my life seems to run in 8 year cycles, and it so happened that this new cycle started exactly when it should do – from 41-48 years old – and it’s starting off to be a belter. I’ve had many ups and downs in life and in my career, and it’s most defiantly on the way up again now. It’s all settling into place.

And I’ve even some how magically been able to pick up swimming coaching again too, to give me that connection with people and helping them to swim. It all feels a bit unreal – but it’s good.

In 2019 when I realised that my BBC career was falling away from me (or being badly ripped from under my feet) I did some work to think about an alternative career and I looked into the possibility of me retraining to be a primary school teacher.

I went as far as researching the universities, and I even wrote my application statement. Written, rewritten, honed and rehired, they key parts of it were that I want to make a difference with people. (I eventually didn’t apply as I shadowed a couple of primary school classes for two days and realised it wasn’t for me).

But I reminded myself that I love working with people (adults mostly) it’s my mission in life to make a difference and leave footsteps (or capes and rainbows) in peoples lives.

I’ll finish with this – a bit of a personal story – the part in the paragraph from Richard Bandler’s book above sticks out to me –

> The one thing in life that you can control is the inside if your head. If someone went into your house and painted horrible pictures on your walls, you wouldn’t leave them there would you? No of course not. You’d paint over them. Then why leave bad ideas inside your head? Unwanted negative images or horrible voices: there’s no point. >

And the reason for that is, whilst I see what he’s trying to get at, it sticks out to me because that actually happened to me once. I was about 15 and I’d just spent the day stripping and re wallpapering my bedroom with approval from my Dad.

But then I came home late after a night out with friends, and my Mum had been in a drunken rage and ripped off all the new wallpaper I’d put up… and ripped some other wallpaper off around the house. Then she’d written or scrawled things in black marker pen ALL OVER my bedroom walls, and on her bedroom wall, and in two other walls in the house.

It was like something out of a TV drama like it was unreal – not something you’d ever expect to experience or be a part of. And those were probably the hardest years of my life. A part of my life that I longed to move on from and make my life and my home a better place. Something I learned from that I’d never do anything like that to anyone else, or let anyone else get that bad or ill.

I wallpapered over it the next day, and over the years I moved on from the trauma of my childhood. I got counselling and worked my way through it all. I worked to underhand why my Mum’s might have done the things she did, and realised that she wasn’t all bad. I learned to understand why things happened or accepted that they did and moved on.

And I know that I need to do that here with my past at the BBC. I’ll get counselling through work, and work through it so that I only see the positives from the situation and I move on remembering the good and not letting the bad or negative take up any more of my brain power or headspace.

I’ll also use the counselling to get the full me back – back to being the light of the room again. Enthusiastic, positive, creative and making a real difference again.

Time to leave the gremlins in my head behind, and focus on doing good again, getting me back and making a difference for those who matter. It’s gonna be great.

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November into December training

My training has been ticking along nicely, with around 2-3 swims a week, 2 runs a week and 1-2 strength sessions a week. I’m not doing much walking in, but I am getting the odd walk in and the odd rest day in.

Here’s what I’ve done since the middle of November:

The swims and runs have been good, and it’s been nice having some time out to swim coach too.

I gave blood on Thursday and I’ve taken some rest and turn out after it. I probably shy isn’t have planned a long run the day after, but I hydrated well and had a good nap in the afternoon and a good rest day the next day. I’m feeling ok now, but will take it easy none the less.

Here’s my plan for next week:

I’ll aim for 3 swim, 2 strength and 3 runs, maybe not so long on Saturday, but I’ll see. I have a haircut and my first night out for a long time, and my first night out with my new work mates. First time to meet them all – which is exciting.

After that I’ve planned in all my training until the end of the year… similar to this week…

I’ll probably have some rest days in there too as I go, but we’ll see.

Then I should be on track for the following annual mileage:
Run – 400
Swim – 108-110 (173-176km)
Cycle – 600
Walk – 650??
(Strength – 70 hours)

A lot less running than usual, but the swimming in the last 6 months, and the cycle in the first 6 months of the year made up for it. Hopefully my injury is gone, but swimming seems better for me anyway, so we’ll see what happens in 2022.

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New road ID

In case of emergency or ICE… it’s a way to record on your phone or device who someone should contact in case if emergency.

But what if you don’t take your phone with you… like I don’t when I run?

I’ve always had a road ID, and this month I got a new one in nice bright colours.

Road ID is an American company so it can take a week or two to be delivered but I think it’s worth the wait. You can get ones that connect to your device straps, and I had one for a while, but I’ve gone back to the wrist strap.

