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Showing posts from February, 2013

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 …

A Summer Of Graft - 17th Feb. 2013

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Finishing Uni & Continuing The Hard Work
May 2012 I was due to finish University, although my priority became my health rather than my university assignments, this was a personal choice I made based on the value of both in comparison to each other.  Some may think this sounds ridiculous but I didn't even need a lot of time to think about it, it was a pretty simple decision.  I've always been the kind of guy who laughs a lot and smiles most of the time but this injury changed me a bit.  Making me immobile was pretty depressing, although I keep my feelings to myself most of the time so nobody was to know!  I'd get days where I had regrets of certain things and it leads back to a previous post about how I thought was there anything I could have done differently?
Friends etc would be out playing football and I would be stuck indoors doing stretches and playing computer games or watching TV, what made it even worse was when I was at home, rather than at Uni halls, I could s…

The End In Sight - 13th Feb. 2013

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Positive News But Plenty Of Hard Work Still To Come
After going under the knife for the 3rd time, I was relieved to find out that no further complications were possible as a repercussion of any of the operations, so now it was down to me.  Unlike the Lesion I had removed, nothing of this sort was possible, even though there was only a 4%-5% chance of the Lesion occurring,  I always believe that if there is 1% chance, you still should consider it an option, both good or bad although before my ACL reconstruction, I wasn't at all aware of a Cyclops Lesion, I hadn't even heard of it and didn't know it was possible but obviously it became more of a possibility the longer I went on without being able to straighten my leg properly.
After being told this was a possibility, I began to read up on exactly what a Cyclops Lesion was, how it formed and how you go about removing it, I knew it would require an operation but that didn't bother me, I'd got into a kind of routine now…

Knife .v. Knee Round 3 - 10th Feb. 2013

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Operation Number 3
After discovering I had a cyclops lesion within my knee, I also discovered this would require another operation in order to remove the problem.  As a result of that I was told the return of full movement in my leg would not be possible, although I still refuse to give up on this, especially regarding my previous surpassing of expectations in terms of recovery and progress over the last 12 months or so.
Before finding out I had the cyclops lesion, I had my final targets in sight, it just felt as if it was taking a bit longer than expected at this stage to progress and my January return was well out of sight now.  I was told around mid January 2012 that I would require another operation, this was booked in for March 9th 2012 meaning my new target would be around August for any return, obviously depending how successful the operation was, but going off the 2 previous ones, I remained positive for once!
Until then I was again told to keep working in the gym, again maxim…

The Tale Of A Mythical "Creature" - 7th Feb. 2013

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What Is This Cyclops You Speak Of?
Continuing from the last post, my worries and concerns were growing as days went by.  One day it would feel like I had made progress but then the next day it would feel like the angle of my knee had only got worse, not better, quite a roller coaster, both mentally & physically!  For me thought it proved more mentally challenging as I have never had a problem with the physical aspect of things, I've always been active and I've tried many sports down the years.  I used to run cross country from the age of 3/4, very young indeed! I also represented Blackburn at Rugby Union for 5/6 years, playing in age groups well above my actual age, even captaining teams of older age groups, as well as that I've played football since I can remember, probably since I could stand up and I also did various athletics such as hurdling, sprinting, long jump, shot put and javelin and used to be a keen swimmer, now that only really comes in to play at the gym …

Not Everything Goes Smoothly - 4th Feb. 2013

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Life Is A Bumpy Ride
Following my short trip to Dublin, I also had a holiday to Bulgaria booked, obviously banking on the fact I would be able to at least walk unaided by July, luckily I was able to and my holiday wasn't put in jeopardy, although thinking about it now, I should have booked the extra leg room for both journey's, saying that I had no idea what stage my recovery would be at by then so I wasn't to know.  I continued with the gym work, spin classes 3/4/5 times a week and the usual stretches and exercises, no weights just yet as my leg still wasn't strong enough, well it may have been strong enough technically but it physically didn't feel up to it.
I always had aims in my head for what I wanted to do, where I wanted to be in a certain amount of time, these changed depending on what the physio and specialist told me, but I always seemed to be on schedule or sometimes even ahead of schedule, some of that down to the fact that I was quite fit when I sustai…

Becoming Somewhat Active Again! - 1st Feb. 2013

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Some Light At The End Of The Tunnel
So, previously I had just been to the hospital for the removal of my staples and I was attempting to get around with less reliance on my crutches, although I did still have to use them, for now.  They got boring, they had a certain novelty to start off with as I had never used them in my life apart from the odd little battle when a friend had them in our younger years, when they became a weapon for each person and as you can guess someone always got hurt, the kinda thing you do when you're younger! Physio was obviously ongoing, it was to last for another few months, but with less frequent visits as my mobility started to regain itself to an extent.
It wasn't long before I was given the go ahead to "lose" one of my crutches and just use one but me being my determined self, or some said stupid, it was either both or none.  So for a week after this I continued to use both, although sparingly as I just carried them around as a leaning …