Post Six.

One year on…

It’s Superbowl weekend here in America and the excitement is peaking as last minute snacks from the supermarket, alcohol from the liquor store and their team’s jersey to be worn proudly for one day or the following week – depending on whether said team wins the Superbowl. 

This time last year I was living with Josh & Bryce at The Links, and whilst Michael was away with Naval training, the use of his car was in our arsenal. Our destination for watching the Superbowl of 2016 was with the Africans we love dearly; Thabo, Chiko, Humphrey (Prof), Regis, Tatum and their token Scots-man David. My relationship with Jessica was still in full swing and she joined us, furthering her friendship circle and diving into my life more each day. 

Gaffa was still the Head Coach of CBC and he used his Superbowl Sunday to be our hero yet again with another of his selfless acts. The Impala had been depleted and sat parked at Kroger for almost six weeks, having broken down and no longer starting/running, we were all cramming lifts, here, there and everywhere, unless I rode my bicycle. Gaffa’s superhero powers came into effect just as Jessica, the boys and I had sat down at the African residence for the first quarter. Therefore our experience of the game/festivities were cut short as we went to work on the car and I sent Jessica to her Sister’s for the game. 

What was my life like at this time? Job security? I had none at this time, as a football coach was very inconsistent. Rain one night and nobody showed up, so no pay. Then the next day baking hot and every man and his dog attended, so good pay. Educational life was alright, classes were not yet challenging and rather tedious as only a few pertained to my degree of choice. Footballing aspect of life was good, just been selected from the hundreds of players to be part of the inaugural squad of Little Rock Rangers F.C. Our CBC season was not one to remember although, little did I know, it would be better than the upcoming season. Love life was sound, as her and I managed to share some good memories. Social life was decent although it was hard to come to terms, not having Eddie (Scouse) around.

Here we are, a year on from this exact Sunday…

I now live in a healthier environment with my new roommate Jordan, in a cosy 80’s decor (not our choice) duplex right by the UCA’s American Football Stadium, which is co-incidentally right round the corner of Bears Den if we ever fancied a few.  Jordan came into my life when Little Rock Rangers F.C. had begun training for the season and held training in Conway on Tuesday and Thursday nights. My first impression of him was one I will never forget. Ever seen the John Smith’s advert with Peter Kay and everyone is stood in a circle keeping the ball up? – Yeah? – Great! The only difference was, nobody smashed the ball into a back garden and yelled “Av it!!“. With the ball having done the rounds, Jordan got a little brave after Nick Doyle and I were impressing with our touch/skill. So Jordan tried to stitch me a few times but thankfully in front of my close peers, I was able to keep my composure on the ball and keep it alive. Having seen the fun side to this, I decide to stitch Jordan in return. This does not go down well and a cocky, arrogant, immature kid hurled abuse at me, to which I retort with a laugh on the outside, but a who the fuck is this kid on the inside. 

Nevertheless to say, I now live with that unattractive description of my roommate, but more importantly, my genuine friend for whom I care for. What’s my life like during this time? Its a step in the right direction if nothing else, I’ve had progress. Gained my EAC from the US Government which helped me stand on two feet. Undergone a torrid season under the new Head Coach, Taylor. A great friend away from football but we do not see eye to eye when it comes to football. Gradually become the fittest, healthiest and most athletic shape I have ever been in my life. I thought the previous season I was fit, blimey, this year has seen a whole new kettle of abs(fish should be here but I’m proud to have a solid core). 

Educationally life has become more serious and extremely interesting. The classes I take now are all degree related. In my spare time I have discovered a passion for reading and have been knocking out books left and right. My nutritional knowledge has soared, hence the improved health. I always knew how to eat healthy, now I know more on how to get the best results from food. Footballing aspect of life you heard above, but again, it was the worst season of my life and the team may be part blame because we were the ones out there, but I wholeheartedly believe it was down to the coaching staff. Each element from a simple hello, to teaching you on the pitch – it was poor. Love life was very mundane but I was not worried nor bothered by the lack of action/relationships I was having because this addiction to my health and my commitment to the team I love, took up all my time. Gloria and I did spend about a month rekindling, discovering, reminiscing, loving, whilst finding out more about each other but yet again that ended as quick as it started up. 

As I sit here typing away, one year on, my Superbowl Sunday has been quite different. Waking up to an empty duplex as Jordan went back home for the weekend. Having worked each night from Wednesday through Saturday at the Italian restaurant; a lie-in was deserved as I stirred at 11am before FaceTime calling home for two and a half hours – which was great may I add. Once all was said and done on the phone, I did the chores of laundry, dishes and all that jazz until my food had settled and it was safe for me to go on a run along Salem Trail. I knew homework was awaiting and I did my very best to avoid it, a bit of Peaky Blinders here, reading a book there and I even made a Shepherd’s Pie, but used venison, that a friend kindly gave me instead of lamb. In the mix of it, out of the blue my old work colleague text me asking if I wanted to go to the Den to watch the Superbowl with him. I hesitated on the reply but later gave him a big thumbs up that I would join him. Broaden my friendship circle, enter a new one, even if they were real country bumpkins, they’re still good people.                                                                                                                

A beer or two in and we decide to get on some whiskey and coke, whilst the specials were still active. $5 pizza here, game of pool there and Atlanta Falcons were up by a tremendous amount. The commentator even stated that no team in Superbowl History has come back from this deficit. Low and behold, whilst smashing the 8 ball around a drink spilt cloth pool table, the New England Patriots had clawed their way back and won the game, donning Tom Brady as the most decorated NFL player with five Superbowl Rings.        

Feeling  ever so tipsy and astonished by this emphatic turn around, I stumble on home and my first thought was to run off that pizza, and hope the cool breeze would sober me up. Maybe I didn’t work off the pizza but I came back sober as a judge. Climbing into bed after having a quick catch up with Jordan as he arrived home late, the realization of 6am Insanity workout loomed. Not that it was a bad thing, its just that I had enjoyed today so much, I wasn’t ready for tomorrow.