Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Dan's Top 5: holiday destinations

As Dan gets back to work after the holidays, he shares the top 5 places he's visited and wants to visit.

Places I've visited:

  • Sydney and Melbourne, just for the weather and culture
  • Tokyo and New York, because they are so lively and exciting 
  • Beijing, because I really enjoyed my stay during the Olympics in 2008 and the people are fantastic and interesting

Places I want to visit:

  • Australia, as I have been several times and love the culture and weather
  • Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Argentina, as South America is a continent I haven't really visited yet
  • Las Vegas, as that's my ultimate dream holiday/travel experience and I guess because it's all about fun!



Wednesday, 19 September 2012

What a tough two weeks!

I am now back training full time after almost six weeks off and boy, was it tough. Every muscle and joint in my body was aching for at least five days, and it was only when I got into the second week that things started to settle down. My focus for the next four weeks will be conditioning, conditioning and even more conditioning because to even attempt routines and skills on the apparatus with this level of fitness would be just too dangerous as fatigue could set in at any time, which could lead to serious injuries.
I have also gained a couple of kilos in weight, but it really is not as much as I had expected, especially after my over indulging in Egypt and Marbella. It's nothing a few salads and a more balanced diet won't sort out :-)
I have also put together my new four-year plan with my coach and I am really excited with what we have planned! Unfortunately I can't give away too much detail, but I am looking to pick up a few major medals over the next couple of years leading up to the Olympics in Rio. I can say what my short, medium and long term targets are:
  • Short term: my focus will be on the European and World Championships in 2013/2014;
  • Medium term: my focus will be on representing Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow; and
  • Long term: my focus will be the World Championships in Glasgow in 2015 and the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.
Over the past couple of years I have also had more than my fair share of injuries, but now that British Gymnastics has a very good medical/physio team in place I really do think I will have a bit better luck over the next four years, although saying that I think I have just caught some Man Flu :-(
Note to myself: never take six weeks off again but hey, after the sacrifices we all made over Christmas and the New Year it was the least we deserved!
Also, if you don't know already, I am sure you will definitely be seeing a lot more of close friend and team mate Louis Smith as he puts on his dancing shoes and takes on the challenge that is Strictly Come Dancing............ c'mon Lou!!

Cheers, Dan

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Dan's Top 5: Top sports to try

With the paralympics having just come to an end, Dan shares the Top 5 sports he would love to try!

My top 5 Olympic sports that I would like to try:

1. Diving, as I believe there are several synergies with Gymnastics

2. Tae Kwon Do, as I have always been interested in combat sports

3. BMX, as I found this really exciting

4. Beach volleyball, as this seems really fun and a crowd favorite but the commentator and music also play a huge part in the excitement.

5. Pole vault, as this also has many similarities to gymnastics.


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Time for a break before the new 4-year plan

Since my last blog I have had a very relaxed but very busy two weeks. It all kicked off on Wednesday 15th when I was a guest judge at Young Chef of the Year awards in Northampton and guess what was on the menu - FISH, a big favourite of mine and an important part of my diet :-)

The event had a great atmosphere and the young competitors displayed remarkable talent and flair for their work. I have great admiration for the skills on display. When you're trying to get to the top of the tree, it doesn't matter whether it's sport, as it is for me, or food, it's all about commitment and dedication. As a Young Northamptonshire Ambassador myself I was really impressed to see both of those qualities and many more on display in the kitchen today. It makes me very proud of my home county! If you would like to read some more about the day and view some pictures you can do so on my website here.

On the Thursday I then jetted off to Sharm el Sheikh in Eygpt for some much needed vitamin D and relaxation with my girlfriend and boy was it hot, I don't think it dropped below 42 degrees for the whole week!

I then flew back into the UK on Friday 24th, unpacked, washed some clothes and repacked my bags before jetting off to Marbella to join the rest of the GB Olympic gymnastics team for some more vitamin D and de-stressing. This is something we had planned before the Olympics. I am now completely relaxed and very tanned :-) as you can see from this photo of me and Louis Smith celebrating Team GB's performance.

Now the hard work starts all over again, and from Monday I will be back in the gym putting together a new 4-year plan with my coach Paul Hall.