Welcome one and all to my BLOG! Those of you who know me already are probably thinking ‘pigs can fly?’, but as I’m embarking on new and potentially exciting chapter I thought it would be a good time to start… well, a chapter! First and foremost as a way of allowing friends and family to keep up with my goings on, especially as circumstances never allow me to see friends or family as much as I’d like to; and also to hopefully to provide some type of insight into the life and times of a track & field athlete, fresh out of University, trying to turn professional within the sport of athletics.
Also, I recently met David Oliver, a professional 110m hurdler from America (#3 fastest sprint hurdler of all-time, Olympic Bronze Medallist and No.1 ranked in the world this year and last), and had the opportunity to spend a few days with him on set last week as we filmed a Coca-Cola TV Commercial (with Mark Ronson, Katy B and others) to be used worldwide in the run up to next year’s Olympics. David a.k.a Thunder, is a guy whom I have a great deal of respect for as well as admiration, in terms of what he does and what he’s achieved; he started a blog of his own back in 2007 having followed and been inspired to do so by Ron Bramlett’s blog (another 110m hurdler – now retired) and in a similar vein more recently I have followed David’s blog from time to time and meeting him this week reminded me of it, so I guess you could credit him as a source of inspiration too.
On-y-va! A quick recap of recent happenings, but first allow me to set the scene: generally speaking the annual cycle for British athletes is January –> Mid-March: Indoor Competition Season, April –> Mid-May: Spring Training, Mid-May –> September: Outdoor Competition Season, September: Off-Season, October –> December: Winter Training. So for the month of September I’ve been enjoying my ‘rest period’ i.e. time-off training and competing to chill out/take a break/live a little. These 4-6 weeks a year are gold dust to track & field athletes as it’s the only time of the year where we can completely let our hair down (no pun intended), indulge in junk food and not be a prisoner of one’s usual daily routine – normally consisting of: EAT-TRAIN-EAT-SLEEP-EAT-RESTorWORKorSTUDY-EAT-TRAIN-EAT-SLEEP & REPEAT. It’s fair to say I’ve made the most of my time off, making a real effort to catch up with numerous friends from University, School and the Athletics World, I’ve also been loading up my Nandos card(s) with nuff stamps, seeing off countless bacon & cream cheese bagels and indulging in more than the recommended daily allowance of ‘Percy Pigs’ – how very rock-star I know! Highlights have included going to ‘Bestival’ (a 4-day music/attractions festival in the Isle of Wight – my first ever festival!) with my girlfriend and 8 of her friends from school – this was EPIC in every sense of the word, although a leaking boutique-camping tepee only served to reinforce my inclination that I’m probably more of a ‘Malmaison/Westin/Ritz-Carlton’ kinda guy, ha! Another highlight was my birthday, which conveniently for me falls during the off-season *score*! I went to see the critically acclaimed west-end show ‘Wicked’ with my family, which lived up to its name and on the weekend I hired out a private area of The Piccadilly Institute (a new 6-room/4-floor superclub in central London) for 40+ friends with my main man Hugh (whose birthday falls a few days earlier) – again this was an AWESOME night, bottles were popped, sparklers were lit in abundance and a good time was had by all who made it down, happy days!
So, it’s the 1st of the month and here marks the end of my time-off, big love to all the peeps I’ve shared presence/skype-sessions/viber-calls with – normal service (11 months of neglect) is about to resume, ha! Monday will be my first day of Winter Training ahead of the long-awaited Olympic year and the next 10 months are sure to be a rollercoaster ride! Quote of the moment: “No-one said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it – Ralph Marston”… I’ll be sure to keep you all posted along the way!
~ Julz ~