It has two emergency contacts on it, my address, my dob, and my blood type, along with a wee message for me saying ‘cape on and fly!’


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36th pint of blood given

Anyone that knows me, probably knows I like to give blood a couple or three times a year if I can… and today last minute, I booked an appointment at the Glasgow Blood Donor centre – with the aim of giving my 36th pint.

The process has changed a little bit when you go in, covid guidelines, but it still works well. I was taken by a nurse called Jackie who tested my haemoglobin from one of my fingers … and it came out at 12.2… a little bit under the required 12.5.

So she had to take a sample from my arm, and it tested fine, at 13.2. Phew. I didn’t want to go all the way home after walking in.

As I’d been jabbed twice, the nurse who was helping me get the blood out of my other arm said I could take two tea cakes … so I did!

You can leave it 3 months between donations, and my last one was in August. This one the end of November, so the next one could be March Time.

I did this one just before getting my covid booster so it all worked in well time wise.

My aim is to get my donation amount along the lines of my age… I’m 41, so I have to give a few more times to catch up with or overtake my age. A good wee goal.

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Critical Swim Speed (CSS) workout

This morning it was cold – cold enough for this pretty ice pattern to have formed on my car… and I spent 5-10 mins scraping / de-icing the car before getting to the pool for my 7am swim.

I’d had a lie in yesterday instead of a swim, so I felt ready for a good strong swim today. I’ve been doing about 2,700m – 3,000m (108-120 lengths) of various sessions when I’ve been going, and today I had the following workout planned:

Plus a 200m cool down, and a 400m strong swim to take me up to 2,900m / 116 lengths.

My Garmin swim 2 watch tells me what to do, after I’ve scheduled the workout, and I’ve found that it’s a really good way to keep your training on track.

I was swimming at the Gorbals again, there were only two others in the lane. A regular guy who goes in a blue swim cap, and he always gives way to me / has good swim etiquette. And another lady I hadn’t seen before, but she seemed to have good lane etiquette too – giving plenty of space and letting me past if needed.

Here’s what I ended up doing, plus the last 400m in 6:58 or 1:44 / 100m.

I chose to breathe every 4 where I could and worked on getting a good glide, kick to breathe off the wall.

My CCS (critical swim speed) was 1:45 per 100m… and I’m pleased as that’s about 7 seconds faster than it was in September (1:52). It was pretty steady over the two sets I did too, with the second set being 1:46.

To work out your CSS, you swim and time 400m strong, then have a good breather / easy swimming, then swim and time 200m strong. Take the 200m time away from the 400m time, and rigid if by two for your CSS 100m time.

It’s a good way to see progress. Especially if you’ve been working on some drills or technique to hopefully help you be faster in the water (ie breathing, streamlining, gliding).

Practice has really helped my swim fitness, and my average heart rate was 132, max 156, so not pushing it too hard, but hard enough, with a little anaerobic work.

I came out of the pool after an hour to this nice sun rise – and I decided that today would be a good day to go and give blood later on, so I’ve booked an appointment to go give blood before my next booster vaccine.

If you want to find out your CSS time, try the workout above. You could keep it as a 2,500m swim session, or just do one set, for a shorter 1,600m session.

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Wk44 into Wk45

Last week I got 2 swims in, 2 strength, 1 run and 2 rest days, along with 2 x 1 hour swim coaching. I also had a good wee day on Wednesday travelling to Stonehaven to see my Dad and step Mum – the perks of ‘flexi time’ at work.

Here’s what I did:

And here’s the totals:

I took today off swimming for a break from it, and I’ll be back at it on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday next week. Here’s my plans for next week:

I have a couple of social runs planned next week, so that will be good. I’ve also planned some strength in, and I’ll hopefully get 2 minimum done. I’ve been a little sore after strength, so the more I do it regularly the better.

Im travelling on Friday with another flexi day to see a friend, her kid and her new puppy! And I’m also meeting a friend on Sunday for brunch after my swim. 4 friends in one week!

Let’s see how I get on with my training next week.

Roll on Monday. I’m up early again to teach swimming for the Glasgow Triathlon club, it’s good to see people progressing with their swimming – even if it is at 615am on a Monday!

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Wk43 and 44 into Wk45

For the last couple of weeks I’ve kept up my swimming 3 times a week but have eased off the gym, and picked up my running again.

At the end of October I was starting to feel a bit tired or like I needed some rest, so I had 3 good rest days that week. I still swam the 3 times, ran once, and coached twice. Then I had a restful weekend.

Then after the clocks went back last weekend, I felt like the extra hour did me good, and for some reason it’s felt like my body clock is where it used to be, and hour ahead of the actual time. And that’s seemed to help me to wake up early and get my exercise in.

