Monday, 18 March 2013

Flicking outstanding, birthday wishes and a brilliant debut.

Ladies and gentlemen. Boydems and Girldems. Hello and welcome to this week’s instalment of my blog. Before we start, can I give a massive Happy Birthday to our very own Yoda..Mr Rob Riley.Have a great one Lad.

Okay so It’s Monday again. And like every Monday, we wake up, get ready for work and reminisce about the weekend’s shenanigans.  So here we go.

My body and mind feels battered and bruised from this weekend adventures.  My left Achilles has flared up, my right knee aches with pain from the impact of a high ball and I feel fairly disillusioned with the fact that we can and will only finish in 3rd in the league.

Some people may be content with this accomplishment.  In its own right, jumping up 2 divisions, being seeded as the lowest ranked team in the league and finishing 3rd could be deemed as a result. However for me, I feel Disappointed. I feel like we should have been promoted again. I feel that we have more to offer.  I feel confused why our form of last year has only showed in spits and spats this year.  You can sometimes over analyse the performances on the pitch. Were we good enough? Did we play well? Did we score enough goals? Did we concede too many goals?  Then we look at our off the pitch performances. Did we focus ourselves properly before each game? Did we get wasted the night before a game? Did we train as hard as we should have? Did we approach each game seriously? When you take all these variables into account. How many of them do you think we can all tick?

For some reason this year, I don’t believe we were mentally ready for this league.  We were in no way as prepared like last season. Was this down to naivety?? Was this down to fear? Was this down to us as a team being content? I can’t answer for the team.  That is something we all have sit down and contemplate. Ask yourself this question. “ Are you happy with this season?  Don’t worry this isn’t a trick question, nor a question that singles you out.  It’s an opinion based on ones feelings. It’s not wrong that certain people may feel content. Nor is it wrong that people like me are disappointed.  We are a collective of individuals with different personalities and different ambitions.

I have asked myself.  “What Could I have done differently this year?” – Personally, I started the season off in the wrong way. I wasn’t confident or excited to be part of the team. There was a lack of ambition and my attitude was poor. I feel a little bit responsible for some of the results due to the way I approached the season.  Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and just accept responsibility. I personally wish that I could have started this season with the same determination and ambition that has grown with me throughout the latter part of the season.  It’s a well-known fact that I have aimed to change certain aspects of my life to be a better person. To be a more confident person. To be happy. I feel that my goal this season has been accomplished in that respect. But I don't think it's enough.

So what do we focus on now? Well firstly next weekend’s Finale .  We travel away to Neston HC on the Wirral.  Neston are currently in 4th place in the league and due to results can now no longer push us for 3rd place. Some people say, It’s hard to Play at your best when you have nothing to play for. People who say this is a nothing game are completely wrong.  Neston were the first team to bring us back down to reality. They taught us a lesson in this league and I don’t think we ever really recovered from it.  They beat us in the first game of the season.  They beat us well.  This Saturday gives us the opportunity to justify our league position.  It’s a chance to finish with a bang (B of the bang in Robs words).  I am going to approach this game like I have done for any other game. I want to win. I want to win well. I want to play the best I can. I want to enjoy it in the process. It's not in my nature to travel all the way up to the Wirral just to role over and die. So I am making a rallying call to the selected squad. Lets all give it our best. Lets take this opportunity and put them to the sword. Lets finish the season well. Lets play excellent hockey!

So what happened this weekend? We travelled to Wrexham and were hosted by Northrop Hall. I really love playing against Northrop Hall. On Every occasion I have played this team I have scored. And thanks to a terrible flick earlier in the season the opposing goalkeeper helped me keep this pointless personal record on track.

The atmosphere was very relaxed. More than usual. I don't know whether I like it like this. I prefer the atmosphere to be intense. Nether-the-less, we prepared for the game. We were playing on the best pitch in England! (Insert banter here) or North Wales as I recall Wrexham being a welsh town. There's something I have noticed whilst watching teams in higher leagues. When they warm up its all about hockey. The jokes stop, the banter is forgotten. Hockey is all you see and you hear. I think for us.. We haven't quite reached that level yet. I believe we can and will one day. It's inevitable if we are to push for greater things.

