In a two-part Motivation Monday feature, we talk to two members of Team Gilbert currently sat on the sidelines with injuries, itching to get back on the field.
First up, arugably Wales' best player in the 2018 Natwest Six Nations, Aaron Shingler.
GR: Your latest injury has come at a time when you were in top form for Club and Country – how disappointing is it that it’s come right at the end of the domestic season meaning you’ve missed out on the Summer tour with Wales?
AS: It’s always disappointing to get injured no matter what time of year it is, but hopefully I can train hard and come back where I left off. It is hard to take that I’ve miss out playing for wales when I’ve worked very hard for a long time to get back into the team.
GR: What stage are you at with your recovery?
AS: I’m at the very boring stage - lying around, icing 3-4 hours a day. I found it difficult to move from the sofa for the first week - now coming to the end of the second week the pain from the operation has started to go and I’ve been able to start low-level strength exercises, and working on any movement on the knee that’s lost a lot of range since the injury.
GR: What will be motivating you to remain positive through a tough injury break?
AS: Motivation is going to be hard for the first 8 weeks as I can’t walk and will be on crutches. But once that period is over it will be all about the road to full fitness and returning to play. Getting bigger and stronger in the gym and working on my explosive power will be my main motivation.
GR: Will you still be watching rugby when you can’t be out on the field, or will you find other things to watch or do to take your mind off it? What would a typical day look like when you were injured?
AS: A typical day will be going to the gym in the morning, probably about 7am. Then I’ll be going in for physio for strength exercises and treatment on the knee. I will have to do something else to take my mind off it for sure though as I won’t be training much, and there’ll be a lot of spare time.
GR: From a mentality point of view, when you’re out of the side, how tough do you find it to watch the team play, especially if someone is playing well in your position?
AS: I’ve never really had a long term injury but I’m sure I’ll be watching and supporting the team. It’s going to be hard to watch because as a player you want to be involved, and I love the feeling of winning. But I’ll enjoy the team’s success - just not as much if I was playing that’s all.
GR: When you’re out injured do you prefer to stick around the playing group or do you find it tough that you’re not involved on the pitch?
AS: I personally like to be around the team and enjoy the boys company. I know players that don’t but for me even if I’m running the water on on match day I’ll feel more a part of the team.
GR: Are there any positives at all to being injured - more chance to see your family for example?
AS: You’ve got to take the positives out of this and that is that the body will get a long break from the contacts over the last few seasons. I haven’t really had much of a break from that in a long time. Hopefully I can make some gains in strength and power in the gym that will move my game forward when I’m back playing. I will definitely enjoy more family time - I’ve got two girls of one and three that will keep me busy and entertained.
You can get the Kuro Pro L1 boots worn by Aaron Shingler here