Bells, Bikes and Belief

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I’ve now completed my 6th week of Functional Fitness and I can definitely see improvement in my workout.

In my first post, I mentioned using a 8kg for my first 2 classes. That was pretty tough. I even went out and bought my own 8kg bell to practice!

In my 3 class ever, my trainer Gerry promoted me to using a 12kg bell and that was even tougher. Like real tough. (Not to mention, my 8kg bell was sitting there, lonely ane brand new! *sad face*) I feel like I had to double my effort with the 4kg increase. What’s that you say? Sounds easy? Its only 4kg? You try it. See how you go and then tell me it’s easy. Here’s your workout.

30 x 2 handed swings
15 x sumo squats/goblet squats
30 x alternative hand swings

30 second break (we only had 15 second breaks but I’ll be generous)

15 x sumo squat with vertical thruster
30 x 2 handed swings
15 x sumo squat with vertical thruster

30 second break

30 x alternative hand swings
20 x knee crunches
30 x 2 handed swings

30 second break

10 x left handed squat press
30 x alternative hand swings
10 x right hand squat press

30 second rest

30 x 2 handed swings
10 x left kneel down get ups
30 x 2 handed swings
10 x right kneel down get ups

(I did replace these kneel down get ups with more crunches for obvious knee reasons but you should be fine)

Not so easy now, right? When you are trying to press the bell above your head, 12kg certain becomes heavier than you thought. Especially with your non dominant hand. I struggled. Yep, I’ll admit it. I got to 7 on my left and I felt like I could not do anymore. Gerry and the class had already finished their left handed set and I had 3 to go. I felt like I was holding the group up but I didn’t wanna give up at the same time. Gerry picked up his own bell and said, ‘How many do you have left?’. I told him 3. He counted and completed them with me. I could feel the emotion within my own body after I’d completed it. The relief and feeling of being proud my achievement washed over me but I still had those right handed ones to complete. They were slightly easier, only because I’m right handed. I pushed out the 10 reps without a break and felt much better after I finished them.

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I’ve now been using the 12kg for my last 3 classes and I can feel my body improving with this weight.

We altered the workout after that third class, only slightly but it was still an alteration. Instead of the second lot of squat thrusters, we replaced more crunches. We also added 5 high swings after every 10 in the 2 handed swings. This alteration was used in the forth and fifth class.

Gerry had been completing the exercises with us the entire time and I tried to stay at his pace so I could have something to gage myself on. He uses a 16kg bell. Wowie. I tried a bit of swinging with the 16kg and thought I might be able to move up a few kgs but wasn’t sure on another 4kg increase. Gerry suggested adding a small weight to the bell I had been using, taking it from 12kg to 14kg just for the 2 handed swings. Presses I would still use a 12kg so I could master it. I thought, that’s a pretty good idea. I like a challenge, why not?

It was only the next day, I had an upper arm day at the gym and there was that 16kg bell, just taunting me. I altered my own workout and decided to give it a try. It was only 20 x swings (along with 20 x push ups and 10 x 10kg bar bicep curls) in between each weight machine. That makes it a total of 200 swings for my entire workout. Did I complete them? Absolutely. Did it hurt and burn? Absolutely. However, did I feel greatness after them? Absolutely.

If there was one thing I could say about myself at the gym, it would be I have an attitude that I don’t give up. Do I feel the pain (good pain, not injury pain) and burn of a workout? Hell yes! I also have thoughts constantly running through my head of ‘Conquer’, ‘Learn to love the burn’ and for times when I am running ‘Run with your heart, not your legs’ ‘You’re brain will give up much quicker than your legs will’. It might sound corny and typical fitness inspirational but IT HELPS!

Yesterday saw me complete the sixth functional workout. I haven’t missed a week yet. Touch wood. If you keep training the same with no variation on your workout, you’ll never improve. So, this lead to a completely different set of exercises with the bell and the introduction of speed bikes. (This morning, I am sore. I’m not sure if I lacked technique last night but my back is aching. Whinge complete. Back to the workout) The group was split in half with one completing a kettle bell session and the other the spin bikes. As you can guess, we swapped after the completion of each workout.

