Returning To Football - 25th Feb. 2013
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 noticeably fed up with the constant knock backs but obviously it hadn't really affected my determination to get on with things. But, he said, today was a day for good news, I could play football at my own risk, my leg felt stable enough and strong enough according to the experts so I was given the go ahead.
All I wanted to do as soon as I found out the news was get home, get my kit on and get the boots back out, after all, they'd collected quite a bit of dust over the past 18 months! As you can imagine by now, I was straight out on the field when I arrived home, no time to lose and plenty to catch up on. Everything wasn't going to go smoothly for a while, no matter how many hours/days/weeks I had spent in the gym, the muscles and movements used to play football couldn't be trained in the way they are by physically playing the sport, so I was well aware that another few hiccups were on their way, it was just a matter of what and when.
Practice Makes Perfect! Spent Hours Training, Usually Alone
My hamstrings were the major concern. I hadn't really trained them as much as I would have liked at the gym & with only a few weeks worth of outdoor running under my belt, they were bound to be under strength, well, under the strength required to play football anyway. As I trained and got back into the routine of kicking footballs (as pictured above), my quad muscle also became sore, I was aware that I was maybe overworking them but the pain didn't put me off, I was aiming for pre-season training which usually starts around late July and as I wasn't going on holiday this year, I had around 6 weeks to get back some dexterity and get back into the swing of football itself.
Pre-season is usually the time of the football season that all players dread but I couldn't wait for it! For the first time in my life I was excited for pre-season training, the laugh's with all the lads and the competitive edge which had been missing from my life for a considerable amount of time. I did my best to prepare for the fitness aspect of the training but I was always going to be distracted by the technical aspect of football, after all, that was the part I enjoyed most so it was pretty hard to keep disciplined and get some running done when I knew I could now kick a football again.....