Suck It and See

Can you get banned for having a performance enhancing operation? Asked one of the 8 orthopaedic consultants in the room, followed by howls of laughter. Yes, I was in Coventry last Wednesday to meet Professor Griffin’s medical team about my hip, I have to say that there were a lot more doctors than I expected, must have been about 30 or more in the room. It’s a bit wierd when you’re in the middle of so many professionals and they’re all talking about what’s wrong with you and what should be done. There were lots of different opinions flying about, and I felt a bit like a piggy in the middle at times, indeed when I got to the hospital the receptionist looked at me and said ‘oh so you’re the Ginnie-pig today’. Which made me wonder what the hell was going to happen to me, but it wasn’t so bad, I didn’t even have to take my pants off. I just had to try and hobble about a bit and answer questions about my hip – I even showed my promotional DVD that I normally use when speaking to show them all how I throw, which seemed to go down well. Loads of suggestions were punted around, including fixing my hip at a 90 degree angle, meaning my leg would always stick out infront of me – I quickly quashed that idea. After well over an hour vigorous discussion was still ensuing and I had to catch a train so I left them to it.

It’s clear that mine is a unique case as it’s not just about pain and physical discomfort, it’s about continuing my sporting career to a high level. The gist of the meeting was that either hip resurfacing or a hip replacement would take away the pain, however no assurances could be made as to whether I would be able to get back to the to level of sport, which I kind of knew anyway. With any surgery it’s going to be a case of suck it and see, if it comes down to my desire and determination to do the work, then I’m sure I’ll be ok. I’m also sure that I’ll be back in Coventry again soon but even though it’s a bugger to get to, I know I’m in the best possible hands.

Was an interesting weekend and it started on Friday at Gateshead Stadium with the DSE Junior Regional Athletics, where I had the hardest job of the day in picking the best male and female – I was tempted to pick myself for the best male after my height bean bag exploits but unfortunately I’m about 10 years too old. Sunday saw the athletics at the Paralympic World Cup, and I couldn’t help but feel that as I sat watching NUFC’s pathetic attempt  to stay up I should’ve been throwing a club over my head. Turned out to be a pretty poor competition with the Tunisian not turning up, ironic that the only year I don’t do the PWC I probably would’ve won it.

Oh well, I’m a year older tomorrow so feel free to wish me well and send me loads of money. Chao.

Clowning Around

clown

I’m not one for clowning around but here’s a cracking picture of me being kissed by a clown, and looking pretty happy about it, at the launch of the Children Foundation’s Batton Relay fundraising scheme just after Beijing. I spoke at the Children Foundation’s AGM last week, and I had some interesting conversations with like-minded people. Particularly about how much more can and should be done for babies and young children with cerebral palsy, as the earliest years are when the biggest impacts can be made and the severeness of cerebral palsy can be greatly reduced. Also discussed was the importance of disabled people staying active and the benefits to their well being that can give, this is a particular problem when people leave school and support services are withdrawn. Much more research needs to be done into the treatment of cerebral palsy, there’s so much scope. The Children’s Foundation are initiating ground breaking work and I’m proud to support them.

Had a canny weekend in Liverpool for my mate’s stag do. Unfortunately it clashed with a dinner for another charity I support – The North East Special Needs Network – However my mum stood in for me and did a great job by all accounts, speaking at the Buttercup ball on Saturday, while I was eyeing up the punching machine in Walkabout bar – That’s all I eyed up, honest.

I’m up at ridiculous o’clock tomorrow to go to Coventry for the meeting to end all meetings about my hip, well, until the next meeting. Nah, I’m going down with an open mind and am going to base everything on what I’m told by the experts and how they answer my questions. I’m not doing the Paralympic World Cup on Sunday, but my event is on and it’s a pretty competitive field with the Paralympic Gold and Bronze medallists on the start list, I’ll be keeping an interested eye out for the result, and probably wishing I was competing.

Failing

Failure can be such a scary thing.
Many people are scared of failing,
so scared that they might not even try some things
incase they fail.
However, nothing can be gained without failing.
You have to push yourself to failure in order to get better, to get stronger.
Improvement comes through failing, but only if you go back and try again once you’ve failed.
If you never fail, you never move forward, you just stand still, and eventually go backwards.
Admitting to failings is the route to glory.
Challenging our failures is the way to improvement and to achieving goals.
Start trying to fail today!

