If we ever needed encouragement…

We all have days, days when we want to give up, days when we can’t see any point, days when we take yet another knock and think, is it all worth it? It doesn’t matter if it’s at work, if its home life, it’s a hobby, or an interest. Whether its something we’ve just started like that new gym regime, or something we’ve been doing for ages – trying to see ourselves better. Some days it’s a little bit too much effort.

Well, if there ever was a story to inspire, it comes once again in my beloved Mr Murray, who after his Wimbledon defeat, myself and the English Nation poured their hearts out for. A dream whipped away by the greatest man in tennis. We all said, how do you bounce back? How can you overcome something that took so much emotional strength from you, and so much passion to reach in the first place.

By winning, in straight 3 sets, 28 days later, beating the same man, on the same court, and take home a gold medal. It was never going to be an easy task but a glimmer of hope, a window of opportunity opened  and Andy took it. Maybe it was a grudge match, made it was revenge, maybe it was to prove himself but prove he did. The same emotional, shaky and unsure Andy had disappeared. A new man stood in front of us all.

Calm, collected, full of composure and relaxed. He played the best tennis of his life, he threaded the needle down the line more times than we’d ever seen, his shots were sublime, his speed and reaction as fast as ever, and Federer looked, well tired. It’s not to say that he wasn’t, that he wasn’t himself having an off day, but Murray took advantage.

He showed that in loss there is not defeat. That with hard work, with self belief and courage, you can bounce back and achieve whatever you wish. He won, the biggest match of his life, in perfect form and made us all realise, we need not give up on our dreams.

Rutherford, who went on to win a gold medal in the long jump, after defeat in Beijing, nearly gave up, nearly quit his sport and retired for good. How he would have kicked himself. He wouldn’t have realised his potential, wouldn’t have realised his dreams, and accepted his place as Olympic Champion. It would have been easier, to accept and to give up, but with more time, harder work, and the same support – just shows what can be achieved.

We need not give up on things we feel passionate about, when the boat gets rocked and a storm brews, when life seems to throw hurdle and hail storm, it may knock you down but it wont break you. For me, it was another time to realise that despite life’s woes there are so many things to be happy about, so much to look forward to, so much to strive for – so much more to achieve.

We’ll all have our break, it might not be in sporting history in front of 15,000 people, but we all have our moments, our chance to shine, our spotlights, surrounded by our fans – our families, our friends, our partners – ready to celebrate with us. Whatever your back breaker is, lets not give up just yet, because in a months time, your life could have changed completely.

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Have heart, Live for your Dream.

Never before have I felt compassion and genuine heartbroken sympathy for another individual like I did on the last stroke of this years Wimbledon. It’s not the loss of the nation, him letting us down or anything like that… To see a man, whose dreams, childhood dream is smashed away from him, when he tried so hard – is devastating.

We all have dreams, things we’d like to accomplish, some we give up on, some we can’t complete, some change… To be so close and to have done your best, must be so difficult. As I said the other day, I am overjoyed, proud and overwhelmed that he made it there, that he beat him in the first set, that he gave it his all. I just know, as was clear on his face, that for him, he feels like he’s let himself down, like his worlds crumbled in a few short hours.

Yesterday a dream came true for Marray and Nielsen, two men, not even meant to play in the doubles, let alone become champions, and in the same weekend, anothers is put on hold for another year. Everyone has a time, everyone has a goal, maybe this year it wasn’t meant to be, maybe Federer was just, to on form, maybe there was too much expectation… But we know someday, he’ll make it. Never have I seen a player more deserving than he. Never have I seen an individual want something so much, so clearly.

I have but a final thought, and the true reason behind an overly emotional (blame the time of the month)  post. Never give up on your dreams. Whatever your set backs, whatever obstacles are put in your way, always believe. Always have faith. You will succeed, with passion, determination and heart. For me Andy is today’s hero and my tennis star. Our true nations winner of today. For compassion, for determination, for composure, for grace and humility in defeat.

If we all had the same passion and emotion to everything we did in life, and believed in ourselves that much, the world would be a richer place.

Wimbledon, A National Treasure.

So it’s finally happened. I know there will be a thousand posts about the tennis tournament, people wishing Andy the best of Luck, pinning their hopes on one game. For those of who you aren’t clued up for the first time in 76 years an Englishman is in the final of Wimbledon.I say Englishman, there has always been a lot of contention surrounding Murray, when he’s losing he’s Scottish, when he’s doing well he’s England’s next best thing, that I guess is the way of the media, they want to sell papers, make controversial headlines and if they back what they think is local opinion or put something that will cause debate on front page, well then they will. I guess poor Murray’s just had enough stick.

Either way, he is our guy, born on bred on these shores, if not down the Southern End. Watching todays seminal final, the sublime first two sets and then the third, him crumble under the pressure, Tsonga suddenly come out with some strokes of pure genius and the fight that was the last set. It was one of those moments I can appreciate what all the fuss is about. I was out of my seat, cheering, urging him on, heart pounding, feeling his pain, his stress, urging him to do well.

