So we’ve finally arrived at my first proper international competition. This will be the first time that I’ve raced under an international license, with an international classification against some of the best international athletes in my classification. It’s fair to say I’m a tad nervous, but definitely more excited. I arrived in Berlin on Monday to give me good time to get into a rhythm and check out everything I need to before going into the race on Sunday.

Welcome to Berlin

Welcome to Berlin (picture Roger Keller)

On Tuesday we managed to get down to the warm-up track and get a great training session in before getting some much needed rest in the lovely Scandic hotel in the centre of Berlin in the evening. After all my problems with my prosthetics, and after my chat with the lovely Sarah Cecil, this week’s mantra is all about SBAFP – Stop Being A F**king Pussy! I’ve realised that I’ve been holding back because of the possibility of breakages and falls related to the issues I’ve had with my legs. Statistically speaking, they’re not going to break! We’ve spent ages tweaking the legs to make sure these problems don’t happen, so now it’s time to stop running with the brakes on and start giving it some beans! SBAFP!

Wednesday was classification day, so we again headed to the warm up track for a short session before lunch and checking out the competition stadium – it’s huge! I wanted to check out what everything looked like so I can picture it in my head before the day.  I wanted to see if there were differences in the track markings, feel what the track surface was like, find out where the toilets and the call room were.  I don’t want anything to come as a surprise at the weekend.

Das Stadion (picture Roger Keller)

Das Stadion (picture Roger Keller)

After I’d seen where I’m racing, it was back down to the warm-up track to get classified. No surprises there – no legs, no knee joints – I’m officially classed as an international T42 athlete, quite an honour. After, it was back to the hotel to get some hours put into my PhD – there’s no escaping the degree requirements even when you’re away competing!  Now, it’s time for dinner with the rest of the British athletes here before more studying and a good night’s rest before the next training session tomorrow.