I’VE managed to hit the ground running in 2023 and my problems at the start of last year suddenly seem to be a long time ago.
It’s so nice to be able to go into training excited to learn and improve and be on the ten-metre board. Now, it is where I feel most at peace. It is amazing to be able to do things others can’t do – it’s like a superpower. And to be surrounded by the team at our training base is such a joy.
When you first start diving, the platform feels so much higher than 10m. The first time I jumped off, it took me 20 minutes to do so. But it was the most fun thing in the world.
The adrenaline rush, the feeling of doing something you were so nervous about… but I had no reason to be nervous. It’s all about getting that first leap done.
Right now, it’s about bettering what I can do and being as consistent as possible and that’s where my coach Alex Rochas comes in. We’re working on improving my take-off and we all help each other in our training group to take strides forward.
Occasionally, I allow myself to become excited about next year’s Olympics – but not too much.
I have a big year this year and very much need to take it one season at a time as far as the Paris Games are concerned.
I’m just thinking about now. I believe it will be a beautiful Olympics and very different to Tokyo. For me, it is now a balance between diving and school. The key is to try to not nit-pick and get overwhelmed by the little things in life. I don’t need to magnify things but sometimes my packed schedule does get the better of me.
I know if I had to do everything by myself I’d never get it all done. I can’t play around with school and training so I have to make sacrifices: some days I can’t train because I have to revise and my coach gets that.
Next year I can dedicate 100 per cent of my time to training. Without the support of my family and my coach currently, I’d be a wreck!
My mum is great with my schedule. I used to be quite stubborn about things but have learnt strength comes in numbers and that people are there for you. I know that now. I also don’t think I could have found my way out of the issues I had a year ago with the ‘twisties’, anxiety and mental health if it were not for the grace of God.
I’m preparing for my A-level exams and simply shouldn’t be trying to do everything.
I could be allowing myself to get carried away with thoughts of Paris and the small details of my career but I must stay focused.
Success at the next Olympics is a beautiful goal for me. But I know it takes effort and it takes failures to become a success.
I’m prepared to do whatever it takes and am still learning. Paris remains the longer-term aim but there’s plenty of work to be done before that.
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