World Cup – on the run – Post 5

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Football. For most people in the UK, Germany going out of the World Cup has been celebrated as some sort of victory. Though I’m not quite sure why? Personally, I’ve always had a soft spot for Germany when it comes to football. I think it goes back to when they hosted the 2006 World Cup. I fell back in love with football around 2002 during the World Cup in Japan and South Korea. This coincided with my 18thbirthday and my new-found ability to drink in pubs where the games were being televised. Safe to say the enjoyment of watching football was a distant second to being able to drink in a pub with my friends for the first time. By 2006 I was well and truly back in love with football and most things apart from filmmaking had become a distant second in my life. During the 2006 World Cup in Germany, their national team caught my eye and I’ve always rooted for them since. Sadly, in this World Cup Germany, the team that’s been so entertaining over the last four years seemed to fade before they even started. The manager looked confused. The players looked equally confused. It was like they couldn’t understand why they weren’t their usual best. Players who at club level are winning trophies year in year out, looked in utter shock that the script had changed. They were going out of the World Cup with a whimper. In truth, it reminded me of England at nearly every tournament I have watched them in until now. It’s like the film ‘Visa Versa’, England and Germany have flipped paths. It is now Germany who are going home without getting into the knock out stages of the tournament and England having every reason to look optimistic.

The good news for the Massey/Morrison family is Mexico are through. My sister-in-law is from Mexico and is a huge football fan. Safe to say my brother and I will be cheering on Mexico going forward.

I stumbled across this article on the players tribune by Xherdan Shaqiri one of Switzerland’s best players and someone who against all odds has made it as a professional player. On his right football boot is the flag of Switzerland, on his left the flag of Kosovo the place of his birth and the place he calls home… https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/xherdan-shaqiri-switzerland-now-i-got-my-own-army-guy

Running. A great app to use if you are looking for a run in your area is Map My Run… https://www.mapmyrun.com. Very good if you find yourself in an unfamiliar place.

IMG_0421(park at the bottom of my road which hosts Park Run)

As it’s getting a bit hot in the afternoons I’m just running 5k at the local park at the bottom of my road it’s nice and quiet apart from Sunday’s where there is a park run. Not my thing but a lot of people I know really enjoy the social aspect of it, you can find out more here… http://www.parkrun.org.uk. It’s amazing the energy and positive outlook you can have after a 5k run in the morning or before lunch. Personally, feel it’s the best time to go running if your work/lifestyle makes it possible.

If you are struggling with any mental health issues and feel like you need help – CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably is there to help – you can contact them here… https://www.thecalmzone.net/help/get-help/

World Cup – on the run – Post 4

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Football. For me, yesterday evening is when it felt the World Cup had truly taken off. It’s the danger of two sides knowing that if they lose they go home. The two sides in this case where Argentina and Nigeria. The match didn’t disappoint. Well, the only disappointment was that Nigeria couldn’t hang onto the draw which would have seen them progress into the knock out stages of the tournament. Nigeria deserved to go through and in particular Victor Moses with a man of the match display deserved to still be in the World Cup. But, as was pointed about by several pundits and commentators during the game, this young Nigerian side will be in good shape when the 2019 African Cup of Nations and 2022 World Cup come around. As for Argentina it’s quite impressive how a team of such talented individuals can perform so dower as a team. It would however not surprise me if Messi ends up a World Cup winner come July 15th.

Caught the second half of the Denmark vs France match. Clear the two teams were happy with a nil-nil draw before kick-off. And, that is exactly what they got. France top the group and will play Argentina.

Forgot to share this… John Barnes previewed the World Cup in an interview for GQ Magazine (The poster for our John Barnes film ‘Poetry in Motion’ features at the bottom) http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/john-barnes-on-world-cups-past-and-present

Running. About three or four years ago I used this app to help me get up and running. It’s super easy to get started… https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/get-inspired/43501261

Mental Health Awareness. Interesting article on England fullback Danny Rose opening up about his struggles with depression… https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/44392337

https://cmfoundation.org.uk are doing some great work up in Scotland helping raise awareness and funding for mental health first aid.

World Cup – on the run – Post 3

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The last week and a bit has been a bit of blur. I’ve been back and forth from Yorkshire to the Midlands. Getting use to our new house and town. Work is a bit mad but very exciting (currently writing and researching an epic documentary I have been commissioned to make with some brilliant people). All of this combined means I haven’t be able to write as much as planned or hoped.

Running. I have managed to do about 20 miles over the last week. Which isn’t bad considering the traveling I’ve been doing. Listened to parts of the Egypt vs Uruguay, Colombia vs Japan game and Portugal vs Morocco game on the run. I actually preferred watching the game on the run then with a pint in the pub as I seemed to concentrate more. I also prefer to commentary on the radio rather than the telly. But, I did have a few drinks with the family while watching the England match (as a Scotland supporter I had mixed feelings about the result).

Diet. Cooked a few good recipes; Chicken, mango, spring onion and chilli with wholegrain wraps. You can also swap the chicken for prawns to mix it up. You just cook lit like a stir fry. Alex cooked this new Jamie Oliver – Cajun sweet potato recipe with garlic, yoghurt and spring onion (see below). I also tried Jamie’s peanut chicken recipe from the same book – https://www.amazon.co.uk/5-Ingredients-Quick-Easy-Food/dp/0718187725 – but I replaced the peanut butter with almond butter.

