Look out Andy Murray I'M BACK!!!!! :)

Look out Andy Murray    I'M BACK!!!!!     :)

Its taken just over 3 years to do but today I returned to my old tennis club on a mission. I wasn't there to see old friends and have a chat, this time I was there to play. While driving over to the club listening to the Killers, 'all these things that I have done' It suddenly struck me what I was about to attempt to do, I was going to play Tennis. At this point I was hit by a massive feeling of negativity and doubt, would I know anybody, could I even hit a ball any more, would I crash and burn after about 10 seconds, and would I be able to contain my emotions on court and hold back the tears.

Well I didn't turn around with my tale between my legs I drove down that familiar old lane and arrived at the club to see a lot of cars in the car park and people playing on the courts. After a massive intake of breath I climbed out of the car and walked towards some of the lady club members that I recognised, they were all stood staring in my direction and a voice said 'Tony is that you' at this point I failed the emotion test and the tears began to flow not only from my eyes but from theirs to. This is one of those moments in your life that you will never forget, I was back with old friends who were not only very pleased to see me but were going to help me achieve a major goal of mine, to play tennis again.

I got my oxygen back pack strapped on, opened the throttle to 8 litres, picked up my old racquet and walked onto the court. It looked a lot bigger than it used to when I was fit and healthy but this was it now, I was here and it was my moment of truth, would I crash and burn or could I actually do it.

Pat hit a slow high bouncing ball towards me, I swung back the racquet instinctively and wack, I hit the ball back over the net and in. Wow that felt good, confidence returned and the two ladies on the other side of the net kept the balls coming my way and I managed a few short rally's but with that heavy oxygen pack making balance a little awkward I kept things steady and didn't attempt to run for anything remotely out of reach. I hit a few reasonable shots off the forehand and backhand before breathlessness brought me to a standstill.

Ok I said to some very concerned face's 'I'll be alright in a minute, I'm only out of breath' To me this was normal life but to them it was probably a little worrying and I understand that. After my breathing returned to normal I thought this was probably a good time to quit while I was ahead. It was time to get a few pics of this momentous step in my second life so I gave my camera to janet and she snapped while I hit a few more balls.

Mission accomplished, it was time to sit down and chat with the other members who were there, and tell them what I had been up to over the last three years.

I was asked if I wanted to have another knock around with some of the other members on court but I declined as I had had such a great time I didn't want to ruin everything. I was going home happy with what I had achieved and I was in a very happy place.

Thanks to you all for your encouragement and not trying to talk me out of this mad and crazy idea of mine to return to the tennis court. I didn't let you or myself down did I.

Tony :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) Oh yes annieseed I know your a tennis fan so I send you free tickets for my next match ok!!

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37 Replies

  • Good on you, it's lovely to hear stories like this. You've achieved something today in being able to do this and I bet it was a brilliant feeling. Good for you for giving it a go xx

  • This was one goal I had set, but truthfully I thought it was out of my reach. Its taken 3 years of incredible hard work from the amazing NHS and a little input from me. Yes it is a brilliant feeling to be back on court even if it was only for a short while. Thanks Pm17 xx

  • Hi Tony, Very well done another achievement completed is there anything more on the horizon. Matt/Fran

  • MC, I've dreamed of this moment for a long time now and even though I only lasted 10 minutes I am so so happy. I know I'll never play for any length of time again but this will do for now and we'll see if I can build on it.

    As for whats on the horizon, maybe a record attempt on how many pints of Guinness can be downed in 1 hour. Fancy joining me, Fran and Sharon could carry us home afterwards I'm sure. :)


  • That was wonderful to read, Tony. Sounds corny but truly inspirational to read your account. I feel I am with you when you write.

  • I'm doing it for us Healthunlockeders and showing everyone just because were ill there's no need to stop doing the stuff we love to do. Thanks Tennis Fan Annie xx

  • I have just seen the PS, Tony, I am gratefully accepting your tickets!!

  • There in the post :) xx

  • Well done Tony - inspirational on many levels. Bet your friends were so pleased to see you!