Hip Hip Horray

I take back what I said about the media coverage of the EFDS Awards, seems everyone got there in the end, if a little late – apart from the BBC of course. Next Wednesday I head to Coventry for a medical meeting about my hip. Here are some of the questions I’ll be asking to discuss:-

– What type of replacement do I need and what material will be used?
– What will the recovery time be?
– What will the rehabilitation involve and how long will it be?
– What’s the risk that I could damage the joint early on with my involuntary movement?
– Which movements and body positions will the joint not stand up to, if any?
– Will the joint cope with the unusual ways I move and the positions I get into?
– How much impact will the joint be able to take?
– Can the joint handle the volume of training I currently do up to London 2012 and would this impact on the life of the joint?
– Would I realistically be able to carry on up to London taking painkillers? Will the pain get significantly worse?

Some weeks I think I’m ok and don’t need an operation, other weeks I want to get an axe and saw the bloody thing off myself. I’m confident the right decision will be made.

Pile of Dogs Muck

Just found this canny cool video on YouTube of my discus competition in Beijing. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any of my club comp, but if you get to about 5 minutes into the above video you’ll see two of my three discus throws in Beijing, the 2nd throw was a season’s best and much futher than I expected to throw. This may well have been the last time I compete in discus but it was a good way to go out.

benfield2As promised, some cool pictures from Benfield Sports College’s Awards Evening. Thanks to Helen for sending some through, I particularly like the one on the left, mainly because I’m in it, and you can see my rocking microphone which makes me look like a pop star. Below is a picture of all the guest speakers on the night. Benfield really do know how to hold an awards ceremony and are also producing some great young sports stars.

Congratulations to Chris Cook, who married his lovely lady Erica on Saturday. I was in Yarm for the night time do and had a good time. I wish them all the best and hope Chris finds something to do now that he’s not going up and down a swimming for hours anymore. He’s been a credit to this area even though he’s a mackem.

It’s almost crunch time for me and my hip, have a meeting next week in Coventry to decide what to do. I’m on new painkillers as I can’t keep munching on diclophenic, I’m hoping they’re just as effective.

It’s crunch time for the Toon tonight, I’m on my pessimistic horse and reckon it’ll be a bore-draw, to win games you have to score goals, and to score goals you have to take shots at goal, that’s why we’re going down – because we don’t.

benfield3

Wanting

idoudi1

idoudiHere’s a picture of my successor in Beijing, the controversial (to me anyway) Mourad Idoudi of Tunisia, who is the man I want to beat in Christchurch 2011 and London 2012. I found these pictures through typing ‘Stephen Miller’ into Google image search – not because I’m unbelievable vain (even though I am), it was for my Team Mannatech sponsorship which I’ve gladly been accepted for. It’s pretty cool when you type your name into Google and loads of pictures of you come up, it kind makes you feel like you’ve made it, but then a picture of the guy who beat you and took your world record comes up and makes you feel crap.  Beijing feels like ages ago now, actually that’s probably because it was, but I still think about the competition almost every day, I relive it and it drives me on to want to do more, because I know I can beat this guy.

Wanting is something I feel is so important in sport but is rarely talked about. It’s slightly different to motivation in that you can be motivated to do something but wanting is about taking, grasping somthing, it’s about knowing what you want and endeavouring to get it. Wanting comes in waves but I always think its good to want regularly, its not just about wanting to win, its wanting to train, wanting to improve, wanting to do the right thing, wanting to prove a point to others and to yourself. It always gets me when sports people say they have nothing to prove, because you should always have something to prove, everytime I train and compete I have something to prove – otherwise what’s the point? You might as well do sport for fun if that is the case. The day I feel I have no more to prove and I stop wanting will be when I take up a recreational sport like boccia or powerchair football – only joking!

Here’s better picture of me when I got my honourary doctorate:

stephenmillerandvictoriapendleton

Final thought for today – maybe Drogba wanted to win very badly, or maybe he wanted to cover up the fact he missed two sitters that would have seen his team win? hmmmm

May Already

I’m in danger of sounding like a right old codger, but is it May already? The weather’s still bloody crap though. Talking about being old, I am going to be 29 years old by the end of this month which is pretty scary – you can tell you’re getting old when you get annoyed by stupid kids pressing the bell on the bus a dozen times, idiots!

Here’s a nice link to the Northern Echo’s Editor’s blog, about the EFDS North East Disability Sports Awards.
It also got a good write up in the paper, shame the event didn’t get more press coverage though, seems like it’s almost impossible to get news-worthy stories in the news these days, ahead of sick pigs and crap football teams – a ridiculous 7 pages in the Sun today dedicated to Chelsea’s exit from the Champions League. I like football but there’s only so much you can write about one match, three people wrote just about the same thing, yet not one mention of the first leg when Chelsea could have had two players sent off and Barca should’ve had a penalty.

Enough of football anyway, I briefly fell off the gambling wagon on Monday as I was dragged to Newcastle races, I’m back on it now though – honest. Still got bets in-running on Man U for league and Champions League, shrewd I know.