Well, I’ve been back from New Zealand almost a month now and it’s over 4 weeks since I competed in the world championships. As with any major championship, I do a lot of soul searching and ask a lot of questions of myself afterwards, this process happens whether I perform good or bad. It’s always important to re-evaluate everything and set new goals in order to move forward. The next goal for me is pretty obvious – to qualify for London 2012, and it starts this April. Not much more can motivate you than knowing you have a chance of be at your home Paralympic Games, but I’m even more motivated when I think of all I’ve had to come through just to be in this position – Being injured pretty much since 2006, pulling medals out on my last throw in both Beijing and the recent world championships, and coping with the loss of my father which you never really come to terms with at such a young age. It all makes me feel very proud and eager to finish the job off in London.
I’ve just started training after a 4 week break, my body doesn’t cope very well with not training these days, I enjoyed the time off but my hip got very angry. Just when I think my hip has reached the most painful it can be, it keeps finding new levels of pain, however my medical team do a great job and I’m feeling loads better now I’m back in training. I won’t be having a great deal of time off from now until London, so that’s probably just as well. I sometimes do wonder if it’s worth going on – I think that’s natural when you’re getting old and knackered like me – but I know this is what I want to do and I wouldn’t miss London for anything.
I know I didn’t do myself justice in New Zealand and there are no excuses for that, I know I will improve though and that excites me. In a way I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, as for 15 years I’ve been expected to win every competition I’ve been in but now I’m going to go into London as a slight underdog which will be nice. I’ve dropped a funding level due to my performance in Christchurch, which is fair enough I guess, although plenty of athletes in the past have been given second chances at the same level after poor performances. It makes me even more grateful to have my sponsors supporting me up to London, they all make a massive contribution.
Away from sport, I’ve used my well earned time off to embark on the exciting and very stressful activity of house hunting, it’s very scary because it’s a very grown up things do, I think I’m getting dangerously close to having to admit that I’m a fully grown adult. However it is an exciting time, Rachel and I are close to securing our own bungalow, the hard work starts now so wish us luck.