The game starts. And credit must go to Northrop. They started quick and quite well. There were obvious problems adjusting to the pitch. Both sides didn't look entirely comfortable. The homeside more at ease then us. They showed great composure and finished the first goal to go 1-0 up.  I have been extremely proud of Sales resilience this year. We don't give up, we fight to the end. And after constant pressure and some good passing play we won a short corner. Ben smith as he has done a few times this year flicked a rebound into the netting. Game on 1-1. 'Same old sale' is a phrase I want banished from being used! So guys stop saying it. Unfortunately and quite quickly after we levelled we conceded a 2nd goal. Credit again goes to Northrop Hall. They wanted this game. They in all respect, are fighting for position in the table. Sale regrouped and started keeping better possession. This was key in the next run of play. After some intricate passing from the team, Danny received a ball in space in the D. Without any doubt Danny slotted home a sublime finish just before half time.

After the half time team talk we went out in the 2nd half knowing we have to step up. Play better and work harder. Danny called it a few times in the game. "Find that extra half a yard" and we started the 2nd half with an extra 2. After good pressure from the start, Northrop conceded a penalty flick. I actually smiled. I was already in the D, so grabbed the ball without even looking for H's approval. This was mine, my time for retribution. The Whistle went and without any hesitation, heart palpitations or any doubt, I slotted the ball almost perfect to the keeper’s glove side, hitting the side netting. 2-3 sale! I Turned, ran back and set up ready for the restart! It's a funny old game hockey, but sometimes predictable. And after less then 10 minutes leading the game Northrop hit back with another equaliser. 3-3! There was quite a prolonged period of the game where we were under immense pressure from the homeside. Northrop won another short corner. Our play was getting some what nervous. Sale saved well, broke quickly and within 6 seconds of the break Neil slotted home a waited finish into the bottom right corner. 3-4 to Sale. Sale hung onto the lead and finished the game 3-4 winners. My biggest congratulations goes to young Ben Wells for an outstanding debut. Ben was selected because of his overall good performances for the 2nd team. He was tasked with providing cover for our half backs.  But after his outstanding performance, I can only see him becoming a permanent addition to the squad. Ben deserves this credit. I believe we can all learn from his performance. All his basics were executed excellently. He never tried anything silly or over the top. And on that basis was my clear vote for Man of the match. Well-done Ben.

I thought my performance good. A much better performance than last weekend. I'm glad I managed to prove to myself it was just a bad week and not bad form. I really enjoyed the game. I more than enjoyed the flick. So sorry Ben Smith...My flicks are back too their very best.:P.

So hockey aside, Saturday nightwas my lovely Danielle's birthday outing. As always it was a pleasure to be invited. I always have fun on these nights out. Danielle is one of my closest friends and I hope she had an ace time. I was pleasantly drunk. :)

Ok so that's it folks. Another weekend has passed and another blog completed. Thanks for reading and I will see you next week. 

My Hockey is on fire.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Without me feat a game to forget and a pink pvc hat.

Welcome ladies and gentleman, boys and girls to this new instalment of my blog. It has been a few weeks since my last post, so there should be lots to talk about. And there is. So please enjoy.

Firstly I want to say a massive well done to my Moss Park ladies, both 1st and 2nd teams. I really enjoyed last Thursday's coaching session and I feel that your starting to get the best out of me. I really enjoy the technical side too coaching. I feel strongly that its my best attribute. So thanks for coming and thanks for taking part in the session. I would also like to congratulate the ladies 2nds, for finally finding the form that I have always believed they possessed. 2 wins on the bounce and 2 great performances from all. It's been a joy to watch and a privilege to be part of. Well done ladies. My only wish now is to finish with a bang. Come on the Moss!

In the past few months I have worked exceptionally hard in Training. I have focused purely on the fine tuning of my ability and skills. And with that, I have given my up most to assist the team in achieving its goals. There is one change that I am most pleased with. That change would be my Consistency. This is something I have always had problems with in the past. Be it through injury or just on and off performances. However Since the turn of the new year, I feel I have been the most consistent I have ever been for this club. My form has been of a high standard and this is something I am really pleased with. I have mentioned in previous blogs about believing I had hit a plateau. And with this belief, contemplated whether its a good or a bad thing? I believe that it’s important to have time for everything to come together. You need balance in life. You need life to sometimes catch up with you. After last Saturdays game I realised that I now need to move forward from this plateau and start climbing the next gradient towards my goal. But, I will come back to that shortly.

