What was your inspiration, what drove you on in the tough days?
I didn’t have too many dark times, I tried to be as positive as I could. It’s not in my nature to be negative. Maybe for one day I might have said, ‘why me?’, but, you know, those questions lead to nothing. In life we all have experiences, good and bad. And sometimes I think you learn more from the bad ones. Ideally, I’d wish I wouldn’t have had to go through it. But I have had to get through. I’ve learnt a lot, met some wonderful people, and hopefully it will improve me in the future. It’s my aim to use this experience to my benefit.
Has the experience changed you in any way?
Yeah, I think it has. I think mentally, people who have struggled through something and strived to achieve something, have an edge over people who have had everything done for them or who’ve experienced everything going their way. You learn a lot from the difficult situations in life, and I’ve learnt a lot. There were days when I’d struggle to do an exercise, or when my knee would be really sore, and I’d just think about the times when I was trying to bend my knee just five degrees – they were big victories along the way, and that inspired me and spurred me on. You could see the progression that I was making and I tried to use that as motivation.
How did you fill your time between training? Did you pick up any new hobbies?
Just before I left England I bought about ten DVDs expecting that I’d have all this free time… I didn’t watch one of them! I was just so focused on my rehab, all I did was eat, sleep and train. I read a few books, but I was just totally consumed with what I had to do. You would have thought you’d have all this spare time – I didn’t have any! I was training at every opportunity. That was all I had time for.