PENNY Smith finds solace in regular life.
The Olympic Games-bound athlete, who will compete in the women's trap shooting event in Tokyo, uses work for breathing room in a busy schedule.
Smith routinely trains at her parents' Bookaar property but works four times a week at Colac's Bluewater Leisure Centre. She tops up her hours in sport and recreation with the odd job at the family farm and is reaping the rewards mentally.
"When you're in full swing (with shooting) it can be quite hectic," she told The Standard.
"For me to go to work four times a week and think about other things, it helps a lot.
For me to go to work four times a week and think about other things (besides shooting), it helps a lot.- Penny Smith
"I'm then able to go home and train and then go to a competition on the weekends if there's one. It's good to not be thinking about shooting 24-7.
"I'm able to concentrate that way. It'd probably do my head in thinking about it all the time and dwelling on things."
When the Tokyo Olympics were postponed due to coronavirus, Smith looked to the positives. The games are now scheduled for late July and while there's still uncertainty around what shape they'll take, the 25-year-old is prepared for anything.
"Going back to last year when the games were (postponed) it didn't really affect me too much," Smith said.
"Yes, it was annoying they were (postponed) but you just have to deal with the situation you're in. I've benefitted from being able to step back to re-group and re-plan my training.
"I've continued to train all the way through coronavirus. It's been more quality training than quantity. I've been able to go out there and still put the pressure on myself to train and do it well."
Smith, who will feature as a "high-performance" athlete in Shooting Australia's new three-tiered national squad structure, said the prospect of competing at the Olympics was still surreal.
"I think when I look at the calendar and it's 30 days or a week before you're actually getting on the plane (it'll feel real)," she said.
"There's the hype and there was that stuff in the media recently (about the Olympics potentially getting cancelled) but you can't buy into that too much.
"You've got to just go through the same preparation as you would for a weekend match or even a world cup, you can't get too carried away.
"It'll be a different Olympics and I've accepted that. I think when we receive more information and see some pictures of the village it'll become more real.
"Win, lose or draw, it's something no one can take away from me."
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