In recent games I feel I have played very well. I have worked on trying to do all the simple and basic things excellently. In the past few weeks I have not only sustained my new found defensive ability, but been effective offensively too. 2 weeks ago I scored 'in my eyes' probably the sexiest goal I have ever scored. I don't like to blow my own trumpet, but who cares. I won the ball from their right winger back in our 25. I turned and ran towards the oppositions half. I passed the ball with pace to Lewis on the left wing. Instead of halting and falling back defensively, I carried on my run. I ran straight onto the P spot where Lewis played a peach of a ball for me to do a diving flick into the top right corner. So like I said... Sexy!!! That week I was rewarded man of the match.

The week before last I was asked to play my favourite position of Inside Forward. Or what I thought was my favourite position until I realised how much harder it is since last year. All season, I have wanted this opportunity. Granted it was given to me because of Injury to other players, but I snatched at it. In the warm up, I was...honestly, nervous. But after 5 mins of familiarising myself with the role I felt comfortable. I did everything simple. That's what I have been coached. Pass, stop and move. All the basics. All done excellently. I didn't feel like I was as effective as I wanted to be. Or if played their again would be. But again my peers voted me man of the match. It's a weird feeling. I don't crave nor pursue man of the match awards. I just want to play my game, the best I can, for the team. However, It does feel good to be recognised for your good form.

Now we come back to last Saturdays game. Hockey is a funny old game and only Hockey players will understand the next part of my blog. I trained on Tuesday and gave it my all. My ball pace was excellent my basics top notch and my fitness good. I prepared very well for the game. I didn't exploit myself in the gym. I was feeling fit. I went to bed early on Friday. I woke up with a spring in my step on Saturday. I arrived at the pitch early. I Felt really good. No sign of the cold that's been bugging me of late. It was a perfect Saturday morning. A perfect game day. I felt confident warming up. Again, my ball pace was good. The game started. And from the push back I was instantly involved in the game. I was enjoying it. And then.....and I can't explain it. Everything went to pop. I couldn't pass, stop it, mark my man, tackle, communicate, run. Did I mention stop?? Nothing seemed to go my way.  Even deflections went bobbling into the path of my winger. My touch was like an elephants. I think the only thing I did do consistently well, was be rubbish Lol. I walked off that pitch angry, annoyed, peeved. I felt like I had let the team down. I was confused. I just couldn't understand what had happened...Was it because I was playing against someone better than me? Or Maybe I was just due a bad game. Either way it's done dusted and I can't wait to put everything right against Northrop next weekend.  I should have been voted Donkey of the day.  But thanks to lewis and his " I don't have access to my kit text" an hour before the meet time. It was duly awarded to him.  So I feel much pleasure and relief to hand him the PINK PVC hat for him to love and wear.

When I look back at the game. I don't see my bad performance. I see a team that managed to help me. A team that encouraged me. A team that worked hard to make it easier for me. A team that didn't give me rubbish or start complaining. I saw a team full of mates. I witnessed first hand the evolution of our club, our team and our Ethos. I saw Sale HC as it should be. So thanks lads.

So now it's time to pick myself up and work harder. Forget what's happened and move on. It's testament to my character that a few hours after the game I can now sit down and laugh at the banter. I can wake up the next day, feel nothing but anticipation and excitement for next weekends game. I am proud of this.

As I have a real talent now for bastardising song lyrics to fit my own selection agenda.  Here is my inspiration for last Saturday.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Nothing's gonna stop us now?

Ladies and gentlemen welcome to this weeks instalment of my blog. As promised, I am now posting my blogs regularly and on time. It's time to stop being lazy and becoming better prepared. It's time to step up a gear and work towards my goals. My time is now.

