Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Michael's Blog - Busy, Busy Busy...

Apologies for the delay in the blog – I’ve had a busy few months and plenty of news to fill you in on!

I have a wee house! I’ve managed to get myself on the property ladder in Bath with some lovely scenery and of course just a few miles from my other home - the pool. Moving house is an enjoyable but hugely stressful experience. I’ve found myself losing entire days to completing fairly trivial tasks like navigating the DVLA website to change my mailing address and deciding on which colour my cereal bowls should be.

[caption id="attachment_6882" align="alignright" width="300"]Michael With Team Pastel Michael with InStore's Team Pastel[/caption]

Last month I took part in the Swim Britain Bristol event; a relay challenge in teams of four in the hope of boosting participation numbers in the sport around the UK. I haven’t swum with my mum since I was a kid and I was impressed with her breaststroke skills. Watching my sister, Lauren, however was a different story and I thought at one stage I would have to jump in! I did advise her to do some training before the event ;)

The InStore team were strong too and congratulations to Laura, Lisa, Sam and Sophie for completing the event in some impressive times.

In between settling into the new house, I’ve been competing at the World Cup circuit; a series of 8 competitions in 8 different countries around the world from August – November. Most recently I competed in Moscow, Dubai & Doha with some encouraging results. It’s not often I get to stand atop the podium but I managed to do so in Dubai and Doha after collecting a few more Silvers (shock) at the earlier stage. My results there have given me a nice boost of confidence after a difficult finish to last season and things are back on track.

Singapore, Tokyo and Beijing are the last 3 destinations on the circuit which will start next week. I’m looking to build on the results from last month and continue to build confidence in the lead up to the European Championships in Denmark early December, followed by the Duel in the Pool meet – Europe vs USA just before Christmas in Glasgow.

An exciting few months of racing is lined up. Travelling is one of the great perks of the job. Visiting places like Moscow, Tokyo and Beijing is a great experience and one which I may not have had, if it wasn’t for swimming.

The World Cup circuit is acting as a tough travel and racing schedule for me in preparation for the Europeans and Duel meet. The European Champs is another opportunity for me to challenge the best in the world and another race with some great rivals including Daniel Gyurta – the Hungarian swimmer that has dominated the 200m Breaststroke in recent years.

These competitions are all key markers in the race to Glasgow 2014 – the biggest race of my career. I’m training harder than ever and doing everything I can to stay fit and healthy for the trials event next April and the Games themselves in July 2014.

Thanks for your continued support.

…if anyone is in the area, feel free to stop by for a cuppa!

Thanks for your update Michael - we were so pleased to see you strike gold in the World Cup races! Team Pastel were also thrilled to meet you at Swim Britain in Bristol :)

Good luck for the next set of World Cup competitions, the Europeans and the Duel in the Pool, your busy schedule looks set to continue!

NB Michael's too modest to mention he's a Games Ambassador for next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, alongside Jessica Ennis-Hill and Nicola Adams :D

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