Football, Fitness & The Close Season - 10th Apr. 2013
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, albeit from a late challenge rather than impact on a hardened surface.
Moving from my familiar position of centre forward to right back for the last 10 games or so has been somewhat of a revelation. I played there for a game to do the team a favour when we were short in defense but I've ended up basically being the teams first choice right back now and I enjoy it a lot more than I initially expected. Up until the age of 13/14 I played centre half but soon changed to centre forward after the progression of my finishing ability, coupled with a pretty powerful shot but saying that, I still find myself with the footballing mind to cope as a defender and even find myself repossessing some of the pace I've naturally lost from suffering such an injury.
Feeling fit as well as looking trim, on the up, finally!
Over the next few weeks/months I plan on attending a physio session, possibly two, just to keep tabs on my progress and make sure I'm doing everything possible to keep myself heading in the right direction, more to do with my future health than my present state, which I'm now quite happy with, for the first time since I suffered my injury in October 2010. Some of you regular blog readers may remember me saying that the development of my quad muscle can take up to two years in terms of recovering and returning to its pre-injury state, although this isn't guaranteed and the timescale could always be shorter or possibly longer, depending on physical build etc.
People had expressed their "congratulations" as such, at my achievements in terms of regaining fitness and being in decent physical shape but I always expected myself to do it and I obviously pushed myself to do it. The way I felt when I first started playing again in Summer 2012 was horrible. Previous to my injury I could easily manage a good 2/3 hours kick about with friends and then later on a 40 minute competitive 5-a-side game but I was in no state to do either/both at that time.
My frustration grew by the constant ache in my hamstring along with the initial fear factor of that first crunching challenge on my right leg and that first 50/50 tackle i'd have to commit to, albeit I can't even remember either of those happening but they have long since passed and the fear factor I endured has long gone, it doesn't even cross my mind during matches anymore that I even had a knee injury of any form, unless I'm put in a position where somebody takes it upon themselves to foul me in that area.
I am going to conclude the post with probably the best picture in terms of comparing how I have physically changed over the football season and with the thought of further pushing myself over the summer months to be in even better shape for the start of next season, without thinking too far ahead of myself!
Before & After - Same Size Shirt, Different Size Person