Swimming coaching for the Glasgow Triathlon Club first thing on Monday was cancelled due to lack of pool staff, so I came home and got a wee good run in.

I was able to book Bellahouston pool for Tuesday morning and did a good session there.

Then on Wednesday it was swimming at the Gorbals, another 2,700m… and a good 4.5 mile run on Thursday morning. It was a bit cold, but good weather for running.

Then another swim at Bellahouston on Friday, just under 2,800m… an easier session with repeats of 100m front crawl mostly.

Today was a good first run with my new (and lovely) colleague Rebecca. My longest run for a while and I felt good on it. We had a really good chat, and ran through some really pretty leaf lines streets and a bit through Queens Park.

I did get a bit of a fright this morning where I got a really bad pain in my left heel : lower ankle. When I got out of bed I couldn’t weight bear; but it wasn’t like plantar facilitus. I managed to move around and stretch it so that it eased off and after 45 mins or so I was ok to run on it. Just in time for Rebecca coming to mine at 730 to run.

I forgot to get a selfie with her, but I think we both really enjoyed the run, and getting to know each other better.

My left foot felt fine during and after the run. So who knows what that was all about. My body trying to remind me to be careful no doubt.

I’ve been consistent with my training and my sleep has been pretty good (touch wood). And I’ve been able to be flexible with my eating…. since mid July I’ve been skipping breakfast most days (a type of loose 16:8 intermittent fasting), but I do drink a rego vanilla shake after a swim for recovery and energy.

As a result of my training and not being greedy…. I’ve lost about half a stone since mid July… and my weight has stayed steady for a while now. It’s sort of still going down, but it feels right where I am so I’ll make sure ok eating enough to fuel my exercise.

Here’s my plan for next week training wise… maybe not all that strength training, but I’ll put it in and see if I get up to it or not.

Tomorrow I’m away to Edinburgh to see a friend for lunch and on Wednesday I’m away to Stonehaven to visit my Dad and step mum. So that should be nice.

I’m doing the Kelpie 5k at night the following Sunday with my friend I’m meeting in Edinburgh (tomorrow)… so we’ll get together two weekends in a row to have some fun. I might have a rest day next Saturday if I fancy it.

Oh and I did some Christmas shopping today and got some wee treats bought for me too. Looks like I’ve breast finished my Christmas shopping! Which might be a record. I have no idea how I did that.

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My mileage goals for 2021

With two months to go til the end of 2021… I’ve been looking at my mileage and seeing what sort of goals I might be likely to achieve.

If you know me, you know I like a round number… but I’m not sure I’ll be able to get a round number with all of my activities… we’ll see. (By the way, I use Garmin to track all my miles, and have done since 2009)

At the moment, it’s looking like I could achieve the following:

Swimming 115-120 miles
Running 400 miles
Cycling 600 miles
Walking 650-700 miles
Total = 1765 – 1820 miles

With a persistent and annoying injury carrying on from last year into the middle of this year, I’ve stepped back from my running and thrown myself into the pool… I mean swimming.

My annual running mileage is at the lowest it’s ever been – maybe even less than my first year running in 2009… but I’m ok with that. And I’m glad to be running pain free 2-3 times a week now. 2-5 or 6 miles is fine…but I’ll need to put the focus back in it again Particularly when I’m still swimming for 2-3 hours a week.

So with about 9 weeks of the year left, here’s where I’m at and what I could aim to achieve in my activities:

SWIMMING – aim for 115-120 miles

So far in 2021:
– 138,834 yards / 126,950 metres / 78.9 miles

41.1 miles to get to 120 miles
Or about 66150m

2.7-3.0km each time / 8.1-9.0km each week
Approx 23 swims left,
– 12 swims in Nov = 32400-36000
– 11 swims in Dec = 29700-33000

It might be a bit steep and it might be just a case of seeing what will be will be, but Ill be looking forward to totalling up how many lengths and metres and miles I’ve swum at the end of the year.

RUNNING – aim for 400 miles
Miles run so far in 2021 = 313.6
= 86.4 to get to 400

Aim for 47 miles in November
And 39.4 miles in December

Weekly Plan:
Nov 1 – 3.4, 4.0, 6.4 = 13.8
Nov 8 – 3.1, 4.0, 3.1 = 10.2
Nov 15 – 3.1, 5.0, 3.1 = 11.2
Nov 22 – 3.1, 5.0 = 8.1
Nov 29 – 3.7 = total = 47 miles

Dec 1 – 3.1, 3.5 = 6.6
Dec 6 – 3.1, 4.0, 3.1 = 10.2
Dec 13 – 3.1, 4.0, 3.1 = 10.2
Dec 20 – 3.1, 5.0 = 8.1
Dec 27 – 4.3 = total 39.4 miles

CYCLING – aim for 600 miles

= 575.9 for 2021 so far
= 24.1 miles to get to 600

4 x 30 min spins
Or 2 x 12 mile bike rides

I’ve not been cycling much since maybe May or June time, but to round up the miles I could do a few more spin or cycle sessions.

