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Super-Star: February 2014 Update

17 February 2014

Teenager Hannah Starling reached the 3m Springboard semi-final on her Olympic debut at London 2012 and the 3m final at the 2013 World Championships. She fills us in on her progress in the early months of 2014 as she continues her recovery from injury.

Last time I was writing a blog I was on crutches and had my right foot in a boot. Now I'm FREEEEEEEE!

I was allowed to walk on my own commencing 24 January, eight weeks after I first got symptoms. It was liberating. It honestly was. Still the only thing I could think about was how lucky I was to have had an injury which hadn't caused permanent damage.

As happy as I was to be independent again, my mind wandered to all those people who have to rely on crutches for the rest of their lives. It struck me how fragile the human body is. Many of us walk around with a fully able body, taking it for granted. Not once do we think that we will be the victim of an injury or illness that will change our lives.

Not once do we think that we will be the victim of an injury or illness that will change our lives.Nor do we stop to think what our lives would be like without our independence. We live assuming invincibility, when really our bodies are the one thing we should most respect and protect in the whole of existence.

A body can break or stop functioning at any moment in time and to ridicule our own bodies is to be disrespectful to ourselves. We get one life and one body and if we can't be content with who we are then that is frankly ridiculous. Why do we care what we look like when we don't even see ourselves living?

It's quite funny really. We spend hours making sure we look alright just so that the worlds of other people are better. Surely this means that 'vain' people are actually very thoughtful people. For one to spend a lot of time and money (I'm going on stereotypes here guys) just to make my world look a bit better, then that person must be extremely considerate.

For me though, there are so many more worthwhile things to do in the world than care about something you can't change. Go climb Mount Everest, cycle across England, raise money for the poor I don't know, just hakuna matata. Anyway, that was just a thought. 

What I was trying to say was that I'm up and walking again and that's that part of my life over and done with. I was also given permission to drive so I went home to pick up George, the car which I am insured to use. That was perhaps one of the happiest moments of 2014 for me so far. I love George, he's so cute.

At the beginning of February, the National Cup took place in Southend and although I couldn't compete, I went down to support the team. Safe to say it was the most successful Nationals to date for Leeds Diving Club.

I am so proud of everyone who competed: Alicia [Blagg] for coming back from an injury and setting a National record straight away, Yona [Knight-Wisdom] for scoring over 400 points for the first time, finishing second in the country and showing everyone just how good he is and Lydia [Rosenthall] and Katherine [Torrance] for holding the 3m women's synchro title in style with a world class score of 291.

Those are just to name a few. I would go through everyone who competed just to show off how awesome my friends are but I fear that would bore you. I was allowed to dive again when I was down there and boy I'd forgotten how fun it was to jump.

It is just so satisfying being weightless in the air and knowing you are in complete control. I also decided to try a dive on platform – 624B on 5m. This means doing a handstand on 5m facing the pool with your stomach, followed by trying to fit in two somersaults piked before hitting the water. It didn't really work and I have the bruises to prove it.

I'm glad I have found a dive which I can work on while I'm not fully diving though, I love challenges and am now more motivated than ever to get this dive right!

Just after Southend, my foot started hurting, most probably due to the fact I hadn't used it for two months. This means I am not jumping at the moment to give myself time to strengthen my ankle so that it can cope when I start to use it again. Hopefully soon I will be back to full health.

I am itching to get back on the boards after such a long time. I stood on the springboard the other day, in the same place I would do if I were to do a dive, and I realised how much I have been missing it. Gosh it is so frustrating being injured.

I think that's about it for all that has happened in my life. Apart from obviously we are another year into the future now, oh and Chris [Mears] has moved in!

It is fun having him around. I'm not alone anymore and he cooks really good food! I've also developed a love for Cashew nuts. I think I'll save my favourite kind of cheese for next time, I can't see February being an eventful month but life is proving to be unpredictable so perhaps not. I had a good Valentines Day, I hope you did too.

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