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Richmond AFLW captain Katie Brennan has opened up on the impression a sequence of ankle accidents had on her bodily and psychological wellbeing, within the fledgling competitors’s first years.
Chatting with nib Well being, the 29-year outdated mentioned how her early damage struggles have given her a larger understanding of what her physique must thrive in an elite sporting surroundings, and the significance of balancing footy and time away from the sector.
Brennan was named because the Western Bulldogs’ inaugural AFLW captain firstly of 2017, however suffered a critical ankle damage only a week earlier than the membership’s first ever sport.
Whereas she would battle by the opener and the early rounds with the damage, she would re-aggravate the knock and miss three weeks, earlier than her season ended prematurely after tearing a quad whereas trying to show her health to return.
She would as soon as once more cope with ankle accidents by the second season, earlier than heartbreakingly being suspended for the Bulldogs’ grand remaining berth – and premiership win – on account of a deal with on Melbourne’s Harriet Cordner within the remaining match of the home-and-away season.
Wanting again on the sequence of unlucky occasions, Brennan paid tribute to her family and friends for getting her by a troublesome interval.
“It was a fairly robust time; I didn’t know that I’d be lacking the remainder of the season,” she stated of the damage.
“Within the second yr of AFL Ladies’s, I did my identical ankle once more, the identical spot. You could have ups and downs, you will have difficult moments, you will have occasions the place you suppose it’s by no means going to be the identical, however you simply get by.
“You depend on the folks round you, whether or not that’s your assist community or these well being professionals to only steer you in the suitable course and assist with completely different components of your restoration.
“I used to be actually lucky to have so many wonderful folks round me to actually assist me by that point.
“I additionally realized loads from it, and really feel actually grateful for the expertise and the expansion, and simply the way it has modified me as an individual and helped my sport as nicely.”
Brennan additionally mentioned the brand new outlook her damage battles gave her in direction of preparation, saying ‘listening to my physique’ is now her primary precedence.
If meaning taking time away from the normally rigorous preparation required to play AFLW soccer, then so be it.
“Alongside my journey, I’ve had just a few accidents, and I feel the factor that I’ve needed to prioritise is simply listening to my physique and taking care of my physique,” she stated.
“Bodily, whether or not it’s within the fitness center or doing all your damage prevention, but in addition having that down time away from footy and ensuring that you just’re switching your thoughts off.
“Well being to me means making constructive and wholesome selections, it means being related to your folks and your loved ones and your neighborhood, and it means going after issues that you really want in life and simply dwelling a wholesome and constructive life.”
For Brennan, she describes her perfect work-life steadiness as spending 80 per cent of her time devoted to her craft – whether or not that’s coaching, preparation or less complicated issues like maintaining a healthy diet meals – and the opposite 20 per cent dedicated to her off-field pursuits and hobbies.
Having established herself as an AFLW star with the Tigers, which has included being named within the AFLW All-Australian staff in every of the previous two seasons, it’s truthful to say her approach has paid dividends.
“If you may make majority good selections, the 80 per cent, and nonetheless have enjoyable within the 20 per cent, I feel that that actually helps to set you as much as have a wholesome and energetic life,” Brennan stated.
“We’ve got executed that from a younger age, and I’ve simply tried to proceed that on into maturity.
“As an athlete, you try to tick all of the bins, however having these folks round you to assist you and to assist with the steadiness of doing every thing you possibly can to get your physique proper, but in addition having some down day without work the sector and being concerned in different endeavours that aren’t your athlete life – these folks have been tremendous vital alongside the journey.”
You may take a look at Katie Brennan’s full story right here.