Nicola Browne, International cricketer, retired from cricket in 2010. Several months later Nicola returned to the field after being successfully diagnosed with coeliac disease.
I had been playing for the White ferns for 10 years and in that time had many individual successes, a stand out being awarded ICC Women's World Twenty20 player of the tournament in 2010. When I announced my retirement in August 2010 it came as a bit of a shock to everyone, included myself.I knew I wasn’t tracking where I should have been, I was continually plagued with health problems and just couldn’t get my energy levels right. It felt the like flame inside had been extinguished and that it was time for me to exit.One month after my announcement, a change of doctor and prognosis, I learnt I had coeliac disease. After a re-education process and a change of diet, I found within three weeks my life had taken a major turn. I had more energy than I could ever remember having; it was like I had been living my life at only 70%. My passion for life and cricket returned.
It’s not to say that the continual hunt for nutritious and filling food has not been challenging at times, especially on a recent tour to India where I had to take 25kg of food with me. But it is worth the effort when I feel this good.
Three years on from my diagnostic my energy is still burning strong. I have created new eating habits and am feeling healthy.