That next clip there I'm representing England in the qualifying race for the European Championships in Margate. You can see in the clip you've got Mo (Farah) – and next to him was a Manchester lad, Rob Maycock. All three of us qualified to represent Great Britain at the European Cross. But again, you're there all competing for places, sure - but you're still all friends. All three of us ended up winning gold European Team medals after having qualified through this race.
So this next clip is the European Under 23 in Bydgoszcz, in Poland, when I won my first big medal. I'd have been 21 or 22 and I distinctly remember in that race feeling like this may be my only opportunity to win a major title outside of nationals. I remember thinking that if I don't take my opportunity here, I may never get another one like this. I still at this point wasn't fully appreciating maybe I could be an Olympian one day. I just wanted to make the most of the talent I had in the different age groups and, luckily for me, I ended up winning this race. And after the win, I ended up getting my first proper contract and funding. And a lot of things came of this race. I think it was a year after this race or within a year, I actually went full-time athlete and professional as a result of it all. And so, this kind of represented a moment in my career and life...a turning point if you will of, "Hang on. This could be a big thing for me."
And so from that we kind of jump now to when I spent a year out of it. I found out I had an injury, which put me out for a year, and I spent a good period of time just… frustrated that I couldn't quite access my potential that was just beyond me through the injury. You reminisce and wonder a lot when you’re sidelined like this, and that’s what the images are showing - reminiscing back to those races before of when I was succeeding. It’s funny because that track is Crystal Palace where the footage of today and me with the Cloudflash is shot. It kind of pays homage in a way to those times before and now after I was injured.
When you are injured you wonder, you know, “Am I ever gonna return from this?" and for me, that’s what I was saying in 2012 when I broke my back.