Written by: Aisling Greene
Ya I see those eye rolls, but hear me out.
Like a duck out of water
Most of us have probably tried yoga at some point. Growing up my dad could often be found in our living room, standing on his head or practicing stomach vacuums. Not surprising that those are the movements which stick in my mind, as the rest of it - the traditional postures and poses - seemed pretty darn boring. Downward dog never really held the same allure as kicking a football or going a few rounds with a punch bag.
Yet years later, after one too many injuries, I joined the bandwagon. I didn't take to it, I practiced for a bit, let if fall by the wayside but eventually gave it a go, yet again. To say I was like a duck out of water is the understatement of the century! A forward fold, where you bend over to touch your toes, well my back refused to go past a 90 degree angle!
Flash forward to 2 years later...well I can bend past 90 but I'm generally still one of the most inflexible bodies in a class.
So why am I trying to convince you to give it a go (possibly for the second or third time)?
Yoga doesn't discriminate
It is one of the few 'activities' that everyone can partake in, regardless of your size, age, gender, fitness level, you can do it and with zero equipment if needs be. Now for the important bit. I think absolutely EVERYONE (yes even you, the person scoffing, pulling the face) can get something from yoga.
Do something, just for you
For me, I mainly practice to help keep chronic pain at bay but also so much more.
A gentle 20-30 minutes at the end of the day, forces me to slow down. Helps me be that little bit more aware of how I'm feeling (stressed, pissed off, anxious, or content, excited, grateful) and either let those feelings go or embrace them more.
And I'm doing something small, just for me. Which I think is even more important during these times.
So maybe give yoga a go (again)!
Find a class/instructor you genuinely like (Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube is great) or pop on some relaxing music (Trevor Hall-Green Mountain State is my go to) and make up your own stretches/sequence!
Remember, it's not about some complicated, ridiculous, foot behind your head-esque pose, it’s genuinely about all the things you gain (or lose) in the working towards it.
Written by: Sam Grozotis
You can work from home…
Unless you’re a key worker you probably have some sort of working from home set up. After scrolling through all of Instagram and having 3 cups of tea you might finally sit down to start your day. In these tough times it's important to keep the old bones going.
Here are some tips and tricks to make sure that rusty body stays as pain free as possible.
2. There is no such thing as the ideal posture (continued).
As mentioned above prolonged postures (especially a dead straight back/ chest out look) can actually make us more uncomfortable. It is absolutely ok and even more efficient to sometimes sit with a rounded back. Just keep moving.
3. REGULAR exercise at a moderate level (and at a social distance) helps to keep our illness risk lower.
The key to keeping exercise regular is to do something you enjoy. If you really don't like running (like myself) find some other way to get that cardio in and prepare those bodies for when the season is back.
4. Workstation setup still plays a part.
Making sure your screen isn’t too dark, your chair is comfortable and there isn't too much external noise (unavoidable with kids and I have no suggestion for this) will all help keep you pain free.
If you're lucky enough to have a sit to stand desk at home, USE IT. Or if you're on a laptop move it to the kitchen bench and stand for a while. Changing position every 30-40 mins will help you stay limber.
All of these positions are ok… just move regularly.
You have lower back pain because you have a weak core… and other lies.
Dispel the Myths
Most of us, at some point in our lives will experience back pain. In fact evidence suggests that around 80% of people will feel some sort of back pain.
There is a lot of poorly researched and frightening information out there so I'm here to bust some of those myths and reduce some of the fear people may have surrounding their back pain.
You have back pain because you have a weak core.
Put simply, if this were true we would have fixed everybody's back pain by now. Evidence tells us that people with back pain actually tense their trunk muscles too much to try and ‘protect’ the area. Imagine tearing your hamstring and keeping it tensed all the time. This would not be helpful or pain reducing behaviour. Learning to relax your ‘core’ in many situations is far more beneficial.
Getting older gives you back pain.
The evidence really doesn't support this. Bone changes may happen but that does not mean you will get back pain. Evidence also says that our backs respond well to bending, twisting and lifting. So, as we get older it's actually more important to do these movements regularly to keep your back healthy.
A scan will tell me why my back hurts.
It's a bit like taking a photo of your face and trying to figure out what you're thinking! A scan is helpful in about 1% of people with back pain. A scan often shows things like disc bulges, protrusions and degeneration.
HOWEVER, these are also found in people with NO PAIN so it’s not a reliable way to see what's going on. For the majority of people a diagnosis and treatment plan can be done just by an assessment.
Written by: Ciara ‘Mo’ Ó Murchadha Flynn
When the denial starts
There isn’t an ideal time to get injured. As a GAA player, you’d rather it not be in the middle of the season when there’s nothing better than being outside, kicking around a football and winning matches. But I suppose if I had to choose, breaking my wrist during the last minute of the league semi-final, coming into the winter wasn’t the worse time to go. At least we won the match!
You know that moment when you’ve fallen over or tripped or had some kind of accident? You hear a noise, maybe a crack and straight away you know you’ve done something stupid? That’s when the denial starts.
“No, no, I’m absolutely fine, I’m sure it’s only a sprain. I’ll be back in no time”. Well it wasn’t of course but a very special shout out to all those lovely ladies who helped wrap me up, drove me to the hospital and went along with me when I said I’d be grand for the final.
It could have been worse
I think most will agree that one of the worst parts of getting injured is replaying the moment it happened and trying to imagine what you could have done differently. It’s that split second when you know something has gone wrong and if only you’d hadn’t gone in for that tackle or somehow landed better, you wouldn’t be in this situation.
