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Flying Laura's Blog: The season's end

"It has been a manic few months since I last blogged! As you know it has been a very tough season for me because of the injury which put me out of training for 5 months.

It has been very tough and a huge test throughout the rehab process, and it didn’t get any easier once I started back on the trampoline! I didn’t anticipate just how difficult it would be to find my form again on the trampoline and prepare for major competitions at the same time. Looking back I would have done a lot of things differently.

lauraprofileI wouldn't have competed in the Poland World Cup and I wouldn't have gone to the British Championships. I just wasn't ready physically or mentally, but my coach and I can see that now! We made decisions which we thought were right at the time and I can't regret that! It was a huge learning curve for me and my coach.

My coach and I went to Canada in August to train at a gym with part of the Canadian team, some of whom are Olympic medallists. It was a fantastic trip! I learnt lots of new moves, got my new routines going and enjoyed training in a different environment.

It was good to break up the routine of training at home and we got to do some sight-seeing too! It's funny because my friends always say how lucky I am to travel around, and I am, but we rarely get to see much of where we are staying! It's normally airport – hotel – arena – hotel etc! It was a very positive experience and I enjoyed training with athletes I have always looked up to.

Just a week after returning, we had another British Squad meeting at Bath University. We normally stay there for a week and around the trampolining we have a catch up with our support team, nutritionist, strength and conditioning coach, psychologist and physio if we need to. It's good to catch up and see the progress I am making and I always come away having learnt something. 

I like training at Bath around athletes from a variety of disciplines; there's always a good atmosphere there and it is motivating to be around. There's always well known athletes training there and it is a bit strange seeing them in person! I normally see them on the television or hear them on the radio so I do find myself getting a bit excited inside when I see them training around me!  
I had a World Cup in Portugal towards the end of September which went OK. I felt really fit and strong in the training sessions and much more switched on! I felt more nervous and tense in the competition than I usually do but despite this completed my 2 routines.

I did a decent and strong first routine but really had to fight to get through the second. I came away feeling generally pleased with how it went, but realistic in that I knew I had more work to do and needed more competition practice to find my competitive form again!

Just a week later I went to Germany for my last competition of the season. It was the final World Cup in the series and my training was better again. Something clicked for me and I felt so much more confident going into the competition.

I let off the brakes and really went for it. I did a good solid first routine and had a very good start to the second. Unfortunately though I face-planted the last move which meant I was marked out of 9 moves. Strangely, I didn't feel disappointed or frustrated at all. I actually felt the opposite; I felt really proud of myself for working through what has been a terrible season and coming through it a stronger person.

I felt like I had found my competition face again and I also felt relieved because now I can put this season behind me and spend the next 4 to 5 months working hard in training so that I am ready and prepared for the competitions in 2011. I'm really looking forward to progressing in training and having the time to work all the aspects I haven’t had time to work since coming back.

Bring it on!"

Laura Gallagher is a 21-year-old trampolinist who trains at Strode Swimming Pool & Fitness Centre. Born and bred in Somerset, Laura will be hoping to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games.