On the 9th April this year I received an email from a campaign called Power2Podium inviting me to attend Phase 1 testing. Physical testing designed to identify athletic talent for the winter sport Skeleton. Eight months later and I find myself in Norway, having come from a pool of just under 1000 applicants I am in the final 19 for Phase 4. The last phase. The last phase before a select few are recruited into a talent programme designed to fast track your physical and psychological abilities that hopefully results in you representing Great Britain in the 2018 (or more likely 2022) Winter Olympic Games.
Interestingly I applied because, as like many others, I was interested to see what happened and if I was capable of such things – a curiosity. And one that has evolved. Now I’m on the brink of an awesome opportunity. It is utter madness.
Phase 4 spat out 9 women and 10 men, carefully chosen by a handful of world class coaches and support staff based on physical testing, psychological profiling and our ability to pick up new skills. Not to mention the importance of how we interact with other people. The real test, however, is now. Here in Lillehammer. A two week training camp where we are literally pushed down an ice track with absolutely no experience and some guidance, eventually charging down from a sprint start at the top and hitting around 70-80mph on route to the bottom. I’ve seen videos of the girls (who have just finished their fortnight stint) and it’s crazy to see their progression. And speed!
For the first time I’ve actually been able to sit and think about this camp. I’ve been so caught up with life leading into this that I’ve not given it much thought. So now apprehension, nerves, excitement and curiosity are all kicking in but I am certainly at ease whilst relaxing in our new home with some of my roomies.
As per I was a complete faff when it came to packing. Casually building up piles of clothing and more without much thought for the space in my suitcase. I then overslept and was in a rush this morning – classic. Anyway, everything got sorted and I’m here. So far we have simply turned up, moved our luggage into the cabins, had dinner and collected our helmets and tools that we need for changing things on our sleds.
Tomorrow we are yet to know the full story, but kicking things off with a track walk. Off to bed now to catch some ZzZs. Stay tuned for more rambling – if you’re a fan – and I promise I will make the blog prettier when I have time!