What a fantastic country Australia is! I arrived here in November and for the first three weeks I was with my friend Katherine Wyld, and when we weren’t training in the pool, we did all the touristy things which was great fun. We went to Australia Zoo which was incredible, saw all the kangaroos and koalas. I’ve never seen a koala up close and they are so cute, I want one for Christmas – well maybe the teddy version! I also got to feed the kangaroos which was really cool.
We’ve also been to the Dream World theme park and Sea World where we got to act like little kids again. Sea World was unbelievable, we swam with dolphins and seals which I’m very glad we did. Such a different experience and something you don’t normally get the opportunity to do back home!
Away from all the touristy stuff, I have actually been training very hard. I’m with St Peter’s Western Club in Brisbane and their coach Michael Bohl, who is great. All the squad are so friendly and have made me feel very welcome. They are all extremely hard working but have fun too which is a good balance.
In some of the afternoon sessions we have been playing touch-footy, which I am rubbish at but loving. It’s been great to do something as a team and a totally different sport. The sessions are very hard and it’s taken me a while to adapt to training long course every session but I’m finally back to fitness which is brilliant.
We also managed to go to Sydney for five days and I loved it! The city is so cool and there is so much to do there. We did the Bridge Climb which was really tiring but amazing – the views were incredible!
Whilst I was there, I trained with a sprint group which was interesting and definitely different for me. I dont think I will ever be a sprinter but was good to do something unusual and the guys from the squad were amazing and so much fun.
But the thing I’ll never forget is swimming in the sea. As you might know I’m a bit afraid of the sea! Eamon Sullivan took us stand-up paddle boarding on Bondi, I was soo scared and the water was only 16 degrees but really glad I did it! I couldn’t stand up on the board so the Bondi lifeguard we were with took me surfing instead as I didn’t like been so far out! It was so much fun, but I definitely felt a bit safer for having the board – I wouldn’t have done it without it! So I won’t be doing open water any time soon, but I did really enjoy it!
I have just got one week left in Brisbane now – time has gone so fast. I’m hoping the weather will pick up, it’s been very cloudy and raining a lot so fingers crossed for some sunshine and that I can come home with a Christmas tan! I’m looking forward to spending some time with my family at Christmas but the cold weather will definitely be a shock.
Finally…a MASSIVE thank you to BMW, British Airways and Speedo for helping me and supporting me on my trip. Had a gorgeous BMW 3 series to drive while I’ve been here, and managed to get some amazing colourful Speedo costumes.