• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Gymnastics: Time for anger management

Well it is finally here, the year of the Games.

Adam takes a rare break in the gym   Photograph: Marc Turner
Adam takes a rare break in the gym Photograph: Marc Turner

It feels like yesterday that I was standing in the Athletes' Village in the east end of Glasgow, marking the one year to go before sportsmen and women from all over the world would be welcomed to our country to take part in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Now suddenly, in what seems like the blink of an eye, we are only six months away.

Unsurprisingly, my New Year resolution is gymnastics related: This year I resolve to push my physical and mental limitations in order to give myself the best possible opportunity to be selected to compete in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Now I have made the minimum requirement to be selected for the Games, I have to show that I will contribute more to the team than any of the other gymnasts fighting for the realistic final two places. Some of my rivals have not yet finished qualifying, but will be looking to do so by May. The only way I can ensure my place is by beating their scores every time I compete.

The next time we all go head to head will be the Scottish Championships next month. Winter training is now coming to an end and I have already begun to work on different routines and linking a series of skills together to improve my cardiovascular endurance.

The Scottish Championships is set to be one of the highest standards of competition that we have had at national level. Former junior European champion Frank Baines, Beijing Olympian and current European pommel champion Daniel Keatings and London Olympic medallist Daniel Purvis will all be in attendance.

I have a strong feeling that I should enjoy having my Scottish senior all-around champion trophy on display in my house because it is highly unlikely that it will be returning with me after this year's championships. To win the trophy back in this company is about as likely as me winning the lottery.

It is strange how quickly my body responded to only having to deal with training over the holidays and now I am back at work I have been feeling the brunt of the 12-hour daily shifts. When school resumed, I returned to evening training after work. Physically I seem to go into an automatic state and continue to trudge along like a work horse ploughing the sodden mud fields on a rainy day, getting the job done well but with little enthusiasm.

Mentally I am becoming increasingly short-fused. Things in training that are not going well would usually be an irritation but recently it feels like I could explode when it's not going right.

Unfortunately I seem to be struggling to leave this frustration in the gym and it is making me feel very lethargic, wanting to do as little as possible unless it is essential to either training or work.

My temper was not improved last week when I returned home at 11pm to find my kitchen wrecked. As I tentatively opened the door, the inch deep cold water seeped through my socks and there was an impressively large waterfall coming down from the ceiling, which was bowed to the point of collapse with the weight of water from above.

Even after I turned off the water it took another 10 minutes for the flow to stop. A burst pipe in the bathroom was the culprit and the result is we will need a new bathroom and kitchen. I guess when it rains it really does pour.

Even without such dramas, it is not uncommon for athletes to feel short-tempered and exhausted from time to time, especially when we are pushing ourselves to the limits on a daily basis, but it is the first time I have had to really consider someone else when I am in this kind of mood. I think all high-level athletes need to be pretty selfish at times so they can get the best out of themselves, but what about my poor wife Kim?

While I think about how hard it is for me to work all day, train all evening and sleep when I'm not doing either to regain some energy, I forget that Kim deserves to spend some quality time with her husband other than when I come home in a near comatose state. I have to remember when she is wanting to go out shopping, see a film or visit friends on a Saturday and spend some time together, it is quite reasonable and should not be met with me squinting my face and brushing the idea off.

I do feel sorry for her at times and I know that it can't be easy coming second behind the gym but I keep telling her it will only be for another six months, and then I'm all hers. I don't think she can decide whether this is a promise or a threat.

o Gymnast Adam Cox is a junior world and Commonwealth Games medallist and reigning Scottish senior all-around champion.

Contextual targeting label: 
Sport

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

208221