What’s more, is I’m not fussed about the title for England or for us, but for him. To see a grown man cry and breakdown at making the final, that shows how much it means to him. I was so pleased for him, for his achievement, for his victory after struggling for two sets. I just, want him to do well, because you can see it’s all he’s ever wanted, the Wimbledon title, for a year at least.

For those of you who don’t understand what all the fuss is about, Wimbledon is kind of, an English Thing. It’s an event and tournament everyone loves, not like football where you support a team or if your female, normally don’t have that much time for. The Tennis on those greens, on centre court, on the outside lawns is, somewhat of a treasure. It’s all very English, Tennis; like Cream Tea’s and scones, bowling and croquet; it’s the old school Englishman, with his walking stick and wife with her parasol. It goes back to a time when we were great, when we were undoubtedly English.

Wimbledon itself is the centre of the summer for many. There have been films on it, endless coverage on telly and in the papers, it’s our thing. The grounds are famous; all players from around the globe know of the lawns, of playing at Wimbledon, what it means. They’re the best grass courts in the world, and there the place that everyone wants to do well, just because its Wimbledon, not because it’s a grand slam or because it’s another tournament, there is something special the place itself.

It’s the atmosphere. There is a buzz, tennis, comes alive. Everyone after watching that wants to be tennis pro, sling a cable knit sweater over their shoulders and a polo shirt, eat strawberries in the sun and watch a marvellous sport. We all want to be in whites, serving for set, there with the crowd cheering, that sense of achievement. We want to be sat up on Henman hill or in the stands staring down, cheering along, sighing and applauding every forehand and backhand, lob and slice. It doesn’t matter who’s playing either, it’s about the tennis, the amazing matches.

There have been some epic games in recent years, some amazing titles, the never-ending Federer- Nadal battles, Djokovic last season and to date last year’s champion, for two more days at least. But of course, we all remember the record-breaking match of Isner and Mahut. The longest, ever recorded and ever played tennis match, in history. It was Wimbledon 2012, The American took on the Frenchmen in the first round, both eager to make a good start and move on. It had been a close match all the way through. It came down to a tiebreak in the final set, incredibly tense, each man matched well. It was only the first round and both men burned each other out, knocking each other out of the competition, one by defeat, one from sheer exhaustion. The match totalled an incredible 11 hours five minutes and finished up, 6-4, 2-6, 6-7(7-9), 7-6(7-3), 70-68. Yes that was Seventy, Sixty eight, a total of 183 games. It was an endless battle; each man served over 100 aces that day, and made history.

Its events like that, not just of that grand scale, but that level of tennis, that desire to win, to strive to do well on those courts, that atmosphere that make Wimbledon what it is. We all desire to go, to be there, in the crowd, to soak up that atmosphere, to see anyone, everyone, the big seeds and the freshers coming in that season.

It’s another one of those events that reminds us of our national pride, that thing I was talking of the other day, it’s something I am proud is British, that I treasure each year, it makes a British summer, along with the rubbish weather, endless coastlines and seaside holidays. So can you imagine, to have someone representing our country, in the final. The last man to do so was, in 1936 by Fred Perry, who had also won the two previous years. Standing at Wimbledon, a statue to the legend still stands today, and since then, no Englishman has been able to reach the title.  We had Henman and he never made it, now we have Murray, and we all pray they’ll be a statue in his name soon. He’ll be the player we all remember for breaking the English Wimbledon Winners drought, the man we’ll consider the treasure of our tennis history.

I’m not going to sit here and say Murray should win, there is enough pressure on him after all, but, Wouldn’t it be fantastic? It would make 2012 the UK’s true sporting sensation. He’s on good form, there’s a sense of timing, of things coming together, a glimmer of hope for all us Wimbledon and Tennis Fanatics, could this be our time?  I’m too jumbled with nerves, elation, pride and ecstasy to even write reasonably, with clarity and cohesion let alone start predicting scores and pinning the hopes of a nation on the racket of one man. I’m  just proud he’s got this far, proud to have the chance  at winning and for his personal achievement, proud to have sat sharing that experience with my nation, all watching and enthralled all the same. Come Sunday my only hope, is that he plays well, to give it the best shot, I hope he is as proud as we are for him taking us all to a final we won’t forget, whatever the outcome.

Come Sunday the country will be sat, glued to their telly’s, with munchies and refreshments ready, hardly daring to go to the loo, to glance away from the screen, to breath, desperately urging the our nations hopeful on. I’ll be there, talking to Andy, Yelling Murray Chants at the top of my lungs, jumping up and down, crying out in elation, and hopefully, hopefully…Triumph. Whatever Sunday holds, a records already been broken and It’s a match, no of us will miss.