8 October 2013

I've been a little quiet...World Championships

I have been a little quieter than I would have hoped to be but there are two big reasons for this.  The first has been that over September I started writing a book, so all my writing efforts seem to have been concentrated there!  I am just over half way through now with just over 30000 words written and I haven't been writing every day.  Really excited about getting it finished now, it has opened up a lot of things that I experienced before and brought a lot of memories back - some good and some not so but overall the process has been quite therapeutic for me. 

The other thing that has been dominating a lot of my time and energy has been preparing for the World Championships.  And it is nearly here!  In the early hours of Monday morning we set off for Taranto, Italy to compete.

It has been a long and intense training camp.  I have had some little set backs along the way both in terms of injury and also some Asperger's related issues.  It has been tiring.  My ability to focus on other things always seems to be greatly compromised when I am in training like this.  I don't connect as well with the people in my life and they start to feel neglected.  It is also more difficult to manage all the different roles I fulfil such as with my business, so my social media presence has also been less over this period.  I don't feel like I ever get the time to sit and talk to people either online or offline.

But I have enjoyed every second of training and felt alive.  Well aside from not having certain things in my diet but that's just part of the game.  I know for sure that when we come back from Italy I will have a big gap in my life where training was and all my team mates that I have seen practically every day for the last few months.  These training camps are something bigger, the bond between all of us grows so strong even though we compete as individuals.  We all share a common goal, a common love and passion for our sport.

We had a little run out a couple of weeks ago at the FSK British Championships where we were given itineraries and our new kit for the Worlds.  I won my category in spite of some major sensory struggles that day.  I almost thought at one point that I may not be fighting but managed to hold it together enough to compete.  It has been a long time since I have felt it that badly in a competition environment and I knew once I fought I would feel at least marginally better.  I might have felt awful off the mat but fighting I felt great, better than I have for a long time.

And now a week before we set off to Italy, I know I have done all I can.  I am as fit as I could get through my training, I'm in as good condition as possible and I am ready - mentally and physically.  It won't be easy, it never is but I have trained for this, my whole team has trained for this and now this moment is ours to enjoy, relish and look back on over years to come.  To be able to say we did it, we trained hard and loved every moment because win or lose this is what it is all about.  And no matter where we are in the world, what we do, what we achieve or whether our futures see us all together again, for this moment now we are a team, we are as one and we are experiencing this together.  Let's do this team BCKA and show the world who we are.

I have had so much help and support into getting where I am now from all kinds of different professionals in helping me prepare and also in many kind people helping me raise the funds and donating to the cause to be able to do this.  To all of you, whatever role you have played, thank you from the bottom of my heart.