On Yer Bike!

Published: May 1, 2014

I have suffered from injuries all my tennis playing life. I have had to retire from two Cheshire County Singles finals & countless other matches over the last forty years & so can speak with some authority on how injuries can impact on a player.

Injuries occur not just as a result of poor preparation; they can happen to the fittest athletes in the world & often do but you are certainly more likely to tear muscles if you haven’t prepared your body for the rigours of your chosen sport, (darts & snooker excepted).

I haven’t played competitively since I ruptured my achilles tendon 3.5 years ago. Since then I’ve undergone surgery on both knees & have had mobiltiy problems with my hip as a consequence of the achilles injury. Getting hit by a car whilst cycling didnt help either!

I really enjoyed playing matches but have been disinclined to train over the last few years as I have been perpetually rehabilitating.

Three months ago I decided to end this inaction. My hip was giving me serious problems so I booked an appointment with a physio. I wasn’t surprised by the advice – “exercise & mobilise” but I just needed to hear it from an expert. I joined a gym & started my fitness regime.

Guess what? The more I workout, the better my body feels. My hip which had hurt for years is almost pain free. I went for a run & my knees didn’t hurt which hasn’t happened for over five years.

When you feel pain when performing an activity, you need to stop. Visit a physio, rest & when it’s healed do your utmost to ensure it doesn’t recur. This means improve your strength, joint mobility & flexibility. It’s hard work but the feeling of being able to run pain free is worth every ounce of energy expended.

I was in a negative cycle of pain – inactivity – stiffness – more pain etc. I got to the stage where I could hardly walk before being galvanised into action. Cycling formed a large part of my rehab from the knee surgery.  Its ideal as it’s no impact but nowadays I prefer Spinning – its safer!