I had the bells first. It was a 5 round burst that consisted of the following:

10 x knee crunches
6 x swing, clean and press (each hand)
15 x sumo/goblet squats
30 x alternative hand swings
30 second break

After 3 rounds, I could literally feel the sweat running down my face. I was getting tired but I tried to keep my technique and good as possible. I also tried to complete the swings with 2 x 8kg bells (one in each hand), swinging at the same time. This time, it was too tough for me. I will try it again next week though.

Next was the spin bikes. It was almost like a HIIT session. There was a mixture of light and tough resistance, fast and slow-ish peddling and even 1 foot peddling. After that workout, I was exhausted. I use another word but let’s keep it ‘G-rated’. We took a heart rate measurement and I was working at about 162 beats per minute which for my age is about 85% work rate. Apparently that’s a good range. I’m not 100% sure on what the fat burning range for a 24-25 yr old is but I definitely feel skinner afterwards. *wink face*

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I know next week will be somewhat the same and I will try the 16kg swings again and see how I go. My presses have definitely improved on my right arm. I just need to work more on my left.

It’s upper body day at gym tonight so I guess I’ll see how I go. Who knows, I might be able to throw 300 swings in with the 16kg. I’ll let you know next post.

There are no reasons on Earth why you should not believe in yourself. Find your reason and conquer your dreams.

La love,
C. x

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Sunshine and Rain

Sunshine and Rain.

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One boosts happiness and warmth. The other, coldness and darkness.

Today, although I woke up a little tired (okay, a lot tired), I was feeling pretty okay. I have my functional fitness class tonight that I am really looking forward to and trying to stay on the healthy eating wagon. It’s been a little rocky today, but I’m still hanging on!

What I cannot understand though, is the people that you think are your friends, or at least pretty good work colleagues, turn out to be complete asses.

I know no one should be able to take away the rays of sunshine within your day, but some people are just that capable of pissing you off, that when it rains, it bloody pours.

I’ve decided to take a break from their bad moods and silly little in jokes and move my lunch break to my desk to help me revive my sunshine; by blogging!

Although I don’t get on here as much as I used to, blogging is still an outlet for me and I love expressing my feelings and thoughts through my keyboard. It might get seen by 1 person or maybe even 100 people, at least it is something that helps me refocus on the good things in life.

Turn your frown upside down.

My gym girls, my trainer Gerry and my 12kg Kettlebell are waiting for me tonight. 

C. x

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Friday Inspiration

Recovery…

It’s takes a long time and a lot of hard work but it is most certainly worth it in the end. (I hope!)

182 days into my ACL reconstruction and it’s getting stronger every day when I remember to do my physio exercises. Are there days where I wish I hadn’t had the surgery done and just left my knee as it was? Absolutely! However,  I look back at that and and remember the painful thought of not playing competitive sport again. Those thoughts are definitely more painful than any recovery pain.

Football is my passion and it really does hurt to sit on the sideline and watch. I’ve already been cleared to start kicking and dripping the ball in straight lines which has come along much quicker than anyone (including my surgeon, physio and gym trainers) expected.

One of my trainers told me recently “You have great mental strength Candice… You struggled and it was hard but look you got there. This is the sort of stuff that transfers into confidence in your ability to tackle anything in life. That inspires others to realise they can do it too. It was a great effort.”

Comments like this just make me literally explode with confidence and adrenaline when I am training. I know the journey will still be tough for a while but once I’m on the park again, I will have conquered everything I worked hard to achieve.

Stay strong. We will all get there in the end.

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C. x

Functional Fitness Wednesday

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Functional Fitness focuses on building a body capable of doing real-life activities in real-life positions, not just lifting a certain amount of weight in an idealized posture created by a gym machine. It’s Making Muscles Work Together.

Wow! That is all I can say.  I’ve now completed two sessions and it was bloody hard work!!  However I completed it without giving up.

