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Showing posts from 2013

Work Experience, Injury Clear Ups & 2013 Therapy Expo - 19th September 2013

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Work Experience, Injury Free (For Once) & 2013's Therapy Expo
Since my last post, quite a lot has happened, hence the length of time since last posting!  As I have previously mentioned, Universities are insistent on their students having work experience or at least some experience in the Physio industry/field before they even take them on their courses, this is due to the amount of people who actually have little or no idea of what Physiotherapy can consist of.  If you ask a lot of people, they think that Physiotherapy mainly involves looking at people with a bad back or a twisted ankle or in some cases, sitting in the dugout at a football match, running on to be greeted by somebody who hasn't even really been injured and then spraying them with "magic spray" to let them resume play, this is far from what being a Physiotherapist consists of, as I know too well myself.
I completed two placements over the past month or so, one based at the Royal Blackburn Hospital …

More Injuries & Finally Some Progression - 11th August 2013

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Another Injury & My New Journey Begins
After not posting for 3 weeks or so, I today decided to blog, just because I've got a few bits of news and also tomorrow my Physiotherapy journey, kind of, officially begins really.
More injuries you might be thinking.  Since my last post on July 17th, I managed to run 13.4 miles on my long Monday run which I was very proud to do.  I went my usual long route and ventured down a few unknown paths to add the extra mileage which eventually took me over the half marathon mark.  I've done quite a lot of running in my life to say I'm 23 and not a professional long distance runner or until 3/4 months ago, I hadn't concentrated on long distance running since I was really young, maybe about 8 years old when I actually ran as a hobby in competitive races and casually or as practice with my Grandad around the Darwen moors.

As you can see, I ran more than the half marathon distance (13.1 miles) so my aim to run that distance in under 2 ho…

Placement Hunting & Running Unknown Paths - 17th July 2013

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Placement Hunting & Running Unknown Paths - 17th July 2013
Progress has been a word that I have heard hundreds of times over the past couple of years and one that I will probably continue to hear until my injury problems clear up, and beyond, seen as I plan on becoming a Physiotherapist anyway!  I seem to have progressed at a slow rate lately, although slow progression is always better than none of course.  Firstly, my hunt for work experience and shadow placements still continues, with difficulty but I'm not anywhere near giving up.
I have my 2 day placement at the Royal Blackburn Hospital which is a solid start, as well as receiving a contact number for a local private physio clinic too.  Only 2 steps but as I've mentioned, it's 2 more than I had a few weeks ago and another couple of prospects do look positive.  I was told it is key to obtain experience in various fields to show that I am willing to work with a variety of people and not just be sports orientated or a…

Physio Update, Fitness & Football - 25th June 2013

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Slow And Steady Wins The Race
Since my last post things have progressed steadily, in all aspects of my usual blog topics.  As of last Wednesday (June 19th) I became a qualified Emergency First Aider (thanks to the Lancashire FA for putting on the course) so I am making slow steps towards increasing my knowledge in hope of becoming a Physiotherapist in the next few years as well as enhancing my prospects of obtaining relevant work experience.
I have also, as of yesterday, completed what will hopefully be my final session of Physio for my own ongoing injury.  My runners knee condition is something that can never be "cured" as such, but it can improve to a point where there are no longer any symptoms and therefore it technically heals in a way.  This process should take a further 12 weeks hard work (and a lot of Kinesio tape) in order to strengthen my thigh to produce the symptom-less form I would prefer it finds itself in.
The Kinesio tape (or whatever brand people prefer) has…

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome & Physio Progress - 11th June 2013

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Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome & Physio Progress
Following on from the last blog post, I have had another visit to the physio (yesterday) and progress had been made.  I was given a task of completing a large amount of squats either 2 or 3 times per week, I took it upon myself to do at least 3 lots though to ensure maximum results, obviously while monitoring my fatigue levels in order to avoid over straining.
My knee was apparently "puffy" and rough around the knee cap upon previous examination but is now smooth and feel as "normal", which I was obviously delighted to hear.  I had completed 3 sets of squats over 3 different days as well as walking over 7 miles (with roughly 50%-60% up hill) on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday last week and on the Wednesday I opted to run the same route, so my quads were given a massive work out.  Oh, and Friday's now customary spin class was also completed.
I have to say I do feel fitter than I can remember so to receive…

Old Trafford & More Knee News - 29th May 2013

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Old Trafford & PPS
As the regular readers will know, or if you saw my last blog post, me & 14 friends played on Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United on Monday, as part of a competition prize that I won last week.  As a football fan, albeit a Liverpool one, I cannot describe how amazing the experience was playing on the pitch at Old Trafford.  As much as I detest Manchester United, you cannot hide away from the fact that the facilities and size of the stadium are unbelievable.  I have been to Old Trafford on various occasions before, although that was to watch football and not play but until you are down on the pitch, you cannot appreciate the high standard of stadium that Manchester United really have.
Tom, Me & Ryan taking it all in after the games
I found myself, on several occasions, just standing and looking up and around into the stands in awe at the size of the place.  Imagining what it would be like to play there in front of 75,000 people, what a feeling that …

