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Dan Pringle - Crystal Palace

Life In Perspective

06/04/10 |

It has been a while since I have written a blog and being honest it’s because I have been bitterly disappointed about a few things concerning me and my career. A small break from the blogs has done me good and I am looking forward to writing more for the remainder of the season.

Since my last blog I unfortunately picked up an injury which has put me on the sidelines for just over two weeks. I pulled my hamstring during extra-time in our Surrey Senior Cup defeat to Croydon Athletic, which was a double blow. We had a very young team out and fought well against an experienced Croydon side.

Surrey Senior Cup: Croydon Athletic v Crystal Palace

We took the lead twice and at the end of 90 minutes probably deserved the win. We let them back into it twice though and unfortunately lost after extra time. My left hamstring went about five minutes into extra time which was so frustrating and upsetting.

This was my first game since mid January, and I had got through 90 minutes fine. The most annoying thing though is that if it was just a normal game I would have got through it fine and it would of been another 90 minutes under my belt, and something for me to build on. There was even 6 minutes of added time at the end of the 90!

There was a ball played over the top, and as I have turned and started sprinting to chase it down, it just went. I knew instantly what it was and what had happened and came off straight away. The only thing we were able to put the injury down to was simply because the lack of football I’ve had this season, and asking my body to go through extra-time after 2 months of not playing turned out to be too much to ask.

I asked myself if I could have been managed better and more done for me in terms of development and game time, but I just wanted to draw a line under it and get the season over and done with. It’s also no coincidence that the three boys on the night who suffered from problems have also had the least football this year.

Going into the game I had never felt happier about the strength of my body and where I had managed to get it to, so this set back really was disheartening.

As I said, it has been just over two weeks now, but I have worked extra hard on my rehab to get back quickly, and I managed to train for the first time today. It still isn’t completely right and still feels a bit weak, but hopefully there won’t be any reaction to it and I will be able to build up the strength in it again.

I didn’t think it would get through the warm up, but I pushed on and thankfully it loosened up a bit and I got through the session. It wasn’t an especially difficult session in terms of fitness and hard work, which was probably the best for it. Part of the pain I was getting was scar tissue build up, so I will have to keep working with Stuart to get rid of that and get it back to normal.

I took hold of this injury with a very different attitude to any of the knocks I have picked up so far this season. I made a conscious effort to keep positive and to not moap about and bring down the atmosphere for the rest of the boys. The remaining four boys find out about pro contracts soon, and they are under enough pressure without seeing me down about an injury.

What good does it have being negative and @$%!£* off around the camp? At times when I did feel down and dejected, I just distanced myself from the rest of the lads and got on with my own thing.

I’ve passed the stage of feeling sorry for myself and just need to stay 100% positive, 100% of the time. I know in myself I have matured a lot this year and feel I have grown up a lot. Although I’ve learnt the hard way at times, I have still learnt valuable lessons. I have had a lot of time to think about me, my career and my life.

Now every time I feel sorry for myself I feel almost guilty and embarrassed. Compared to other people in this world, my problems are nothing. I need look no further then my own little sister when it comes to this.

Alice is 15 and is in her last year of secondary school and unfortunately suffers from Hypermobility Syndrome. Without being aware of the disease already, it may lead you to believe that I have an abnormally hyperactive little sister who can’t sit still! …In reality, it’s quite the opposite.

Basically, Hypermobility Syndrome is a condition in which the joints easily move beyond the normal range expected for a particular joint. So now you may be thinking I have one hell of a bendy sister who could forge a career being a contortionist…and once again, you would be wrong!

The disease means that she suffers very bad joint pain and is constantly feels tired and achy. She is in constant pain and has to lead a very different life compared to other 15 year old girls. Not only is it so tough on her physically, but mentally she has to be so strong to keep going and understand what she can and can’t do. She’s fully aware of her condition and knows how she will have to live her life.

Alice used to be such a sporty person and would literally have a go at anything. She love gymnastics, netball, basketball, swimming… I even used to drag her in the back garden with me, being goalie whilst I pelted shots at her!

Personally I thought she would always follow in my older sisters footsteps and go far in basketball. My older sister, Kim, played basketball for England and didn’t even start playing until she was bout 14. Alice started playing a few years before that, and I thought those years could be the difference for her to go even further.

But two and a half years ago she was diagnosed with this disease, and that life of freedom and activity that she was destined to have can no longer be fulfilled. The disease is incurable. You can minimise the pain, but it will always be there. It may get better with age, and then again it might not.

Just by looking at her you could not tell she had anything wrong with her or was in any pain. One day she’d be able to walk up the stairs fine, another day she may not. Hypermobility moves around the joints and is hard to manage. She does everything from acupuncture to taking herbel remedys to try and minimise the pain.

The main thing I am trying to get across is her attitude to her problems and how she deals with it. She still walks around with a smile on her face, even when she may be in a lot of pain. Does she ever complain? Never. Knowing all the pain she has to go through and all the things she’s had to sacrifice in her life gives her license to moan as much as she wants, but she does’t. As I said earlier, now if I feel sorry for myself, I feel guilty and selfish.

Alice is a lesson to us all. Hopefully hearing about her may make you look at yourselves and the way you deal with issues. When your feeling down and frustrated, compare it to Alice’s problems and ask yourselves, is it really something to be upset about?

Alice has become my inspiration.