Back at the beginning of the year I set out a list of things I wanted to achieve during 2011. As the year draws to a close its time to look back and see which I managed and which I didn't.
Most definitely achieved. After a really good start and being on track for a personal best things fell apart in the last 3 miles. I was running with a colleague from work and it was his first half marathon. At the 10 mile mark he began to struggle and so we switched to a run/walk strategy. We eventually crossed the line just under two and a quarter hours after starting. It was a fabulous race, much better than I was expecting and one that I want to have another go at, and see if I can break 2 hours.
To complete the Bala Middle Distance triathlon in June
One week before the race I discovered that my wave was to be the last starting and that there was a good chance that I wouldn't make the cut-off time for the bike. Although this wouldn't stop me from going out on the run there was a good chance that the marshals would have packed up by the time I was making my way around the course. On top of this I really didn't want to leave my family stood on their own on the side of Bala lake after everyone had gone home. I thought long and hard about this but in the end decided to pull out. I think it was a good decision as I've seen a race report since and the weather was abysmal with a lot of people not completing the race for various reasons.
To complete the Outlaw Triathlon at the end of July
After having to pull out of the Outlaw in 2010 I really wanted to have another stab at completing it. In the end though I decided that I wasn't sure that my leg would hold up to training. In the end I didn't apply but instead took out membership at our local gym. For most of 2011 I've worked on strengthening my legs so that I can train for the Outlaw at a later date. During 2012 I plan on following the same training schedule that I will be using in 2013 when I attempt to complete the race.
Perform my burlesque routine in front of my friends and P's
Back in June I finally performed in front of a small group. It was an amazing evening. Everything about it was so perfect.
Perform a burlesque routine in front of a full audience
In December I finally had the chance to perform the routine I've been developing, over the last year, in front of an audience of nearly 100 people at Hamilton House in Bristol as part of the Pink Kitten Christmas Cabaret. It didn't quite go to plan but it was still so much fun.
Get an appointment at the Gender Identity Clinic and start the process of going full time
In March I asked my psychiatrist in Taunton for a referral to The Laurels GIC. In July I had my first assessment appointment at the GIC. In October Dr Dean confirmed that I was transsexual. At that point I began preparing to begin my RLE and go full time. On January 9th 2012 I will begin living and working full time as a woman.
Begin voice therapy
This hasn't happened yet. I was told when I had my assessment that I would have to wait until I had gone full time before I could begin voice therapy. On the 12th January I've go my first voice therapy session. If the assessment is anything to go by then the sessions are going to be brilliant fun.
Change my hair colour
Throughout this year my hair has grown more and more blonde. I reached the point thought where I wanted to have it straightened. As a result though I've had to reduce the blonde colouring in my hair because the straightening chemicals cannot be used on hair that has too much colouring. By the end of January I'll be able to do something more with the colour before having my hair straightened in a longer lasting way.
Get out and about to various places – restaurants, shops etc
This year has seen me out and about a lot more. I've stopped off at motorway services, admittedly only sitting in the car. I've been to Exeter several times for clinic appointments and have had lunch outside the Cathedral, been into Debenhams, the Post Office (briefly), Tourist Information Centre, Hotel Chocolate, Boots, Lloyds TSB and Prezzo. I've been to The Palace Hotel (and sat outside before and after performing) and walked to Hamilton House from my car when I took part in the Christmas Cabaret (both times on my own). I've even been for a walk in the local country park with a friend.
Improve my website and keep it up to date
This is going to be an on-going challenge. In June my web hosting subscription is up for renewal and I'll be taking the opportunity to update the URL to something a bit more generic.
Keep making new friends, keep in touch with old ones and meet up with some of my online friends in the flesh.
I've met up with some wonderful people over the course of the year, several of whom are on a similar journey to myself.
2011 has been a fantastic year for me. In less than 2 weeks time I will have gone full time. 2012 is not going to be an easy year but it is certainly going to be a really good one. At some point over the next week or so I'll come up with a new list of things that I want to achieve in 2012. I really can't wait to see how things pan out.