An awkward start of the New Year

2015 is on it’s way for a while and I would have liked to start the new year in a positive way, but unfortunately that’s not the case!

Late November, I was struck down by a viral infection that I probably had brought back from Asia. Eight days of high fever and pneumonia on top of that made that I was housebound for almost 3 weeks and consequently that I had to skip the Italian Open as well as four matches in the Bundesliga.

When, after a 10 day course of antibiotics, the pneumonia was cured my sports doctor allowed me to start building up my condition again but very carefully and quietly. Carefully and quietly I thought. I’m cured am I not? Well, I soon found out that I underestimated this building up. As a consequence of my illness my condition had completely deteriorated. After every exercise my heart beat was much too high and it remained high instead of slowing down again. Because of that my body couldn’t recover enough. Even after the resumption of training in the new year I still could not perform at a good level nor could I do real workouts. The only positive thing was that I could attend the training sessions again.

For the first tournament of the year, the Swedish Masters in Uppsala, the flight and hotel had been already booked and paid for so I decided to participate. Another reason was that it also was a good test to find out where I exactly was in terms of fitness. Now I’m back home and I can be brief: it was confronting and frustrating to find out that I was falling short in almost all aspects of the game. In itself this is not really surprising. Usually my strength is the hard work I deliver and I haven’t been able to work hard for too long a period of time. The result is that the conditional as well as the performance level decreases rapidly. Partly as a result of all this our Danish opponents in the quarter finals of the Swedish Masters were too strong for us; 21-19 and 21-17.

Still, I’m glad that I played, because it has given me the insight that currently I am physically not able to play a tournament. In the coming weeks my focus will be on regaining match fitness again, because there is an important period coming up including the European Championship for national teams in Leuven and three consecutive tournaments in Germany, England and Switzerland. From now on I will focus on these events where I must and shall be fully recovered from this incredibly annoying pneumonia that has wrecked my body and of which I experience the consequences every day.

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