WALKING – aim for 700 miles ?
2021 so far = 599.3
= 100.7 miles to get to 700

11 miles / 2-3 walks a week

50 miles a month? Or maybe 25 to get to 650?

I doubt I’ll walk 100 miles in the next two months (as I’ve not been walking all that much) but we’ll see.

How many miles are you at for the year so far, and how many do you think you’ll get to?

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It’s great to be back!

We all go through ups and downs in life – happy times and sometimes struggles. The rich tapestry of life… reminding us we’re alive and hopefully living a life worth living.

Sometimes it feels like we’re on top of the world and nothing can stop us, and sometimes life has a habit of smacking you down, and down, and hopefully we’re strong and resilient enough to climb back up to the top of the world again.

I’ve written about this before a bit…

… about how things are good now, and I’m looking forward, but also knowing that there’s been some tough times in the past. Tough times that have knocked me down, but I’ve got back up again.

And about how I’m trying to look forward now, not back.

Here’s a wee idea of what the last 7-8 years has been for me… (with life, friends, family and holidays, ticking along on top of these things)…

– 7 years ago my aunt passed away – and I stepped up to do one of the most important things I’ve ever done in life, and see her off well.

I did it for her, for my family and for my granny. Storms and demons from my past came to stop me, but I stood up and delivered.

– 7 years ago, I gave up part time swimming teaching, it was time for me to move on after 13 years of teaching hundreds (thousands?) kids to swim.

(I let go of something I really loved doing because I didn’t agree with the practices and values of the place I worked – and it freed up my Sunday nights)

– 6 years ago my Mum passed away – my life as I knew it was sent into turmoil – the emotions, the history – fighting against my need to do right for my family / Granny.

I stepped up as joint executor, and then followed 2 years of being in a storm / under a big dark cloud. I got through it and became even stronger and proud as a result.

– 5 years ago my full time career went a bit funny and started to go down the pan due to failures and changes – basically lack of communication and bad management practices. At the time it felt like there wasn’t much I could do about it, but quietly watch, listen and hope for the best.

– 4 years ago, my full time career started to really take a dive bomb, and I tried to re correct it’s course, applying for many internal roles to try to reroute my career into a role where I could thrive again … but it didn’t work.

I was still dealing with the after effect of my Mum passing, and now my rock of my work that I loved, was turning to quick sand. It was soul destroying and seemingly never ending.

– then 3 years ago I got a great opportunity to work in a brilliantly led team of lovely people, was trusted, learned a lot, met some great people, and really thrived, for 18 months.

It truly was ace. I met lots of great people and developed my skills and experience to take forward with me.

– 2 years ago, I went back to the role where my career was dive bombing, and I tried to speak up about the failings (which took about 21 months (!!) and didn’t work). It was hell on Earth when all I was trying to do was speak up for what I felt was right.

– 1 year ago, I found out that the process for speaking up didn’t work, and I slowly learned to realise that I was better off out of there (and there were no roles which would help me to thrive the way I know I can). But I stuck at it, I was persistent or tenacious and I ended up getting what I was after.

Lucky for me, eventually my role was closed, so I got what I originally asked for (almost 2 years prior) which was to be put at risk and eventually made redundant. It will likely be one of the best things to have happened to me. To be set free, to reshape my work and life so I can thrive and grow again.

(A couple of managers said no in 2019, and were likely just defending themselves and the failures I was trying to highlight. But it’s all in the past now, and I’ve moved on with what I was due).

So now – what’s happening?

Well after all of that… a bumpy ride, and feeling like I was standing on quick sand, for about 8 or so years… all of a sudden, I’m finally back, with my feet firmly on the ground. And boy does it feel good.

So once I realised that I really needed to let go of my old work, as it was doing nothing for me, but draining every piece of me and ultimately making me ill and unhappy… I knew there was better out there, but I’d hung on for what I knew I was due.

I looked in January to March this year, I looked elsewhere and managed to secure my new HR role in Social Security Scotland.

I’ve joined what has now become an award winning team – a really supportive, open and friendly and inclusive team.

New people who trust and rely on me, new people who listen and support and encourage me. It all almost feels too good to be true – but it’s all happening and it’s all very real.

