It’s funny how quickly a year passes by.

I think it was February last year I officially qualified for the Australian Triple Jump team for the Commonwealth Games, after a career performance at Nationals.

I didn’t know at the time, but about four weeks before Nationals I had three muscle tears in my foot but I still had to go to Nationals and qualify.

I was on painkillers trying to get through the competition. And I nearly didn’t even make the final because I didn’t get the qualifying distance to make the finals. And then I don’t know what happened but somehow I pulled through, I stuck to what I knew and executed it as best as I could.

It was one of the best feelings knowing I had qualified for my first Commonwealth Games, after I finished celebrating I headed to the medical tent because my heel was feeling a little bit off and that’s when it hit me when they said ‘You’re going to be in a boot for six to eight weeks’, at this stage my only focus was the Commonwealth Games.

‘I don’t think you’re able to compete”, was their response.

I looked at my coach and he looked at me and we pretty much shook our heads, we’d come too far to take that. Surprisingly it was only four days after the news that I was back on the track and running around.

I didn’t do any jumping and took it slow as my foot kept on getting better. It wasn’t the best preparation for the Games, but thank goodness for my physio’s for putting me back on the right track! Not a lot of people know this, but I didn’t actually do a proper triple jump in training until four days before the Commonwealth Games.

My coaches had complete faith in me, they knew if I trusted in myself then I’d be able to do it, and they took care of the rest; making the programs and whatever necessary to give me every chance to be at the Games.

And thanks to my team, I made it to the Games and got to the Village. 

My event was on the second last day of the athletics schedule and it was a lot of waiting until my jump. It wasn’t nerve-racking because at the same time I didn’t know what to expect. But as soon as I walked onto the track and into the stadium, I just heard like this big roar and it wasn’t until some random guy from another country was like ‘I think they’re cheering for you’, it was a pretty surreal moment and great knowing the fans were behind me.

From that point, my main focus was not to get too carried away with what everyone else was really doing and lock in on myself, making sure my body is right and just getting to the stage and performing well.

Unfortunately it didn’t go my way on the day and the way I went out has haunted me since, it was the second round and I fouled by like 0.8 of a centimetre, which nothing.

I have a video of it and I keep watching it and that drives me forward every day because I’m not going to let that happen again, if I got that jump in I was in the finals and it would have sealed the deal but that’s the sport that I play.

Looking back although it was the worst possible experience I had going into it with the injury and not being a hundred percent, you can’t forget to embrace and cherish the moment though, as it really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Now a year out from Tokyo 2020 Olympics, my approach to triple jump hasn’t changed too much. It’s more working smarter, not harder anymore and making sure that I can get my body to be at the right performance level when I head into comps. 

The Commonwealth Games showed me nothing is too big for me to handle and now that I know what it feels like I can just go for it every time. 

For where I am right now in my life, I would say it’s not about chasing something anymore, it’s more about having fun and really letting myself do it. 

Because if you go about it aggressively, it’s not really going to happen. But I’ve just got to trust in the process and just let it happen.