I'm just back from two weeks at my base in Manchester and am glad to report there are signs of my body starting to remind me and the rest of the world that I'm an elite athlete.
Getting back to camp was great and I felt my fitness was at a good level - better than I had actually thought it would be. But I had got a bit soft because of the lockdown and there was a bit of 'dad bod' forming, but now I can see the six-pack beginning to return, which is a boost to the ego.
The lockdown has been tough on everyone and when you're used to going to the gym every day and working alongside people who are your mates, who are like-minded, it was hard and mentally at times the whole situation was tough, so there's no doubt that being able to train again in Manchester with my coach Jamie Moore and all the lads has been something of a release.
The only problem we had was our assistant coach Nigel Travis lost the key to the car Stevie Ward and I have been using, so it has been parked at the gym and we've been relying on a lift every morning. Apart from that, everything has gone well.
The Manchester Institute of Health Fitness, which has been a great benefit to me over the past couple of years, has still not opened, so the whole focus has been on the gym and we've been doing two sessions a day.
While the Institute has been great, I am confident that I'll be ready to go again by the end of July/early August and that's the plan.
I need to shift a bit of weight, but the fitness is good and it has been getting better with the circuit training we've been doing. I'll do a session in the morning, take a bit of a break and then do some weights some days or go home and go for a run later. The gym is big enough that we can keep to the social distancing rules while we're doing the circuits and we've been pushing ourselves into the red zone, going to the limits and getting the heart rate up.
I would compare the past couple of weeks to the early days of pre-season training for footballers, when they have to really work hard to shock their body and get the fitness up so they can kick on to the next level. It has been hard graft and the only key element that we're really missing is sparring.
That has to come very soon if they're expecting boxers to compete in the middle of July. To get the timing and sharpness back, we need to spar. Obviously the Americans are ahead of us on that one because they've started staging fights again and I hope we can get going again as soon as possible.
I have been able to do some pad work with Jamie and that felt good. It took a session to get the sharpness back and it will only get better and better.
After the two sessions in the gym it's back to the Airbnb we've been staying at in Manchester.
It has worked out well, better than the place we had in Bolton. I've taken up the main chef duties for the two of us and Stevie seems pretty happy with that - he's on the coffee and tea making.
Now he's moved up to cruiserweight he needs a lot more calories but hasn't been stuffing himself in front of me.
My only concern when I was away from home was how the kids would behave with Christine, who has been running a tight ship with school work, but it has been as good as ever. Both Carla and Rossa have been great, so I'm starting to wonder if I'm the problem for any bad behaviour.
I'm just waiting for a date, venue and opponent and when the chance to spar again comes then I know everything will go up another couple of levels.