We received Michael's latest guest post a couple of weeks ago. As he's in a more reflective mood this time, it seemed appropriate to save it for when the Games are just a few days away...
It seems like yesterday I was celebrating the success of London’s bid to host the Olympic Games in July 2005. I was in school, huddled around the TV with my class mates and I distinctly remember thinking that 2012 would be my chance to become an Olympian!
I’ve swam up and down the black line on the bottom of the pool since then, with the thought of becoming an Olympian providing more than enough motivation for the early morning starts.
The journey has been a long one, but I wouldn’t change any of it thus far. I couldn’t have swum any longer or any harder since I made the decision to pursue this and that is proving comforting as we enter the final stretch of training before competition.
The last of my training cycle was completed in Paris over the weekend – I finished 1st in the 200m Breaststroke, an important victory against a few swimmers who were in the World Championship Final last year. Also, if it’s any consolation, the weather is just as unpredictable in Paris – my race was delayed due to a thunder, lightning and hail storm!
From now, I have three weeks of ‘tapering’ –a gradual decrease in volume and intensity in the pool and gym, in the hope of peaking in London. It’s a great time of the year :) my main concern is how many episodes of the latest TV show I can fit in between training sessions!
I can’t change the work I’ve done in the past few weeks, months or years, it’s all in the bank now. The key for me is to stay relaxed. If I do feel like I’m losing perspective or putting too much pressure on myself, I’ll use the strategies that I’ve been working on with the psychologist.
I’ve now been selected to swim the 100m Breaststroke Individual, sadly because of withdrawal from my friend Dan Sliwinski. I had mixed feelings about this at first. I finished 3rd at the trials in March, undeserving of a spot in this event. I was desperately disappointed for Dan but now it’s important for me to put in a strong performance, to prove I am worthy of the Individual spot and to give me a boost in confidence before racing the 200m later in the week. Having a positive first swim settles the nerves and will be invaluable in preparation for the 200m. Racing the 100m also means I will be eligible for selection in the 4x100m Individual Medley Relay. I was part of the Relay at last year’s World Champs and loved it, we finished 6th with a young, inexperienced team so will be looking to improve on that this year!
I’m feeling confident and relaxed in my preparation - I have nothing to lose. No-one is expecting medals from my performances, except myself. I’ve targeted a medal since I decided to chase this Olympic spot and it’s not going to change now. There are nine swimmers ranked within 1.5 seconds of each other in my event, so making the Final will be more difficult than achieving a podium finish. The difference could be that I’m the only one with home court advantage – a man with nothing to lose and an arena full of Brits behind him is dangerous!
As always, thank you all for your continued support. Hopefully, the next blog you read will be in celebration!! :)
What a fab post! Now, Michael needs all the help he can get to ensure he gets to those all important Finals. Show your support by leaving him a Comment below and we'll make sure he gets all your messages to help get him well ahead of his rivals.
You can also follow Michael on Twitter where he tweets as @mj88live. His supporters have already adopted the #teamjamieson hashtag and we'll be following this and Michael's twitter account to bring you news of Michael's Olympic journey.
On Friday we'll be publishing the dates and times of Michael's swims, plus details of where the best TV coverage is to be found.
So, COME ON MICHAEL!!!!!
Update - just after 10am, Michael tweeted:
Holding camp in Edinburgh finished - had a great time! Back to the village today, almost time to race!! :)