So to start off this weeks blog, I want to congratulate myself. It's not very often I give myself praise or credit for things I've done. I am usually always looking for something to improve on and very much over analysing myself and finding negatives to work on.  However last Friday night I was determined to give this 1.5 mile run in 10mins a go.  I wasn't happy that my last time of 11.17. I know I can do better then this. So Friday evening I decided I wanted to go for it. Instead of gradually building myself up I wanted to see if it can be done. More importantly for morale I wanted to really test myself. So Instead of going to the pub or chilling with my feet up, I made myself to the gym. The gym was empty. I prefer it like this. No one hogging machines and no one to give that how are you doing nod too.

I set up the treadmill. I worked out that I needed to run at 9mph. I needed to run at 9mph for ten whole minutes. This was the biggest test yet. So I started the run. Blaring away on my headphones was some pure motivation by the rocky soundtrack. 1 minute in and I was thinking never mind hearts on fire my legs were hotter then hell. How can I be this unfit? How can my legs run for over 60mims and be fine, but run for 1 minute and now ache? Simple... When you train for endurance your muscles and blood vessels develop differently. Muscles develop to gradually disperse stored energy a little bit like when you squeeze down on a hose pipe. When you train for speed. Your muscles develop to disperse energy rapidly. Kind of like having a bucket of water thrown over you. So back to the treadmill.. So 1 minute in and I doubting whether I can see this through. My mind was telling me not a chance. I needed to adjust myself to the increase in speed. I had to power through these first stages. I did. 7 minutes in and I couldn't believe I was nearly there. My doubts were slowly dissolving and with that self belief was starting to engross me. I started this blog to prove to myself, that I can do what ever I want. I can achieve anything I set out to achieve. 10 minutes hit. And I had 180 metres to go. I was slightly confused, but ran the distance. I finished on 10:23 seconds. Okay so my maths was slightly out, but the effort I put into this run was first class. On Wednesday I finished in 11:17 seconds. In 2 days I managed to shave off just under a minute with just pure determination and belief, possible a little help from rocky. But I was immensely proud of this.

I went home and showered. Then went to chill at my mate lee's house. I thought i would treat myself to 1 beer. And did. And After how i was feeling that evening, I just couldn't wait for Saturdays game. 

I woke up on Saturday. Game day. Sale HC were off to Liverpool to visit Liverpool Sefton HC. It was a really nice morning.  The sun was out and the warmth that the rising sun provided was just enough to just take the edge of the crispy early spring air. The sky's were blue. Cloudless for the first Saturday in months. I woke up really excited...Last week we played Timperley HC. The game was very tough. A proper game of hockey. I absolutely loved that game. Not so much the result. But the game. It was intense, quick and fluid....All I wanted from this week against Sefton was to sustain the effort and intensity I showed the week before.  We met at the club and everyone was relaxed. It feels like a massive weight has been lifted from off our shoulders. There is no pressure for us to get promotion and we are comfortably in the top 4. The only thing we need to do now is play our best hockey. And enjoy playing our best hockey. We travelled. On the way to the game I thought about the Timperley game. What did I do well? What could I have done better? This is the way I work out my game goals. My goals for Saturday's game were to sustain my defensive performances and improve offensively.

 I honestly don't think I have enjoyed a game before as much as I did this last weekend. I played with confidence and belief. I played like a winner like a champion of last year. I didn't do anything truly amazing, so I am not going to be big headed. But I did all the simple things excellently. There was not much for me to do offensively, but I was never beaten defensively. Not once. Neither winger had anything that I couldn't deal with. I was even in the right place at the right time to save Captain H by clearing a shot over the bar. So to sum up my game. I was Disciplined and Solid. 

It's really starting to make me smile that the things I were worried the most about are the things I'm now starting to get good at. I thank everyone for the encouragement and support. It's helped.

Okay Sport aside. Saturday night. A night to remember. A few of the Hockey boys decided to try out a night at the ruby lounge. Yes it's a Saturday and no it's not caged Asylum. It was a power ballad night. I don't think I have ever enjoyed a night out in town in my whole 9 years of ventures as much as that night. The music was brilliant, the atmosphere was immense and the company was outrageous. I don't think I have ever seen a group of lads enjoy that much cheese since dominoes did a buy 1 get 2 free deal. I well and truly vote that Sale Mens 1s do power ballads for our end of season do next month.

