Amy Baker is passionate about soccer, and has battled through 4 ACL reconstructions.
1) Can you share the story of how you tore your ACL multiple times?
I remember the first time as clear as day, little did I know it was the start of the hardest journey I’ve possibly ever had to deal with. The first time I completely ruptured my ACL was a game against a local team. I remember receiving the ball and had already gone to make my next movement into space when a player from the opposing team completely took me out with an horrendous challenge. The second time was unfortunate, I was 2 minutes into my first game back when I slipped in some mud on the pitch, I knew straight away I’d tore my ACL on my other knee as soon as I went down. The third and fourth happened 2 games back after recovering from my previous reconstructions. I jumped to head he ball and landed really bad on my leading leg - again, I knew the pain by now really well and was absolutely devastated.
2) What was the hardest part of the experience?
My surgeon telling me I’d never play again. I got to a stage where getting out of bed was difficult, socializing was difficult and even speaking/watching football became a really struggle. It made me hit rock bottom and I did go through a stage where I struggled with every day life. It has a bigger effect on me than most people knew about. Probably only my mum was aware.
3) How did you stay motivated throughout the process?
I kept thinking after each reconstruction there is no way it will happen again if I do my rehab right, I’ve never known anyone to be this unlucky. I just had to keep nailing rehab and working hard really, I would never have imagined it would have happened 4 times - it’s unbelievable really.
4) What advice would you give to other athletes on the road to recovery?
Never give up. It’s an easy cheesy line to say but that has been the key for me. I’m currently still working back from my last op in February and I’m feeling really good and positive. I know my own body and my knees now and this is the best they have felt. I’m hopefully looking to start back training in August and fingers crossed I’ll get the luck and the break I deserve after what has been 5 years of hell.
5) Do you think these experiences changed you as a person?
Most definitely. I was never a player who turned up for training and matches and didn’t give 110%. I was the player who no matter how many miles I had to walk to get to training or no matter what happened I would never miss a session. Football has been my life since I started playing since the age of 6 and I’m not prepared to give up yet. It has definitely made me more mature, I know sometimes no matter how hard you work, it doesn’t always work out. Patience is key. If I could turn back time I wish none of this ever happened however it has and has taught me some valuable lessons along the way at a young age which I will carry with me for the rest of my life.