Danny Williams says getting into shape to win judo gold made his experience of Glasgow 2014 "hell and heaven".
The 25-year-old from Shrewsbury only had six days' notice that he would be fighting in the men's -73kg category following an injury to Ben Fletcher.
But he progressed to beat New Zealand's Adrian Leat in his final.
"It feels awesome. The last six days have been hell and heaven at the same time. Making weight was not fun at such short notice," Williams told BBC Sport.
|Friday's England judo gold medallists|
|Danny Williams||Men's -73kg|
|Megan Fletcher||Women's -70kg|
|Owen Livesey||Men's -81kg|
"But being in the village, being around all the different nations and sports, that's what makes a multi-sports event so special."
Williams, who collected the fourth of the six gold judo medals that England have won so far, takes part in between 12 and 15 sessions a week and said winning gold was the culmination of two decades of hard work.
"I've been doing this sport for 20 years and working hard week in, week out," he added.
"There's a lot of people, not just in England but in Britain, that are really smashing themselves every week so you've got to keep up with them.
"It's a really gruelling sport. I don't know whether it looks too physical out there but trust me, it really is."