For our beginning few sessions we are using kettle bells for the entire workout.  AN ENTIRE HOUR! Whether it be squats, swings, presses, crunches… everything is using a kettle bell.  I am currently working an 8kg kettle bell which may not seem like a great deal HOWEVER when you have an hour long session of advanced boxing the night before  and a 45-60 minute arm workout prior to the functional fitness class, I think I’m doing alright.

Over the workout course I completed 400 swings (some alternating hands), 60 crunches, 40 squat presses, 40 squats with an overhead diagonal thruster and 20 sumo squats. Remember, I was swinging, carrying, pressing a 8kg kettle bell in every one of these exercises.

Beware. The little suckers can be deceiving. You can have a small size and a large size but they weigh the same.  You’ve been warned.  Don’t be fooled into thinking smaller ones weigh less.

As I said, this was my second class.  The day after my first class, I felt like I’d been crushed by a bus.  My arms hurt, my legs hurt, my back hurt; actually my whole body hurt!  Woke up this morning and expected to feel the same… Only my arms and chest hurt today however that would be helped by the combo of boxing, arms workout AND kettle bells! I did feel much better after the class finished yesterday.  Even after one week, I feel like I’d improved.  It might just be my imagination but I seriously felt better.

I’ve been to gym every day this week so tomorrow is my rest day.  I feel like my body is going to need it.  I completed a half cardio/half weights session tonight as well, so my arms and upper body definitely need a well earned rest.

Sleep Well Bloggers.

C. x

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Terrific Tabata Tuesday

Tonight’s work out at gym was intense. Ha, great pun Candice.  Tabata is a type of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and follows a specific combination of 20 seconds of a very high intensity exercise then a 10 second rest, repeated for 8 rounds.

After completing a 10 minute round of 10 push ups, 20 squats and 30 sit up repeats, we moved on to amended session of 30 seconds on and 10 seconds rest, repeating 3 times for each exercise..

As always, I felt pretty satisfied afterwards (until I came home and shoveled pasta in my face).

If I try recall it, I think the intervals went like this:

Sprints
Jump Squats (Squat Raises)
Spin Bike
Competition Burpees (Step Box Jumps)
Sprints
Squat Press
Kettle Bell Swings
Bad Bag Boxing
Sprints
Step Box Jumps

That’s terrible.  I did this about 3 hours ago and I can’t even remember if that was the correct order. What I do remember is that I was hot and sweaty and felt great afterwards. The trainers at my gym are super amazing and push you to reach your full potential. 

I just need to keep trying to adjust my eating and I should be back on track.  

Tomorrow, Gerard Santamaria is coming in for a functional fitness session.  What’s functional fitnesss?  No idea.  I’ll let you know tomorrow,after the session.  Boxing starts again with Jade on Tuesday next week.  I cannot wait to smash something again.  It’s like a weekly stress release for me.  

It’s almost 10pm and I need a big sleep.  I’ll check back in tomorrow with some more updates on the functional fitness and any other random crazy things that happen. 

Have a great day/night/etc. everyone!

C. x

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Super Saturday

Morning All.

This morning I have a heap of plans I want to execute however the comfort of my bed is winning. 

I need to duck out and pick up a new external portable hard drive.  The one I currently have has died and I need to try and remove all that was on there, onto a new one which could prove difficult due to the fact my laptop doesn’t read it. 

Second, I need to go for a run this morning, even if its only 10 minutes.  Hoping 10 minute spurts will keep me motivated for the moment.  Who knows, I might run a little longer once I’m on the treadmill. 

Third, I need to find some new recipes for lunches next week,  Tuna and corn for lunch doesn’t inspire me every day so that’s when I start to drift off track. I’m thinking of cooking some quinoa and mixing that in some kinda of salad.  It should be able to cook while I do that 10 minute run.

Lastly, #boyfie has football at 1.30pm today so I need to get all the above done by then so I can cheer him on in the freezing cold.  That means I should probably move from my current coziness and get up,

I am hoping however, I can get some kicking practice in while we are at football,  That’s a directive of my physio so I’ve got to at least try do it. It does make me happy to kick a football again.  It feels like little bursts of freedom coming of my boot, waiting to be caught and taken advantage of.  

