If you haven’t been living under a rock or been stranded on a desert island for the last few years, I am sure you have come across the end of year #bestnine photos that are currently flooding social media feeds. If you have only just landed on Earth or been deep under that rock and have no clue what I am talking about (you wouldn’t be the first!) here you go; essentially, #mybestnine is a photo collage generated by using the nine photos from your Instagram account that have received the most likes in the year, simples!
But being me, I have decided to change things up a bit and pick my own best nine: #ELOstruebestnine – get it trending!!!
Why I hear you cry!?
Ok, don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of Instagram and I use it a lot, as hey I am a sucker for a good photo, love a gif, and a solid pun is #life! However, what I am not much of a fan of, call me scrooge if you will, is the fact the number of likes, comments or followers can define or dictate a person’s self-worth, belief or confidence. It is just madness that how others view or interact with your X Pro II-ed, saturated AF, and hashtagged up photo from your cat’s 5th Birthday party can control how you feel about yourself, let alone dictate a “best” moment?!
So, with this in mind I decided to pick nine photos from my Instagram in 2018 that I feel best represent my year, and what a year it has been…
1. Finnishing my first professional 70.3!
See I told you I am a sucker for a pun! Right back to the point… Picture number one represents not only my first full season racing as a professional triathlete, but also getting back to racing consistently full stop. 2018 saw me race more races than ‘16 & ‘17 put together (not that hard tbh) and I was undefeated on UK soil! But I did get schooled in my professional races – it was needed and given where I am at in my athletic career and training, expected! Thanks again to Dave for continually believing in me and supporting me this year.
2. Amazing opportunities with work
In December I ticked off a full year working for Zwift. It has been amazing 12 months of learning, challenges, laughs, experiences, meeting new people, embracing opportunities, travelling and pushing myself in different areas, some completely new & daunting to me (Kayaking in the sea is harder than it looks OK!). Yes, it has pulled time and energy from training, but I do believe it has made me a better person and therefore athlete, which is everything I need right now. Bring on year two and I am so thankful to be a part of such an influential, positive, great company, working with amazing people #RideOn.
3. Spreading awareness for eating disorders & mental health
I first wrote about my struggles with anorexia in 2015, however the further I move away from those dark years the more regret I feel. I guess this is because I understand how you can’t escape the choices you made in the past, however mind-boggling dumb and mentally screwed up they were, but you have to take responsibility and face the consequences regardless. This year I have actively tried harder to speak out, spread awareness and show there is nothing glamorous or successful from being anything but healthy both mentally and psychically.
I do believe through sport change can be made, which is one of the big drivers for me as an athlete. Maybe one day others will listen so not to make the mistakes I did and understand that being themselves and staying true to themselves is enough, results follow.
It is an honour to be a #TRAINBRAVE ambassador and I look forward to speaking at their second event in London, February 2019. Cue shout out to Renee – thank you again for everything and I owe you a lot!
4. I rode through a Parade on my new bike on July 4th!
Not only was it my first ever Fourth of July and parade ft. floats, but also a pretty awesome day of many new, fun experiences! From riding around Santa Cruz on my new Simplon Mr T2 (thank you The Cycle Studio) to a “make-your-own” pizza-party with an inspirational group of people from around the world, made for a pretty awesome day.
And you can even watch more of this action, and the few days around it, from the Specialized Zwift Academy Tri Camp here… Oh, so you know applications for 2019 are now open, click here (and yes, I did just plug – but seriously you won’t regret it #FACT)!
5. 2018 tallied 24.5 Flights and six new places
And yes, before you ask the 0.5 “did” happen as I never made it to Lisbon – if you know, you know!
In 2018 I was lucky enough to travel to some stunning places around the World with both work and triathlon. I love travelling and think I can safely say that 2018 has been the best travelling year yet thanks to the old & new places I have been lucky enough to explore, whilst meeting and sharing these experiences with amazing people.
New for 2018: New York, Finland, San Francisco, The Azores, Kona, Cape Town and hey if we’re counting Barry Island (Barrybados) 7 it is!
6. Family first
I am so lucky to have such a supportive family in my life and whatever happens day-to-day, week-to-week or month-to-month, they have been and are there to listen to my rambles, laugh at me and as families do, annoy me! But that is love and I am thankful for another year of having those close to me healthy and happy.
7. Friends old and new – you are all amazing!
As above, I am just so grateful for the awesome people I have in my life and the laughs, experiences, tears and moments we have shared together pre, during and hopefully post 2018. A massive thank you to you all for just being you – I owe you.
8. Filming in a pink room on a treadmill
I am sure I ticked something off the bucket list with this one, so why not!?
9. Be flexible in your thinking and in your eating
So this picture represents two things really. One, you can have your cake and eat it. Let’s not go into the economics of it, I think failed that assignment at Uni, but let’s think about it more in terms of attitude! If you are open, in balance and flexible in your mind you can have whatever you like, whether that is a metaphorical or actual peanut butter, salted caramel brownie cake or not.
Secondly, only two days ago I learnt that there is a bear in the Toblerone logo. Say whatttt?! Yes, that mountain logo we are all very familiar with and god knows how many times I have seen it as just a mountain. But since a few days ago, there it is, so blatantly obvious, a bear in the mountain. Ok so what is the point Eloise, apart from maybe you need to up your prescription? My point is, don’t believe everything you see, read or hear, always be ready to challenge those long term beliefs and be open to possibility – what if there is more, what if there is a bear?! As individuals, athletes and people we are always learning and we are always wrong, accepting this and actually trying to be less wrong day-to-day is the key!
So there we have it my true best nine! And yes I agree, if you lasted to here you do deserve a strong New Year’s drink and to your sheer relief (I heard that sigh!) I will close out my 2018 rabbles with this:
Thank you to everyone who has supported me through 2018, from sponsors to family and friends. Nothing would be possible without it and you all put a smile on my face each day, ensure I challenge myself daily and make me get up and learn every time I fall (almost daily!). Without this I would still be nowhere, so thank you all and here is to a year full of change, opportunity and happiness. Happy New Year.
Lots of love,