Interesting day today, for a few reasons. Started the day with a mobility session and breakfast before heading back to the cabin to do some visualisation, horizontal recovery (sleeping, in this case a 20min nap) and kit prep for the session later. I had to get it sorted a bit quicker as I had a psych interview at 11am. Got to the interview with James and essentially discussed my thoughts on the process so far, predominantly Phase 4. What my ups and downs have included, my dealings with stuff, how I have found Skeleton and the living conditions etc. Three pages of notes and 75mins later and we were done. It was great to reflect on stuff and maybe identify areas that I have not spoken about in my blog or consciously considered in my mind. A lot of the skills we pick up or things we identify about our personality can only make us stronger and more transferable in life – both in sport and in employment. Good chat.
Lunch followed immediately after, of which was a bit rushed for me as I had 15mins to scoff my face with food before training. It was at this point I found out that two of the Skele family have been told they will not be considered for selection. Ten males now down to seven (as one athlete left after day one of sliding). I am genuinely gutted for them. Yes we are all in competition with each other and there are more athletes than spaces, but we are a little unit. We have bonded so well and both Jake and Wil bring a lot of energy, excitement and laughter to the group. I often forget their age (19) as they have bought great maturity along with them and I have never felt that I am 6 years older (not that I am a wise old man). We have all got on, enlightened each other with different movies, music and other randoms bits of social entertainment and camaraderie. I have thoroughly enjoyed their company, of which I hope continues post-Norway (possibly relive freshers?).
My focus on the session today was to pick up where I left off with my second run of yesterday, with greater preparation and more visualisation runs and my peripheral vision warm up to get my senses flowing. Yesterday I felt rushed and I think this was noticeable on my first run. When you have to exploit every single run you cannot afford to have a crappy start to the session. So, today I got myself together better (we also had the extra time which was more like usual sessions). My second focus in the session was to feel the second oscillation in corner ten again to regain some kinaesthetic feedback to then progress from there. Run one done, nailed what I wanted to do although a few late entries into some corners, but progression and a solid first run. Run two was to consolidate this. Feedback from the coach was to work different in corner 11 to help me find a better line into corner 12, I tried this but it didn’t quite work so now the focus is on corner 10 to fix something in there, then it will all fall into place. Upon reviewing this run, both Woody and I felt I was ready to move up to the top. I feel I had done enough on that entry of corner 3 to progress up, and I also felt that I could not gain more from starting there. So up I went. The run was mad, I don’t remember much except the speed. It really made the top section quicker so you had to be much more on it with tracking and steers. I was not. But I got down, and I feel like I can start tomorrow from the top with some good visualisation in mind. Hopefully I can then report more on the runs from the top!
The evening concluded with the usual antics. Video review, dinner (which included scrapes for pizza with the GB Bobsleigh Youth athletes) and a lot of laughter generally. First time we had dinner around the same table since we first got here. Back to the cabin with a whole bunch of socialising and singing, Xmas/Thank you card signing for the staff and cups of tea with chocolate and biscuits. Bliss.
Little lie in tomorrow but we have a lot to sort out post-session, including stripping out sleds down and packing for our journeys home. Camp almost done. Where has this time gone?