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  • Writer's pictureWayne Dawkins

Keeping My EYE on the Prize!

By Amanda Davidson – Phoenix Phantomz, Women’s Semi-Pro Tackle Football

I had my sight set on winning a championship, I didn’t foresee what would happen if I lost my vision, literally… Here I am coming off an all-star season and working towards topping that season this year with a new coaching staff in place and load of new talent on the roster, we were in great position to claim the IWFL tittle. But what do you do when one day you wake up and can’t see clearly? That’s what happened to me about 4 weeks ago.

There were so many things running through my mind; would I go blind? Would I be able to continue to play sports? Was my football career over? I had just come back from an illness that had me home in Canada for period of time and was making my return to football and now this happens. I had been working diligently trying to perfect my craft. I had myself on strict athletic development regime that consisted of cardio, weight training plyometric training and nutrition management. I was doing everything that would put me the best position to help my team win. As I was preparing for our upcoming game against a high ranking football team, all of a sudden out of nowhere I couldn’t see clearly. I had a cloudy film over my left eye. At first it was more of nuisance, but shortly it went away and my vision was fine. I brushed it off and figured it was nothing since it had went away a few hours later, but then it returned the next day and stayed for 3 days. Now I was worried. I panicked!

I started researching all types of things on google and made a call to a friend who worked with an eye doctor, she said come in immediately. I was really afraid that there was something much deeper happening, something completely out of my control. I went to see the eye doctor to get some answers. After having a bunch of tests done the doctors concluded that I had retinal hemorrhaging in my left eye, a condition called central retinal artery occlusion. They insisted that I see a hematologist as soon as possible. They believed that something in my blood was causing the condition and told me to refrane from any physical activity until we knew what was going on in my body. For 3 weeks I was unable to work out, I was heartbroken. Not only was I stressed about what was happening with my body but I could not relieve that stress with my favorite stress reliever; sports. . After a bunch more doctor and ophthalmologist visits, all types of different tests the doctors concluded that it was safe for me to participate in sport again. As for my vision it has gradually improved and they unsure of what caused the problem in the first place. It is being monitored and follow ups are scheduled.

Now that I am cleared to play I have to work twice as hard to get back to where I was before the condition. We are in mid-season and have the toughest part of our schedule coming up. I have to be ready to compete at a high level very quickly. Once again I put together a strict athlete development regime that consisted of everything from, cardio and footwork, weight training and plyometric training to nutritional management and recovery strategies to make sure I don’t overdo it and can be in peak physique for these upcoming games. As an athlete its hard when things seem to deter you from your goals, when you seem so close to reaching your dreams and having them seeming crash down around you. We most always trust God has a better plan for us and that sometimes somethings fall apart to be put back together in a better way. I can admit I think my body needed the break and this was its way of stopping me from overdoing it. Now my athletic journey can continue and I’m confident I’ll be back better than ever!

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