AS it’s now only a fortnight until the opening ceremony, the reality of the Commonwealth Games is setting in. It’s times like this when I realise all the 5am early morning swim sessions, when it’s cold and snowing, are worth it.
I wouldn’t feel this excited, make international teams or be as successful if I didn’t put the work in day in day out.
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I picked up my Team England Kit from St George's Park a few weeks ago and the day didn’t disappoint. ‘Kitting Out’ day, as it’s called, is the final stop before a major international competition.
Once you have the kit the reality really kicks in, as once you’ve been given your kit, no one can take your place on the team away from you. For these Games the kit is designed by Kukri, and the swimming suits by Arena. The kit is awesome and I know Team England will look really smart strutting their stuff around the village, and even better when on the podium (where I hope to be).
I’ve also started packing everything I’m going to need for the Games, as I head off to the holding camp in London this Sunday. A holding camp is a period of time when a team meets up to train together before the competing starts. It’s the point for me when the atmosphere starts to build as everyone is excited for what’s to come.
Once I leave on Sunday, the next time I'll see my family will be after the 400m Individual Medley final on day one of the Games, where I hope there will be celebrations. This will be my first of four events, but it's also my strongest.
Although I'm swimming for my own achievement, it's nice my family can enjoy the rewards too. My parents and sister are heading to Glasgow to support, and both sets of grandparents will be there to watch for the first time, so I'm really excited about them being there. My dad also swam for Team GB at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, so at least he knows how I'll be feeling!
This week I've also been really busy with TV and radio interviews, and had lots of meetings alongside a hard week of training. I’m training really well and my times in the pool are getting quicker, so things are looking good.
When I've had a good session, in the gym or pool, I make sure everybody knows about it. The buzz you get after a great session with your team-mates is hard to explain. Even though I batter my body and push myself to the absolute limit, it all feels worth it and 100 times better, when you do it with your friends, team-mates and a coach who’s completely behind you.
My coach, Lisa Bates, and I have a great relationship, and Lisa will be a member of the coaching staff at the Games. To have her there in Glasgow will be pretty special.
That said, just because you're feeling at the top of your game, it doesn't mean you deserve to stay there - you have to continue to work hard. With my ranking meaning nothing on the day, I’m confident my determination, hard work and belief will allow me to fulfil my dreams in Glasgow.
Follow Aimee on Twitter at @aimee_willmott