Okay that's enough from me tonight. So the morale of this blog is about belief. Believe and truly do believe you can do something and you will. Nothing will hinder you, and any obstacle you can over come. In the emphatic words of a truly great power ballad. "Nothing's gonna stop us now."


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

The End Goal?

Hello everyone and welcome to this weeks instalment of my blog. It feels like ages since I last put one of these together, so to my loyal blog readers...I apologise.

This month I feel like I haven't hit the ground running. Its strange because I have always had something to focus on and to aim towards. All the goals I have set I have achieved. It's almost like I have hit a plateau. I think it's mainly down to the fact I am now starting to feel content with aspects of my life. Does this mean I have reached my overall goal too soon? Is this a bad thing? The answer is I don't know?

On Monday the 16th November 2012, I decided I wanted to change most aspects of my life. My first step was to get fitter. On that day I underwent a fitness test. Below are the results from then and how I stand now.

weight - 14.4
waist size - 37 inches
2.4k (1.5m) run - 15.34 minutes.
28 sit ups - 1 minute
3 press ups - minute

Current weight - 13.2 stone
Waist size - 35 inches
2.4k (1.5m) run - 11.17 minutes
41 sit ups - 1 minute
12 press ups - 1 minute.

So looking into it I have improved in all above areas. And To be honest I was shocked on how much things have changed in such a short period of time. So it's that easy. My goals were by January to have lost a stone and be fitter. That goal wasn't just reached I smashed it. I worked very hard, very quickly to reach an acceptable level of fitness. With this new level of fitness it allowed me to enjoy playing Hockey again. I have come to realise that Playing for the 1's is something to respect and cherish. Not to take for granted. I enjoy the competition within our squad. Its healthy and has pushed me to be the best I can be. I am determined to make sure my name is one of the first on the team sheet.

Being fitter, eating healthier, thinking positive helped me to analyse my strengths and weaknesses. I have worked very hard on maintaining my strengths and worked even harder to iron out any weaknesses.

In hockey, I always wanted to excel in one position. But Instead I have learnt that being versatile is a great skill to have. I feel like the Zabaleta of Sale. I am happy with the feedback from captains, players, coaches and spectators. I am not going to get big headed. Instead accept it as a pat on the back for all the hard work I have committed to these past few months. If I receive criticism? I don’t see it as a negative, but treat it as a new challenge. I have learnt that to become fitter and a better player I need balance. I need to balance both training and rest. It's vital for sustaining momentum and to stop fatigue creeping in.

Because I am determined to better myself,  I have been actively working with Lyndon improving my tackling and defensive positioning . I feel encouraged that this is really starting to pay off with my recent performances. It's been hard trying to learn a new position. But its been worth it and because of this extra training I now feel confident. I feel like the team depend on me and they believe in me.

So what's next? Since the new year I have been contemplating that very question. Should I be looking for a girlfriend? Should I be looking for a new career? Or should I just be content? I don't think it will ever be in my personality to be content. So...

My ultimate goal is to be in a career that I really love and enjoy. This is probably the biggest goal anyone has in life.  I think this is the reason why I have hit a plateau. I believe I'm wasting my talents away. What do I want to do? I have asked myself that question ever since leaving High school.  But instead of acting on what I wanted to do, I opted for the easy option.  So I am setting myself a new goal.  A new challenge.  Something I have to work hard for. Something that I want to do.  I am going to keep this Goal to myself for now.  I want it to be purely my focus, My idea, my dream and my success.

To help achieve my end goal. My next focus is to be able to complete the following:

 Final Goal
Weight - 12.2 stone
Waist - 34
2.4k (1.5m) run - 10 minutes
50 sit-ups - 1 minute
25 press ups - 1 minute

Please encourage me and support me.  This next step is going to be harder then anything I have done yet.

Even Rocky had a montage
My Time Is Now...

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

((Intensity + Passion) x (Fatigue - Intelligence)) + Time = Hindsight - Integrity

Decision making  can be regarded as the mental processes resulting in the selection of a course of action among several alternative scenarios. Every decision making process produces a final choice. The output can be an action or an opinion of choice.

