Grey Days Amongst Colour

To me, everyday is colour. After midnight, the day is logged. As a colour. In my head. An odd concept, but bear with me.

Imagine a circle. Where each day of the year, represents a segment of this circle. As I look back on the year, various colours form this shape.

To ease you in to this unique concept of days that correspond to a colour, red would be days when I’ve been injured. Maybe for the red cross of first aid, blood or even the colour my face goes when I get so angry I can’t train. I couldn’t be certain. Fortunately these aren’t dotted around too frequently, but there have been enough to know they aren’t much fun at all. But you have to get knocked down, to rise back up. Next would be green, this corresponds to days written off thanks to illness. It really does seem my body doesn’t like the Manchester air. I think I’ve had the squads share of coughs and colds, for the rest of this year at least. Annoyingly there have been more of these days than I would have liked but it’s all a process and Milly ‘the full time athlete’ is still learning the ropes… Yellow days are the ones where everything seemed to be alright, maybe starts were clicking like they should or I was just feeling decent in the gym. Either way I came out the door, feeling better than when I went in. Black days are pretty much the opposite. An absolute right off, trying to dig myself from a hole that only got deeper as the day drags on. Luckily there haven’t been many of these either, but a few is more than enough. Gold would be competition days, even if the medal received doesn’t resemble this, it’s everyones time to shine. The atmosphere at competitions is always something special and unique to the event. Blue has to be holidays with friends and family, trips away and time creating memories. But the main colour I see when I reflect on the year is; the boring old colour, Grey.

Grey days symbolise, the grind. The banking of hard work. All in the hope to do better than your last performance. The unglamorous days of simply ploughing through the motions. The feeling of numb limbs; after an incredibly painful overload of lactic acid, becomes normal. And if you didn’t feel like you could throw up your lunch after that last effort on track, where you really trying hard enough? Nothing special is happening, there’s no heroes to be found at this point. No hammers are dropping mid-week, nor breakdowns on a Friday afternoon. Handfuls of mental toughness, heaps of hard graft, washed down with pint of teamwork making for a recipe of success in the future. People don’t see these days. These aren’t shown on TV, social media or talked of (the old-fashioned communication). Why would anyone want to see me struggle up the stairs, after my fifth leg day of the week? But that’s what an athletes life consists of. I love what I do. But I’m not smiling all day, everyday. I’m happy, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. It’s pretty tough this ‘pursuit of being the best in the world’ business. You aren’t breaking records and smashing PBs 365 days of the year. 1 or 2 if we get it right. But that’s okay. We do it all, for those few moments.


Working your way through these grey days, in a strength block for instance is almost like driving through a tunnel. What surrounds you is pretty gloomy and dull, satisfactory and mediocre. You are moving forward, but not too fast. You can’t see too far ahead but, you know how far you’ve come. When you suddenly see the end. The light. You imagine what you’ll see and what your outcome will be. As you get closer you see more of what your about to witness. Taper, a few solid starts or a decent time on the track. Promising for a future competition. Then, the sunlight illuminates the car. It’s race day and the spot light is on you. You’ve made your way through the tunnel or training block and here you are


I don’t know if Olympic Champions have more grey days than the rest of the field. Banked in more training than the rest of us. Or had more black days, that they continued to push through when the going got tough. Or in fact had more yellow, being naturally talented from the start. But whatever it was, it was a pretty colourful. So for now, I’m embracing my few red days and looking forward to getting back to the grind.

2 thoughts on “Grey Days Amongst Colour

  1. Keep goin da Millster. We’re proud of you. Greens ma favourite but hope you have none !


  2. Well done Milly, a very interesting read, wishing you every success, i guess your learning by every colour xxx


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