Fate dealt Felicity Leydon-Davis a cruel blow when a back injury put her on the side lines for 19 months shortly after earning a WHITE FERNS recall.
But this injury began a journey which has culminated in Felicity now running her own sports and relaxation massage business.
Although Felicity already had an Earth Science degree, she decided she would use this time off the field productively by undertaking some further study with assistance from the NZCPA.
"I had a lot of massages to assist with my rehabilitation from my back injury, and this is how I discovered how beneficial massage was, and how much I could help people understand that," says Felicity on what prompted her to study massage.
"I've had that many massages, it's great to be able to relay the techniques that have helped me, and learn other techniques as well, to help my clients feel better within themselves."
On the specific benefits massage affords herself, Felicity identified how important it is not only for her rehabilitation, but also ongoing maintenance of her body.
"Massage has worked absolute wonders for me. I've always had stiff hips, inflexible hamstrings, stiff back and shoulders, having regular massage has helped me get on top of all these areas," said Felicity.
"As I rehabilitate from my back injury and continue to build my fitness/strength up in the gym, muscles and joints tighten-up and I get tired, I can't stress enough how important massage can be for recovery and continual maintenance of an athlete's body.
"Yes, athletes stretch and do mobility work, but often it's hard to inflict pain and trigger points on yourself or flush out your legs completely after a hard week of training. This is where seeing a massage therapist comes in handy!"
Relating massage back to cricket, Felicity highlighted how regardless of whether a player is a fast-bowler, batter or wicket-keeper, it is important to manage key areas like hips, back, glutes and hamstrings to avoid serious injury.
But it's not just athletes who can benefit from massage therapy.
"The number of people I see who don't play sport, but still have a stress and work related tight upper-back and shoulders is crazy," commented Felicity.
"Maintaining posture through your hips, back and neck in particular are vital components for everyday life, being able to sleep well, remaining free of aches and pains; all which increases quality of life."
After completing her studies, it was a message from a cricketing colleague that lead to Felicity taking the step into small business ownership.
"I moved to the UK last year for five months to play and coach cricket, and a few weeks into my trip, I received a message from one of my Melville Cricket Club team mates back in New Zealand.
"He asked if I knew anyone who would like to come on board as a massage therapist in his fitness studio in Hamilton, so I asked if he could wait until I was home in September."
"He made adjustments to his studio, 'GT Fitness Studio', over the winter, and we painted up my room and opened just a few weeks after I got home!"
So, what is the next step for Felicity and her business?
"My main aim is to build up to 15 clients per week. I'm absolutely loving helping people feel better within themselves.
"In terms of a career, it's perfect hours for me to continue my training as a cricketer, learn more about the body, my body, and the location about 200 metres from Seddon Park, couldn't get any better!"
If you are interested in receiving massage therapy or discussing how massage may benefit you, get in touch with Felicity today:
17a Devon Road, Frankton, Hamilton City
0204 622 018Felicity Leydon-Davis Massage"