It has been quite a while since I last wrote a blog post. But these days, short and quick updates seem to be more effective if published on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. So blogs end up being a bit neglected, particularly when exam time draws near. Nonetheless, they are still very useful for narrative updates, such as the one I wrote about the beginning of my season. I very much enjoy creative writing, I have always loved writing stories for English homework to hand in to my primary school teachers. Blog posts are fun, as they allow me to exercise my creativity. Despite this, it is interesting to observe shifts in the way we communicate and interact with each other through the use of various tools.
Now, onto the main purpose of this post. Since the season ended back in mid-April, I have been at home preparing for the last of my A-level exams and beginning my pre-season dry land training, which started off with a fitness test and a screening with my physio. In early May, I received news I had been re-selected onto the British Team as an athlete on the U21 squad, which was very encouraging and was one of my goals for the 2013/14 season. Additionally, I had my BOA Silver Passport renewed. Both of these open up a few doors.
June consisted mostly of revising. I went on a revision course in London, which was extremely helpful and my confidence grew. It’s not easy teaching yourself an A-level, as you can know the information very well, but you can’t really teach yourself exam technique – only the experts (examines/teachers) know that! Anyway, I had a lot of fun commuting like a typical London commuter for 3 busy days! On the train home, I sat in the same seat (the ones in the toilet carriage – if you sit near the loo you have side-facing seats, so plenty of leg room!) and the same person sat opposite me each time, which I found funny as I didn’t expect to see anyone I saw commuting twice! By the third day, I had become a very fast walker and an expert at going through ticket barriers, unlike Mr Weasley in the Harry Potter films. Oh, and may I just mention, I joined those commuters who work all day yet still find time to go to the gym (these people are amazing – how they have the energy to do both I don’t know, I was exhausted when I got home after the first day!) for the late evening workouts.
I have now finished my A-levels, which is a really brilliant feeling as I can now start taking on the responsibilities of a full time athlete, including my own PR and dedicate more time to daily activities such as cooking/meal planning and dry land training. It’s going to be an exciting new experience full of opportunities to learn new skills and meet new people. On top of this, I am planning on undergoing work experience in various jobs in the sporting industry. Yesterday, I had my first placement as a physio at an NHS clinic near home, it is amazing how much harder holding limbs in place is compared to how it looks! It was great to interact with a range of people too; some were athletes, others weren’t, some had genetic problems such as hyper mobility, others had simple underlying issues causing chronic pains e.g. tight hips. Next week, I have a placement lasting a whole week with full working hours at a private clinic, so it will be interesting to see the difference between the two set ups.
Recently, I have been reflecting a lot about where I want to go with skiing and the path I need to take in oder to get there. I have analysed everything I have learnt over the past couple of years and reviewed how to move forward. Having achieved my three main goals for 2013/14 season…
- Qualify for World Junior Championships
- Compete in my first European Cup
- Achieve consistency in Slalom results where my finishes range between 35 and 50 points with the attitude of what I could achieve, what I am likely to achieve, and what I can definitely achieve.
…I am now setting new ones for the short term (2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons) and long term. I would have liked to have been able to compete in the World Junior Championships, but unfortunately due to funding logistics, this was not a possibility. Therefore, I am searching for a way to avoid this situation in the future, by expanding my PR.
Until next time, its a fitter, faster, stronger approach to dry land training under the watchful eye of my SnC coach, and hopefully an enjoyable weekend for my birthday, as the weather looks good! Maybe I might try and go on a bike ride, like the one below that I did a few weeks ago… Challenge: spot what is quirky about this picture (answer below)
It is a drawing not a photo – ‘box phone problems’.