  • The day went better than I could have ever imagined, Yes there were a few tears shed by me and my friends, but they were tears of joy. It seems that hard work does pay eventually. Thanks Maggie

  • How incredible must you feel Tony a massive WELL DONE YOU!! big big achievement great stuff.I keep saying this,' you the man'!! :) Janexx

  • Hey Jane, 'You the Lady' for your efforts to kick the ciggi's. Together we'll stay strong and keep achieving our goals eh' what you say. Tony xx

  • Isay your on ,yes we will Tony ive a few to achieve .Sounds like a plan my friend, :)Janexx

  • You've got to have a plan av'nt ya' Jane. Then you wait until the time is right and then POW! you kick ass. Tony xx

  • Yes your right there Tony. Iam trying to sort mine out at the mo just gotta check a few things first with the docs etc.Its all good though.I will get to where iwant to get for sure,and i know you will Tony .:) Janexx

  • So inspiring ! You are my hero!! Long may you swing a racquet! Take good care TAD xx

  • It seems I'm a bit of a swinger eh' Ha Ha, well with my racquet anyway. I plan to keep swinging for some time to come and I might even play some tennis too. :)

    Thanks TAD xx

  • I am as proud of you as if I had done it! Many heartfelt congratulations Tony. xx

  • Thanks Toci, with you and the healthunlocked team behind me how could I contemplate failure. It has been the best day I've had for sometime and I intend to enjoy the moment. I think a can of Guinness might be opened tonight.

    Tony xx

  • I'll join you in that! Cheers!

  • Congratulations Mr Miracle man, give yourself a pat on the back from me. Not too hard though, you'll ache in weird places tomorrow. Don't forget I still want that champagne when I meet you at the top of the hill.

    Love and hugs xx

  • Great to here from you DD, as you can see I'm still up to my crazy antics and the world is a better place now. The champagne is on ice and waiting so don't hang around.

    I'm 3 years on now after falling ill and this is where you'll be after 3 years, just keep on working and well make a great mixed doubles team some day.

    Tony xx .

  • One of the reasons I stopped playing so soon was the worried look on my friends faces. I thought it would take them a little time to get used to how quickly I run out of breath. As you and many others on this site already know we can keep going when out of breath but at a steady even calculated pace.

    I still cannot believe that I have played tennis again, all be it for a very short time and a mile away from the man who used to chase every ball and leap around at the net like Boris Becker only 3 years ago.

    Thanks Stitch xx

  • You rock Tony! x

  • Rock n rollllll Hey! Rock n roll, That's me alright, a rocker who dosn't know when he's beat. :)

    Keep pushing the limits Sue, its our only way out of this mess were all in. :)

  • Wonderful to read of your achievement! M

  • Hi M, It was a massive step for me to get back on that court so I just had to post the news. I am now about to start today's exercise session with a bit of singing, followed by my fit to breath routine to some lively music. Care to join me on the rd to a better life

    Tony xx go on you know it makes sense

  • Hi Tony well done, glad to hear you achieved another one of your goals, not without sweat and tears though. But as they say "no pain no gain" you did it that's what counts and you knew when to stop. So take it easy and maybe soon you will be sending out tickets for a match. It's overcoming hurdles that keeps us going, hope the improvements continue for you

  • I push myself most days and it does truely hurt but its the only way I've found. You can't sit around waiting for a magic pill that will cure you, I find that exercise beats any pill they have given me to date although I must say prednisolone works wonders for me. :)

    Thanks Katie xx

  • True it is the exercise that works and it does need to be done regularly, drugs can cause more problems than they cure for some people. Stick with what you know is best

  • Tony - will you stop making me cry please! :-p I absolutely love your posts and very very well done on achieving yet another of your goals. What a man! :-) X

  • Sorry about the tears mapal but if your like me you only cry when your happy. :) :( I'm going to get on to my respiratory nurse next to see if they can supply me with a small sports oxygen pack that would last 30 mins, so I can move more freely on court. It should be interesting because its probably not a request there used to getting, but I know they won't be too surprised when they realise its me asking. Ha Ha .

    Tony xx

  • Great idea - pathfinding again! :-)

  • Hi Tony, what a lovely time you must have had, Nice to hear that people do well, but you really have excelled, What ever next !!! , All the very best, Heather. X

  • I still can't believe that I've made it back on court and I just have to keep pinching myself to make sure its not a dream. How come that's possible on 25% lung function?

    Thanks Heather :)

    Tony xx

  • You scored more points on the turf Tony than Hereford United will ever do.! Hee HEE


  • The way Hereford are playing at the moment I can't argue with you King. We are creating chances but its just plain comical in front of goal. Anyway the tennis success is taking my mind off football for a while luckily. Maybe I'll find my old football boots and if they'll let me play with my oxygen back pack on I'll sort the problem eh' King.


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