Thursday 15 January 2015

Commonwealth Games – Glasgow 2014

I know I haven’t posted in a long time and the few post I am going to do now are a bit dated but there are a few things that would be a shame not to document, mainly the roller-coaster that was the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
I will explain later why it has been so long since my last post but for now I will give you a glimpse of the most amazing experience of my life and probably the most stressful week of my life.

As I had mentioned in my previous post I went over on my ankle in Mallorca 3 weeks out from the games, it was a pretty big set back but not a disaster. Not enough drama for my liking so I had to make things even harder for myself.
Six day before the individual race I had a physio appointment to make sure everything was ready for the following week, as I do not get any physio support whilst living in Scotland I am required to get a short train journey to Life fit Physiotherapy in Falkirk. What was planned to be a final check up and make sure I was 100% turned into a nightmare… In the train station on the way there my ankle gave way going down the stairs –twice in 3weeks, this time much worse- with it being the second time in short succession my ankle ballooned immediately; I knew it was bad. The train journey was the scariest 18mins I have experienced. A combination of the idea of now not racing the following week after so much hard work, the sever pain in my ankle and just pure shock, I didn’t know if I was going to be sick or faint, it was horrible – thankfully I did neither.

I got to the Physio and Stewart seen me immediately, with so much swelling it was hard to feel anything but it was excruciating to touch, so as I was his last patient of the day he went above and beyond and took me to A&E to get an X-ray. In and out of A&E in 30mins on a Friday evening, its amazing what happens when you hobble in and tell them your planning on competing in the commonwealth Games in 6 day – special treatment. Thankfully it wasn’t broken but I left on crutches, which is not something you want to be hobbling around on that close to a major games.

After my quick trip to A&E
On the Sunday (t minus 4days to individual race) I traveled down from Stirling to Glasgow - 35min drive, I will never have a shorter trip to major games again.
All packed up for my short trip to Glasgow
I got down and on that night made the most of Team Northern Ireland already being set up in the village I was able to see Chris the team physio straight away.
The news was not promising, nobody liked the look of my ankle and with such a short time to my event I was forced to be non-weight bearing for 48hours, made to walk around the athlete village on crutches, constantly having people stare or even stop to ask what has happened, its not a common thing to see someone on crutches in an athletes village before the opening ceremony has even happened.

Not how I wanted to get around the Athletes village
The next morning I was sat down and told that I might not be allowed to race the individual race, I was explained that the priority was the team relay as we had a half decent chance and if the ankle was still questionable the individual was a no-no, as you can imagine, this was not an option for me.
I went through rigorous testing to check out my ankle and make sure it was strong enough to race, I spent the next six days trying to prove to the physio that the ankle would be ok, I spent those six days, biting my tongue and lying through my teeth that it was no longer sore, but I was confident it would hold up if I was allowed to race, with the treatment I was getting on top of the rehab I managed to be ready – I couldn’t have done it without the help of SINI or Team NI but at the same time mentally there was no option that I was not going to be on the start line of my 1st Commonwealth Games.

A lot of ice
My view for most of my week in Glasgow

It was an extremely hard week mentally and physically but I was on that start line on the 24th July 2014.

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