That’s what’s on my mind at the moment. I’m in Turkey this week for the European Weightlifting Championships which is one of the main competitions where I could qualify for the London 2012 Olympics. Nobody from the team has done the qualifying standard yet so we’re all starting from scratch. I was focusing on the qualifying standard but now I’m going bigger, aiming higher. It’s written on my wall, it’s in my head and the password on my phone. Aim high, go big.
I started out in the sport when I was eleven. I was helping my dad with work one Saturday morning and my coach Charlie Hamilton was working with him at the time, and he asked me to come along to the local club. I liked football and rugby and stuff but I took to weightlifting really easily. I’m quite fortunate that I’m flexible, quite sturdy and strong.
I started taking it more seriously when I was 13, when I started realising that I had some ability in the sport. I started having a go at records, upping the training and it’s all really progressed from there. In terms of my training, I train at the gym which is round the corner from where I live. I train every day working different muscle groups and mixing it up. I cycle into the gym for cardio work and also go for walks with my dog, Kilo. She’s a Utonagan wolf dog and she's brilliant. It’s good to have the distraction.
The Commonwealth Games in Delhi was an experience of a lifetime. I won the silver which I completely didn’t expect to do. I just went in there and did my thing; snatch, clean and jerk. It was a great experience, I got to see the Taj Mahal and meet loads of people from around the world, it’s definitely my best sporting memory in weightlifting so far.
Glasgow is going to be bonkers during the Commonwealth Games in 2014, it’s going to be an amazing atmosphere. When I’m competing I try to get the crowd behind me and when I was in Melbourne in 2006 I had the Australians behind me, In Delhi the Indians created an amazing atmosphere. What’s Glasgow going to be like? I’m sure Scotland will get behind the athletes 110%. Hopefully I stay injury free and keep improving and I get to compete.
After winning silver in Delhi I’ll be going for one better in Glasgow. I can’t really put into words what it would mean to win gold at Glasgow 2014, the hairs go up on your neck just thinking about it, it would mean everything, immense, pure dead brilliant.
I think it’s good for the kids as well. I watched the Commonwealth Games when I was a boy and I never really thought I’d get there. I think when young people watch sport and see someone doing something incredible, it inspires them to go and do something incredible themselves, whether that is cycling, swimming, hockey or weightlifting, it doesn’t matter as long as people are getting active. I’ve seen quite a lot of young people coming through this gym here and what they can lift is impressive, so I can’t imagine what the rest of the youngsters around the country are achieving in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games.
Glasgow 2014 is still two years away but it’s nice to be focused on what I want. It’s me who has to put in the work for it. Nothing comes easy, if I want to get gold I’ve got to train for it. If you train hard and work hard you’re hard to beat. I’ll be aiming high and going big.