The first instalment.
What a great Saturday. A ‘Les Mills – Body Attack’ class early doors; a long dog walk; and a chilled afternoon planned. I’m finally feeling sharp and back to a decent level of fitness having spent a large proportion of lockdown rehabbing from an ACL op.
Feeling refreshed from a fulfilling day, Sunday morning arrives and I’m excited! I’m making a cameo appearance for my old netball team. I’ve spent most of my netball life pretty fit, and relatively unscathed in terms of injury. However, after a knee issue late on in my netball ‘career’ I’d struggled to fully rehab and the repeated issues eventually peaked with an ACL reconstruction in early 2020. I knew I could play again – a fabulous surgeon and a specialist physio – of course I could. So I did.
I knew I didn’t want to play regularly again – I had re-located away from my previous club, and to be honest I had no real interest in committing, or commuting, regularly. That being said, you can’t take away the buzz of battle on court. I’ve lived for it. Not only loving those intense moments of matchplay, but also the training – explosive jumps; weights; athletic power – that was my game.
Pre-match and the standard post-injury banter was ever-present. “What are you going to injure today”; “let’s try and get you through in one piece”. I’m fine with this, after all, there was a recent trend of injury!
All warmed up and ready to go. Let’s be honest here, replicating match fitness is HARD. I was pretty fit, but 45 minutes into the match and I’m blowing. My teammates elect for me to play centre – which is never favourable for me, but least of all today! It should be noted here than in amongst the injury-related banter before the game, I had joked that I’d play anywhere but centre! I was tired at this point, yet simultaneously pleased to have survived 45 minutes unharmed (with the exception of a few elbows and knocks of course). Our substitute player felt under the weather and so me coming off, or at least requesting to, didn’t go down too well. Happy to be back on the court, I obliged and got ready to grind out another 15 minutes of play.
With maybe 10 minutes left, the next millisecond was to change the next 12 months for me, knocking me back further and harder than I’ve ever been knocked…