This is Lorna:
We 1st met when we were at the age we called them “swimming galas”, at the time we still wore our goggles around our necks (for those of you unaware, this is NOT cool).
Then, we raced together (she ALWAYS beat me) in the same events, so we were always marshalling together.
We were even featured on CBBC together (interviewed by Lolly herself!) for some documentary on swimmers!
She was always one step ahead and we tended to only ever see each other at races (unless we were staying with each other for the weekend!): when I got a District record, she got a Scottish record; when I made the Scottish squad, she was in the British squad; when I went to the British, she was at the Europeans or Commonwealth Games…She is/was UH-MAZING! I don’t think I have met anyone as strong-willed as her – if she puts her mind to it, she WILL do it!
(She is the pale one in the middle 😉 )
I call her my twin. Not because we were the same speed (I WISH), or that we look the same – she has gorgeous blonde hair and pale skin… like see-through pale 😉 ! I am brunette and
fake tanned – when we went on holiday to NYC together, we got a lot of attention because of how different we were! But because we ALWAYS had the same ridiculous dramas going on in our lives! Gotta love being a teenager! We have never fallen out and, although we struggle to make time to visit each other, when we do see each other it is like we are 14 again!
(At the Commonwealth Juniors….see if you can spot Robbie, too!)
Ok, this is my interview with one of my besties, Commonwealth Junior Games medalist and Commonwealth Games athlete (she came 8th in the 400IM final, and 6th in the 4×100 medley relay, as well as holding Scottish junior records for the 100m, 200m backstroke, 200m, 200m individual medley, 800m, 1500m freestyle, and Scottish senior record in 100m, 200m backstroke, 200m, 400m individual medley!):
What is your most memorable moment in swimming?
Oh that’s a hard one.. I find it really hard to pick out one specific moment.. As there were many at different stages in my swimming career…
One would have been when I walked out onto the poolside for the final at commonwealth games in Melbourne. I hadn’t heard anything like it – it was like walking out into a football stadium.. I will never forget tha feeling
What about outside of swimming?
Outside of swimming… Debbie these are hard…!
Probably all the places I’ve luckily visited around the world… Including New York with you of course!
What was a typical training week like?
10 pool sessions a week.. 4 land sessions..
What was your favourite training session?
30×100 max.. Was always my fave set.. Mentally challenging and was always determined to do quicker times than the last time I did that set.
Favourite pool to race?
Would be Tollcross it’s where I trained and have a lot of good memories and races in that pool.
Favourite place to train?
Mexico I trained there for a month for an altitude training camp.. The facility was amazing.
What was your greatest achievement?
Competing in the 2006 Commonwealth Games!
Did you cross train?
Not really no!
Did you perform better individually or under a team environment?
I would say I enjoyed both just as much my performance in a relay was always more rewarding as you were celebrating with more than just yourself.
Do you miss it?
Do I miss it… At times yes – I’m still involved in the sport a lot through my job as a Swimming Development Officer. I’m still a very goal driven person and get that from my swimming career I don’t think that will ever change. Maybe masters should be considered. I have enjoyed taking up other sports netball football things I never had time for when I swam.
Which takes me on to next question..
Let’s race a Master’s event!!
(edit by Deb: bring it on 😛 !)
3 pieces of advice you would give athletes?
To always have fun it’s difficult to remember why you love the sport when it becomes serious.. So always remember why you love it..
Do it for you.. Not anyone else.. There’s a lot of pressure from coaches, parents etc. Remember it’s YOUR sport, it’s YOUR race
To always have outside interests, hobbies.
Do you miss competitions with Debbie?!
That is one amazing thing that came out of being a swimmer. We have been friends for years have each other’s backs. She’s still a competitive freak im now to laid back. But I’m sure one day we will compete against each other again for old times’ sake.. X
(Edit by Deb: no matter how hard I train and how little you train, you will always be the faster fish! Or mermaid – that sounds better!)
So there you have it…my twin and one of my best friends, Lorna Smith. She is fiery, fierce and fast!! Love you, Laerno! xx
(on the Brooklyn Bridge! We walked to Brooklyn and taxied back to Manhattan!)
(About to head to the top of the Empire State Building!)