Wednesday, 15 January 2014

What do I have in common with Theo Walcott?

Not a great deal, I imagine. But there is one thing. As I watched the news last week, when the BBC newsreader reported that Walcott had suffered “the injury that all footballers dread” I knew, I just knew. I turned to my husband and said “ACL”.  Bingo, I was right! He had suffered the same injury I suffered - a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament - and has just had the same knee op that I had twelve weeks ago.

It must be a pretty common injury even among mere mortals who do not command seven figure salaries for kicking a round thing around a field.  There are at least four parents’ of children in my son’s class who have had the same injury … and as far as I know none of us are footballers.

But what has this got to do with charity?  Hang in there, I am getting to the point.  According to the news Walcott is likely to be out of the game for six months.  I can certainly vouch for the fact that it is a long recovery process.  Three months into my recovery, I have only just been allowed to do my first jog since the op. It was only round the corner but it was indeed a jog, not limp or a hobble or even a fast walk but a proper jog!  This was a small step but a significant one for me.

This brings me to goals (excuse the pun). Walcott has major incentives to get his knee back into shape as quickly as possible after surgery – his career, playing for his country, not to mention that seven figure salary!

But what about me? In recent years I have become less and less active as the effects of my injury increased and the stability of my knee deteriorated.  Of course, I want to be able to do sport, get fitter and maybe even lose a bit of weight but my main incentive and motivation is this: as my children grow up I don't want to be afraid to play tennis with them, kick a ball around in the park or even just kneel on the floor to play for fear that my right knee might “clunk out of place” and have to be then clunked back into place.  This is why I got it fixed.

I have been very conscientious with my physiotherapy but I am beginning to feel that I need a concrete goal to aim for.  So, I am thinking that it would be good to do some kind of run, cycle, swim (not all three, of course, as that would be madness!) and that as an added motivation I could do this for charity.

But what? And when? I have no idea what would be an achievable goal or an appropriate timescale to aim for. Clearly, I will not be doing an Ironman Triathlon or the Marathon des Sables any time soon but there must be something more realistic I could aim for.  Bearing in mind that I am currently not allowed to jog for more than about 10 minutes at a time, as well as the shamefully low fitness level I am starting from, I expect that I will need a long time to prepare!

So, I am now on the lookout for opportunities towards the end of this year (or even next year) and any suggestions would be appreciated.  Answers on a postcard please ... or via more 21st Century means of communication if you prefer!


  1. How about a Race for Life 5K? Even I managed one of those and with my hypermobility my joints are likely to "pop" out of place as soon as I begin anything high impact like running (I must admit I only ran half the race, interspersed by walking when my joints felt like they might "pop" but that was the beauty of that particular race as so many people were walking it I didn't feel bad about slowing down!)

  2. Great idea, Amanda. I wouldn't want anything too serious and intimidating so that sounds perfect. I found the NHS couch to 5k programme on the internet so that would help. I will have to find out where and when they are. Sx