Week 4 & 5

Week 4

Fresh of Game #2, I had to manage my recovery well because Game #3 was the next day. I did a bit of my post-game stretch in the car, on the metro ride and then fully once I got home. After showering and getting changed, I thought an early night was a good call. I woke up once during the night to hear a torrential thunderstorm beginning. I was so tired that I wasn’t even bothered to get up and close the slightly open window.

I woke up the next morning to find everything lightly drenched outside. Inevitably there was an e-mail about the game being cancelled by the away team. I was secretly happy. The downtime was appreciated considering I was travelling the next day.

Packing began the next day morning only 30 minutes before I had to leave for the airport. It wasn’t a very long trip and I didn’t need much. I did pack my Garmin watch and training gear however to get a bit of running done in between with the different weather.

Just before I stepped out of the house, I missed a call from the local FA. That was exciting! Unfortunately I didn’t get to hear what it was about but I’ll have to attend it and see what the opportunities are. It’s been a long but difficult process in getting this so far so a phone call back is an achievement!

I feel I’m always talking about either the weather, travel, moving or some bits of refereeing here. Might be a good summary of this blog. Anyway, here are some travel pictures.

dxbMorningFlight

dutyFreeShopping

planeJetWalk

The weather has been a lot more humid and hot.

trainTrip

trainStationCali

heat

The rest of the week was a lot of playing FIFA 15 on PS3. I think I lost more times than I could count to my cousins. More infuriatingly, they were 90th minute winners at times so not a decisive scoreline but what seemed like luck.

fifaVideoGame

On one occasion, my defender caught up to my opponent’s attacker on an OGSO. I overtook him and gained possession of the ball but a charging goalkeeper collided with the defender sending both to the floor… Of all the decisions that could be made on a football pitch. Anyways… The ball was gifted to the attacker in open space and an empty net.
My cousin was afraid of punting the ball out so he elected to walk the ball in. At this point, I lost my patience and threw the controller back into the sofa and stopped paying attention to the game.
I, then, heard a yelp. I turned around and there was some commotion coming from the game. It wasn’t a goal. Somehow it was saved. I jumped back on the sofa to grab my controller and block the next shot. The ball went out and I was puzzled how things went wrong. After we went back to the replay, it turns out that the fallen goalkeeper got up, doubled his pace and managed to dive and punch the ball to safety on the goal line and send the attacker flying face-first into the goal net. I roared with laughter and my cousin couldn’t do anything but help feel sheepish at a squandered opportunity. Legendary FIFA moments.

The next best moment was a punt up field from my goalkeeper off the goal line. My attacker jumped over a defender, submarined himself and headed it to a teammate who volleyed it into the net from just past halfway. It was an absolutely sensational goal.

Week 5

My aunt had seen me training for the High Intensity intervals a few years back and said she wanted to join if I was doing the same soon. That plan didn’t work out as smoothly as I hoped it would because it kept getting postponed. Eventually I thought enough was enough one day and even though it was pitch dark with no street lights, I decided I was going outside to run. I jogged up until the gate ever so carefully. The pathway was prone to animals being around e.g. dogs, cats, snakes. I arrived at the gate, took a look to the left and one to the right. There was no way I could run in darkness. I couldn’t even see my hand in front of me, let alone the path.

I turned back and looked at the house. I could see the path to the house since my eyes had adjusted to the darkness. Sprints it was then! Instead of doing 40m sprints, I decided to sprint the full length which may have been about 60m. It was a good set of runs. My aunt eventually joined me for a few along with my niece. In twenty-five minutes, I had covered about 2.7km. I was paying attention to my stride length since I had heard comments from colleagues about it before. It was larger than I realised.

The next day was a bit of football and getting back into the rhythm of playing. 2v1 and 2v2 football on the lawn in front of the house.

childhoodFootballPitch

Playing with smaller cousins always meant a physical stature advantage. This helped because playing without a numbers advantage can be very difficult. I tried to side-step my cousin getting out of my defensive zone but my left foot gave way and slipped on a muddy patch of grass. I grabbed his waist with my right hand and pulled. He had beaten me to goal. Luckily the grab helped me gain my balance on hauled me back to my feet but soon after sent both of us tumbling to the ground and the ball rolling harmlessly to the side.

He was a lot less frustrated than I expected as the word DOGSO was on my mind. He accepted a penalty kick; shot from halfway without a goalkeeper on a small goal. Unfortunately for him, a chip sent the ball wide and I had gotten away from the triple punishment.

I cut the sole of my foot on sharp stone though which meant I was limping for the next two days before I was back on my feet. Literally!

I also visited a world-famous international football stadium in the locality. Unfortunately I couldn’t get in but I could see the corner flags through the tunnel.

jwnStadium

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