Now, nine games into my second season with Edinburgh Rugby, it all seems a bit surreal.
Finishing my first season and coming almost straight from the end of last season for a pre Rugby World Cup training camp in the summer was a shock to the system.
The fifty 100m metre sprints we did in the second week of camp will be remembered for a very, very long time and to this day I still have a quick look around the pitch for the better half of my lungs that I coughed up after rep 46!
But, as time goes on you start feeling the gains you’re getting from the hard work and it got a whole lot easier, coupled with the prospect of a place in the Rugby World Cup set clearly in my sights.
The intensive training camp put me in a great position for the season ahead. It made me bigger, stronger, faster and fitter than I’ve ever been before and, after the disappointment of not making the final squad to travel to New Zealand, my focus shifted to a full and imposing season for Edinburgh Rugby.
My time in summer Scotland camp meant that I was separate from the pre-season preparation of the club, but coming back into the Edinburgh set up was really easy. It was like I’d been there the whole time. There was a very young feel about the squad with a good chunk of our most experienced players away at the World Cup. This gave big opportunities to the younger guys who were trying to break into the team.
The season started off really well with pre-season wins against Sale Sharks and Newcastle Falcons. The start of the regular, competitive season however was hampered by a bit of inconsistency.
A couple of heartbreaking losses left us in an awkward position in the RaboDirect PRO12 while great performances in the Heineken Cup, against tough opposition, have put us at the top of our Pool and have given us some great momentum coming into a very intense Christmas period, with a pair of PRO12 matches, a home and away double header with Cardiff Blues in the Heineken Cup, followed by the biggest match in Scottish club rugby – the 1872 Cup derby against Glasgow Warriors.
At the weekend, I scored my first try for Edinburgh as we beat Arioni 50-10.
Sport is a lot more enjoyable when you’re winning and this is going to be a massive time for the team to get into the play-off stages of both competitions.
All in all it’s been an exciting five months and, after re-signing with Edinburgh Rugby until the end of the 2014 season, I look forward to contining my own personal development, striving for success at club level and imposing myself on international selection.