As a junior I was heavily involved in athletics competing in the decathlon. Unfortunately, as an under 20 I sustained a pretty serious back injury that prevented me competing at the level I knew I was capable of when fully fit. Consequently, I stopped competing. I never lost my love of the sport and kept an eye out for performances of the top athletes.
During the Olympic
Games in Rio I was an avid watcher, full of admiration for the desire and commitment shown by the British Team. Did the Rio Olympics play with my head? I’m certain it did, but that’s the impact sport can have on people, right? To see Jessica Ennis-Hill, return to athletics just 12 months after giving birth, then go on to win a Gold medal at the world championships, followed by a Silver at the Olympics, was truly inspiring.
So, I started training again and the enthusiasm and drive to be competing that I had in my teens was back! I started training at Milton Keynes in the September 2016 and then at Lee Valley in November where I am now based Monday to Thursday training with some top coaches and mixing with some amazing athletes.
Coming back to the sport has been difficult but at the same time so rewarding. I am now in a great place and have a great team around me from my lead coach Paul right through to my physio Bianca. I am doing everything right, I listen to my body, but most importantly I listen to my coaches. Obviously, I couldn’t do any of this without the support of my parents and most importantly my wife and kids who I adore and who push me every day to be the best athlete and person I can be.
We, and I say we because it’s not just me on this path it’s all my “TEAM”. We have set targets and I strive to achieve these every day. Getting up at 5am four days a week to train is tough, as I miss the kids, but what pushes me is my desire to succeed and be a role model to them, and hope that when they are old enough to understand they will be proud of me.
What is so wonderful about the sport of athletics is the willingness of people to share and to help you improve as an athlete, even though you may one day be a competitor. I have already been helped in so many ways by so many people and hopefully through this blog I can help you. I shall be sharing my training experiences, hints and tips in all 10 decathlon disciplines, as well as hints and tips from my coaches and other athletes. I hope you enjoy my story.