How to Deal with Plantar Fasciitis whilst Playing Football

Hi there everyone, this is a blog to let you all know about Plantar Fasciitis, the injury and want you can do if you ever get it whilst playing football.

According to Mayoclinic (2020) Plantar Fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).  


What it feels like? Plantar Fasciitis feels like you are unable to place any pressure on your foot in a standing position and if bad enough makes it near impossible to walk due to the part of arch of your foot being inflamed. 

This is how I got it:

I was playing my last NPL football game for Northern Tigers in Sydney, with 10 minutes of the game left to go. I got kicked so incredibly hard in my foot, making it immediately difficult to run. With only 10 minutes to go, I continued to play. In hindsight, I had to do a lot of walking before this incident, I was already wearing down my feet and wearing incorrect footwear, the hit to my foot was enough to trigger a serious bout of Plantar Fasciitis.

The symptoms were: incredibly throbbing pain, the inability to walk or place my foot on hard surfaces. It took me at least 2 months to realise that this injury wasn’t going away and a whole lot of frustration during football season. My team mates were yelling at me, the coaches were frustrated with me, not to mention battling my own inner critics and learning to accept what my body could no longer do. Due to needing to compensate and lean onto one foot. The Plantar Fasciitis transferred to my other foot and I was left with Plantar Fasciitis in both – what a disaster and an injury I never wish onto anyone.

How I spent the 6 weeks off?

I spent 6 weeks off my foot due to Physio advice and my sports scientists. During this time I tried to rest as much as I could. I kept my foot elevated, iced and with constant massage through the muscle and calf.
It took me months (at least 3 months before I realised that the rest was helping). During my time off, I used the exercycle or did circuits until I could feel that my foot was being irritated. If it was irritated, I then took off any load and that was my training for the day. 

In the gym, I was learning to balance again. I remember thinking how incredibly ungrateful we become as people and how it takes such adversity to have to make me grateful for what I have and in this situation learning to stand on my foot again. On one foot, I would stand for 20 seconds, one time a week. One time a week then adjusted into two and so on. 

Balance then turned into straight running for five minutes, the first run was too hard. I ended up hobbling and collapsing onto my bed in frustration. Two days later I would try another five in hope, this time five minutes didn’t hurt…SUCCESS! Five minutes turned into ten…twenty and then two times a week. SUCCESS!

Straight running then turned into running around cones in a square and learning to turn. One, two, three, four…I remember praying that there would be no pain the next day. If the pain was too much, I knew that I did too much. When it wasn’t…success!!

As you can see, in brief form, this is what Plantar Fasciitis is and what it can do to your body. It is so difficult to recover from but you will. If you need any help please contact me on @aimee_the_magician I can give you some advice on getting back onto that pitch.

And what about now? Nearly a year later, I can tell you, that I can run five days a week at least, for as long as I want and as strong as I want with no limitations. When and if I feel a gentle pull under my foot, I monitor this injury and place a ball under my foot and lay off the load. It wasn’t easy and I can proudly say that I learnt how to walk again, turn again and lastly, run again by myself. Jeez, football injuries you know how to test me.

Overall, see you later Plantar, I definitely do not need you again.


The Darkness inside an Athlete’s Brain

Starting this post I am feeling an uneasy feeling, firstly because I know that getting inside of the brain of a high performance athlete is dangerous; secondly because every person is different, my experiences, my thoughts and my belief system is true to me and is to be taken solely from a personal view and not to be interpreted as the only way that an athlete’s brain works (you are all educated people so you will hopefully get it :P).

If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” VINCENT VAN GOGH

Dealing with darkness…what does this mean? In any athlete’s life (any life) you will have to come up against yourself and your brain. Inside your brain will be some interesting things. Inside here will be self doubt, anxiety, procrastination, fear, fear, fear and maybe let us just throw in some crazy mood swings just for fun. You may be on edge, you may be so worked up that you under perform even when you DID EVERYTHING to make sure that you could perform. These experiences will either destroy you or create you but persistence is the key. The brain and psychology is one aspect that I wish athletes studied on par with their degrees to gain their best performance.

So how do we deal with the darkness? Sadly, some athletes and people never do, some people learn to live with it and others learn to conquer it. You have the choice: give up, let it destroy you, or fight, fight through to get to the better days of your athlete life.

“Ride the waves everyone told me, enjoy the journey, they told me, I don’t think they realised how fucking big the waves were going to be” – Aimee Phillips

The next post I am going to document 30 days of me trying to use HEADSPACE (a meditation app). I am a very strong, self aware person but have neglected my meditation practices and I feel that this will add to my game and who I am as a person, most importantly. So the next 30 days I am going to document using the app and if it actually changed anything. See my stories and Facebook updates.