Decision making is a skill that some people have the luxury of being born with.  But for the majority of us we learn this skill through time and experience.  Its 'In the heat of Battle' where we as humans are tested the most.  Emotion can play a massive part in this process. Emotions can effect your judgement and directly influence you to make rash Decisions based on no depth of thought.  

For example.  This can be best described within an argument or a misunderstanding, where two or more strong minded personalties clash. Things are said, opinions are aired and final judgements made.  As humans we are all unique.  We all process our thoughts differently. We all deal with our emotions in our own way. Some people are better than this than others.

For me... 
...I'm an all or nothing type of guy.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  I bleed determination. I sweat passion. I put unnecessary pressure on myself to succeed.  I feed on positives. I strive to greater myself.  I believe in myself.

One thing that haunts rash decisions is hindsight.  Hindsight is the ability to understand what should have been done or what caused an event after something has happened.  Hindsight is one of those phenomenons You wish you access at any given time.  This phenomenon struck me late Monday evening whilst I was half way through a run on the treadmill.  

I didn't have the best weekend to be honest. I was annoyed with the stupid weather.  I was disappointed Hockey was cancelled again.  I Still couldn't sleep properly and my muscles and brain were zapped from a combination of intense work outs and a monotonous job.  So this kindly brings me to the title of this Blog today.  

"((Intensity + Passion) x (Fatigue - Intelligence))  + Time = Hindsight - Integrity"

Don't worry its not the answer to the age old question ' What is the meaning of life', however it sums up for me what happened this weekend.  I will break this down for you.

Intensity + Passion = My personality
Fatigue - Intelligence = My condition
Time = Well time (in this case a constant)
Hindsight - Integrity = How I feel.

Okay so all that being said, here we go. 

I woke up Saturday morning in an Horrendous mood. I was completely up for Hockey all I wanted to do was to get on that pitch and do what I love the most.  I was really annoyed training was called off the previous Tuesday. I want to train I want to better myself, I don't want to lose any match fitness.  Because of this I increased the intensity of my work outs in the gym.  I wanted to do more for longer.  I wanted to ensure that I would be in prime condition for our next game.

Friday night I didn't sleep very well.  With this increase of intensity and now a decrease in rest, my body was not in balance.  This lack of balance effected my neural system I.E the brain. So when My captain asks why am I not at the club for a meeting, and I am showing a poor attitude. My reaction was defensive.

So to cut a long story short...When one 
(being me in this case) is confronted with an accusation against one's nature.  One's brain due to fatigue is somewhat lame and does not process information in the right manor.  Which can resort into snappy, thoughtless remarks and actions based purely on emotion.  Then we bring time into play.  As time goes by ones body becomes somewhat balanced again. And in this period of balance the phenomenon hits you.  

So there I am casually running along.  Each step a stomp of pure anger and rage, when my brain goes POP.  You were a penis on Saturday.  I start to feel kind of guilty and embarrassed because of my actions. I start to feel like i have let a lot of people down.  My captain, My team and My coach.  But Most importantly I let myself.  My integrity is shattered.  I have worked so hard over the past 3 or so months to get to where I am now.  I will never let something as stupid as this ruin my progression. 

I admit I was wrong, out of line and immature. There is a hunger that continues to burn in my stomach.  I am a wynner. I want to be the best.  Battle against the best. Battle with the best.  I will work harder in the future no matter what the circumstances to be 100% committed.  I will bear thought to peoples opinions and accept them not as a negatives, but as a challenge to prove them wrong. 
Harrison Daly, Sale 1's, Rob Riley, I Hope you can all accept my sincere apologies.


Monday, 14 January 2013

NY cheer and a question...What is your deepest fear?

Its been a while since I last posted on my blog.  I hope you all haven't forgot about me and will continue to read them as and when I post them through out this New Year.  YES its a new year.  Its 2013.  Its strange how days, weeks, months and years just seem to pass by the older you get.  It feels like it was only yesterday when we witnessed Harrison Daly falling asleep stood up in 5th Ave.  Oh those were the days....  However, the last NYE was up there with the best of them. 