Also, found this event.  Totally want to do it so gotta do a little more research but pretty keen. Take a look. 

La love, 
C.x 

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Reality Check

It’s funny looking back at posts you typed 18 months ago and seeing what your life was like then, what issues you had and your attitude. towards yourself.  

 My life 18 months ago? I was training every day for a 10% buffer on every footballer I came across. Today, I’m lying in bed in my dressing gown, 5.5 months down the road from a knee reconstruction with no motivation what-so-ever. 

However, reading all these posts is making me wonder what my reasoning is for not being motivated.  My knee is fine to run; I just need to take it easy and build up my distances and times again.  Am I scared of hurting myself again? Absolutely.  It is now my top fear – along with spiders. One small click or a little pain and I am almost throwing my money at the physiotherapist to tell me nothing is wrong.  

I have all the equipment I need.  Myself.  That’s it.  It’s all in my head.  I know I can succeed,  I already have.  I’m just a few steps back on where I was 18 months ago.  I know I can do it.  The proof is in this blog.  Go back and read it.  

I need to stop making excuses and start acting.  Just like I need to keep blogging and telling you my highs/lows/up/downs because looking back, that’s one HUGE reason I was motivated.  

Who knows, maybe one person still tunes in, maybe you all do, but the only person that should take notice of these posts is me.  I should need to turn my words into actions. 

There isn’t anything more simpler.  Get off my arse, Stop complaining I’ve gone up in weight and work on it.  There isn’t a cure.  It’s just hard work. 

Swallow the pain and push through. 

C. x

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Knee’d An Update?

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My last few blog posts have updated you all that I am nursing what is thought to be an ACL tear in my knee.  After 9 months of physios, specialists and surgeons, I had it confirmed that my ACL was completely torn.

Another 4 months on, I am now recovering from my operation and my ACL is on its way to being healed.  They took a graft from my hamstring to repair the ligament and my recovery is going great guns.

Let’s take a look from the beginning.  Since doing the damage on April 12th 2013, I was not aware until I’d woken up after my surgery that I had torn my ACL completely. There were plenty of assumptions made on what was wrong within my knee but an actual diagnosis was never given.

As you can read in my previous posts “Another Catch Up Session” and “Run the Rock Results” I still ran while having the injury and I’ve even started going to a gym.

The unknown diagnosis was playing with my head and I wasn’t as motivated as I have been, to keep exercising.  That’s why I signed up to go to gym.  I thought this may keep me motivated until I had my operation.  I signed up in the new year and still had not had an clarification on when my operation was going to be. I hit it hard.  I went almost every day for the first 3 weeks of January.  I was loving it.

I’d already been waiting 4 months for my operation I had called the hospital a few times in that time and asked for an update.  The only thing they could tell me was that I was on the list, but no date had been allocated.   I got a phone call on the 23rd January from the hospital (only a couple of days after my most recent call for an update) and they were pleased to inform me that they had a cancellation on the list and I had been put in that spot.  I listened to the nurse tell me some important information, everything apart from when it would actually be.  After all her spiels, she finally gave me a date, January 31st.  I said to her, that’s next week. She said “Yes, it is.  Is that going to be a problem?”  I didn’t even consult my work or my boss, I just said no, it was fine.  The nurse concluded saying she would post me off the details of the surgery then hung up.

I was excited.  Ecstatic even.  I skipped around the office for days.  Everyone was confused on my surgery was of such exciting nature.  I had been waiting 9 months for this.  Not the surgery, but just an answer to all my questions.

The week leading up to my surgery went slow.  Just like all things you are waiting for.  They take what feels like months to arrive.   Finally, Friday arrived and I needed to be at the hospital at 7am.  I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to sit around for too long.  After holding back some tears (finally feeling my nerves) I filled in all my paperwork and sat in the waiting room for hours.  Not just what felt like hours, actual hours.  The first waiting room, I sat there for about 2 hours and then got moved to another waiting  room in which I sat there for another 2 hours.  After being there from 7am, I finally got the call at about 12.00pm.  I said goodbye to my mum (fighting back tears again) and went through to the ward.

