The Best News Yet - 20th Feb. 2013

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 I had time on my side, I gave myself the whole Summer season to train and work at it, basically from May until September, while since September 2012, I have obviously continued to train and develop myself, it's now become a habit and a routine more than anything.  But, my story is now around June 2012.  I have still been attending physio with Mike Pettigrew but the sessions are beginning to become shorter and less frequent, which is always a good sign, this means things are developing how they should be and he was more than happy to just check up on me as he trusted me to get on with things myself, and, if I didn't, there was only one person missing out, that was myself!

Being on the verge of 17 stone was scary, very scary!  I was still healthy in terms of my immune system etc but I didn't feel fit at all, probably the worst I'd ever felt in my lifetime and this was just over 22 years by now.  I have barely any photographs, for a reason, but on my graduation this was obviously unavoidable and I still hate the pictures to this day, even though it should be the proudest moment of my life so far, but I'm keen to erase the pictures and keep the degree certificate if that's the case.  Below is a picture of July 2012 in comparison to December 2012, 6 months of football, literally no dietary change or supplements or anything, massive difference, especially in my eyes...

Left: July 2012 and Right: December 2012...Spot The Difference!

This is a great motivator for me to keep working and to develop myself further.  I saw a quote this week that made me think of this scenario, well timed to say this was going to be my next blog subject too...
"Far from what I once was but not yet what I'm going to be........."
It made me think how far I had come from the day I was "fully" recovered up until now, it was massive progress and something I was proud of but at the same time I'm not willing to just sit here and be happy with myself, I want to in 6 months time be able to compare my December 2012 picture with maybe a July/August 2013 picture and say the same thing again, that I am overwhelmed with my progress.

July 2012 was probably one of the best months I've had, ever, really.  I graduated from University, which I was happy about, despite achieving a class below (2:2 rather than a 2:1) but I was well aware of the distractions in my life and had to be realistic, it was either risk my knee health for the long term future and get a 2:1 or put in the gym work and physical work to successfully rehabilitate my knee and get a 2:2, it was an easy choice for me all along.

When it came to June though, I could see and feel an end in sight, I felt on the verge of being able to play football, albeit slowly and cautiously.  I did try the odd kick around with a few of the lads but nothing strenuous and it wasn't really a kick around as such, I just basically watched and played ballboy when needed.  Little did I know that on June 12th 2012, I had a physio appointment, one that would bring the best news of all, the news I'd wanted, I was allowed to begin playing football again, finally, something to look forward to!


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