Also a massive thanks to my FACEBOOK community. 1000+ likes a month ago, but most importantly, genuine connections and support from you during the last 5+ years. You have helped provide me with the opportunities I have today. Thank you for never leaving my side.

Do not forget to check out LPSUPPORT, SPORTSARMOUR or SWEDISHPOSTURE off injury prevention equipment.

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Champions League Qualifiers

In an interesting build up, I decided to stay in Wales. Within a week of accepting to stay in Wales for the campaign, I had an offer to go to Spain. It is funny that when it rains it pours and in an opportunity retrospect, you may have little or no opportunities and then many at the same time. Murphy’s Law.

“Being in limbo is one of the most annoying positions to be in, but I guess that is the beauty of an adventure: you never know where it may lead you”.

The draw? Ukraine bound playing against; Malta, Ukraine and the Champions of Romania. Never in my life would I have thought that I would have played in the Champions League, let alone discover and meet people from these beautiful nations. Thank you for your adventures, I had a blast. Thank you for introducing me to Ukrainian Soup, a delicacy from your country, thank you for the free wine and the best coffee in the sun. 4 nations coming together to play the game and for women, a beautiful memory. Hopefully not my last experience in Champions League again but if it is thank you to all the Met girls for making it an enjoyable experience for me and congratulations on your recent campaign finishing second in your group.

There are many segments of my Adventures in Wales, the draw, the games, the celebrations, Luckily, Tom Guntrip (Our Media Guy) based his Masters Thesis on the build-up and experience of competing at a Champions League Qualifiers. See the link below. Thank you so much Tom for sharing this journey and using your skills to add to the game and promote the women’s’ game. ENJOY!


Next Stop: Wales

After my stint in Serbia I traveled to Wales. Some of my best memories to date are the days that I spent in Wales.

The people, the people, the people what beautiful, caring souls. And how did I get here? They say the world is small after this experience I really believe it. Thanks to 2 of my good friends who I met during my time in Auckland, they organised this move for me sweetly. Their kindness I will never forget. Everyone knows someone and all it takes is a message from one and you could be bang smack into the UK. Either way I got there.

The Training: I think I was the fittest I had ever been in my career to date being in Wales. Being a part of the Cardiff University set-up and High Performance systems; I was able to become strong, focus on my sprinting technique, use explosion and strength as a massive part of my game. The programmes and build up to Champions League was done brilliantly, the team was supported by excellent coaches, staff and the University. It was so nice to be back into a Western Culture. Just with more of what I knew. Thank you to all the girls who took me out, made me feel welcome and gave me a home when they did not need to. Playing football and fighting for positions can make these relationships difficult but I really appreciate this effort and fr looking past this.

Champions League…To be continued. If you want to know more details about certain aspects of my adventures, just let me know. I am sure we will get back to it eventually.

How to Deal with People that are Hard to Deal With – Football – Wise

Hi everyone, we are going to have a small break from my adventures in Serbia and get back to those stories next week. This blog is about dealing with those hard personalities on and definitely off the pitch and yes I am one of them.

In football there are huge personalities and in life, but in this blog I am only going to cover some of the personalities that I have had to deal with on the pitch. Some people may be able to relate, others not, and that is perfectly ok but if you are one of those players or people that can relate then this blog is for you.

When you are playing in a team, there are huge and forever-changing dynamics and personalities. If someone does not like you, they have the power to destroy your season and either turn the team against you or make you the champion or “popular player”. I am a very positive individual, who can be very kind. In football, this has been mistaken by many players. Who have made fun of how I am as a person and as a player on the field. I have a unique personality that can easily be targeted. Why? This is because I am different and I guess football teams can either embrace that or ridicule you for it.

I do not know about you but I can accept criticism, but what I do not like and absolutely hate is the constant yelling and being talked to like a dog from individuals at times, it comes with the territory. Why do these players do this? Good question, please ask them for me. Obviously, everyone has different belief systems and deal with situations differently. This will happen anywhere you are but I truly believe that there is no space for toxicity in any organisation.

. Personally, I do not believe that someone telling me how to play the game every move of the game is effective because I have my own brain, but what is helpful is my teammates having high expectations of me, like in Germany. My advice on this, put them in their place, otherwise they will get worse and worse. Or just laugh and feel sorry for them and play BOSS anyway. When you play BOSS, there is nothing more to say.

Look, the main thing to say is: I feel you. Over the years, I have had so many messages from players explaining to me the racism, abuse, isolation they found whilst playing in their teams. I really hope that this does not happen to you, but there will be times where you face adversity, I can guarantee you on that. We have all gone through it, we go through it and yes, these players are in our team, and we are a team so we have to work with what we have got. You can influence how they react and deal with you but I don’t think its worth the energy worrying about or thinking that there is something wrong with you; there isn’t.

No one should be talked to with disrespect or a tone that is not respectable. Do not ever let them dim your light.

Until next time. Aimee