Why 2021 is the year we lifted each other up - Laura Collins, YEP Editor

The lacklustre end to the year might have dampened spirits but in my mind 2021 will always be the year we lifted each other up.
Laura Collins and personal trainer Chris Hull.Laura Collins and personal trainer Chris Hull.
Laura Collins and personal trainer Chris Hull.

It certainly hasn’t been the best ending to the year with the Christmas so many of us had longed and hoped for in tatters.

Families saw their festive celebrations pared right back because of the striking spectre of Covid still lurking on the horizon with the rampage of the Omicron variant.

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And plans were left riddled with question marks in the run up to the big day as we eagerly awaited to see whether there would be any big Government announcements to throw a spanner in the works.

Laura Collins and Graft CrossFit Crosshills co-owner Dan Jeffrey and coach Chris Hull.Laura Collins and Graft CrossFit Crosshills co-owner Dan Jeffrey and coach Chris Hull.
Laura Collins and Graft CrossFit Crosshills co-owner Dan Jeffrey and coach Chris Hull.

It is fair to say for me - and many others - that this Christmas lost its usual sparkle but despite the lacklustre end to the year I’m taking a moment to reflect on the positives that have come out of this last year.

And actually - despite the challenges of Covid again - 2021 wasn’t that bad after all.

I have written openly about the heartbreaking miscarriages that have left their deep scars on my own personal health and wellbeing.

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To say my confidence in my abilities and body had been severely knocked is nothing short an understatement.

But this has been the year where I have focused on rebuilding my confidence - with weightlifting being the unlikely saviour of the year.

Thanks to the unflinching dedication of the best coaches I know and the incredible fitness family I’ve gained at Graft CrossFit I’ve found a whole new strength I never even knew existed.

If someone had told me at the start of the year that I’d be able to deadlift over 100kg I’d have laughed in your face - I’m the person that always struggles to get the bottle top off!

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But this unwavering support of others - for believing in me when I never believed in myself and for the constant cheerleading through the toughest of lifts - I’m now channelling my new found energy into entering a powerlifting competition next year.

There have been plenty of tears along the way and far too many bruises to count but 2021 is the year I’ve felt the strongest - in both body and mind - I’ve ever felt.

My proudest moment of the year came when I was named Editor of the Year in the Women in Local News Awards.

As the youngest female editor in the history of the Yorkshire Evening Post there has always been a huge weight of expectation placed on my shoulders. And when I first took on the role there were - and still continue to be - those who made their judgements of my abilities purely based on my age, gender and looks.

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I am so thankful to the incredible team of journalists I get to work alongside day in, day out whose passion to serve our city is unflinching.

2021 was really the year of lifting each other up as we look to rebuild our lives from the traumatic 18 months we’ve all endured.

It is through these simple acts of kindness that put a smile on your face, the encouraging words of others when you’re feeling low and being inspired by the passion of those around you.

We know we’re going to be in for the long haul as the battle against Covid continues to rage but those friends, family, colleagues and others around you, who inspire you, will help to lift us all through this.

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Let’s be honest, despite the drab ending to 2021 there is still so much to be hopeful for as we look towards 2022.

So instead of New Year, new me - what about New Year, even better me? Keep lifting!

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