Sunday, 4 February 2018

This Girl Can

It’s been a while.

In the months since my last post, a lot has happened.

I started playing rugby again for one. The rugby club set up a ladies team, so I joined up. It’d been 14 years since my last game of rugby due to my knee injury, so I was unsure whether it would be a good idea or not. I got cleared by the phsyio, so I went to training. And my God, it was amazing. I would be utterly dead for a few days after a training session, but I was getting out of the house, I was exercising, I made some new friends.

11 weeks after we created our team, we played our first game. It was a pre-season training game, and it was long and hard, and we didn’t have a chance to win it, but there’s no better way to learn than to play. I did well. My fitness wasn’t, and isn’t, up to scratch, but I ran, I passed, I scrummaged, I tackled and got tackled – and that’s where it went wrong.

In the final two minutes of the game, we made a play, where I (as a prop) would charge forward as far as I could, and go to ground – or offload if I needed to. I got the ball, I ran forward, I made it about 5 paces and I got tackled, hard. I managed to offload the ball as I went down, as I was twisted and landed awkwardly on the floor. The next thing I know, I’m lying on the ground, unable to move my left leg, and in absolute agony. I was literally picked up and carried off the pitch. There were swear words and tears of pain and anger. I knew I was done for the second I hit the ground.

Skip forward a few weeks and hospital visits, crutches, a brace and a plethora of painkillers, and I’m told that I have snapped my ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) and have torn my meniscus (the cartlidge). Wonderful. Surgery. Yay. I will not be playing again this season. Double yay.

Skip forward again to today. I had the surgery 4 months ago. I’m healing really well, it’s strong and it’s working. My surgeon is astounded and proud. My physio is amazed. I’ve gone back to rugby training – although I’ve got to do it slowly and I’m not allowed to take any contact.

Today, in our 8th game of the season, I donned my boots, and I ran on with a water bottle and the kicking tee. It felt wonderful. I’m riding a little bit of a high from it as I sit here and type, as well as being in a great deal of pain. I proved I could jog, I proved that I am on a comeback, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not still stiff and crampy from all the activity. My calf muscle is one big painful knot, but it is all worth it. Today I got to be back on a rugby pitch, as an official member of the team in boots and with a purpose. 

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