From Dark Blue to..purple, pink and white?! At least the red, white and blue stays constant.

Lots of people have been asking if I’m still doing sport after not making London, and I’ve heard some pretty off the wall rumours about what I’m up to so I thought I’d better set the record straight!

I moved to Loughborough Uni in October to do a Master’s in International Relations with French and German on a Santander scholarship. For those of you who don’t know, that’s far far north of London. It’s really cold ALL THE TIME. I’m loving having to use my brain again, and brushing up on my languages (well, in the case of German dragging it up from menu reading level..), and I’ve surprised myself with how quickly I got back into research and essay writing. During my undergrad I was the opposite of what people stereotypically expect an Oxford student to be – sure I worked hard, but work had to fit around sport and partying. Now I’m loving being a proper geek and putting everything into my course – which is weird at a uni where everyone is expected to be fitting in a degree around training!

Of course the training facilities at Loughborough were why I decided to do my Master’s here rather than at Oxford. The Olympic team used the uni for their pre-Games camp, which pretty much sums it up. The gyms, pool and track complex here are world class, and the support I get as a triathlon TASS Scholar matches it (https://www.tass.gov.uk/athletes/nikki-emerson.html). Through the programme I have a great new support team: Gav is my coach, Andy does all my S and C sessions with me and Rachel is my physio. I’ll also be meeting my sports masseuse and mentor soon. Adjusting to having to fit in my sessions around when the uni performance teams train has been a bit of a culture shock after the constant track/ pool/ road access I had at Stoke Mandeville, but we’re gradually working it out. Road training up here is basically synonymous with suicide as far as I can see so I’m coming up with ingenious ways to get out of going out around the uni (thank goodness for my gorgeous Mini – thank you again Sytner High Wycombe! http://www.sytnerhighwycombemini.co.uk/). This week I’m joining some of the uni triathlon club (http://www.loughboroughtriathlon.com/) track and swim sessions which will be great as I’ve missed training with other people, and of course I’ m looking forward to getting involved with the social side of the uni tri club – so far it’s been all work and no play which isn’t right at all!

Powerbase Gym

Powerbase - my new gym. Incredible but very smelly at elite time!!

On top of training and studying I’m still working part-time for add-victor (http://www.add-victor.com/) which is a lot of fun. The team are great and we’ve placed some fantastic athletes into the perfect jobs for them recently so I’m pleased to be a part of it. The next few weeks are full of meetings with different sports bodies and we’re even taking a trip to Germany to recruit so I’d better make sure my German is actually usable.. Oh and I’m still managing to fit in the odd school/ corporate talk which I love – the receptions at John Hampden and Stoke Newington were especially great!

So as usual, life is busy and crazy but I wouldn’t want it any other way. Although I wouldn’t complain if it could be busy and crazy and little closer to my family, friends and Kyle!

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