October is finally over and what a mad month it has been! Another year older, a retirement, Storm training, England selections, half term kids camps, moving house and Halloween - thank goodness November has arrived and I can finally put my feet up and relax a little bit!

The month started with a bang and a great birthday, including the biggest birthday cake I have ever seen! Mrs Crimble’s arrived at the Surrey Sports Park, cake in hand to surprise me. It took 3 days and the Sports Park office, Storm long squad and one little Jamie to help me demolish it. Luckily my birthday fell on a Tuesday night which meant training and some very hungry players. I think in 10 years I have had one birthday that hasn't fallen on an England Tour, match or training night, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Then there was 'retirement'. After a good 22 years on a netball court, 12 years playing SuperLeague and 10 years on the International stage, it was finally time to hang up the trainers. I've been asked a lot about the next chapter and honestly I’m so excited about how my journey in netball will continue, especially now I don't have to worry about the gym sessions, the fitness testing, and the complete madness of training and match days that come with player-coaching. I will continue to coach and I’m looking at new opportunities to expand and improve on what I’m doing. I have loved the work and support I’ve had from Sky and hope to get my hands back on that Sky pad for more analysis fun this season. Then there are some other exciting prospects that I’ll be getting stuck into over the next few months, all will be revealed soon!

All these new plans have meant I am extremely busy at the moment, and this last month has not been easy keeping on top of things; the early 7am starts in London for the England INTC coaching has been particularly tough to get used to. It's been a long time since I did those starts but at least these days I can sit down and bark orders, and not run around! But I absolutely love what I do, and could never step away from the netball as it's been part of me for so long, I’m too passionate about it, but I have to carefully balance it with my family life.

Spending quality time with my little one, Jamie, and away from the courts is important to me, just a walk through the woods, a trip to the park, splashing in the pool or a Halloween party dressing her up as Evil Elsa keeps me sane, and brings me back to reality. I guess the way I see it, is I’m really lucky, I get to do a job I love and I get to hang with my little girl who makes me smile every day. Amazing.

Now finally I really do have to thank Mrs Crimble's with getting me through this last month, with all the early starts, late nights and lots of travelling. I’ve got into that habit of eating on the go, I have the potential to eat so badly, however this time I packed a whole box of Mrs Crimble's goodies in the car at the start of the month and have gradually worked my way through it all. The Gluten Free…and Good For Me range has been particularly handy, I love the Pasta with Sauce before late night netball sessions and the new Cereal Bars when I’m stuck constantly on the M25 have really helped me keep my hunger at bay! Not to mention of course, Monday's England session was helped by my favourite, a cheeky Choc Macaroon, my sweet tooth moment!

Here's to a chilled November….

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