This weekend was a whirlwind of musicals, radio shows, Greek history lessons, babies, Daleks, candlelit hot yoga (check!) and, of course, football. Friday night we went to see RENT, one of my favourite musicals, which was as always, brilliant, after which we came home to finalise the tracklisting and do a bit of research for the RADIO SHOW we’d be hosting Saturday afternoon. There was a battle raging inside me between ridiculous levels of excitement and downright terror, but after some late night text reassurance and the comfort in taking Sweet on the air with me, I gave in to the former. Saturday afternoon, we arrived with CDs and notes in hand, ready to go – until we got about 20 minutes into the show and realised we were going to run out of music before the hour was up! We ended up going off on random tangents about inventions, traumatising videos and Britney Spears’ Photoshopped legs to fill up the time, and in between trivia, bad jokes and some of the best music around, we finished up with about 10 seconds to spare. I was thrilled by the end of it, and I’m totally excited to do it all over again next week!
The rest of the evening was spent with curry, Scrabble and the Dr. Who finale – a debrief for another time (sidenote: I want that ‘something blue’ at my wedding) – and then Sunday morning rolled around. The England v. Germany game. Let’s just say that nervous feeling I had in the pit of my stomach was well-warranted. I could finish the rest of this post ranting about ignored handballs and twatty referees who couldn’t see a goal if the ball sprouted arms and legs and started dancing around the net singing Three Lions, but you know what? Germany deserved that win, not just for their amazing swiftness and ninja-like reflexes, but for everything you can take away after the game.
Looking at the German team, it’s pretty easy to make parallels between gameplay and real life, and lessons to learn in order to flourish. Let’s take a look at the team before the game. They’d just had an embarrassing loss to Serbia, were facing a team who’d just surprised the world and beat the pool frontrunners, and their country’s faith in the team was waivering – just looking at the white out of the crowd, with cries of God Save the Queen almost drowing out the swarm of vuvuzelas, the support in the stadium was heavily English. The game even began with the German anthem being booed. But Germany triumphed – England were indecisive, too deliberative in the brief windows of opportunity with which Germany had no hesitation in grabbing by the horns. Take a look at that for a second. They were outnumbered 3-1 in terms of fan support, clearly not the stadium favourites, heckled and cursed for a good 90 minutes – but they went ahead and blew it out of the park anyway. Am I the only one that finds that inspiring?
I guess it hit home a little bit because it’s been somewhat a theme of the last little while – trying to do big things when the odds are stacked against you. When you’re popular, or seen as successful, or have a great job or social group or whatever to fall back on, you can afford to take your time; weigh out the pros and the cons, take the easy route of sticking to what’s comfortable because you know you’ll always be safe. Well in England’s case yesterday, it didn’t work. Germany latched onto those tiny windows of opportunity, defying a crowd of 40,000 supporting the rivals, and won spectacularly. I think there’s a lesson there – if you want to succeed at something, even if you’re not popular, even when people are actively trying to take you down – instead of succumbing to defeat or retaliation, prove them all wrong and just be brilliant. I know in my life, there are people who still see me as the anxiety-ridden, awkward social misfit I was a couple of years ago. But I think we all have a choice – let other people define you as something negative, or take a leaf from Germany’s book, choose to actively try and defy expectations, and prove that you can be something. As bitter as I probably should be about the loss, I’m proud of Germany for taking action and advantage of every opportunity. I think it’s something we can all apply to our daily lives.
You’ve got to hand it to England though – their sole moment of glory came in the form of a single goal – caused by the player being punched in the face with a football. Which, if nothing else, made for pure comedy gold. 🙂