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I got changed into the sexy night gown they give you, with no back and text my mum, boyfriend and best friend that was about to go in.  After being wheeled into the corridor to theatre, I couldn’t hold back my tears.  I was now terrified.  There was no one there to hold my hand this time.  All the nurses were really caring, trying to calm me down, saying my operation was standard and I had nothing to worry about.

Everyone I had spoken to had told me that they ask you to count backwards from 10 when they administer the anesthetic to you.  All I remember is the doctors and nurses asking me to tell them my name for the paperwork.  I was out cold.

I do remember waking up in recovery at about 2.30pm and I was in pain.  A lot of pain.  I had multiple doses of pain killers and was asked to rate my pain out of 10. My pain took hours to come even close to a 3, which was the acceptable limit to be moved from recovery to a ward.  My mum came to visit me on the ward after I was moved.  She stayed for a while but there wasn’t much she could do.

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After my pain killers had finally kicked in, I was hungry.  I needed food.  At about 5.30pm they bought me dinner. It wasn’t anything special but boy did it taste good at the time.

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I had a nurse check on my every hour for ages which was annoying because all I wanted to do (after I’d eaten) was sleep. The doctor also came in and informed me that my ACL was quote knackered unquote.  For all the pain I was in, I had only assumed that was the case.

My boyfriend’s dad came in and brought me chocolates but didn’t stay too long.  He could tell I wanted to sleep.  When I was due to sleep, I was given more pain killers that would also help me sleep. HA! They actually kept me awake.  I watched the clock from 8.30pm until 12.00am.  After that I called the nurse and said, please give me something else.  I am exhausted.  They swapped my meds and gave me a sleeping tablet.  I didn’t get much sleep, having to stay on my back and not move.  The nurse checked me every four hours after that.

Breakfast came which meant I would be coming home soon. Yay!  The hospital physio came around and brought me some crutches to use.  Finally, I didn’t need to be wheeled around everywhere.  She took me for a small walk around the ward to make sure I was okay on the crutches and tested me going up and down on some stairs.

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My boyfriend was in around 11am to pick me up and take me home.  I had to wait to be signed out to I munched on some lunch but not long after that, I felt very light headed and needed to be laid down before I passed out.  There was a delay in the surgeon signing off my xrays so I could leave but I wasn’t in any state to be going anywhere fast.

After I was finally cleared, I was feeling good enough to go home.  After being wheeled out and put in the car, my gorgeous boyfriend produced this.  A small inflated balloon which had a cup of lollies attached.  So cute.  I did make me smile even though I was in a lot of pain.  I stayed at his house that night and the night after because my parents had already planned to be away.  He was great in looking after me and his family were amazing.  His mum even bought me flowers. Naw!

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I had called my boss after I got the news from the doctor and told him I wouldn’t be in for that week but I’d do my best to be in the week after. That didn’t end up happening.  I had 2 weeks off work.  I did try go in after a week but I was too exhausted and wasn’t very productive.  It wasn’t busy anyway so the boss told me not to worry about work and just go home and get better.

I took a photo every day for the first 2 weeks so I could keep track on the progress.  My bruising got worse and worse.  They were the worst bruising some of the doctors and nurses had ever seen from an ACL reconstruction.  I have no idea on what they did during the surgery but it must have been rough.

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From 14 days post surgery, I have been seeing a physio every 2-3 weeks.  My recovering is flying along and was able to walk almost properly after only 6 weeks.  I had been told by my physio that another lasy he was helping (who had the same surgery) was still off work and on crutches. That made me feel great.

My progress has been phenomenal.  After 8 weeks, I was allowed to go back to gym on light duties.  At 12 weeks I was given the okay to run. At 16 weeks, I was told I was allowed to start kicking a football.  At 17 weeks and 2 days, I ran my first 5km again. (Although I was in a little bit of pain a few days afterwards).  Now at 18 weeks (and 3 days), I have kicked a football and it felt great.  They were only small passes back and forth between my boyfriend and I but I haven’t done that for over a year without pain.

