January. Temperatures below zero, The Masked Singer, mutant COVID, the President of the United States is booted off Twitter, yet another lockdown and traditionally – a time for resolutions.
Personally I don’t bother with new years resolutions because once you give something that label the pressure to stick to it is too immense.
Instead i’m cut from the cloth where I do what I want but remain mindful of how it will impact others and their wellbeing, if no harm is done to anyone i’ll crack on.
However, one thing I’ve been guilty of for a number of years is keeping my plans and ambitions for the year ahead to myself, almost as if i’m ashamed of them, which isn’t the case at all.
The real reason is because throughout large portions of my life, both childhood and the early years of adulthood, i’ve been a man shy on confidence.
I’ve never let it stop me from following through with ideas and aspirations, my travels and more recently career change into journalism for example, but I rarely talk about them with anyone beforehand which is something I want to change.
Which is why this weeks post is all about my goals for the next twelve months.
2021 London Marathon
The big one. Traditionally held in April but just like everything else it has been pushed back due to COVID-19 and will instead take place in October.
I’m currently five weeks into a training program and everything is going great. I’m managing to complete the runs successfully, my times are getting better by the week and there has been no sign of injury – touch wood!
I’m both aiming and training towards a finish time of around 3 hours 45 minutes which I would be over the moon with.
Long distance runners don’t tend to be 6ft 4 like myself, they are traditionally of a shorter stature like four time Olympic Champion Mo Farah. While world record holder for the 100m and 200m Usain Bolt is of a similar height to myself, so I know to reach my target finish time my training, diet and everything else has to be on point.
Which is why I am going to create a YouTube channel to document my journey from someone who can’t run a marathon to someone who can (hopefully) finish.
In doing this I want to cover training, diet, fundraising (both during and lockdown/tier systems and when they are behind us) the mental health aspect as well as balancing all of that with full-time work.
I’m still a few weeks off uploading the first video but it’s something i’m looking forward to. I’m not trying to make a career as a YouTuber, influencer or anything like that. It is purely a fun little side project to go alongside running the London Marathon which will hopefully reach new audiences in raising greater awareness for mental health.
I’ve officially been a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist for four months after twelve months training plus placement work at national publications.
However, similar to so many industries across the country – it has been hit heavily by the pandemic – so finding full-time work has been a struggle. Fortunately i’ve been able to find some work to help stay afloat.
My goal for my journalism career in 2021 is a simple one really – continue looking for and hopefully secure full-time work with a publication.
I also want to expand on the mental health awareness theme that i’ve been blogging about for three years now. I’ve already mentioned the YouTube channel that will play its part but another thing I was to start this year is a mental health podcast.
I’ve been a big fan of podcasts for years and my intake of them has skyrocketed during the pandemic, so much so that myself and three friends have been inspired to make our own in the shape of a Premier League podcast titled Four Across The Middle.
I really enjoy the entire process from recording and putting it together and want to use those skills to make a mental health podcast to once again reach new audiences.
The biggest feedback I get from this blog is people saying: ‘I’m so relieved to read what you have to say and know i’m not the only person who experiences that’.
With that in mind I want the podcast to be me having a conversation with people about their experiences from students, servicemen and women and aiming high as I always do, famous people such as Tyson Fury who has been very open about his past struggles with depression.
It’s still way off yet, maybe in the summertime I can get it going but i’m already sorted on the name and have a few people who are committed to recording an episode in the first series.
This is something i’ve been working on for a while, with my two-bed flat in Chelmsford on the market already. But as a result of the pandemic I have decided to move further away from London to Britain’s oldest recorded town – Colchester.
The reason is quite simple really. Chelmsford is the only city in Essex and is a 25 minute train ride from London Liverpool Street – therefore you pay a premium to live here because it’s so appealing to commuters.
Due to the pandemic I haven’t commuted regularly since March 2020 and I’ve been told not to expect to again until at least September. Even then it won’t be every day and to be honest I don’t think i’ll commute five days a week ever again – my job is very easily done from home.
Therefore I’ve decided to move to a house/flat that is a similar size to where I am now but will be cheaper each month due to its distance from the capital, meaning i’ll be able to save more and go on nicer holidays when the world reopens.
As well as being a similar size to where I am now I still want a mainline station nearby for when I am commuting again and I also want to avoid help to buy in case I’m given a job opportunity that will involve me having to relocate.
Buying a property through help to buy – as I have with my current flat – means you can’t change it to a buy to let mortgage which is a door I would like to keep open. There are so many journalism opportunities around the world that I’d be foolish to limit myself to staying in Essex – especially so early in my career.
Ahh that would be nice, wouldn’t it?
In 2020 I was forced to cancel three holidays due to the pandemic, meaning my last holiday was a stag weekend in Edinburgh in September 2019. With my last trip outside of the UK a week-long road trip in Norway three months earlier.
I would love to sit here and say I’m going to go here, here and here in 2021 but with the news constantly changing with regards to border closures and mutant strains of the virus I currently have nothing lined up and anything I do book will be very last minute.
That said I do know exactly where my first holiday post pandemic will be – Dublin.
I’ve wanted to go to the Irish capital for years but for a number of reasons it has always fallen through, but that won’t happen this time.
One of the main reasons Dublin is my destination of choice is because i’m half Irish and i’m yet to visit Ireland, which as a well travelled individual who turns 27 in May I feel needs urgently addressing.
Secondly, after the miserable time we have all had due to the numerous lockdowns and tier systems I feel Ireland has the feel good factor to start post pandemic life the right way.
I want to sit in traditional Irish pubs drinking Guinness, ideally with an open mic/karaoke night going on. Throughout my travels i’ve had the pleasure to meet many Irish people and they know how to have a good time which is exactly what I want for my first holiday when the time is right.
I originally wanted to do this for my 27th birthday at the end of May but looking at the situation it’s looking increasingly likely that there will be too many restrictions in place for it to be the holiday I truly want.
With that in mind I have my eyes set on the weekend after the London Marathon in October but we’ll have to see what happens.
Ideally this will be a time where the vaccine has been rolled out to those who need it and restrictions have gradually been lifted so that the time will be right for this half Irish lad to set foot in land of his elders.
One last thing…
As I mentioned a few times in the post i’m running the 2021 London Marathon for Mind. If you wish to donate or keep up to date with how my training and fundraising is going you can do so by following the links below.
Fundraising Page: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JordanCamp
My new Instagram page dedicated to my London Marathon journey: @26.2MilesForMind
Mind Website: https://www.mind.org.uk