Another really positive week on my road back to full fitness. After tentatively coming out of my boot last week, I am now fully weight bearing and walking freely in my trainers.
The progression this week started with some jumping, hopping and jogging on a trampette, I have also been doing some proprioception work, this has involved single leg balance work to start with, then I have progressed to more tricky surfaces and have ended the week doing single leg work on a BOSU ball whilst returning volleys and headers back to a server. If this had been mentioned to me at the start of the week, I would of struggled to envision this happening with it being such a difficult progressive exercise.
The big progression this week has come on an amazing piece of equipment we have at the training ground. We are so lucky to have this state of the art machinery at our disposal and it really does cut down recovery time from an injury because it gets you back into walking and running without having to be fully weight bearing. The machine I am talking about it an Alter G Anti Gravity Treadmill. The Alter G in simple terms is a treadmill that uses air pressure to create a state of anti-gravity enabling you to reduce your body weight whilst walking or running. This is great as it means I can gradually load my foot until I am ready to run outside. I zip myself into this vacuum of air and press some buttons as I feel the vacuum inflate. I have been using the Alter G at 70% of my body weight and jogging at speeds between 7kmh and 9kmh for three-minute intervals. I have done this three times this week with no pain at all, I am a long way ahead of where I expected to be at this point of my rehabilitation.
The rest of the week has been filled with icing, massage, mobility exercises, upper body weight sessions, swimming sessions, core sessions, rowing and exercise bike HIIT sessions. Its been a really hard week, but really enjoyable and I feel like I have made huge progress.
After some discussions with Phil Hayward our head physiotherapist, we have agreed that I will have a 4 or 5 days off this coming week. It has been very intense the last 6 weeks and I have been very strict mentally with everything I have done, with me being ahead of schedule it seems a good time to just shut off for a few days so I don’t end up pushing myself too hard and regretting it. I will still have a program to follow in my days off but everyone agrees that it is important for me to mentally switch off and give my body a chance to rest.
As well as a great week at the training ground, I have had some fun away from there too. I love boxing and was fortunate enough to be able to go and watch Scott Quigg fight Carl Frampton at the Manchester arena on Saturday night. Along with Carl Ikeme and Aaron McCarey, we were part of an incredible atmosphere that saw Carl Frampton edge the fight by points in a split decision. The noisy Irish fans and Aaron were ecstatic! Fair play to them boxers though, the nerves and expectation they must go through is immense, it is a sport I have always loved watching, I love their skill and dedication, but that moment walking down to the ring knowing there is a guy in the opposite corner wanting to knock you out must be terrifying!
I also got to go and watch another Shrewsbury Town game. Obviously I much prefer being fit but I rarely get to go and watch my local team as our fixtures always clash, so I am making the most of it. I got invited along to the game on Tuesday night against Rochdale as they wanted to show some recognition to the squad of players who got promoted from the Conference back into the Football League 12 years ago. This was a big season for me personally, I had made my debut the last game of the previous season in an already relegated team but during this promotion campaign I played around 20 games as a young 17 year old who would just run and run (not much has changed!) To be playing competitive football at such a young age sky rocketed my development and I fear that not enough young professionals nowadays are getting the chance to do this but that is for another (much longer) blog! Back to the game on Tuesday, it was a privilege to be invited and it was great seeing some old faces. We got a lovely reception on the pitch at half time and along with one of the other lads little boy, my boy Jack enjoyed being on the pitch running from side to side dodging the sprinklers, I even caught them taunting the Rochdale fans! Shrewsbury played really well and were more than worthy of the 2-0 score line.
Thanks as always for reading!
Hope you enjoyed it.