3pm I’ve finally arrived at the hotels after 11 hours of travelling. The drive from Philadelphia airport to Valley forge is beautiful and it’s left me desperate to experience some of the local area, hopefully I’ll have a little bit of time to do just that.
9pm. Popped to the local supermarket to pick up Dinner before I retire for an early night. I’m knackered and excited by starting my two weeks rehab in the morning. Bill has allowed me to turn up 11am so I can get a good nights sleep.
I’m ready to nod off, it’s been a long day.
5am. Was really looking forward to having a late lie in but my UK body clock is still in motion. Had so many weird dreams last night and woke up with the driest mouth ever around 5 times. Still feel pretty refreshed though.
10am. Ready to go for my first session. Breakfast done, coffee drank and ready for the day. Really excited with the prospect this could be what may change my luck. No pressure on Bill (the rehab coach) then! Haha.
5pm. Finally got my feet up after today’s sessions. I’ve had two 2 hour session both one on one with Bill. He’s started me off with really basic drills, some of which I’ve done before. The way he monitors, teaches, corrects is the most noticeable difference to other rehab coaches I’ve seen before. It’s startling how good he is. He mentioned ‘pulling away from the knee’ so to speak in our chat before we started working i.e. I need to refrain from focusing on what my knee limits me doing and work on the rest of the body that can help and improve the knee and it’s limitations. I’m getting distracted at this moment as I’m listening to Savages on my ipad, how great is their album!
7.30pm. Just got in bed after eating out at a local steakhouse and picking up as much protein from the supermarket as possible. It’s going to be tough eating healthy while I’m over here, just fancy eating pancakes for breakfast and Wendy’s burgers for dinner. Legs feel like they will be sore tomorrow but that’s what I want. After 18 months of being restricted to my workload, the pain will be a welcome addition to my body once again. I’m going to read my book and listen to some music now. Got to get an early night because I’m starting my work at 8am tomorrow.
10.30am I’ve returned back to the apartment after my morning session. Bill wasn’t there till 8am, I’d already been stretching and warming up on the bike for 20 mins before that!! Busy I know! Some snow this morning when I woke up, not enough to settle though. More progressive morning doing stuff for the first time like working on the trampoline. Knee is telling me it’s new too, but we have to expect that, no pain no gain. I’m back in for session two at11am. Going to get some protein down me.
5pm A tougher day today which included simple gymnastic work, trampette, leaning tower drills, backwards cycling and the compex machine. For those who haven’t heard of the compex it’s a machine that stimulates and works your muscles without you being able to stop it. If you work with the machine it helps build bulk, strength and endurance of the muscle whilst restricting the load that goes through the joints. I know I’m going to be sore tomorrow, because I’m sore now!! Got Spotify on now, listening to some tunes after eating a steak salad. It’s hard resisting the all American food (burgers, donuts, meatloaf etc) but I need to keep a high protein diet to help my muscles and hopefully keep my weight down too.
7pm. Had to treat myself to a Hersheys cookies and cream chocolate bar.
5pm. Managed to venture into Philadelphia centre last night. Chilled out around 2nd street at a bar where loads of bands have played and hung out for a beer and food. Had the most amazing shake at a traditional ice cream parlour and finished having a look in a couple of record shops. Mmmmm the good life! Had a little bit of swelling today for the first time since my arrival, so I’ve been doing more movement based stuff rather than loading the knee. Been working on coordination work (he’s massively into an athletes timing) and spring techniques. I was actually allowed to do some running over 20 yards which felt ok. I suppose It’s not a surprise I’ve had this reaction of swelling as I’ve done 3 days consecutively which has included work I’ve not previously covered. Still a little disappointed though. Gonna head out for some shrimp, root beer and a donut. Haha.
1pm. Still had swelling around the joint so work on proprioception work and balance. It’s amazing how poor I am at all of the sessions he puts on at the beginning but after 15 minutes of waking up muscles and Bill teaching me certain techniques how quickly I adapt. I worked on Core exercise straight after which is tough but fun. I’m in the pool this afternoon to work on range and mobility, which also keeps the load of my knee.
10pm. Off to bed now. I’ve taken a female skier out for some food this evening. She’s here over for two weeks with me and isn’t old enough to drive so I’ve been her date for the evening, lucky girl.
6pm Sat in bed listening to Frank Zappa on my ipad. Each album I’ve listened to of him makes my head hurt. He’s got so many different styles mixed up in every album, my brain finds it hard to comprehend! Great though. Popped into Philly for a bit of sightseeing today. Visited Liberty Bell, South Street, 2nd street, went up the Rocky step before entering Philadelphia Museum of Art and finally waited for 40 mins for a Philly Cheese Steak from Jim’s. I have to say it was an amazing Sandwich!
Really disappointed that my knees still so swollen. I hoped that the swelling had almost been eradicated but obviously not. It’s good that Bill has seen what I’ve done to cause it and possible routes to eliminate it. I know he’s delighted with the work I’ve been able to do. Will be interesting to see his plan for next week.
6pm not much to report today. I’m still pretty swollen so I’ve had my feet up resting all day having regular sessions on my ice machine. It’s starting to feel like a limb of my own I’ve had to use it so much. I’ve done nothing more than reading listening to music and watching T.v. My legs are pleased with the breather though.
9pm. Looking forward to my wife and daughter coming over for the second week of rehab. They’ll be arriving tomorrow afternoon once I’ve finished my second session of the day which will be nice to have them as company.
12pm Had a tough session on my legs today as we will be visiting a local doctor for yet another aspiration this afternoon. It’s frustrating because compared to the early stages of last week my work is of a lower load because the swelling won’t allow me to do the same exercises. I’m beginning to find it hard to continue to be patient as after 19 months I’m having the same problem.
