Youngsters from all over Scotland who were at Scotstoun yesterday to welcome a local hero could have no-one better from whom to learn that every moment counts and that the road to success is never smooth.
It was in Glasgow that Michael Jamieson and his family made the first, necessary sacrifices that have resulted in the life-changing experience he underwent this month in becoming the first Scot since 1996 to win an Olympic medal in the pool, four days before his 24th birthday.
"4.38 my alarm used to go," he says. "Every minute was precious. That was as late as I could have it without being late."
Nor was the 200 metre breast-stroke silver medallist – back in Glasgow yesterday as part of the British Swimming Heroes Tour – alone in undergoing hardship as he strove to improve.
"My mum works for in-store marketing and she sometimes works down south so there would be times when my dad would have to bundle my younger sister into the back of the car so she could sleep there while he took me to training," he explained. "We were laughing about that the other day when Lauren was recollecting going over the speed bumps on Shettleston Road."
Nowadays when he finds training at the University of Bath challenging, Jamieson harks back to those times.
"I'm up at 5.45 now, which is not too bad. We have to get two sessions in each day and you need five hours in between, which explains the early start, but whenever it doesn't feel like a decent time to be getting up I remind myself of what it used to be," he laughs.
Not that Jamieson is one to complain. He explains how he embraces the pain of training and the exhaustion of competition, feeling it as a sign not of fatigue, but of improvement. That kind of attitude has always been admired in a city that traditionally prides itself on its toughness and while Chris Hoy, Scotland and Britain's greatest every Olympian, can look forward to competing in his own velodrome, Glasgow has in Jamieson a poster boy for the host city with an authentic accent.
Those cross-city family trips took him to Tollcross, the venue that is currently being upgraded to stage the swimming events at Glasgow 2014, where Jamieson believes he can be part of a great home effort.
"It's going to be pretty special to go back there, over at Tollcross where I did those hard yards for five or six years. That's where I first made the decision that this is the career I wanted," he said.
"Robbie [Renwick] will be defending his [200 metres freestyle] title and he trains in Glasgow now, so it's going to mean just as much to him and Scottish swimming just now is stronger than it has ever been. It's a really young team just now, so I'm sure there will be a couple of guys coming through and stepping up in a couple of years. In the breast-stroke in particular we're getting such strength in depth and we've got [fellow Olympian] Craig Benson here as well."
Yesterday's gathering would have been at Tollcross too, but for the refurbishments. Still, it was important to organisers that the Scottish leg of the tour be held in Glasgow, given what is to come in two years and what it can achieve for that city.
Jamieson was given a particularly raucous reception as the pool bubbled with the excitement of the occasion, some lucky youngsters even getting the chance to race against him, while all in attendance sampled water polo, synchronised swimming and diving with Olympians in all those disciplines.
"I feel privileged to be in a position to do this," said Jamieson. "It was great and it's amazing to see so many people so enthusiastic about swimming and just with sport in general and getting involved in sport. That comes first before uncovering future stars or whatever. For them to enjoy it and just be active and be in that social environment, it's peer learning for us as well when they can relate to us. It makes it more comfortable for them and I think they respond to it when we're in the water with them as well."
For those lucky few who have both the physical talent and mental aptitude to turn that enthusiasm into competitive success the rewards are great, as Jamieson has discovered in instantly exchanging relative anonymity for widespread recognition.
He has previously admitted how, in the early days in the Olympic Village, he barged in on footballers Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy who in turn, a few days later, could boast that they had lunched with an Olympic medallist. They were not alone in that.
"It was nice to get a few messages from other guys on the British team and a pat on the back as you were standing in the dinner queue, but as much as I want to win medals at major meets, I also want to be at events like this passing on my experiences or anything I can," he said, referring to yesterday's gathering.
"This is the end of the season now so I'm not used to being this busy at this time of year, but it's been great. I've really enjoyed it.
"Since I finished racing the second week in the village was amazing. It might never happen again."
He does not believe that any more than his many new admirers do, however.
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