THE other day I did something it hadn't crossed my mind to do for yonks: I printed off hard copies of some photographs. They came from the 10,000-strong collection of snapshots that languish on my mobile phone.

Clutching those pictures in my hand, carefully holding the edges to avoid getting smudges on the glossy paper, rather than peering at them on a tiny digital screen, felt oddly comforting.

Among the images is one of me sitting in the media tribunes, high above the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome where I was covering the track cycling at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games – exactly six years ago this weekend.

It seems like another world: both literally and metaphorically. A golden summer. The Scottish independence referendum was yet to take place. There was no Brexit. People were packed into the stands like sardines and the notion of a global pandemic hadn't even crossed our minds.

I look at my face in that moment and wonder if I appreciated how simple life was. In truth, I was likely caught between the excitement of being at the Games and stressing about what the top line would be when I filed my report to the sports desk.

In the mixed zone, journalists jostled for space, elbows and armpits an occupational hazard as the pack moved like a lumbering, multi-tentacled beast.

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We huddled in pens, inches from the faces of athletes still catching their breath. Sweat dripped as they ignored screaming muscles to valiantly puff out a few words. Such close proximity to other humans seems bonkers now.

Scotland's Neil Fachie and Craig Maclean won two gold medals in the para-sport tandem. Their team-mates Aileen McGlynn and Louise Haston made it a double silver in the women's event, while Katie Archibald took bronze in the points race.

Archibald had to briefly depart the post-race interview to go vomit in a bin – a peril when the body is pushed to the limit – but returned smiling.

I appreciate you indulging me as I remember this. I'm sure you have your own memories, whether at the Commonwealth Games, watching the action from home – or the many other landmark moments in all our lives that summer.

Recent months have seen countless celebrations subdued or put on hold. Since March, I've been as guilty as the next person of spending far more time looking back than forward.

It is the polar opposite to my usual stance of skipping two or three steps ahead. Typically, I'll be daydreaming about a holiday in September, when it's still July – or talking about Christmas when it's only Hallowe'en. Hitting pause during lockdown saw that stop.

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Instead, I sought solace in the past. Yet, as much as I've enjoyed reminiscing and taking stock, as the reel of life begins turning again, I realise it is time to move forward. But not too fast. I'm finally grasping something that has always evaded me. I'm slowly learning to live in the now.

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