A new role and team who value me and my skills, my experience and me as a person. So they’ll now get the benefit, and I’ll get the reward.

My identity is coming back… no longer lost into the abyss because change was handled badly in my last place… my identity is now coming back, as a trusted and inspiring helper (as a recent insight test reminded me).

My need to interact with, and make a difference with and for people is being more than met in my new role. Everything is great and perfect with it.

And then all of a sudden, once that part becomes solid, in august I started swimming coaching again. First coaching adults for Glasgow Triathlon Club very early on a Monday morning, and second helping to coach kids for the club on a Thursday night. 2-3 hours a week, a manageable amount. (And the bonus is that it pays well to keep me in new trainers and goggles).

I came home after swimming coaching on Thursday night with a big beaming smile on my face. Meeting and coaching new people, learning from a very experienced coach, and remembering how good it is to help people to progress with and learn swimming.

Add onto that my choice in May to finally get back into swimming, and do my first ever try of open water swimming, and more open water swimming each month, I’m back to being a swimmer and getting a great sense of achievement and level of fitness from it. Swimming 2,500m – 3,000m (100-120 lengths), 3 times a week, mixed with other exercise. I’m feeling great on it.

And even my sleep, weight and everything is feeling so much better, and overall a lot more balanced, well and happy. I’ve also sensibly invested my redundancy and inheritance wisely… and who knows, it could lead to me be becoming part time some time, perhaps in the long run, I’ll mix my main role with more coaching or fun on the side. We will see.

My Dad always brought me up to be financially (and otherwise) independent, and it’s good to be able to tell and show him how far I’ve come, and what I’ve managed to achieve, both in terms of hurdles and rewards.

Anyway, all of a sudden, after about 8 years of quick sand, and struggles, I’m back on dry land looking out to the horizon, realising just how good I’ve got it.

I’ve faced, dealt with and got through the worst of times. And all the way through I’ve been rewarded with glimmers of hope and what could be described as big windfalls, or maybe my reward for being tenacious, working hard, and getting through it all.

I can’t remember how it exactly started, back when I started out coaching and when I made my cape story up…. but people in some of the big teams I worked in used to call me ‘Super Lorn’, and the name kinda stuck.

But if I’m honest with myself I’ve not been feeling very Super Lorn at all, and for a long time. Yet finally, about 6 months after knowing I needed to move on, and taking the plunge to move to a new career, using my skills, strength and experience to thrive, I’m finally there. And it feels like Super Lorn is most definitely back.

It’s great to be back.

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Wk42 into Wk43

That seemed like a long and busy week last week… my training included 3 shortish runs, 3 swims, 1 strength and a HIIT workout. And I was swim coaching twice, for 3 hours, and work Monday to Friday.

I probably could have had a rest day in there somewhere, and I usually rest on Saturdays, but I wanted to do the 5k for Moira Jones, so I’ll get a rest day on Thursday next week maybe. Or maybe Tuesday if I’m tired.

I did a couple of swimming time trials,
– 1 mile in 28:17 on Wednesday
– 1 km in 18:12 today in a 50m pool
Oh and I swam 100m in 1:33 on Friday too!

Here’s my time trial results for the last fee months (including my 3,000m events):

Some good (but perhaps small) progress, ok swimming strong and enjoying it.

I’m booked in to swim next week, on Wednesday at the Gorbals, Friday at Bellahouston again, and Tollcross on Sunday.

It was nice to be back at Bellahouston swimming again last Thursday. I stopped teaching there in about 2014/15, and 6-7 years on there are still some of the same staff I worked with, there. It was nice to see them again.

The swim time is at 630 though, so it’s a bit early, but I’ll see how I get on. I’m doing sessions of about 2,500 – 2,800m when I go.

This last week I had a nice run with Glynis who was down from Ellon for a concert and staying near me. It was good to catch up after Brighton and hear how she was getting on. Hers me ruining a perfectly good picture. Lol.

Here’s the nice picture, the day after the full moon (taken by Glynis).

And here’s the moon the morning before, just after the full moon. They always remind me of my aunt. Arrroooooooo.

We went out to our new favourite place for brunch on Saturday – The GRIND house offer shop, which is just about a mile away.
I had a yummy poached eggs, with avocado and halloumi… although I liked the one with the portabello mushrooms better.

Here’s my training plans for next week:

I’ll likely not do all of that, and might have rest days and lie ins maybe, on Tuesday and Thursday. I didn’t manage to get any naps this weekend and probably needed them, so I’ll try and see if I can be kind to myself next week and get some catch up recovery.

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