The Theatre of Dreams awaits - 22nd May 2013

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Old Trafford On The Horizon
From reading the title, some of you may be wondering why I would even mention Old Trafford, never mind title a blog post about it!  Maybe once I would have done when Wembley was being rebuilt and I have visited a few times, albeit not in the United end.  But yesterday I won a competition (yes, another one!) to play on Old Trafford with the lads from my football team.
I was as surprised as anyone that I won, I even honestly forgot I had entered the competition, but even now, nearly 24 hours on, I'm still pretty much in shock.  Why you may be thinking?  Well, for anyone who knows me, there is no doubting how much passion I have for Liverpool FC and football in general, so the opportunity to play on Old Trafford, Britain's 2nd largest stadium, is one that I can't pass up, well, I don't think anyone can, even my Dad's playing!
All the fitness training and everything that goes with it has indeed come in very handy for this unexpected opportun…

Fitness Progress - 9th May 2013

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Self Development Over Time
For the people who have followed my blog from the start, or at least the early stages, you may remember I mentioned that it would at some point turn towards a fitness based and physical orientated blog rather than dwindling on the story of my knee injury.
In the previous post I featured my fun run with Robbie Savage, something I obviously didn't get long to "train" for but fortunately I had been running 5K+ twice or three times a week for 2/3 weeks prior to the race, as well as my usual football training and 5-a-side games so my fitness wasn't too bad really.
I have also been hoping that my quad muscles would redevelop due to the distance I have been running.  As I have previously mentioned, it can take up to two years post-op and post-recovery for the quad muscle to redevelop to it's pre-injury condition, or at least to something alike.  I have recently photographed them in order to see for myself the development and improvement they h…

Summer Starting With Savage - 29th April 2013

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Robbie Savage & The 6K
For those of you that follow me on Twitter, you will have seen that this past week, on April 25th to be exact, I spent a few hours with Robbie Savage in Heaton Park, Manchester, taking part in a 5K run as a competition prize courtesy of Kitbag.com and New Balance.  As regular blog readers will know, I run over 5K on a weekly basis anyway so I was basically already prepared for the length of the race, until I actually participated and found out it amounted to 6K with quite a bit of the course being up hill too!
This obviously provided a bit more of a challenge than the usual quite flat 5.2K I run but with other people running it along side me, I always feel that bit more energetic as my competitive side comes out.  The weather was cold and it took a good 10 minute, professional warm up/dance to get things going before the race actually started.
Having A Laugh & Joke With Robbie, Had To Mention Strictly Come Dancing At Some Point!
My main aim was to try and…

Looking To The Future - 16th April 2013

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Preparing & Planning
Since leaving University there are many parts of my future that I have deeply thought about and considered.  The main one was obviously my career path, which for various reasons, has changed greatly since I actually obtained my degree and will eventually mean my degree will not be put to use as such, although some would say it has still been a learning curve and will provide me with skills for my eventual second degree in Physiotherapy.  I have mentioned before that certain people influenced me and I do believe that everything happens for a reason, some people will understand my situation and the self doubt I developed during my injury, I felt useless and incapable of doing anything myself, as people naturally would when you basically can only hop around on crutches etc but certain people kept me going and since have nudged me in a direction that has lead to me taking this path and for that I am forever grateful!
Although my degree will not start until Septemb…

Football, Fitness & The Close Season - 10th Apr. 2013

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The Football Continues
As the season comes towards it's end, with potentially only 3 games left, depending on the result of our cup semi-final, I can start to look towards summer and developing my fitness even further.  Obviously football has had a huge impact on my fitness levels, taking them further than I expected when I returned to playing last summer and I feel fitter than I can ever remember really, although my terrible fitness during injury may slightly cloud my judgement on that.
The timing of my return from injury was probably good, along with the terrible weather we have around here from September through to April, which for me has been the football season in terms of 11-a-side outdoors. This I feel helped my recovery as the softer surfaces caused by this weather put less pressure on my knee, where as playing 2 sets of 90 minutes on Saturday and last night (Tuesday) on a hard and unforgiving surface does have an impact.  Today my legs feel stiff and my knee is sore, albe…

The Next Chapter - 23rd March 2013

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The Next Chapter - Present & Future
Following on from the last post discussing my future and my aspirations for the next few years, I will delve further into the details of what I plan on doing and how I plan on going about it.  Since around January I have been putting small pieces of my future plan into action, doing research into what is required and sending emails to people who are in a position to help me along the path I would like to take.
Since my intense amount of physio treatment following my knee injury in October 2010, I have become increasingly interested in the physical side of the human body and how it works, develops and repairs itself when damaged/injured.  Although at the moment my knowledge is pretty basic, I feel I have the foundations to build on and more than enough interest to progress myself in the Physiotherapy field.  Something I have discovered about myself during my education over the years is that I must be interested in the topic if I am to succeed.  B…

