Pain worth it for Wil­son

New dad skipped surgery so he could hold daugh­ter

NT News - - SPORT - AMANDA LULHAM

WORLD ti­tle con­tender Ju­lian Wil­son has re­vealed he opted for a course of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion over the quick fix of surgery to re­pair a painful shoul­der in­jury at the start of the sea­son be­cause the dot­ing dad wanted to hold his new­born baby girl.

Fam­ily man Wil­son this month goes into the Pipe Mas­ters in Hawaii as one of only three men with a shot at win­ning the 2018 world crown and with his wife Ash­ley and daugh­ter Olivia with him.

“I am at my best with them by my side,’’ Wil­son told the NT News ahead of his bat­tle with Brazil­ians Gabriel Me­d­ina and Filipe Toledo for the 2018 men’s world crown of surf­ing.

But it is re­mark­able Wil­son is even in this po­si­tion af­ter a moun­tain bike ac­ci­dent pre­sea­son al­most ended his bid for a maiden world crown be­fore it be­gan.

Wil­son said he opted for a long re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion from a rup­tured AC joint – and surf­ing a big chunk of the sea­son in pain – to be a hands-on dad when his first child was born in March this year.

“I had a 50-50 chance of be­ing hands-on when she was born or zero chance if I had the oper­a­tion. That was a big part of my de­ci­sion,” said Red Bull ath­lete Wil­son, who says he will fi­nally be surf­ing pain-free in Hawaii.

“I made a lot of phone calls. This was not my first in­jury and I had peo­ple I used pre­vi­ously to call and send scans to, to make the de­ci­sion I was happy with.

“I also felt like to have any chance of do­ing the first three events in Aus­tralia was not to have the surgery. Af­ter see­ing what my wife went though giv­ing birth I was in­spired to put up with the pain.”

It was a de­ci­sion that saw an ex­hausted Wil­son win the open­ing event of the sea­son on the Gold Coast de­spite driv­ing hours each day from his home on the Sun­shine Coast so he could be with his wife and baby and also surf­ing the fi­nal with his arm hang­ing use­lessly by his side. “I cried twice there,” Wil­son said of the Gold Coast win.

“It was such an emo­tional month and time with the in­jury, hav­ing my first child.”

While he strug­gled to stay in touch early in the sea­son, Wil­son won the Quik­sil­ver pro France in Oc­to­ber to put his world ti­tle cam­paign back on track. And there to see him win was his wife and daugh­ter.

“It was so spe­cial to win with Ash­ley and Olivia on the beach,’’ Wil­son said.

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