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Pushing those boundaries
Date: 28/2/2009

Well I've had a typical athlete's month.... It's had its ups and certainly had its downs!

On the plus side I won the AAA`s Indoor Championships for a record 6th time which is something I am very proud of. It's important for me and all British athletes to show good form at our National Championships because we are British and have to show our support and dedication to the sport.

The indoor season is a great opportunity for long jumpers to work towards refining their techniques and I tried making the most of this despite injury problems to my Achilles heel which I picked up. I had been working on the hitch kick (cycling of the legs in the air) with my new coach Frank Attoh. The idea is to prevent the athlete falling forward in the sand and getting the legs out as far in front of them as possible to get a good leg shoot. Unfortunately I was struggling to get this and with the injury problems that had occurred I decided to go back to my usual hang technique.

Being injured is the toughest thing any sportsperson can go through as your body will not allow you to do what you want. I believe that it is a test of your character and all true champions have to overcome it. I personally use Kelly Holmes as my inspiration as she had to wait until she was 34 to finally fulfil her dreams and spent many years battling injuries.

As a young sportsperson it can be even tougher as you have so many other commitments in your life, let alone enjoying your life! When I was a junior athlete I had many friends who had great talent but dropped out and when I speak to them now they have so many regrets and ask themselves why? Most of the time they come up with poor answers and excuses while those who pursued their dreams have seen the world and been to the Olympic Games.

I am sure you to will have setbacks and disappointments in your careers, whether they are sporting or otherwise, but it really is the test of a true champion to dig deep and battle on. There is no better feeling than pushing those boundaries and fulfilling your dreams, so keep at it!

You'll see that I've posted some pictures from my wedding which we've finally had through. I married Lucia not long before the Olympics last summer. She has also been hugely important in my life and my sporting career.... To succeed you need to have a good support network around you both in and out of training and competition so that you can turn to them whenever you need to. Those setbacks and disappointments I mentioned can be so much easier to work through with that support.

Nottingham City Council
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