I’m slowly coming to the end of a fairly long and intensive training phase and I’m feeling like I’m going to need my litte break over Christmas and New Year. Some athletes say they train every day of the year, even on Christmas Day, I think that’s a load of bollocks and can’t see how that kind of training can be beneficial, but everyone trains differently. I will tuck into my turkey knowing I’ve got a hell of a good block of training under my belt and am prepared for the even harder phases to come in February/March.

After 9 weeks of training I’m starting to struggle a bit so I know I’m ready for some rest, so that I’m ready for the next 52 weeks of training up to the World Championships. Sport should be a struggle though, that is the whole point. It’s an enjoyable struggle, against your body, against your opponents, against your inner demons, against all kinds of things. If you’re not struggling as a sports person then you aren’t pushing hard enough, maybe the sport isn’t stretching you to your limits or you’re working in your comfort zone. Struggling is about ambition, pressure, desire to improve, wanting to be the best – it’s not easy. The constant struggle is possibly a reason why many top sports people go off the rails, due to the immense pressure and stress that comes with trying to be the best in the world, it takes enormous mental strength and character to endure the tolls of training and competing. Tiger Woods is the latest to succumb.

I have struggled for 15 years to get to and stay at the top of my sport, and I wouldn’t swap it for anything. The highs and lows are miles apart and I’ve come close to self destruction a few times, either through pushing myself too hard in training or through depression bought on by jealousy of other people’s lives. When you believe that what you are struggling and working so hard for is the most important thing in the world, everything is easy. But if what you are struggling for seems pointless or insignificant, it can be soul destroying –  That’s the fine line professional sports people tred.

On another note, I’m glad I missed the Amir Kahn fight for the UKA Awards Dinner – much better value for money.

Off to see about a new throwing frame on Friday – exciting.

A Time to be Greatful for What You Have

Life can be harsh
at stages.
Sharp enough to cut,
hard enough to knock,
cold enough to block out all.
These stages
can seem like ages.
Don’t dwell too long though,
and if you are in pain
or under stress then thank God
because you are still alive.
This is a time of year
to be greatful for everything you have.

Painfully Trying to Dance

It’s that time of year when my ridiculously oversized wardrobe earns it’s money, so many dinners to go to and never enough suit/shirt/tie combinations. I was at the Sunshine Fund’s Question of Sport night last week, where my table put in a typically dismal performance but we didn’t come bottom in the quiz which is the main thing. I did make it down to the last few in Hit or Miss, which is a big improvement.

It was then to Percy Hedley’s Mistletoe Ball on Saturday night, where some very dodgy pictures of me were taken, and when I find them I will destroy them – well I’ll probably put them on here actually. I had lots of fun watching Ian Payne painfully trying to dance to former X-Factor reject Andy Abrahams, the late-great Whilley Thorne was also in attendance. The weekend was finished off with a short cameo at the North East Sports Awards as I presented the Unsung Hero award.

Loads more stuff coming up, the UKA awards are this Saturday, and the I’m dressing up as the fat red man to start the Santa Run on Sunday.