With 2013 coming to a close, the Chrismas holidays are an ideal moment to think about your New Year's resolutions. I have to admit there were a couple of years that I didn't even have one. I was happy with the way I was going or didn't feel like a lot of correction was in place. However, this has changed the past two years and I have drawn a more concrete action plan to steer my personal and professional life in a better direction.
Last year I made the big decision to pay more attention to my body. With 14-hour work days pretty much all year round, I lead a very sedentary life. The sofa in my living room (which is my office) has a major butt groove of which Homer Simpson would be proud. In November 2012 I had to drag myself to the physiotherapist with serious back pain, from doing nothing !! As soon as the physio palpated me, he uttered: "oh my god, oh my god." I freaked and replied, "what, what??". He replied, "you have absolutely no muscles in your back." That was the final straw!
My New Year's resolution for 2013 was to drag myself - reluctantly - to the gym. I needed one month to convince myself and made up for that procrastination by running three times a week, but in February I finally got started and actually quite liked it. By September I cranked up the volume and am now one of those devoted people who religiously go at least five days per week. Despite being commited to working out, I admit that I still prefer sitting on the coach, eating pizza and watch a movie to lifting weights, but it just has to be done.
For 2014 I have a few professional resolutions and one of them is writing more editorials. I sort of have skipped those, because I pen down mini-versions in my weekly newsletters (don't forget to sign up for free to our mailing list) but I often feel like I have so much to say, but simply lack the time. I'll make an effort this new year to share those views a bit more in public.
I am extremely grateful for the loyal support of the hundreds of thousands of readers Eurodressage has. While our statistics have climbed yeear after year with trusty readers setting Eurodressage as their home page or considering it their essential need with their morning coffee, the website has grown exponentially in 2013. This is also reflected in our Facebook fans. On the last day of 2013, Eurodressage Facebook page was liked 90,800 times, an amount unparallelled by any other equestrian website which covers only ONE discpline.
I want to thank all my readers for their continuous support and dedication to reading what I write. I also want to express my unlimited gratitude to my small team of freelance worker bees, Silke Rottermann and Sarah Warne, as well as two fantastic photographers which have supported me over the years with their amazing work, Barbara Schnell and Dirk Caremans. I'm also very proud to be allowed to feature the photographs of Sue Stickle, Terri Miller, Risto Aaltonen and Elisabeth Weiland on my website, aiding in lifting Eurodresage to a top quality level, the only standard I wish to operate at.
Happy New Year !
-- Astrid Appels