I'm sat at home on Easter Sunday surrounded by chocolate egg wrappers, trying to digest (pardon the pun) what has happened since I found out, by phone call, that I was no longer going to go to the Commonwealth Games.
I got a lot of feedback regarding my last post (found here) about how real and refreshing it was to read. The blog wasn't sugar coated, it wasn't edited, it was raw, emotional thoughts. It generated quite a few hits shown by the graph. I think it's because concussion is such a hot topic at the moment, especially in sport.
I had a think and I don't want this blog to feel like a diary entry or a platform for a general moan. I want this post to be real, to share what actually happens, to share some stuff that goes on behind the scenes, to share the stuff that goes on inside and outside my head.
The honest, raw approach isn't to everyone’s taste and if it’s not to yours, then it's okay not to read on.
After finding out I hadn’t been selected, it is fair to say that I felt like I'd been kicked in the teeth and hit me hard. It was tough having to return the Commonwealth Games kit that had been given out a few days earlier. I'd actually gone to the trouble of putting my initials in all the labels of my kit which in hindsight wasn't necessary! Returning it was awkward for me and awkward for the player receiving it. I don't actually know who got the kit and it doesn't really matter. What matters is that the person wearing it feels the same sense of pride that I would have done, gives it their all and does everyone proud - I know they 100% will.
I mentioned in my previous blog that concussion had ruled my team mate, Nic White, out of the Commonwealth Games in the 12th hour too. She blogged about her disappointment too (click here). We are, now, unfortunately, in a very similar situation. The same injury. The same consequences of the injury. The same symptoms. All happening at the same time. I get it, it's a very same same situation. Receiving the same message as Nic is probably not what I want at the moment. Don't get me wrong, I really, really appreciate people messaging, checking in and seeing how I am, how we both are - I really must emphasise that. It makes me feel less isolated and not forgotten about. However, when you're a bit tired and in a grump and you realise you've received the same word for word message, it's hard to not let it get to you. Especially if it's the 5th that week...just honest thoughts.
On the themes of receiving messages, I'll leave it to your imagination to decide what my reaction to this sort of stuff is. To save the blushes of said individuals, I've blanked their details out....
You get stuff like the above which is understandable, especially when they’re not as ‘in the know’.
You also get some really nice, meaningful messages that come as a welcome surprise. Two I really liked below. Thanks guys!
Onto the big debate that is Social Media. Some love it, some hate it, some are obsessed by it, some couldn't care less. If I wasn't a hockey player, I wouldn't use it as much as I do.
The mindless scrolling...I bet you do it, I do it. I reckon I open Twitter and Facebook 10+ times a day, mindlessly scrolling, often learning nothing and wasting 5-10 minutes of my day each time I open the App.
To protect my mental health, during my slightly up and down state at the moment, I made the conscious decision to delete these apps. I've had all notifications muted for the last couple of years and thought about pressing the delete button, before but never actually did it. Probably a bit of FOMO to be honest. It was just tough coming across things Commonwealth Games. A few of the other girls who didn't quite make shared similar feelings and have decided to limit social media for a bit too. About every other day I'll go on Twitter or Facebook on my laptop but there's no mindless scrolling 10+ times a day. Just a quick post, like or retweet here and there and then I'm off.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can't get away from it. Travelling on the tube in London last week I picked up the Evening Standard to have a read. I didn't want to myself mindlessly scroll through social media and be reminded of the CWG. I open up the paper to find a full page spread titled "All you need to know about the Commonwealth Games 2018."
Anyway, I've realised over the last couple of weeks life isn't that bad. Yes I wanted to go to Australia really badly but my health is more important than any tournament or medal. I'm in a really privileged position and do a job that many would kill to do. I'm well looked after, cared about, getting happier, getting healthier, being treated by some world class staff and have an exciting future ahead of me. Annoyingly my concussion symptoms has been up and down but this has confirmed to me that the decision made by the medical and coaching team to pull me out of the CWG was 100% the right one.
As I am sure many of you did, I watched the opening ceremony and what a show it was! I have no doubt that it will be a cracking competition, but I must admit by choice I have deliberately not spoken to or asked too much about what’s going on in camp. I’m sure the girls are in good spirits and will deliver at the tournament. If you’re interested in following the team, the match times can be found below:
Womens schedule (UK time)
5th April – England v South Africa – 5.30am 6th April – England v Wales – 10.30am 7th April – England v India – 12.30pm 9th April – England v Malaysia – 10.30am 12th April – Semi-finals and classifications 14th April – Final and bronze medal matches.
One final word from me...Come on England!