"That's not very fair telling you that you were going, then telling you that you're not."
Those were the words of my Gran when I phoned her up to tell her that I would no longer be travelling to the Commonwealth Games. A week earlier I'd received an email confirming my place within the 18 strong squad. Fast forward a week and I'd unfortunately been non-selected. My time had run out. My concussion had won. I was heartbroken. I still am whilst writing this blog. It's a really bitter pill to swallow.
There's no need to go into all the details as to what, why and how I had been deselected but the words "risk, unknown, grey area, brain injury, still symptomatic and long haul travel" were used a lot by the medical and coaching staff. I know and accept that the decision was made looking at my best interests and the best interests of the team. I absolutely hold no grudges against anyone regarding the decision - it's part and parcel of elite level sport.
Emotions have been all over the place for the last couple of days. Tears on demand and a bit of a permanent frown on my face. One saving grace is that Ive had my team mate Nic White on the other end of the phone to speak too. It's a well know fact, you wait for one red London Bus to come along for ages, then two come along all at once. Unfortunately this applies to concussion too. I picked up mine back in February, the first in a long while in our squad. Last week, Nic White picked up the second within a month. It has cruelly, in the 12th hour, ruled her out the CWG too.
Throwback to better times with Nic White, Rio 2016
We have chatted, cried and moaned about our situation. It's helped us both massively. We both don't expect anyone to fully understand how we are feeling or what we are going through as it is pretty unique. Concussion in itself can present symptoms of sadness, depression, irritability, low energy. Add in the emotional rollercoaster and stress of selection then deselection to a major tournament into the mixer and it makes emotions and moods very interesting!
Many of the team and staff have been really supportive over the last week - dropping in with a message, offering support, buying us (slices of) cake or just being there for a hug. It's all helped so thank you to those.
I've been thinking about what to do over the next 3 weeks to help fill my time. I'm used to a very busy life so sitting at home isn't an option. I've got a 5 day break to the sun planned and also pencilled in a couple of day trips to occupy my mind. When I'm ready, and my brain is ready, I'll start to get back into training too. We have a World Cup to try and win this summer in London!
As a kind of therapy for myself, I think I'm going to blog about what I get up to and how I feel. I often overthink things in my own head so writing it down, getting it all out might actually help. To be really honest, I don't know how I'm going to feel but I know I'll definitely come back stronger and more determined. Nic and I might join together and compare notes and do a little joint blog, we will see.
But back to the conversation I had with my Gran. I always say she speaks the truth and brings me back down to Earth. She signed off with the following message which resonates with me. "Shona, you're a very tough cookie, keep your head up, do the work and don't shirk. You're a strong person."
She's right, I am and I will. Love you Gran x