So here I am in my 51st year feeling a bit bewildered about how I got here and quite frankly amazed I got this far. Bit of history; I’m a physio, a single mum with 2 kids that are now 23 and 17, small business owner and someone that loves good food and several glasses of wine. I have played hockey with the wonderful Didsbury Northern Hockey Club for the past 17 years – I was never in the league of the 1st team players but I played hard and gave it my all – sort of. I am cursed with a very deep seated lazy bone and when it comes to having a drink with a friend rather than training, I have the breaking point of a kitkat.
Last November, 2013, calamity struck; I was on the pitch for 3 minutes in a match one beautiful Sunday afternoon when my knee went from under me. I was very brave but I have to say it was extremely painful and swollen for the next few days and I was on crutches for over a week. As a physio I felt I had done some structural damage, and sure enough, once the swelling started to settle, it was clear I had ruptured my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament in my right knee). There is no natural repair of this ligament , once it’s gone it’s gone.
After requesting to see Mr Turner at Stepping Hill Hospital (an amazing consultant knee surgeon) I finally got my appointment in June. Mr Turner confirmed the rupture and although he offered to operate if I wanted, we both agreed I had strengthened the knee sufficiently to be able to run. I decided to leave off having the op for a year and see what happens. Long and short of it is that I have decided to quit hockey as there is just too much knee twisting.
I have decided to change direction with my sport. A new beginning. This summer I did 2 triathlons without any knee problems but was so unprepared I decided to start training now for next year. Let me tell you first about the triathlons, just to give you a picture of how rubbish I am:
CHATSWORTH PEAK TRIATHLON – swim in river!! 750m-cycle20k-run5k.
Ok I should’ve read the peak word in the title – the only flat bit was the swim. I turned up for the swim in my shorty wet suit having only swum once outdoors this year (see closet slacker title). Everyone else was in a triathlon wetsuit. On entering the water it was clear I was in trouble – I think they’d imported glacial ice especially for the race and I might as well have knitted the wetsuit for all the use it was. I couldn’t do more than 5 strokes in front crawl and resorted to breast stroke. I was so far back by half way I honestly felt like giving up and let my legs sink into the water – fortunately I was able to stand up and that’s how I eventually got round – a few strokes of god alone knows what style and a little stand. I was so far behind all the other women. The cycle wasn’t too bad – 10k up hill and 10k down. The run – well, I walked up 3k and ran down ( controlled falling) 2k.
SANDMAN TRIATHLON – ANGLESSEY. Swim in sea!!! 400m – cycle 18K- run5K
Wow, what a stunning venue and amazing weather. In preparation I had swum at Uswim in Salford Quays in my new wetsuit twice. I think my wet suit is possessed and is trying to kill me – even the life guard follows me around with a worried look on his face ( this actually does happen). I figured the wetsuit may be a bit too small, so the week before the triathlon saw me watching BakeOff in my wetsuit with towels shoved down the front in an attempt to stretch it – it didn’t work.
The swim was worse than Chatsworth and I couldn’t reach the floor. I ended up swimming on my back because I felt I couldn’t breathe (sadistic wetsuit) – obviously I couldn’t see where I was going – no worry about bumping into other competitors as they were already out but I did need a friendly canoe to paddle next to me so I didn’t end up back where I started.
Cycle was fun but the run was so hard and so hot – I trudged around in a, run 2 min, walk 5 min type of thing.
The good thing is, I finished both and fed off the smug warmth for days.