Sunday, 25 November 2012


Well....... Where do I start. It's a return to the blog for me. It's been months since I last updated. I made a conscious decision around the end of April to stop the updates. This was due to me wanting to get my head down over the summer break. I wanted to focus on getting my fitness and knee up to speed. I was in shutdown mode from most things bar what I had to do for my knee.
I have began writing on THE FIGHTBACK again to give a further insight into my journey and also because I have been reading back earlier posts for some inspiration as of late. It's been a long and winding road so far and the road still continues to throw up some interesting obstacles and barriers. The road is beginning to show a light at the end of the tunnel but much work is yet needed.
I'm still amazed about how many people have seemed to relate to my posts. The blog has had close to 15000 views and my email box has had its fair share of mail. 
First of all I want to apologise. I have had quite a number of emails and messages from people asking why I've not updated and also that people are disappointed in me because they were using me as someone to help them along their own way and reading my story as a source of power and motivation for troubles in their own life. So to those people I wholeheartedly apologise. One point though. Who motivates the motivator?????

The season had finished and I enjoyed a short trip abroad for some much needed sun and relaxation. Around this time I had actually started jogging and it was such a massive boost to feel semi normal again and being able to run. It was actually a lot easier than what I envisaged. YES the first time I tried jogging was for 10 seconds at a time and YES it felt like I had someone else's leg attached but as a whole it all started to feel really good relatively quick.
Over the summer I had a programme I had to stick to. The basis of the programme was devised by the physios but it was left up to me to pick and choose how I felt with how much of it to do. I gave myself the 7 days off for my holiday and then it was back to the grindstone.
I couldn't rest. I had so much energy and desire to get myself going and build myself up. My knee dictated what I did each day. The program consisted of strengthening exercises for the knee combined with functional movements (jogging, side steps, lunges etc) . My Wife (Lisa) had bought me a new road bike for my birthday to get me out cycling for my rehab (cycling has become a big passion of mine since I have been injured, I'm addicted to it).

Me and my new love
I decided to do alternate days to begin with. I would do one day of heavy impact work like jogging and different strengthening exercises from my program and then the next day I would go out and ride a minimum of 20 miles on my bike on the morning and then do some lengths in the pool on the afternoon. This day was really good to keep the impact off my joints. I had the bug and this became my daily routine. I felt so good and loved the feeling of getting stronger all the time. Looking back now I was quite obsessive over the summer. It was all about working hard and building the knee up. I sacrificed seeing friends and family at home and even spending time with my Wife to train. It had to be that way. It's exactly what I needed a challenge between me, my mind and my body.
I returned back 2 weeks earlier than the rest of the squad to work with the physios and to gage what I could do pre season. It ended up being a productive summer as I was ready to join the boys in the first day of pre season for the running. I completed 90 percent of the training in that first week and I was on course to reach my goal of being fit for the first game. I was secretly really proud of myself as I had worked so hard to come back in decent shape and also to surprise a few people who never expected me to be looking that good.

How it all changed..........

However, the last 3 months of my rehab has been painstaking, horrible, frustrating any negative phrase you can come up with its been just that. I've gone from being a super energetic and positive athlete to a downbeat and bordering on depressive athlete within the last 3 months.
 I had a taste of training again and feeling like a player. One thing I've found is once I got a taste of full training again, which I did towards the middle of July its then been very hard to handle going back several stages to not being able to do basic exercises because of a severe pain in the knee. I was flying. I was asking my surgeon when I could have the go ahead to get back playing competitively. I was strong. I was handling pre season relatively easy and feeling good. A little stiff and obviously not the sharpest I've ever been but none the less I had my boots on and I was back pinging balls and just loving training and feeling like a footballer again.
To be honest I had a pain in the knee from early on after starting running again but I thought and I was told it was just part of the process. So i carried on. Anyhow the pain went off after I was warmed up so what was the big deal??
 To cut a long story short after a certain day in pre season my patellar tendon flared up and after a couple of weeks was still sore. I don't really want to go into too much detail on this but needless to say I have missed from the start of August to start of November. By missed I mean doing relatively little exercise. Light bike and swimming.
During this time I have experienced my only ever low point in my life. I honestly believe at one point I was bordering on being depressed. I would sit and stare at a wall for hours on end and not remember what I was thinking and just having a bleak outcome on everything. I cut my family out and barely spoke to them. I couldn't fathom how I could go from flying to not being able to run in the matter of a week or so. It was over in my eyes.
During them 3 months I tried to run and get going again. Every time it settled down I would try again and BANG it was sore again. I was in pain for the majority of the day. Just a niggling pain. A pain in the knee but more of a pain in the arse. Everything we tried just wasn't working. I want to be frank here. The actual problem in the grand scheme of things was/is minor. My original injury has healed and my knee is good to go. The problem is I picked up patellar tendinitis through my rehab. As i say taking into account my original injury its pretty minor but the frustration is HUGE. It's time consuming and after thinking I was going to be back after 8 months and now sitting on the 11 month mark it is so frustrating. Gutting to the core in fact because I still stand by what I have said to a few people

"I honestly believe this Injury is the best thing that could have happened to me"..............(I'll expand on that in my next post)

Recently a little trip out to the training ground has changed it all around for me. I was negative. I was feeling really lost for the first time in this injury. I wasn't myself. I decided to take a drive out to the training ground at Fort George. I don't know why but I just found myself driving there. I was in a daze. Anyone that knows that place will know its a bit cold and windy and also on a wet day can feel like the end of the earth. So here I was on a Sunday morning not a soul in sight and I was stood in a t-shirt with the rain lashing down on me. I went there to feel how it felt to be on the training pitch again. I just stood there for a while not feeling the cold (it was baltic and 4degrees) and just closing my eyes and imagining playing again. Letting go of all the negativity that had surrounded me. It was a eureka moment for me. I was imagining kicking the ball and running and tackling again. I was almost up for a header at one point.!!!!! I got back in the car and drove back home to see my Wife and my newly born son Brody who's been a major help since being born. He really is the joy of my life.

Brody Steven Hogg
On the way home I almost felt ecstatic. I had thought of new ideas to help my knee move forward and also found the old Hogg resolve again. This wasn't going to keep me down. I will not be beaten. No matter what!! I will be back. Sooner rather than later.
So here I am approaching the end of November. Still unable to train but in such a good place. I'm physically not quite there yet but mentally I'm there. I'm on point again. I know what needs to be done. I have changed things around with some new eyes and some new ideas on me. Its made a big difference. The thing is, once i get this pain away and carry on strengthening I am only a matter of weeks away as it then just becomes a fitness thing. So getting back to training is coming soon. I can feel it. The new year is going to be a special one on all fronts. Home and on the pitch. I'm going to enjoy watching my boy grow and on the playing front..well...lets just say that I'm trying everything I can to get back ASAP. I'm so close I can smell it but I still have a little bit to go. I need to do it right to make sure I come back strong.

One last thing. People doubting me is a massive motivation so keep it coming.

Thankyou... ;-)