The downside to my operation and lack of motivation, it that I have put on 5kgs.  My goal now it to get back to my pre-operation weight, then hit my pre-operation goals.  However, one step at a time.

I have started my running sheet again and am doing my best to stick to it.  I have given myself a target of 20km running for the month and attend gym 10 times (excluding my boxing sessions).  It is a reasonable goal, so I just need to stay motivated.  Currently, I’ve only ran 5km and been to gym 2 times (and 1 boxing session) but it’s a start.

I also need to stay motivating to eat well, which I haven’t been doing.  I keep saying next week, next week but there is not more next week.   There is tomorrow.  If I take a step backwards, there is no next week.  There is the next meal.  Start again, minutes later.  Not days or weeks.

At Day 129, It’s all up from here, right?

It’s good to be back.

C. x

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Dreams Are Not Greater Than Reality

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The long-awaited arrival of EPL giant, Liverpool Football Club into Australia was finally a reality back in July 2013. (I know! SLACK SLACK SLACK)  We (#boyfie and I) are HUGE Liverpool fans and we could not wait to see them play, live, in front of our eyes.  Having missed out watching a game while I was in the UK (being off-season), this was going to be the next best thing until I could save enough cash to get back over there during football season.

Months had passed and my ticket was just waiting to be scanned so I could see my Reds play.  A week or so before the game, a rumour of a closed training session was surfaced and tickets went in a flash.  Not realising until after they had all sold that it was even on, I was super disappointed we weren’t going to have the chance to go.  I searched high and low over Ticketek to try to find if they were to release more seats but I couldn’t find a single date.  I ended up on the Official Melbourne Liverpool Supporters Page on Facebook and asked if anyone had spare tickets or couldn’t go, I was willing to pay for the tickets (as they were free at that stage if you has the right password).  I ended up buying two tickets from a member of the group and hoped to god (pardon the wording) that he had not ripped me off and the tickets worked.

I had sneakily bought #boyfie a new jersey for his birthday (even though that is in August) and planned to give it to him on the day of the game.  That ended up not happening and I  gave it to him a few days earlier.  He LOVED it.  His shirt had our new star “Coutinho – 10″ on the back.  I also got myself a new jersey with my favourite player ”Agger – 5″.

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A few more days after that, the training session turned into an open session and tickets went on sale with all proceeds going to charity.  We got 2 more tickets; one for #boyfie’s dad and his best mate.  The training session was the day before the game and I managed to find #boyfie’s dad while I was lining up to go in.  #boyfie and his  buddy were running late so it was up to his dad and I to find good seats.  We ended up on a wing side, right near a corner.  Not many people has crowded around us yet so it gave us a moment to relax and for me to set up my camera.

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Fast forwarding to when the players came out; I think they would have been expecting a decent sized crowd but not the reception they actually got.  Fifteen to twenty thousand people showed up just to watch a football squad train.  It was insane.  I was a little teary when they came out but tried to get some decent shots.  (I really need to get a good zoom lens for my Canon.  I was running an 18-55mm lens and a 55-200 lens and it was just that little bit too short.  If I had a lens of 70-300 I would have got some more decent shots… Back to the story)

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I decided to get my merchandise while the training session was on, so I wouldn’t have to wait in the crowds tomorrow.  We had already passed some stands outside in which I got our match programs and a tour scarves.  I did however, want a jumper if possible.  When I got to the shop, there were people everywhere.  I found the jumpers and what I expected was a reality.  No small sizes.  JOY!  However, they did have youth sizes left.  I tried on a large and wait for it… YAY, it fitted.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t any cheaper but I still wanted one.  I ended up with a jumper, t-shirt and beanie for an amount in which I cannot remember but probably too much. Where I has purchased the scarves and match programs, they had these amazing flat peaked hats but I was indecisive about getting one.  Eventually I saw enough people walking around with them on for me to decide that I wanted one.  I asked #boyfie if he wanted one and he told me no, so out I raced and got my hat.  After that, he kept pinching it and wearing it.  I said I has asked if he wanted one but he kept saying no so I didn’t  bother.

