The XX Commonwealth Games had finally arrived in Glasgow and it felt pretty specially to be wearing my Team England kit. Security was high to get in and out of the athletes village. This was my home for the next week. The village had everything from a laundry services to a salon. All the athletes ate in the huge canteen where there was an array of food choices and a chance to meet athletes from other countries and other sports outside of athletics. The athlete village life was something I’ve never experienced before and felt a little uncomfortable with. I was no longer in my comfort zone, my own little bubble, the pressure of competition was starting to build and I couldn’t switch off.
I was really lucky to share a room with a good friend who gave me a little pep talk and put things back into perspective. She told me to embrace village life, to embrace the fear because after all I’d achieved something special to be there and what was the point of all the hard work if I wasn’t going to enjoy the whole experience? Enough said, my motto was to feel the fear… and do it anyway.
Competition day arrived. Unlike the early start on marathon race day my final was not until the evening session so I had the whole day to fill in before heading to the warm up track at 4pm. I tried to stay in the process and not think about the outcome of the race, all the running and thinking was done I just had to get myself to the line then run. Run like I have done thousands of times before and give it my very best. Simple.
As I walked up the ramp and out into the stadium I couldn’t stop shivering, I’m not sure if was nerves or just the chilly air, either way the noise was immense and it felt amazing to be there. The race goes past in a blur of noise, an adrenaline rush like that of jumping out of a plane at 12,000ft. It was a buzz, an experience I will never forget.
A medal would have been a dream result, however I felt a great deal of satisfaction from achieving one of my long term goals of competing at a major global games on the track. There were also plenty of positives to take from the experience onto my next challenges. As they say
Angels fly ‘cos they take themselves lightly