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.
(Oprah, 2014, Tall Ciara, 2020)