The night started back at H's.  It was the first time I had ever experienced the game drunken tower.  I soon realised that I did not have enough beer for this and was soon fobbed off to the shop to get some more supplies.  As the night went on we introduced Mikey Hoyle to the game of  "Gauntlet". For those who do not no..Gauntlet is a horrible game that should be banned in all countries.  Its a card game in which one has to get rid of ones cards in a manor where oneself has to in bide the value of the card placed down, or save it and gamble thus nominating the value of the card to a fellow player to in bide.  The loser is the one at the end with the most cards left. As we were only playing with one deck, its advised to try and just get rid of your cards. Suffice to say I kind of new I would be losing when I was dealt 4 x 3's.....However as my tummy was a little Dicky from the virus ( and not because I cant do I am well hard and a monster at drinking) I did not complete my fines.  Once everyone was a little tipsy, we ventured into MANC Town.  We were all sick of the same old same old NYE.  So this year and thanks to Mark and George coming up with the idea. We all went to see Frank Turner live at Gorilla Bar in Manchester. The Gig was awesome and the atmosphere surrounding us was unmissable. There was such a warm feeling of content and satisfaction. The drinks were good, the music was good the company was excellent. Great night out all in all.  I think the only thing that was upset at the end of the night was my empty purse. However well and truly worth it.  So its a little belated, But I Hope everyone in their own way had an awesome NYE.

Okay so its January.  And for most people its the worst month of the calendar year.  But I look at January in a whole new light.  Its the first month of  your "NEW" year.  Forget all those NYE resolutions that you tend to break after a day or so.  Its time to start the new year as you mean to go on.  Start positive.  Start your New year braver.  Want more from yourself and value yourself with a great importance.  Fill your need for success and greatness with a new ambition and desire to be better. Want more from yourself and for the people around you.  Believe that this year is your year.  Work harder this year.  Embrace opportunity as and when it arises. Set new goals, strive to reach them. 

Everyone is on a journey, its not written down on a map, nor is it set out in the stars.  There are no signposts, nor a yellow brick road to follow.  Its a journey that completely depends on choices made by yourself.  And that's what makes this world a wonderful place.  Everything is choice.  There are no right or wrong answers. We all know now that towards the latter end of 2012, I chose to pick myself back up.  It was my choice to carry on with my journey and It was my choice to speak about it so openly. I don't feel regret any more.  I am proud of all of the choice I have made in my life.  I have learnt that no matter what other people perceive them as, be it good or bad choices, They are my choice and mine alone.  They have got me to the place I am at right now.... 

....And on that note it kindly brings me to question in the title.  

Okay so one thing I have been doing, other then running myself ragged in a gym, is contemplating.  It was Friday last week, the night before our first Hockey game back.  I was drafting this blog.  I started reading it back to myself, and I started to question what I was writing down.  I started worrying whether it was sounding too preachy.  I was starting to worry.  "What if people don't read this?". "What if they have all lost interest?".  What if this, what if that....In the background I was watching coach carter with Sam L Jackson.  I love that film.  If you haven't seen the film please watch it.  I swear to god that film inspired me to want to coach. Anyway I'm getting side tracked. So back to the point....I was thinking all these things and Coach Carter was in the background. In the film there's a kid called Timo Cruz.  Timo was a kid with immense talent. He had the potential to be truly great.  Unfortunately for Timo he hid all this talent and potential behind his life style.  He had bad attitude.  He made himself the big man. He disrespected authority. He Played the joker card.  Coach carter throughout the film had a rough time with this kid.  But he never gives up on him.  Coach Carter is constantly asking Timo "What is your deepest fear?"  and It got me thinking.  What is my deepest fear? So I sat there. I stopped what I was doing and took a sip of my brew.  I started listing things in my head. Was it wasps? I am absolutely petrified of them, but is that my deepest fear? No.  I back tracked through out my life. And started to view it in 3rd person.  And then it hit me. All I have ever done in my life was to seek attention.  I would do anything to get recognition. Not a lot of it was good.  I invited banter that was never really deserved, I accepted it and played on it so I could be the centre of attention. Was my deepest fear, that I was inadequate? Hmmm, On that last sentence I leave you with this quote.  This was the answer Timo Cruz gave to coach Carter after months of being asked "What is your deepest Fear?"

