The last blog I wrote was disappointing as the season was ending for me. Being on the road for 4 months of the year can be hard but I wouldn’t change it for anything. The sport can last as long as you want it to but I believe competing at the elite level of your sport does have a time line, some people can go on for longer and some cannot, this can depend on injuries, performance or just the loss of motivation to keep pushing at that high level. The lows are very hard to overcome but they are quickly forgotten after the amazing highs that you can go through. For me, I have had a few low times in the last two years but I haven’t given up and I have fought through and come out on top, I guess its because I still have that drive to want to succeed and I still have that motivation inside me that keeps the passion alive.
So much has happened in the last few months that I think I am going to miss some information trying to remember all the details.
First up a new change of coach. There has been a lot of people making assumptions as to why I have changed coaches, I am going to allow people to keep thinking what they want about my decision because its just that, its my decision and no one else’s business, all that matters is, I believe it’s the right decision for me. My new coach is Ashley Mahoney, he is a former national hurdler who has a passion for the science behind technique and training. I have been working with Ash for a very long time, he was firstly my podiatrist and still is but came on board when I was 14 when I sought his advice about a navicular stress fracture that had occurred. Ashley has also been working behind the scenes of both of my previous coaches, working on the biomechanics of my hurdling technique. This is why it was such a natural progression for me to be under his guidance
I have now started my 7th week back into training and really feeling amazing. I have a great feeling about the next two years. My body is in good shape and I am feeling stronger at this time of the year than I ever have. I feel a lot less stressed and happy with the space and the team that I have created around me. As I said in my team captain speech, “surround yourself with positivity” for me this will make a much more enjoyable environment to be in, at the end of the day if you are not enjoying the environment you’re in then the workload you take on is going to be miserable.
I am the type of athlete that thrives off competing. I love heading over to Europe and racing the best hurdlers in the world. I love how the adrenaline and the excitement from the crowed can make such an atmosphere that it turns into a type of drug that you feel you want more of. As I said, I am only into my 7th week of training and I am already feeling the urge to want to get back out there and race, I will obviously always hold myself back mentally at this time of year because there is so much time before the big race of the year and that’s when I want to be at my best but I do believe you need to be able to tap into the feelings a few times through this hard patch of training to keep you hungry and to keep the passion alive for the sport.
Talking about passion and keeping hungry and wanting more, I want to move on and go into a different direction and talk about our juniors for a moment. I would like to talk about the Hale Storm that has touched down in Australia. I don’t know this kid and have never met him before but the results that I am seeing is blowing my mind!!! There has been a huge amount of amazing results coming through from the juniors another of the stand outs is from a team member of mine, Elanor Patterson, a high school student finishing year 12 and is now the Commonwealth High Jump Champion. It would’ve been a hard choice at that age to choose to compete on a senior team. You really have to know yourself and believe in yourself to know that you can handle “the big stage” she did just that and I think this can really build an athlete and reassure them that yes, I can do it, I can mix it with the best and come out on top. We also had another amazing result in the men’s high jump and lets not also forget the incredible results from the Youth Olympics as well. I am so excited that we have another very talented group of kids coming through from the next generation, I will be even more excited if we can keep them in the sport all the way through to the senior ages. The next question is how do we keep them in the sport? I believe that it is not people from outside their support groups responsibility to keep them in the sport, I believe it’s the athlete themselves to WANT to stay in the sport, then, after they’ve decided that athletics is what they want then, others such as sporting federations etc. can come into the picture to see how they can help. There is no use making someone do something they don’’t want to do, even if they have the talent to be one of the best athletes in the world. Nothing will eventuate by pushing them without the athlete’s passion, but HELPING someone achieve their dreams to do what they WANT to do is so much more important.
Thanks for reading, I look forward to seeing the results from all the athletes around Australia in the next six months as its getting close to another Australian season.