The team ended up finishing training with a small sided match which happened at our end and then it was all over.  They clapped and thanked fans for coming out and left.  If tonight was a thrill, what was tomorrow going to be like when the stadium will be filled with 5-6 times more people?

MATCH DAY

Words cannot describe the feeling I had when I woke up on match day morning.  Excited just didn’t make the cut.  I’d had a count down at work from 10 days until the match and today read “Match Day :D”.  Ony a select few at work shared my excitement.

After work, I went home with a friend from work and went to dinner with her and her husband as they were going to the game as well.  I got changed and we set off to find a restaurant near the MCG so we wouldn’t be late. I was almost too excited to eat but I scoffed down some yummy Indian buttered chicken then we ventured outside and walked with the masses to the infamous MCG.

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The crowds outside were insane.  People frolicking around everywhere.  Seas of red and specks of navy for the opposition.  I managed to get a platinum seat which was on level 2 at the Liverpool “Supporter End”.  Kick off was nearing and I finally found my seat.  Smack bang in the middle of a row, completely already filled with people.  As my knee was still not diagnosed, lateral movement was still an issue.  I tried so shuffle across the best I could but I still ended up twisting it when I accidentally stood on someone’s foot because they wouldn’t move.  I was in a lot of pain but tonight was going to be one night I wasn’t going to forget and it wasn’t going to be due to a painful knee.  Liverpool Football Club.  In MELBOURNE. I had a ticket and it was going to be the best night of my life!

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#boyfie and his dad were in another section and honestly I was wishing that I could be with him to share this experience but it was okay.  I knew he would be excited.  Maybe even more excited than I was.  We would be able to discuss this experience of a lifetime for many weeks, months or even years after the final whistle.

The suspense was finally lifted when the song began to play.  “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.  This is a club tradition.  It is played before every home game at Anfield and that stadium holds around 45,500 people.  Imagine 40,000 plus people singing that, in tune, perfectly, word for word. Now that is in your head, imagine double that number. 95,446 people attended the game and I believe there was not one single Liverpudlian with a hushed voice.  The song boomed around the MCG with a sea of red banners and scarves lifted in the air.  Half of Melbourne would have been able to hear us and that’s what we wanted.

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The starting line up was announced and I was so disappointed Daniel Agger wasn’t starting.  I’d been waiting to see him play and Rodger’s has sidelined him.  I could only hope that because it was a friendly, more than 3 substitutions would be made.

Melbourne Victory held their own for the first ten minutes but a simple mistake cost them.  Liverpool pounced and dominated after that.  Steven Gerrard popped the first goal (36th minute) into the top corner and the lead 1-0 going into the second half.  I tried to snap some photos during the game but I didn’t want to miss anything so I ended up putting my camera away and soaking in the atmosphere.

During the first half, #boyfie sent me a text saying there was a free seat next to him and his dad, if I wanted to move next to them.  There was also a spare seat next to me but not 2 seats so  his dad could sit there.  I took advantage of people moving around at half time to shuffle through fewer people and hobble across to where they were sitting.  Their seats may have not been as comfortable as mine but they view of the game was just as good.  The night was ALMOST complete now.  I was sitting with him and we could watch our “Reds” together.  The only thing that would make it perfect was my favourite player being substituted on.

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At the 70th minute mark, the score was still 1-0 to Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers (the coach) made the call.   Almost the entire team was substituted.  My night was made complete with Agger being subbed on.  I beamed at #boyfie and he smiled.  I was beyond happy.

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The game went into extra time and that saw Luis Suarez put through a cross for Iago Aspas and he slotted home the shot for a 2-0 lead at the 93 minute.  That sealed the win.

The only thing that will top this night will be watching a Liverpool match at Anfield.  That will happen.  It won’t be tomorrow and probably wont be next month but it will happen.

You’ll Never Walk Alone,

C. x

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