It wasn’t until I heard Prime Minister Scott Morrison say that he wouldn’t be sending athletes to Tokyo even if the Olympics were to go ahead… that I finally gave up all hope.

Up until that point, like every other athlete hopeful of making the Australian Olympic Team, I was in fierce denial that there may not be a glimmer of hope that I would be boarding a flight to Japan for the Games.

Of course, in hindsight I and every other Australian have come to understand and appreciate the seriousness of what we are dealing with as a nation and across the world with the emergency of COVID-19 worsens.

This is bigger than sport – it’s life and death, and we all have a responsibility to practice social distancing and adhere to the national health restrictions in place.

What’s happening in our world right now is something we can’t ignore. We have a duty of care to the elderly and vulnerable in our communities – and I want to make it clear that my sole concern is for the welfare of all Australians but most importantly the essential workers who are still having to report for work, and for our health care workers who are on the front line.

This is simply an insight into how the recent events have shaped and impacted my 2020 plans as an athlete.

Because if I am being open and transparent about it all… it’s been super tough. I’m coping much better than I was, given I have had time to digest everything, but the past month has seen me ride a wave of emotions that I haven’t experienced in a very long time.

It all started about a month ago, when our Australian Championships were postponed and subsequently the Queensland Track Classic was also cancelled; two of the most important events to accumulate Olympic qualifying points.

As soon as those two events were taken away from us, I think all of us Australian track and field athletes started to worry that we weren’t going to have enough time and opportunity to press our case for a sport on the national Olympic roster.

Despite such significant hurdles we were yet to determine how to overcome them, yet we were still hopeful that #Tokyo2020 would still be on the cards, knowing full well on the back of our minds that as each day passed the chances of the Olympics moving forward were significantly declining given the increasing global coronavirus pandemic.

It was a stressful time for everyone and what was making it worse, was the economic impact that was started to ravage our communities.

I was having family members, friends and those I know who went from living really comfortable lives to having zero job security, given all the corporate hardships that are impacting businesses everywhere.

So, not only was I worrying about my own circumstances, but then having to comfort those who I knew were going through an even more difficult period was incredibly overwhelming.

The day the penny finally dropped was when the IOC made the unprecedented decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics for this year. I still remember feeling lost and confused.

Knowing that things were going so well – we train so hard, day in and day out and dedicated our whole lives to get to the Olympics in the best shape possible and then finding out there weren’t going to be these major Championships this year, and now we have a whole another year to prepare… it was tough.

Especially given the phase of training I was in and the standards I was building for myself. Now having to readjust everything and move away from competition mode to taking an extended break with the uncertainty of when I can commence a new program towards the 2021 calendar, given all indoor sports centres and gyms are now off limits for what is expected to be a minimum of 6 months.

It’s far from ideal, for a long-jumper who relies on the adequate facilities to train and recover.

So where to from here? These are the questions I have to ask myself as each day passes. I know that eventually, when things start to settle down more, I’ll have time to stop and reflect on the work I have done up until this point and what will be required from here on out to maintain and not lose all the conditioning I have been building throughout the entirety of my Olympic program.

The only offering of comfort I have right now, is every athlete in the world is in the same situation as I am.

There is no long jumper, who is going to be able to get a foot ahead of anyone else.

The playing field is level and it will be those who are able to mentally push through the angst of having to completely readjust their calendar, who will be best placed to outperform the competition when the season resumes. I’m hell bent on being one of them.