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Aimee Willmott

Talks for England, Swims for Great Britain…

#BackToWork

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My Teammates giving an extra hand to help me get back in the pool! 

This week has been my first proper week back in the pool since Rio Olympics and I have been struggling with the demands of exercise. I swim for hours & hours a week and normally its no bother at all, but after 6/7 weeks away for a pool it feels 10 times harder than normal. Name a skill and after such a long time out of the water it’s been really hard to do, A) without huffing and puffing, and B) after more than a few lengths my face looks like a tomato. In other words, I am pretty unfit. I did a little bit of splashing about on my holiday in the Sea, and the odd swim here and there, but compared to the 80k I normally average a week in the pool, 6k a week (at most) wasn’t going to cut it.

Normally when I come back after 2-3 weeks off it takes me about a week to get the feel back for the water, so I thought I was going to be in deep, deep trouble. It’s kind of like riding a bike, you never forget, but the first time you get back on after a long time you feel a bit unsteady; that’s the best way for me to describe exactly how it feels in the pool. This time for some unknown reason (probably because my body was craving a rest) I didn’t feel too bad. It was Tuesday morning last week and I started straight in the deep end, and I don’t mean figuratively speaking. I swam 5k on my first session back paired with circuits in the gym and that was me done for the rest of the day… Good job I had no plans as all I did was sleep and eat.

The best part about early season is we get to work on our skills, as the main focus is on technique. The easiest way to do this is through Video analysis so we as swimmer can see exactly what we look like in the pool. This does mean however that we can have a little bit of fun too.

Towards the end of the week training took another step up for the rest of the squad. They have been back in the pool for the last 3 weeks, and somehow I thought I could keep up (ohh how wrong I was)! Lets just say that didn’t turn out too well, as swim with Max kick had me in a whole world of pain. I still have DOMS today, and this was Thursday!

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that anyone who gets in the pool after a long time, or for the first time, will struggle, no matter how talented or experienced you are… but you shouldn’t give up straight away!

#BritishSoil

Roughly one week ago I landed back on British Soil. After 32 days on my Olympic adventure it felt great to touch down in the UK and know I was finally home. I was one of the lucky athletes to fly back on the British Airways charter flight VictoRIOus. It was so much fun to be on a plane with the majority of Team GB. Athletes, support staff, coaches and team doctors all contribute to the success of the team so it was nice to mingle with them 4000feet in the air. I was sat near most of the Athletics team so I got to chat to a few people I didn’t really get to know in the village. By this point though I didn’t really have much of a voice from all the cheering!

 

Just after take off we were all given a glass of champagne curtsey of British Airways to toast the success of the team, which was a really nice touch! We even sang the National Anthem on board; sounds cheesy, but it was fab!!

 

On landing we were greeted to blue skies and a great British welcoming. The runway to the plane was packed with cheering faces as we stepped off the plane. I felt like a bit of a celeb. The clapping continued all through the airport and into passport control. Baggage collection was a bit chaotic as everyone had exactly the same three bags, but we got there in the end. As we walked through to arrivals there was a lovely atmosphere. Everyone’s family, friends and loved ones were waiting to pick up a team GB superstar. I signed some autographs, and said thank you to the people that came to welcome us home, and as I left the airport that was that… back to reality.

 

The first meal I had was Sausage and Mash with onion gravy, and a bowl of fresh strawberries for dessert. In Rio the food wasn’t amazing so it was nice to enjoy some home cooked British food. Since being back I’ve had to get used to cooking and cleaning up after myself again. In the village all the food is cooked and served for us buffet style so all we have to do it empty our trays into the correct bins.

 

That night I slept for over 14 hours and had to be woken up at 12 mid day! I had no idea where I was after that much sleep, but it was nice to sleep in my own bed and not be woken up from the noise of the village. It just feels nice to be home!!

 

Aimee.x

#Pancakes

Pancakes aren’t just for pancake day!

Continue reading “#Pancakes”

#IamTeamGB

On Saturday I took part in the nations biggest Sports day as part of #IamTeamGB.

I was based at Gateshead International Stadium and the day was a huge success. I was honoured to share it with some other amazing Team GB athletes. They were all Rio 2016 medalists from Rowing, Trampolining and Gymnastics, and all women! There was some serious Girl Power going on throughout the day and I had so much fun with these amazing ladies – even though things got a little competitive.

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Left to Right: Amy Tinkler, Katie Greves, Jess Eddie, Myself, Bryony Page, Zoe Lee 🙂

My favourite part of the day was meeting so many young children with a passion for sport, and seeing first hand what effect the Olympics has been having back home. When your in a bubble on the other side of the world you see the support over twitter, and Facebook but we don’t get to see first hand how much the rest of the country at home is buzzing. Knowing I was part of team that created so much inspiration is truly an honour…

This even inspired me to try some activities on the day, as the atmosphere was great. I hadn’t done a lot of the sports on offer during the event since I was in Secondary school, so it was a blast from the past.

As I mentioned earlier the girls got a little bit competitive during the day and decided to have a few little competitions between ourselves. My high jump wasn’t too bad however I took off on two feet, but my long jump wasn’t the best and I came last. I am not a land creature but I still enjoyed it and gave it my best shot. If I can do something completely out of my comfort zone in font of hundreds of people then so can you!!

Get active, get fit, and try something new no matter what age you are. You might even discover a new talent!

Aimee.x

 

#LoveDamsel

Being an athlete is amazing and I am so lucky that I get to call swimming by job! But there are some down sides that come with being a swimmer – especially if you’re a girl. Wet hair 24/7, goggles marks, and the smell of chlorine perfume are some to name a few, but the biggest pain in the bum is when I can’t find a nice dress, or posh frock that fits me properly. As a swimmer we are renown for our large shoulders, big quads and tiny waists so it’s really hard to find clothes that fit properly. I love shopping, and I could spend hours in and out of shops trying on clothes enjoying my very own fashion show, but it isn’t always easy when the zip won’t fasten on a beautiful dress because my back is so broad, or a find a top that fits my shoulders perfectly but looks I’m wearing a tent. My friends and family say there’s nothing wrong with my figure, “you’re an athlete”, “you’ve got a six pack”, “don’t be silly it looks nice”, ect, ect… but that doesn’t help when I know I have an athletic figure. The most annoying part of my body that I don’t really feel comfortable with in clothing is my shoulders. I can’t complain really as my big shoulders are what help me to swim as fast I do, but 9 times of out 10 I don’t like wearing strappy vests, or sleeveless tops as I feel self conscious in them and they are normally really tight under my arm pit. I’m not saying I don’t like my body at all, don’t get me wrong, I love it, but it takes a particular item of clothing for me to feel confident and fall in love with!!

Continue reading “#LoveDamsel”

#FunkitaSwimwear

Over the last year I have been lucky enough to train in some amazing costumes and call Funkita Swimwear my sponsors!

What better way to get through the hours of hard work in the pool by looking great!

It’s so important to train in a good costume as the wrong one that causes to much drag, and doesn’t fit properly can make a huge difference to how fast you feel in the water. Funkita Swimwear fits AMAZING… and I’m not just saying this. They also last such a long time. I’ve had costumes that I still wear for training that I started wearing almost two years ago, and they still look practically brand new and haven’t lost their shape. I now have so many that I could wear a different one each session and not wear the same one twice in a week (that’s because I rarely have to throw them away).

They even do some amazing two pieces, which I myself rocked in Rio at the Olympics.

Alongside myself, 3 other Team GB ladies in Rio train in Funkita costumes.

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So,

What I’m saying is, if they’re good enough for us, you should try a Funkita for yourself!!

Aimee.x

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