The countdown to Birmingham’s moment in the limelight has well and truly started. I am a sports addict so the prospect of the Commonwealth Games in my home city is super exciting.
I was lucky enough to go to Glasgow to watch some of the events when the games were held there. I remember our hockey girls losing on penalties in torrential rain but they dried themselves out and came back stronger to lift the Olympic title on penalties not long afterwards. Inspirational.
I also remember making my way to a rather unpromising-looking hall to be enthralled and entertained by a superb group of weightlifters from all corners of the Commonwealth whose characters, camaraderie and competitiveness shone through in equal measure.
Therefore, when it came to applying for tickets for the Birmingham games, I was in a quandary. Sport on a budget is difficult when there is so much I want to see… like picking chocolates from a box you have to share. Tom Daley et al in the diving, Staffordshire lad Adam Peaty in the swimming or Dina Asher Smith sprinting to glory.
It is also the chance for some minority sports to shine, minority in the sense they are not featured on TV much. I am talking about things like badminton, which is played in village halls up and down the country and is an accessible and relatively cheap sport yet is rarely in the spotlight.
But then again, I will probably not get to see much of the games anyway! I have signed up to be a volunteer and don’t know yet where I will be going or what I will be doing. For me, it is enough to be part of a sporting spectacle, to support some incredible athletes and promote the city I am proud to call home.
JUST ONE THING… Thanks to all those who tried the deep breathing relaxation technique in my last blog. It really can make a difference when your heart races, your mind goes blank and your muscles tense up.
Here is another technique to try courtesy of TherapistAid.com that uses imagery. Why does it work? Our brains can create an emotional response based on our thoughts, so think of something nice, something with positive associations and tap into the power that it can give you. It may be paddling on a beach, walking through woodland, having a laugh and a drink with a friend, cooking with a family member or playing with a pet. Capture that moment, remember all the tiny details, the colours, sounds, textures and smells and importantly how it made you feel. Some people find it helpful to see it as a photograph or a painting. Then, when you need to relax, find somewhere quiet to sit and recall that scene. You may find it useful to imagine stepping into that photograph or picture. Then when you are totally relaxed, step out again. I feel relaxed just talking about it…..