Six months ago, I hung up my Team GB hat and goggles and retired from elite sport for good. Since then I’ve been on a whirlwind adventure, trying to find my feet in this exciting, but often overwhelming, new world. I feel truly lucky to have had so many people reach out to me, offering a supportive hand or a word of advice on how to successfully navigate new challenges and forge a fresh path in life. Continue reading

What constitutes beautiful? Who are our role models in life? Who do we want to look and act like? These are difficult questions to answer, especially for young adults trying to find their feet in an uncertain and ever-changing world. There are many high-profile celebrities to aspire to, many people who have accomplished impressive feats, but who are the truly positive role models we should be encouraging our kids to emulate? Continue reading

Over the past couple of months, I’ve taken some time out from the sporting world and although it’s been great to travel and relax, sitting still has never really been my strong point, so I’m excited to be back in the UK and ready to take on some new challenges! Retired life has its benefits and having an extra five hours of freedom each day means I no longer have an excuse not to apply myself to other pursuits! Continue reading

I’ve spoken in previous blogs about my time in sport and the practicalities of the transition process but, having been out of the pool for three months now, I’m starting to understand some of the key emotions that have accompanied hanging up my goggles for good. This blog started out as a personal psychological exercise but I’ve shared it because I think it offers an interesting insight into the thought processes and emotions associated with managing major change. Continue reading

A couple of months ago, in a moment of what I can only assume was temporary insanity, I signed up to ‘RideLondon’—a 100-mile cycling event being held this Sunday in our nation’s capital. Continue reading

Retiring at age 27 is a very strange concept, especially when my current job is the only one I’ve ever really known. As an elite athlete, every decision you make—eating the last cupcake, drinking a milkshake, climbing a flight of stairs, or running through the rain—everything we do is subconsciously analysed and organised in relation to the consequences on our bodies and the subsequent impact on training or performance. Continue reading

After swimming at an elite level for almost 15 years now, it’s finally time for me to retire. I’ve spent an unreasonable amount of time in a state of heavy chlorination, averaging over twenty hours a week in a swimming pool since the age of 13. In total, I’ve swum roughly the circumference of the Earth, but now it’s time to learn how to be a real person… Continue reading