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What would you do if you couldn't run again?

Categories: Exercise, Injury

The most frustrating and devastating day I had almost 15 years ago was being told I’d never play football again by a consultant.

I’d gone through the process of having an MRI done after having months of physio from my reoccurring back injury.

I thought I’d beaten the agonising pain in my back and legs, but as soon as I started playing and working again the same feelings cropped up again.

At this point I was a sports coach and lifeguard, everything I did involved sport. So for me being in pain to stand and walk was not an option.

The next physio I saw, suggested I had an MRI scan to get to the bottom of the initial injury so we could treat it and manage it better. Being honest the consultant I saw, probably wasn’t the most helpful, seeing as though at that point I was in my early 20’s and sport was my main identity. It made my happy, was my outlet, my work and where all my friends were.

I was told that the discs in my spine had severe degeneration for my age, and between L4 and L5 the disc had disappeared. This explained the pain I was in as it meant the vertebrae in that section had lost all the spongey cushioning. He ruled out surgery and said my option was to have steroid injections into my spine and to stop playing sport.

I was devastated.

I had the injections, which were so painful and I didn’t notice or feel any benefit from having them done.

Fortunately the physio I was seeing was brilliant. She worked with the GB Rowing Team and was very sport focused. She gave me a different outlook, and said although I probably wouldn’t play football again, due to the impact, twisting and turning movements, it didn’t have to mean sport in general was off the cards. I just needed to find something new. I’d already been to Australia and got the bug for surfing and other adrenaline sports. Finding Obstacle Course Racing was ideal.

So began my rehab programme. It was planned around everything I liked doing, with some great challenges in there. I stuck to the programme and made huge progress. I was slowly getting back into the gym and lifting weights again and starting to feel more like the old me.

This is what got me more into coaching and realised I wanted to help others in a similar situation to myself. One the reasons I tell clients it’s important you trust and get on with your therapist and trainer is that they will be a huge part of your life.

The injury recovery process can be long and involve doctors, physios, sports massage therapists, personal trainers, councillors, friends, family and team mates. Everybody will play an important role.

I’ve put together a free Injury Prevention Toolkit, which is packed full of information to help you take control of your training and give you an understanding of technique and what you can do to stop injuries happening.

Click Here