A Summer Of Graft - 17th Feb. 2013

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 see everybody playing football on the field behind my house.  Although on the other hand, this made me work a little bit harder on my recovery as I could see my target, literally, I knew what I was aiming for and what I wanted to achieve.  Running outdoors became fun for me, this was my hobby by then, although I'd never felt this unfit in my life, I found it ridiculously tough to run 3/4 miles, stopping 2/3 times along the way, this was hard to take as previously I could easily have jogged 3/4 miles without a break, probably would have a lot more too but I had to face the facts that things had changed and just get on with it.

Also, for the past 2 summer seasons, I'd gone abroad on holiday but this year I opted to forget about that and stay at home in order to concentrate on my fitness, it was going to be a long summer but I felt like I had to work hard and tried to excel myself and the expectations placed on me.  My aim was to be in some form of shape/fitness to participate in pre-season, even further driven by the fact the lads had won the cup and team of the year trophy, something I was gutted at missing out on!

No Sunshine & Beaches For Me In 2012

I was more excited to finish University just so I could concentrate fully on recovering and getting fit.  I never thought I would look forward to doing fitness work this much in my life but I was out every day in the gym and starting interval training on the local field with a agility ladder, cones and a football, although kicking it with any sort of power wasn't yet possible.  Plus the fact I had gained approximately 2 stone since being injured, this was probably the most depressing fact.  I felt a lot heavier, I could see physically I was bigger and I felt so slow in any movement including running, jogging, turning, cycling but I knew that the first stone or more would drop quite easily without any dedicated dieting, it was just a fact of getting down to exercising and cardio work to reduce my weight, but I knew at no point it would be easy!

A Familiar Sight Throughout Summer

Going from 14 stone 11 lbs (206 lbs or 94 KG) to approximately 16 stone 11 lbs (236 lbs or 107.0 KG) over this period of time was surprising.  My diet hadn't altered, I hadn't resorted to eating junk food and I don't really eat chocolate/sweets etc so it was even more depressing on that front but I knew that my failure to adjust my diet from a carbohydrate fueled one (pasta, potatoes, bread etc) to a more protein based and clean diet was the mistake, as my lack of ability to exercise would only result in one outcome, a failure to burn off the carbohydrates I was regularly consuming.

Next up I manage to get myself running properly, without a restricted feel, I feel a little bit of weight lifted off my shoulders and I can feel more strength returning in my leg, in the form of being able to pass a ball and somewhat accurately play it where I wanted!

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