For those that are not regular followers of cross country skiing, you may not know that we (as a sport) tend to take a month off during April/May to recover after a very long season. Well that's my rest period over with and its now back to the hard slog of training with a bang.
Whilst I've not been completely idle over the past month, I must say that I've not done anywhere near as much exercise that I would normally do. Therefore, to start the training programme with a 3k run test is probably not the best way to start the season. There is room for improvement between now and the end of the season.
My days have still been pretty much crammed with other activity whilst taking a break from training. During the month, I was lucky enough to get an invitation to the Young Scot Awards as part of my role within the SportScotland Sport Panel. The evening was fantastic and I really enjoyed hearing about all the shortlisted candidates and the things they had achieved - certainly inspirational. That and getting to meet a few of the actors from Still Game - made the night even more special - I'm a big fan.
It's also been a time for me to take those final exams at school. That's them all finished now and I'm temporarily a free man from education - well for at least a few months anyway. I can't believe how fast that has gone but I've really enjoyed my time at the Gordon Schools.
I'm planning to go to college in the autumn to study sports coaching and development - that's the plan anyway - fingers crossed I get the results I need.
My next target for skiing is to compete in the World Juniors in 2018. I'm working with my coaches to plan the summer and winter build up as far as training goes and it's already looking like an extremely busy year. It's looking like 8 summer camps on top of my normal weekly training. The good thing is I'm not doing this alone, team mate Oliver Newman is also planning to continue skiing with a couple of my other teammates still undecided. It's very difficult to balance an education, training, social life as well as trying to earn some money to pay for it. I'm lucky that I've managed to pick up 3 jobs with the local authority as a sports support assistant so it can fit in well with my training and I can pick and choose days to work around my training.
The British Nordic Ski Team has just announced the appointment of 2 additional performance coaches, both Norwegians so a chance to improve my language skills. Whilst these guys have been taken on to support the elite athletes as they build up to the 2018 Winter Olympic games, it possibly means that I'll get access to some of their time and hopefully help and inspire me to raise my levels. Training with the elite seniors for some of the summer camps will also be motivational - so can't wait to get started.
Looking forward to another busy year - I'll keep you up to speed on how it’s going.