A big junior tournament is looming. We're lucky enough to live only about an hour and half's drive away from the venue at Archery GB Headquarters Lilleshall, Shropshire. Hundreds of other junior archers will arrive from all over the UK and camp on site or stay in nearby hotels. We'll still be up at the crack of dawn to check kit, study the weather, pack, make a picnic, load the car, check twice that we haven't forgotten anything, and set off in time to try and find a spot close to the shooting line, set up the tent and get kit ready for inspection.
It's an exciting and nerve racking day, to meet up with familiar faces, catch up on sport gossip, and hope everything goes to plan that day. Or two days actually. When we get home that evening it's straight to bed and up early again for day two of the tournament. The Junior Outdoor Nationals should be held in glorious sunshine - it is July afterall - but this year has been a wash out for outdoor practice (and anything else come to think of it).
Weather does not stop archery. Sideways rain, gales, snow, you name it, we shoot in it. With the amount of effort and cost involved in organising an event like this, you cannot afford to postpone it or call it off unless lives are at risk.
All the archers will have their special weather gear with them, including waterproofs, hand warmers, over arm guards and peak hats. You can't shoot with a peak cap hat facing front because it would get in the way of the bow string pulled to your nose, so you turn the hat back to front just as you shoot. But let's face it, sportsmen and women competing outdoors do so all over the world in all sorts of weathers. You just have to adapt, to practice and make the weather part of your list of challenges. Wind is particularly unwelcome but you deal with that during training and learn how to compensate.
We'll get about half an hour of practice shooting at the start of the event to warm up and check sight marks are correct, and judges will inspect all competitors' equipment to make sure it complies with regulations and to also make sure that no one's arrows look confusingly similar on the target. If they do, someone will have to change the colour of their 'nocks' (at the end of the arrow).
We're ready. We have a few more training sessions to go and then it's our big weekend. All the Team GB Junior Development Squad coaches will be there. It's going to be fun, but if I'm honest, even I'm a tad nervous…