Reflecting On My Progress - 14th March 2013

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Moving On & Progressing
Some of you may be wondering what made me actually begin writing my blog, it's not something I've done before online and it was pretty much out of the blue.  After a deep discussion with somebody very close to me about how I felt while I was injured, it made me realise that it would be a good idea to write about it.  This would allow me to release the remains of my ill feelings and depression while allowing others, who are in the same or similar situation, a relation point, something they could refer to and discuss, as it is something that deeply affects you psychologically, as well as obviously physically.
Personally I'm a strong minded individual, not many things get to me and I am very difficult to annoy and frustrate, it takes a lot for my mind to be effected by something unless I have the desire to let it, which in most cases I don't.  But this was something I'd never experienced and it got to me badly, but as well as being strong m…

Finally Back On The Pitch - 7th March 2013

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Back To The Serious Business
After a long summer & pre-season, the competitive games were coming up thick and fast.  Although my playing time was less than I wanted, it was realistic and I was managed well to avoid injury.  I felt like I had achieved a lot in the past 21 months and was well aware of the work still to do before I felt anywhere near my old self, in both footballing & fitness terms.  In my head I gave myself the full season, from August/September 2012 up until April 2013, to get some kind of form & fitness back.  I would have preferred to set myself a much shorter target but general fitness and the fitness to play 90 minutes of football are totally different, for those of you unaware.
It may sound as simple as being able to run on a treadmill for 90 minutes or the equivalent of 90 minutes cardio workout but it puts much more pressure on your body playing football as opposed to just running for the same amount of time, as I found out first hand with my initial…

No Such Thing As Friendlies - 4th March 2013

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Friendlies? What Friendlies?
Pre-season training was basically done, in terms of actual practice.  I felt a massive improvement in that aspect and I felt as if I'd got rid of the so called rusty touch and my movement was feeling more natural as time went by.  But, as anybody who plays football or even sport will know, there is a huge difference between feeling good in training and taking an active part in a match, even if it was a friendly.
Although I felt good in training, I knew playing games would be a massive task.  I had no idea how my muscles would react and how quickly I would get tired, I wasn't really aware of some of the new players in the squad either so my usual position of centre forward was in question too.  Saying that, my first game back involved me playing right midfield.  I was up for the task mentally, it would really be the ultimate fitness test playing on the wing and I knew realistically I wouldn't last anywhere near 90 minutes, I'd probably be lu…

Game Time - 28th Feb. 2013

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Pre-Season Begins
After a grueling and long summer, pre-season was upon me and even more hard work was about to begin.  Being absent from the team for basically 2 full seasons (10/11 and 11/12) meant there were plenty of new faces in training, but the majority consisted of the original lads who started off there. The first training session back was a typical British summer day.  Pre-season training is always on a Saturday and usually lasts 2 to 3 hours depending how many people are available and what we're working on.  Sometimes we just did fitness training and then had a small sided match, other times we'd practice set pieces, passing, shooting etc, it was always varied to keep everyone's attention.
We were quite light for the first 3 or 4 training sessions as most of the lads are on holiday in July and August but we still managed to put together a mixture of everything, the typical fitness, which felt 10 times more difficult than usual and I was lot less fit than I actua…

Returning To Football - 25th Feb. 2013

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Time For A Comeback
June 12th was a good day, I couldn't have been happier to finally have been given the news that I was allowed to return to playing football.  Obviously it would be another slow and steady process, just like my whole rehab period, but by now I was used to taking things slowly and my patience overall had grown and I seem to have developed a personality of being incredibly laid back and patient with everything in life since this experience, something people comment on quite a lot.
I remember the day very vividly, it was one of those moments where you remember every detail, something that you will always remember for the rest of your life.  It was a really nice Summer's day, the sun was shining and a few of the lads had already arranged for a game of football that afternoon, I was only a maybe as I wasn't sure what the physio appointment would result in, although I was hopeful at this point.  I remember getting there and Mike (my physio) saying I looked not…

The Best News Yet - 20th Feb. 2013

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On The Verge
After starting my outdoor work outs, I was feeling progress, it felt good to just be back on grass working out, rather than the same old sight in the gym, although I was still working in the gym, but not every day now, it was usually 3/4 days a week rather than 6/7.  My iPod became my new best friend, I was forever searching for songs that get me "pumped" up, making and updating a playlist daily to keep me going for a good 45 minutes to an hour.  Don't get me wrong, I was highly motivated and I was well aware that plenty of hard work was still to be done but sometimes even the highly motivated need help from elsewhere and need something to keep them going....
I had a few different things in mind when I started the outdoor training.  Firstly I wanted to sweat, I wanted to get my weight down as this was part of the reason I felt so slow and secondly I wanted to get back my balance and agility.  I knew both of these would take a considerable amount of time but …