Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

I actually can’t believe it’s been almost 3 weeks since my last blog, how time flies when you’re having fun!

Its been a very busy few weeks.

First stop having got back from Austria was a tournament against the Dutch at the University of Wolverhampton, Walsall. It took place over 3 days and involved 5 matches against the Bronze medal winners from London 2012. Although I’m not back playing matches I went along to train with the girls and to act as a mentor to some of the young rookies. The training didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped as my shoulder flared up after a high five, quite a good indication that my shoulder it ready for playing yet!

We knew it was going to be a tough tournament and the Dutch didn’t disappoint. Both teams were missing key players from London however that didn’t deminish the quality of  the matches, especially the last match which was a high scoring, high quality match. It was fantastic to see the rookies playing well and some other players taking on new roles. You can find the round up of the tournament on my Head-to-Head news page.

There is nothing like being away at a tournament, it is definitely my favorite bit of being an athlete. There is a such a huge contrast between the stressful, serious nature of matches and the downtime which will either be sleeping or relaxing with team-mates, whatever you as a player need to be able to be at your best for the matches. For me it was always sleeping but anyone who knows me know that I do like to sleep!

After my few days in Walsall, it was home for one relaxing day before a week in the Intensive Rehab Unit (IRU) at Bisham Abbey. As the name suggests, it is a facility that offers injury rehab and believe me when I say the intensive bit is very intense. 5 days of 9-5 rehabilitation completely tailored to your needs as an athlete. This was my second visit to the IRU so I knew what to expect but this time I was further along in my rehab journey so they pushed me even harder than before…I loved it! For the first time since before the Paralympics I was allowed to lift weights and pretty heavy ones at that. I was also allowed to push properly in my basketball chair, before now I’ve been pushing very tentatively to say the least. I even did a 3 minute max test, so 3 minuted pushing as fast as I could, which was used to program my interval training for the next 4 weeks. A fantastic team and I’m so grateful for all their help!

I spent the following weekend sleeping a lot!

And then we come to the week just gone, I was ready to hit my new training sessions hard but instead I got an ear infection and I’ve only managed to train one day since finishing in the IRU. It was a pretty crazy day of training involving a lot of press ups, supine pulls ups and intervals after which I had a lovely bath to soothe my aching muscles but my ears had another idea. I have an ongoing history with my ears but it has been a very long time since they’ve been this bad. I’m happy to say I’m over the worst of it now thanks to the antibiotics I’ve been given but its been a very difficult week.

So what is to come in the next few weeks…well we’re off to Sheffield on Thursday for a training camp. I’m hoping to be able to do more at this camp than previously but still won’t be able to join in with the game play. Very frustrating but I have to keep reminding myself that if I want to make it to Rio then I need to look after myself now. Immediately after the camp GB Coyotes have a match at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield against Leicester Cobras, come along and watch if you can, 3pm tip off.

It’s getting late so I’m going to love you and leave you. Enjoy the rest of your bank holiday weekend <3

Looking Back – 01/01/2012

So as I mentioned in my first blog, I would post entries from the journal I wrote in 2012. Having had a read through the first few weeks I thought it was quite fitting that we went back to the beginning of 2012, so here it is word for word!

241 days to go

I actually can’t believe it’s 2012 already, 2011 just flew by. But that said, I’m excited about 2012 and all it has to offer.

Having had wrist surgery in September, my fitness levels are low at the moment. My goal for the next 2/3 months is to get my fitness back and lose the weight I’ve gained whilst recovering from my op and over the Christmas period. I’m finding will power quite difficult at the moment as well, so I need to get that under control to help me get back in shape.

I was quite ill at the end of December so I’ve not trained as much as I’d like in the last few weeks but I’m hoping to change that now we’re back to normality.

I don’t have any new year resolutions as such, just to make the most of 2012.

Quote of the day: “Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to produce uncommon results” – Andrew Carnegie’

Austrian Adventure, Weddings and Other Stuff

Its been almost 2 weeks since I launched my website and I’m so pleased with the reaction.  I’ve had lots of good feedback and I’m doing my best to keep you all up to date with news, tournaments, etc. If you have any comments about the website, please do contact me 🙂

I’ve been very busy in the last 10 days as I had a very important wedding to get ready for. My auntie married the man she has been with for 25 years on the 5th April, therefore I had to get my hair and nails done along with many other treatments to beautify myself.

Amongst all the preparations I received a last minute call from British Wheelchair Basketball which saw me attend the Wheelpower Time To Shine event at Stoke Mandeville. A fantastic event where kids with disabilities get to try out many different sports. This years event saw coverage from BBC 5 Live and ITV, which shows how last years Paralympics has increased the public’s appetite for Paralympic sport.

I also found a bit of time to pop to London to see an acoustic gig by one of my favourite bands at the moment, Deaf Havana. My sister happens to be their agent which means that we were able to get front row (thank you Beckie). It was an incredible gig in a beautiful venue.

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Deaf Havana at Union Chapel

The wedding was fantastic and it was great to see my family at such a great event. The highlight of the evening after the wedding was the casino where we gambled for hours with pretend money!

But that was just the beginning of the fun because two days after the wedding we were off to Austria to celebrate my new uncles 50th birthday. 40 of us were joining them on their honeymoon in Austria for a week.

Last time I tried skiing I was rubbish to say the least and with my ongoing shoulder problems I decided that skiing probably wasn’t the best idea, so my mum took it upon herself to find other fun things I could do on the slopes and she really did a good job.

The first two days I spent on a Skibike named ‘Mad Max’ with the very talented Jacek Stalmach. Jacek is the designer of the tandem Skibike and also very experienced competitor in the Skibob field. This gave me the opportunity to explore the mountain, sometimes at breakneck speeds which is an opportunity I would not have had otherwise.

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On Mad Max with Jacek

Day 3 on the slopes was in a Bi-Ski with Dominik Jonas of Active Therapy. This is a sit ski with two skis rather than one on the bottom. In my day in the sit ski I manage to conquer about 75% of a long blue run on my own. Now I’m not saying I’m a pro by any means but it has definitely changed my opinion of skiing and I’ve found muscles I didn’t even know I had.

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Me and Dominik

The last few days have mostly involved relaxing and sightseeing and today is our last day before travelling home on Sunday. Sad to be going home but what an awesome week!

My week away does mean that I’ve missed GB camp with the new coaches but I’m looking forward to next weeks head-to-head against Holland. Hope to see you there <3

Exciting New Website

This is my first blog on my new website and it feels only fitting that it is about the website itself.

It’s currently just gone midnight and I’m sat at my computer trying to get my new website looking fantastic before I launch it in just under a week.

Having my own website is quite a landmark for me because in my mind only celebrities and businesses have their own page but here I am putting the finishing touches to it! Although I don’t feel like I’m a celebrity and I’m definitely not business, I just want to share my passion for Wheelchair Basketball with as many people as possible and I figured there was no better way.

My main motivation for setting this up was to promote the visits I do in school and businesses which is another way I’ve found of getting more fans of my sport. I love watching peoples faces as they try out Wheelchair Basketball and I enjoy sharing my story of how I got into the game and my journey so far.

So my plan for the website is to put up regular blogs (although if my schedule is hectic, it might not be as regular as I hope), this includes excerpts from my journal I was writing up to the London 2012 Paralympic Games. I will also be putting up dates of league matches I’m involved in and GB Tournaments wherever they are in the world. Basically as much information as possible about Wheelchair Basketball and where you can get your fix because I know there are a lot of you out there who have an empty space in your lives since the Paralympics finished.

Thank you for reading and keep checking back for regular updates <3