Sunday, 25 December 2011

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas to you and your family!

It's been a busy fortnight and i will update further soon. Thanks to all of you who have been following my journey for the past year and I hope to make 2012 worth reading.

A particular thanks to all those at Atos (including the ladies at Threshold), BMW, UK Sport, the County Durham Community Foundation and John Elliott and Co at Ebac. Without their support I wouldn't be able to train full-time with world class facilities and equipment and enabling me to deliver as consistently as I can in both training and racing. I also thank O2 for the opportunity to gain work experience within their legal team and I thank all the staff at GB Rowing for their fantastic work. Particular thanks to the coaches, physio's, physiologists, doctors and athletes who help make this such an exciting (albeit very challenging) period in my life.

Above all, family and friends have supported me for longer than anyone else. I hope we can have a great 2012 - not just rowing but in real life too.

My one Christmas Blog wish is that people feel free to comment / ask questions / challenge etc on any and all posts I make. If you're feeling shy you can even do it anonymously!

I'm on Twitter @nrod2012.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Blue Peter, BMW and stuff

Thanks to Berry Chiswick BMW I'm now cruising the streets of Richmond in a new car.  It's a diesel and so it means I can get used to a decent MPG again.  Great vehicles, appreciated greatly!

This week my little sister Emily became a proud recipient of a Blue Peter badge, at 10 (or any age for that matter) life really doesn't get any better than that!  She was awarded the badge for her County Durham Tourist Guide.  We are a family of five children, so it's great that Emily has been able to out-perform all of us and be the first ever Reilly-O'Donnel to be a Blue Peter badge holder.  Well done Em!

[for foreign readers - Blue Peter is a major BBC childrens factual programme.  It's been going for decades and very much part of British culture.  Competition winners are awarded the Blue Peter badge.]

As mentioned in my last post, I went to see Michael McIntyre with Louise and her sister last Monday night.  It was held at Norden Farm in Maidenhead, pretty small venue (seats 225) and so was really good to have a pub comedy night feel with such a recognised comedian.  The warm-up act was Mark (insert surname here) and was actually just as good as Michael.  The show was used as a warm-up gig for his Christmas Special - hopefully he didn't tell all his best jokes!

Beyond all this excitment, training has been tough (standard) and I've been making the transition from the bike/cross-trainer onto the ergo.  Things have gone alright - the rate of recovery is never linear - I'm looking forward to getting back onto the normal programme.

Plus I've started Christmas shopping.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Project Back in Action

Last night my housemates Charlie, Chris and Susie (week days known as James) - who all weirdly have the initials CJ - pointed out to me that the last video posting was "a bit depressive" and "here I am on a cliff ready to jump" sort of vibe.  I thought I best not leave that as my latest posting.

Since the incident in the gym a lot has happened.  I've progressed with my general mechanics and discomfort pretty well and I was chomping at the bit to do more and more each day.  While all these aspects were improving I also started to notice some funky nerve things going on - nothing particularly strong, but enough for the medics to hold back the progression onto the bike and ergo.  It meant I was restricted to the pool and the cross-trainer.  At this same time the descision was made that I should go for a scan and get things checked out - particularly with the nerve stuff going on.  I saw a Spainish doctor to get another assessment - all she did was mock my flexibility and confirm what we had already decided.  Late Wednesday night the descision was taken  that I was to go home early Friday, with the hope that I could get a scan before the weekend and then see the consultant on Monday.  Dr Ann used her persuasive patter to infact arrange both the scan and the consultant for Friday.  Thursday was therefore my last day at altitude, I wanted to make up (as best I could) for the two days I would be missing by leaving early.  It meant, along with an hours cross-trainer, I spent 3 hours in the pool "swimming" [Hodge decided his afternoon off would be best spent taunting me and filming].  Friday was an early start to get down the mountain to the main town.  From there I got a coach to Malaga (3 hours) and then a taxi to the airport.  Hand-luggaging it the whole way so I could make my appointments in Central London. I landed at Gatwick 2pm, scanned in Russell Square at 4:30pm and saw the consultant on Harley St. at 6pm - busy day.  The scan showed I had a slight tear and bulge in one of my lower discs and so was given an epidural to help reduce the swelling and speed up the healing process.

Today I caught up with Dr Ann and I'm hoping to be building up the training over the week.  I won't know where I'm totally at with things until later in the week.

Next week is Louise's birthday and her sister Rachel has got her tickets to see Michael McIntyre tonight.  Thankfully she chose me as her "plus one" and I'll be having more of a light-hearted evening.