As a keen sportsperson, it is a nightmare to be on the sideline. Now, it’s one thing not making the team or missing a match or training due to other commitments, but its a whole other ball game dealing with an injury. Apart from the obvious physical challenges, you have to sit and watch, knowing you could be out on the pitch or track helping your team-mates.
Talking from experience, the process of rehab, for example, in long-term injuries, is extremely hard. Early morning gym sessions aren’t too appealing in winter, and the motivation will always dip. Regular visits to the physio, massages and lots of stretching become a routine.
It’s easy to fall into a loop and feel like nothing is working, for example thinking you’ll never get back to full fitness. It’s times like these that you need to remember why you’re doing it in the first place- The ultimate goal is to get back to doing something you love.
Injuries are also something young people can be quite ignorant about. We see top athletes dropping with injuries and we think it’s only the elite that are prone when in reality, an injury can happen to anyone when they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s all about being smart about it – so take the time to do pre and post match stretching; it can save you months of rehabilitation.
I mentioned earlier about how easy it is to lose motivation and focus while in rehab for an injury, especially in the off-season, when we are not being reminded constantly of what we’re missing. All the motivation we need is to look at the sportspeople who’ve been there before us, for instance, Cork Senior Footballer Colm O’Neill and the King Henry Shefflin. O’Neill has made 3 successful comebacks from cruciate tears, as did the Shefflin.
With that in mind, anything is possible, and no injury is enough to stop you playing the game you love.
So, for anyone reading this nursing an injured foot, knee, shoulder etc. There is light at the end of the tunnel and you’ll be back scoring goals for the parish again before you know it!
Laura May, Wexford Weekly.