An experience that I haven’t yet shared was being able to represent and compete for England in the 2018 Commonwealth games in the Gold Coast, Australia. It was a humbling experience filled with different moments that brought fulfillment all the way from competing on the court to the nightlife and people in Aussie land. The journey for the commonwealth games started off with trials back in November and another one in February followed by leaving for the games in mid-March. The process was exciting and also nerve-racking at the same time because of uncertainty but with getting over the humps and breaking free of certain thoughts, then it felt a bit more tangible to deal with.
After the second trial session and 17 people trying to compete for a spot on a 12 man roster list, the names were announced right after and with that being said, I found out that I made the team the morning guys were going home or staying around to head to a different location for sizing of kit or players’ jersey. The reaction to finding out that I made the team was quite… humbling! It’s like being told that you’ve got the job and in that moment of finding out, you didn’t know how to respond because you don’t know whether to scream or to understand that the work doesn’t stop here. That was my approach to the situation and being blessed and able to represent everything that I’ve been through and had to overcome, it felt wonderful but I also thought of how coming across certain people have contributed to this (Just have positive vibes for the universe, for your surroundings and especially for thyself and you’ll find that life will treat you well). But enough of that! Just know we were gone for four weeks and it was a wonderful experience.
After leaving England, our first stop was in Brisbane where we stayed for a week to get adjusted to the unknown. Brisbane was a metropolitan city with a down south Texas Austin feel to it. Nice warm city vibe, business minded feel and also ‘not to fast but not to slow kind’ of pace. It’s a pleasant place to be if you’re looking to build or start a business and enjoy calm city views. Our top view of the hotel kind of reminded me of London as if you were on the same side of the London eye looking towards Big Ben type of way. It was indulging being in an environment like that and also being in quite business feel atmosphere. The whole of team England had the hotel so we had the chance to be introduced to other teams and competitors. However, cannot forget about sport… We trained for a week and played a couple games/matches in order to see where we stood and how we looked as a team. Preparation was vital!
Toured Brisbane a little bit seeing the city and being in nature, fell in love with cross fit training, and after a week in Brisbane, we then moved to Townsville which is in northeast Australia. Townsville was different on my initial impression. A bit more humid than Brisbane and a bit more of a small town country feel to it. However, it was a community based area where you can sense warm people. The next day after landing, we trained and a couple days later, we played against a local league team. By this point we feel ready to go and then the moment finally arrives… Let the basketball games begin! Our first opponent was against Scotland and although we lost that game, it was an eye opening experience not just for me but for many that was having the same experience in the moment. I admit, it wasn’t easy accepting defeat knowing we should have played better but hey, sometimes you win some and sometimes you loose some. It’s a matter of how you bounce back from adverse lessons.The next two games, we bounced back beating Cameroon and India and being able to compete for a medal. After our last game in Townsville against India, we moved to Cairns for just a day… (Didn’t even get a chance to see the Great Barrier Reef). We get to Cairns on Tuesday, played Canada the next day but then lost that game and got knocked out of the tournament. It was one never to be forgotten… It only made those hungrier!
After Cairns, we moved to the Gold Coast where the city itself is built along the coast and after settling in the athletes village when we got there, the remainder of the time was just spent enjoying the moments consisted of; socializing with other athletes from other parts of the world, site seeing whilst looking at different places and the most fun part of all, enjoying the beautiful sounds of tides coming in on along a beach (There’s no other sound like it beside a waterfall). Gold coast was amazing! I didn’t mention about the food but that was great everywhere we went too! The gold coast had it’s on vibe to it! City, beach, American California feel and a fun nightlife. Thus, we got to watch other sports teams play and compete against each other and to also watch our girls basketball team take the silver medal. To say the least, Australia was one of the best experiences that I’ve encountered so far not just with being an athlete but also experiencing the social side of things.
My point is just to share my experience and to express how I see things. Being in Australia and meeting different people only enhanced the inner being that lives within me and also taught me what it means to be peaceful and compassionate to other beings that live around us. After all, Aussie’s have nothing to complain about and with the land that they stand on, they take pride in keeping it clean and manageable for everyone that comes. Much respect! And finally, this one is for the people who I’ve came across in life to help me to get to where I’m at today so thank you!
Think well to live well… 🙂