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Peace out boys and girls.

No Pain No Gain

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Opportunity, Festive cheer and My lovely Summer's Birthday.

Before I even get started I would like to wish Summer a wonderful birthday! She graced the chambers household 6 years ago and has been a bundle of Joy ever since. She is always polite and can make anyone smile. I am proud to be part of your life. She is Testament too the proud parents Lee and Nat. So happy birthday Summy have a great day love Davexxxx.

I have always been a great believer in opportunity. Opportunity is a set of circumstances that makes it 'Possible' to do something, to find something or to achieve success. Opportunity surrounds every single one of us each and every second of the day. Most people create opportunities and completely dismiss them. Sometimes they never even realise. 

The first and most important step is to open your eyes. Stop hiding behind your insecurities your doubts and your fears. Believe in yourself. trust in yourself. That belief and trust will fill you with the confidence. It will give you the internal power to see something you desire and work towards it. 

This year has been so eye opening for me.  I was once the person who never really took up on any opportunities. I was someone who would find any excuse to hide away from them. When i started writing this blog i was completely unsure what reaction i would get.  I was insecure whether i could write about my feelings and publish them in the pubic eye.
I look back over this year and feel wow what a learning curb it was.  I have changed so much in the past 6 months.  I am better, stronger, confident, healthier  damn the list could go on. I feel like what ever I want from life I can achieve.  Not only achieve but be a great success at it.  

There have been a few opportunities that i have taken on. I have an opportunity to be the fittest, fastest and best half back Sale HC has to offer. I have really enjoyed this new challenge this year.  I feel i can be that person, i know i can be this player. To be picked to start every week is a great honour for me. Especially as i know the competition is rife. I have had to work hard to earn the privilege of being 1st choice. It's now very important that I work harder to keep this role.  

Next June I have the opportunity to greater my coaching knowledge and skills. I really can't wait to achieve my Level 2. I have worked very hard over the last three years and I believe I am ready for that next step. I really need to thank Rob Riley, my lovely Juniors and of course my Moss Park girls. All of you have given me the belief and I really hope I have given you all much more back.

My most recent opportunity arose when Sophie Stephenson advised me of a special trip to the Cayman Islands.  I was so excited i think i may have been the first to reply to her. Its a once in a life time experience for me and i would have been a fool to turn this down.  Well as of yesterday its all booked. May 15th you can not come any sooner.  RUM SUN AND MORE RUM! So excited.

Soooo next time your out an about think about what opportunities you dismiss that could change your life. I am not saying be a yes man/woman, but It could be as simple as sharing a smile, helping someone cross the road, filling in a form, telling someone how you feel, speaking to family, building bridges, staying an hour after work, working hard in education, getting someones number, learning a new skill or even a kiss. So be brave. Go for it!

Opportunity aside....Its 6 festive days to Christmas Day. 

Christmas has been a little hard for me over the past few years.  Its never really been a time of joy. The whole festive season has always been in the shadow of my late grandads terrible accident. I have never really spoke much about this and up until recently this year i would never of known how too. Its funny i feel so much more full of life just by talking about this.  Its so much easier to let it off my chest.  I know my grandad will be reading this and saying in his Manc Sligo accent, " David, Thomas Oliver Sarah Sean Thomas David...ya stupid fekker, go and get a beer" :)

This year i am really looking forward to Christmas.  The build up has been so much more enjoyable.For me Christmas is all about friends family and loved ones.  Its a time for everyone no matter what difference to get together and celebrate family. I am really lucky to have such a brilliant family.  And to top all of this off my extended families are quality as well.  

So thank you all for having me and putting up with me.  I would like to take this "opportunity" to wish all my family and my extended family Sale HC, Moss Park HC, Friends and The Chambers, a very happy Christmas. Have a lovely festive period drink lots, eat lots and be safe. xxxx

I know its no my normal way to end a blog, However over the last few years we have witnessed some heinous gun crimes in the US.  I would like everyone to take some time to pray for the families who will be missing someone this year.

Please listen to this song and take a minute...