If I wasn’t suffering with my swelling Bill thinks I’m only a few months away from returning to full training which is great to hear but that’s only when we can subdue this ongoing swelling in the joint. Bill describes it as needing some sort of intervention.
7.30pm. The family have arrived save and sound and are now fast asleep because of jet lag. So good to see them as I’ve missed them over the last week. I had my drain today and took out around 30ml of fluid which is fairly normal for me. We are doing upper body, core and some compex work tomorrow to hopefully keep the knee quiet so I can continue to work hard for the remainder of my time here. Although we’ve still been able to keep busy I feel like I’ve not gained as much as I’d hoped because of the swelling. This has been my story throughout the whole recovery though.
6pm Only one session today and it was as planned. Compex work and an upper body session. The upper body and core session are very specific to what would help enable a footballer to become stronger. It’s not lying down doing rep after rep of bench press work or bicep curls, all exercises are done stood up or in a running stance. Bill demonstrates each exercise himself and shows you which football specific movement it relates to. It’s so easy to learn if you try and absorb the information but it’s hard to remember it all though.
9.05pm. In bed after taking the girls out for some food at a tradition Diner. I love the American food, it’s just so fattening.
8am. I’m really disappointed with how my knee feels today. It’s had some more fluid creep in even though we’ve been careful not to load it too much. I’ll see what Bill says when I turn up for the session.
10.50am. I’ve had a tough session this morning creating lactic acid in the legs through backward cycling, backward walking on incline on the running machine and glute band work. All of these are to help build bulk to my legs and just to feel like I’m doing a relatively tough cv workout. I was unsure if my knee would allow me to do too much today but it actually feels a little better after the mornings workout. Got a couple of hours break before I head back for more core work.
4pm. After working my legs earlier I’m really surprised that my knee is feeling and looking like there’s been a slight improvement. I know now I have to make sure to continue working my legs to a medium load and not only will it not get worse but can improve. Work my core and upper body on gymnastic rings and bars. I have to say I knew the gymnast were strong but only now can I fully appreciate just what strength and skill is require to just lift and control simple movements on their apparatus. To swing and include twists, summersaults and other moves is beyond comprehension. I’m off to watch the 76ers tonight with my girls which will be my first chance to watch an NBA match live. I’m not sure what to expect.
11pm. Returned home from the game which I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s pure entertainment from the start which I was expecting but the Wells Fargo Arena was a spectacular place to watch the game. My little girl loved the cheerleaders and their little dance shows on each time out, and I’ll be honest and say I was transfixed with that part too.
11.30 am. First session of the day done and once again my knee tolerated a medium load strength workout. More compex work as well as going back onto
the trampette and the sprung floor. Both are used to help create a workout for my foot, ankle and calf before moving to hamstring and thigh. I need control and strength in the lower part of my right leg to reduce the stress and pressure that goes through my knee. It’s also helps me practice my sprinting technique. I’ve loved this work while I’ve been here!
4pm. Second session done today and this time it was another one for my legs. Leaning towers, and glute band got me going before it was balance and stability work. I’ve noticed how much this has improved since I’ve been here. I’ve been doing stuff at home but it was predominantly static. Bill likes everything to be worked in movement based drills an it takes a while before you are good enough to really feel the benefits but I’m starting to now. My knee feels like it could cope with tougher situations which is great.
11.45am. Really disappointed that this is my last day of work while I’m in the US. Once again my knee is feeling ok after another day of work so I’ve pumped my legs full of lactate acid with, cycling, backwards cycling and backward walking on the treadmill at high incline. Each of the sets are worked continually to gain fatigue before working on quick feet using the compex. My legs felt heavy after but it’s great to have finished the week on a high. I’m bringing my daughter in to see Bill in the afternoon, he’s setting up some apparatus up for her to play either while do my final session of the trip!
4pm. Last session done and I’m gutted to have finished. I’ve had a great experience while I’m here and the work I’ve done with Bill and his staff is going to be so valuable continuing forward. I’ve had an upper body workout on the rings and bars as well as having to climb up and down some large ropes in the gym……..that was tough!! They seem to have everything that you can imagine in the gym and each item is used to teach you how to make the most of your body for your specific sport. I’m hoping to get out here again for a couple of weeks when I’m nearly at the end of my rehab, it will be so important.
Eleanor loved her gym session!
Off to Philly to do some more sightseeing with the family before we head back to England on Sunday.
9pm. Had a great day with the girls today. Visited the zoo, went on an open top bus for a tour and visited Federal Donuts, (a small restaurant/chain that sells amazing donuts and chicken, that’s it!). Quads are little sore from my last two days of rehab work but that’s always a good sign I’m working them hard. Going to get an early night as we are flying back tomorrow.
11.30am. Been out for breakfast (an amazing gingerbread pancake with bacon and egg) and I’ve just finishing packing my suitcase. Wished I had another two weeks to get some more sessions in as the last two days were similar to my first 3 for workload. I’m definitely going to attempt to get back here again before my return. I would make sure without a doubt I would be able to come without worrying about any more swelling episodes. I can only imagine what position
I would be in without having the swelling last week. I’m fairly positive I’d be returning to Derby just a few weeks away from running and starting to think about getting my fitness together. Until biology catches up and allows me to progress my work I’ll have to continue to be patient and working on the things that my body will allow me to at this moment in time. My knees in good shape and it will only improve too. I’ve had to wait 19 months to get to this stage I’ll be patient for a little longer yet! If you had all seen me and the pain I was suffering over the first few months you wouldn’t even believe I could be at this stage. I know my wife would agree with that!! My return will be up there with one of my proudest moments of my life.