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Getting results, on and off the pitch.

24/11/17
Posted by: Charlie Thurston

I’m always intrigued by the ‘real humans’ behind the LinkedIn profiles, and thought it was a good time to share something about myself.

Long story short, a big passion of mine is football. I’ve played football since I was 7. It’s been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. It has given me the opportunity to travel the world, to gain a University degree in Florida and so much more. But on the 30th October 2016, I thought I’d never get the opportunity to play again. I tore my Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and partially tore my Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL). To those who don’t know what this means, my knee was destroyed, and I required surgery.

I waited an agonising 6 months on the NHS for my op, reason being women's football, even at a high level still isn't fully supported financially. I won't go on a rampage about that, I'll save it for another day. I was advised recovery time from surgery would be around 12 months. I was very limited to what I could do physically and was told to rest and not ‘over- do it’- what does that even mean?! I soon realised that football played an even bigger part in my life, it was an outlet; it had the potential to change my day entirely.

My operation day (finally!) rolled around, April 5th, 2017. I was so excited. I wasn’t nervous, I was ready. I couldn’t wait to get in and out of there with my new knee. Ironically, this day changed my career path too. My now, Managing Director Tom Morris messaged me on LinkedIn asking for a chat, the ‘morphined up me’ decided it was a really good idea and we scheduled a call the next day. I would also strongly advise going to interviews 4 days post operation, it gets you the sympathy vote. I got the job!

Little did I know the next 7 months would be filled with so many ups and even more downs. I’d be lying if I said it was a walk in the park. I always thought I was mentally strong, but having a 12-month recovery time lingering over your head was demotivating at times. There were a lot of tears.

I set myself a goal of making a comeback by Christmas, and the reason for this post was because I had a ‘proud of myself’ moment on Sunday, 19th November 2017. 7 months, 2 weeks and 2 days after my operation. I pulled on my football shirt for the first time in over a year, and played for 33 minutes. It’s a moment I wanted to scream from the roof tops, so instead I thought I’d share it on LinkedIn!

Deep down, I always knew I’d play again. I just didn’t know to what level or how long it would take to get there. I didn’t pay attention to the time frames set by others and that goes for football and with my career, nobody knows what I’m capable of apart from me. I’ve learnt a lot about myself over the past year, both on the pitch and off.

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