Last week I moved out from my parent's house into my new home in Nottingham with my girlfriend to be closer to training, and I must admit it is ODD!!! Going from a house with 6-8 people most nights to an empty shell of a house with just my girlfriend definitely seemed a lonely place for the first couple of nights, and believe it or not I actually missed the banging on my brother's bedroom door to turn his TV down so I could sleep. But it was finally time to play grownups and start paying bills! I mean after all I'm not getting any younger. I just turned 21 two days ago, and I'm happy to report we are starting to settle in well and once the furniture is finally delivered we will be well on our way.
Now as I said before my main reason for moving was to be closer to training, and it has definitely done that. I used to drive 1h 10mins everyday to train and then after a hard training session where you're so tired you can't even scratch your head because your arms ache so much, that 1 hour + drive home in traffic seemed to take a lifetime. Now it has only been a week, but I can honestly tell you the cut down in travelling to only a 30 minute round trip has made all the difference, my body feels like it has more to give and that I can train harder and fit in more than I previously could.
Which turns out to be a very good thing. As you are all aware I've been recovering from a shoulder operation, and I'm happy to report that I'm now injury free and healthy once again. This means it is time to really step all my training up as I've got a lot of missed time to make up for. Starting with my fitness, they say that if you were to stop training for just 2 weeks can lose up to 20-30% of your fitness levels. I haven't been in full training for 5months now so you do the math, and I'm sure you'll come to the same answer as me, its time to bust a gut and train like I've never trained before.
So in order to try and "get fit" I've added an extra two sessions a day into my training diary - basically an extra conditioning session morning and night. So far it is going well, definitely hard work but I know the outcome is worth it, the plan is to continue like this for the next month as we have a Great Britain camp at the start of the month and there I can tell you my fitness levels will be tested!
In my last blog I promised to answer some of your questions - well here they are:
Do you ever fall out of your chair when playing?
Erm.... only every single time we train. To be honest if you are a big forward guy (me lol) you tend to try and force through small gaps or tilt onto the one wheel to grab rebounds and what not and well eventually that ends up with you face down on the floor. It actually happens a lot, with such a fast paced game it is all part of the parcel. But if it puts your mind at rest, I've never known anyone to injury themselves from falling out apart from bruised knees and at worse a bump on the back of the head (doesn't happen much tbh). In fact we regularly do it as a drill in our training session where you tip yourself in and out your chair to get quicker at it.
Do you like Marmite?
Love it!! Went through a stage of just having cheese and marmite toasties, which wasn't a good thing to try and keep the weight off. Whoops!!
Have you tried any other sports? Which was your favourite and why?
When I was younger I played football, I was a goalie because it meant I didn't have to move far and because I took up most of the goal. Was rather funny to watch though as my dive was more a falling with style lol. And wheelchair basketball is my favourite, I love how team orientated it is and how fast paced, and the skill level required to play.
How do you motivate yourself during a difficult patch, such as when you are injured?
Well, friends for one. I guess it helped that my friends were all from wheelchair basketball so I was just itching to get back into it. But it definitely is hard, I'm one of them logical thinkers so I kind of looked at it as, well in the grand scheme of things compared to what other people are going through, an injury ain't so bad. But yeah as cliche as it sounds friends and family and try and keep busy and with a smile on your face.
I must admit I enjoyed answering your questions even if I did rabbit on a bit. So please send some more in for next month's blog. Just send an email to email@example.com with your question and get them sorted!