Life is now sparkling for Commonwealth star Jade

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Commonwealth Games bronze medal winner, Jade Lally, reflects on her time in Glasgow.

I think back to the Saturday 19th July where my life would change from part time average Jo/ part time athlete to full-time athlete for 16 days.

I drove myself to Birmingham from Horsham to a competition.

The weather was typically English during this ‘summer’ season which meant rain and heavy traffic most of the way.

The competition was a complete wash out and in fact was cancelled after five rounds due to a lightning storm.

I did ok considering I threw in trainers due to arriving so late. After, I continued my drive to Manchester to join my English Teammates at our holding camp.

We stayed in Manchester until 22nd when we got on a little plane just for the England team to Glasgow.

We were only on it for 25mins but I felt so big time, like a premiership footballer!

We were greeted by, quite frankly, tropical conditions! Blue skies, sun blazing, bagpipes blowing (that bit not so tropical but amazing all the same)! Lots of very excited athletes, volunteers, general public. A great welcome into Glasgow.

My competition wasn’t actually on until Thursday 31st which was my qualifying day. So I had nine days to train, prep, see physios and keep busy before my day.

All that sounds easy enough to do but can be a big opportunity to mess things up!

For instance, the biggest and most important piece of advice that athletes give to other athletes is to keep things the same and don’t change anything.

Now, when you are usually juggling work with training and are suddenly faced with a lot of ‘off time’, it is hard not to get carried away.

I generally filled my day with eating (in a food hall that is available 24/7!), normal gym sessions at similar times to home and seeing the physio after most training sessions to make sure everything was in order.

This was by far the most incredible feeling of being a full time athlete for this short period of time. (To give you some background, I recently found out I had a disc bulge in my lower back which had been giving me problems this year.

Once we (UK Athletics) discovered what it was, my coach and I were able to manage things much better and work alongside UKA and Bridgeham Clinic for a series of rehab work to get me in the best shape possible for Glasgow.)

I have never felt in better shape, although I seemed to have a bit of a body malfunction during my qualifying with some dizziness and stomach pains, I qualified exceeding the automatic mark of 57m. I was able to build on that the following day in the final.

Series was the best I’ve ever produced, including 3 seasons best. My furthest being 60.48m. That distance was enough to win me my first Commonwealth Bronze medal and my first lap of honour!

I reached my house at 2am after the drive back from Manchester where I left my car, went to work the 11hours later!

I got a hero’s welcome when I walked through the doors which was amazing. Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre really are very supportive of me!

I had some media interest the next day which was new. Two TV interviews although they don’t seemed to have made it on to our screens! Closing ceremony flew past so fast. Then we were making our way back home again.

Life post Games is much the same as pre Games, just with a lot more recognition around the track and Tesco!

I plan to increase my profile and exposure of Discus throwing.

Then come out all guns firing into the 2015 season and the World Championships in Beijing.