No more football! No more speed typing/cutting up your veggies/playing the tin whistle and don’t even get me started on trying to wash your hair.
To be fair, it could have been a lot worse. I’d broken my wrist but funnily enough, breaking a bone is almost easier than tearing a tendon or ligament. The plaster cast forces you to rest and once it’s off, somehow the recovery can actually take less time.
Discipline can go out the window
It’s all about the recovery. Going to a physio is the obvious treatment but if you don’t keep up your exercises, the process can take so much longer. The problem is, when you’re in pain and you can’t be active and do a lot of the things you love, discipline can go out the window.
For me it was about getting back to work and getting through the boring weeks with only one functioning arm. I didn’t pay too much attention to my diet but I did try and get out for walks every now and then, something to keep the legs moving. Fair play to those who can stay really healthy and manage to keep up their level of fitness. You’re an inspiration!
But then it’s over, the cast comes off and you’re given the green light to go back to exercise. What am I supposed to do now? It’s November so no more football and I can’t very well go back to lifting weights any time soon. So what’s the easiest way to start feeling fit again and doesn’t mind a dodgy wrist? Run, Forrest, Run!
Not essential to cut out drinking and late nights
Some might say that applying to run a marathon for the craic isn’t the norm but two months out of action would make any one do crazy things. Which is how I ended up putting my name down for London Marathon 2020 after feeling a little too enthusiastic at my work Christmas party.
It hasn’t been too bad. I actually enjoy running (swear) and it is definitely satisfying as you start conquering the longer distances. You just have to be really organised, so while some people like to cut out drinking and late nights completely, I don’t think it’s essential (unless you have a time you’d like to beat). You make a training plan, try your best to stick to it and always remember you’re supposed to be enjoying yourself.
And for those who think marathon training sounds pretty boring, you’d be right in a way. When you have to spend your Sunday mornings running for two and a half hours, you need something to keep you entertained. Personally I really enjoyed listening to podcasts for some of the longer sessions (in a park by the way, maybe don’t try this while ducking traffic in the busy London streets!).
I’m not saying that everyone needs to train for a marathon to get over an injury but the act of setting a goal, having something to kick off your competitive side really helped get me out and about during the winter months, especially on those cold, dark mornings.
Aren’t we all?
So now I’m recovered and while I’m still struggling with my push-ups (“Aren’t we all” – my favourite Holloway response) football is back with a bang! Den Haag tournament, what a weekend!
But wait, hold on lads, the Coronavirus is here. Training is cancelled! Things are bad but at least I have my marathon! Hold on a minute…
In all seriousness, during this difficult time, we can all get our runners on, put the earphones in and spend 20/30 minutes out in the fresh air for a nice jog.
To get over an injury, you don’t have to sign up to a marathon but my advice? Keep moving, stay positive and do what you can.
Turn your wounds into wisdom
(Oprah, 2014, Tall Ciara, 2020)
You will be protecting the lives of many people by staying home.
I know a lot of us, including myself, didn’t take COVID-19 as seriously as we should have at the beginning. But what I do know is, it is not too late to change. We need to protect those vulnerable and ourselves.
We should by now, all be aware of the guidelines to follow, if you want a recap please see the attached link https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ .
The main point I want to get across is the importance of SOCIAL DISTANCING.
I know how much of a sociable club we, Holloway Gaels are, but please ensure we are not meeting up in groups for house parties or social gatherings. YOU will be protecting the lives of many people by staying home.
My 5 top tips to keep us sane during these times:
Written by: Cliona ‘Florence’ Twohig
On Friday March 6th, 19 ladies headed for Stansted airport for the first step of our pre-season trip to The Hague in the Netherlands. It was the second time our club made the trip to The Hague, having thoroughly enjoyed the craic there in 2019.
Once landed, we decided to do what every self-respecting tourist would do when they find themselves on foreign shores and set out to immerse ourselves in local Irish culture. Shelby's was the destination and it didn’t disappoint. Mindful of the fact we had a tournament the next day (or in reality the fact that nowhere would accept Visa or Mastercard and we had limited cash), the beverage intake was limited and we headed back to our hotel early (the next day!).
In our first game we faced Budapest Ladies and whilst it was clear we hadn’t played in several months our perseverance paid off and we came away with a win, the score line reading Holloway Gaels 3-05 Budapest Ladies 0-02. After an extended break we hit the field for game two against Holland Ladies. This was a tougher encounter with the leading position changing hands many times throughout the game. Unfortunately for us, the result at the final whistle was Holloway Gaels 2-03 to Holland Ladies 2-06. Due to the other team in our group not being able to field, it was decided that they would pull out of the remainder of the competition. Unfortunately for us the other results in our group saw us eliminated at this stage. And so it was onto the after party! At this stage the old motto “What goes on tour stays on tour” rings true!
Den Haag GAA hosted a wonderful tournament on Saturday with over 30 teams from across Europe. The facilities and organisation on the day and night were great and we extend our gratitude to Mary and all at Den Haag GAA.
In light of announcements from the Irish Government, Croke Park and the Provincial Council of British Gaelic Football we have to confirm the cancellation of our annual Ann Dunning/Chloe Cup Tournament that was to take place on Saturday March 28th.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but trust you can appreciate our duty of care to all who attend Holloway Gaels events and our duty to uphold instruction from our governing bodies.
It is our intention to run this tournament at a later stage in 2020 and we will keep you informed of any updates regarding this.
Go raibh maith agaibh.
Holloway Gaels LGFC
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