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I’ve also gone back to drinking green smoothies. 1 apple corked, handful of kale, one celery stick, 1/5 of cucumber, half an avocado and a squeeze of lime. Pretty much your five a day just with that.

Football. As I haven’t been able to watch as much as I have wanted, I’ve been keeping up to date via The Guardian and Totally Football Podcasts. Surprised how much I’ve enjoyed The Guardian podcast above all others even the BBC podcast.

Read two really great articles over the last week I wanted to share. One by Raheem Sterling for The Players Tribune, you really get the sense of where this young man has come from and why people should be a lot more respectful when covering him both on and off the field… https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/raheem-sterling-england-it-was-all-a-dream

The second is by Martin Belam for the Guardian. The story covers the historical day when for the first time in 37 years, female football supporters were able to attend a sporting even in the Azadi Stadium… https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jun/21/irans-female-football-supporters-make-history-at-world-cup-stadium-screening

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I’ve even managed to get my partner Alexandra into the World Cup and we will be sitting down to watch Argentina vs Nigeria (Alex will be wearing her Nigeria top) later on. I’m going to try and watch the remaining games and update these blog posts more regularly.

Finally, if anyone out there like myself struggles with any mental health issues and doesn’t know where to turn, this site will help https://ittakesballstotalk.com

World Cup – on the run – Post 2

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Ran a quick 5k before the build-up started on ITV. Only issue I’m having with running at the moment is the pollen count is really high in the UK which brings out my asthma and makes it very hard to run at my natural pace.

Post-Run-Shake. 1 scoop of Diet Whey, frozen blueberries, almond milk, almond butter and ice. Blended.

Tip. When I first started running I just got some running shoes from a sports store chain. They didn’t fit me properly and over the space of a month I really damaged my right ankle and knee. Most independent running shops will get you on a treadmill to properly gage the running shoe you need.

I’m going to be honest the World Cup opening ceremony might just be the worst one in my lifetime but I’m very glad it was brief. Sometimes these things go on for over an hour. I’m not a great fan of them anyway but, I don’t get why Robbie Williams (dressed as Morrisey) was there. If anyone can enlighten me, please comment below. Sweet of him to flip the bird to millions of viewers watching around the world.

ITV have a great line up of pundits this year but there is something about sport on ITV that makes me go mehhh. The game was pretty good considering the negativity surrounding the teams in the build-up. The funny thing is I don’t know if Russia are any good or Saudi Arabia are just really, really bad. There where however two fantastic goals in each half from Cheryshev. The first when he capped off a great team goal by darting through three defenders in the box and smashing the ball into the roof of the net. The second was a brilliant solo goal with an audacious shot from the edge of the box, with the outside of his left boot which curled into the too right corner of the goal.

Fact: biggest win by the host nation in the opening game of a World Cup since 1934 (Italy 7 – 1 USA).

World Cup – on the run – Post 1

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So, this is going to be different from your typical World Cup blog posts. I am going to be talking about the World Cup but, I’m also going to be talking about mental health, running and sharing a few recipes, plus a few other bits and bobs. The reasons for each will become clear after reading what’s below…

Yesterday I turned thirty-four. Which, came as a bit of a shock to me. For some reason, up to about a week ago I thought, I was going to be turning thirty-three. So, in my head I have lost a year of my life. The last six months have been a bit of a rollercoaster both with work and at home. My partner and I brought our first house which, she renovated. I was away making my fifth film ‘John Barnes: Poetry in Motion’ which, premiered after the FA Cup final on BT Sport in May. The extended feature cut comes out on DVD on August 4th (PLUG – http://www.JohnBarnesFilm.com). The renovations have finished on the house and we have moved in and are steadily unpacking. All of these things combined have made me do a lot of reflecting.

For as long as I can remember I have struggled with depression, anxiety and an overwhelming sense that I don’t quite fit in. It doesn’t matter if I’m out for drinks with friends, a party, dinner with the family or filming on set or location. I have this overwhelming sense that I don’t quite belong and everyone else around me feels the same way about me. At any minute I’ll be shown the door and kicked in the arse on my way out.

I’m very open about these issues. If someone brings up mental health in some way, I usually tell them my history. I’m not in any way ashamed of this part of my life. And, most people I am close to also suffer from a variety of mental health issues. I would go so far to say that most people will suffer from some sort of mental health issue in their life.

A few years ago, for the first time in my life I managed to really take control of my depression and though I still have bad patches, I do feel like I have a firm control of it. This in return has improved my life no end, both personally and professionally. Because of this, because I’m in a good place; Looking back on a film I’m really proud of, in my first house renovated by the person I love. I thought I’d share a few things that I have helped me, keep at bay an illness that I always thought would eventually get the better of me.

Exercise. It’s amazing how much keeping yourself fit can help towards a healthy mind. I chose running. Within a month I could run a 5k, a few months later 10k and at one point I could run close to 12 miles. This is from someone who barley exercised until he was thirty. Due to work, the house and general laziness I haven’t run as much as I should of over the last six months. But, I went for a run in my new town a few days ago and managed just under five miles without any discomfort. I’ve run everyday since.

Diet. I go through patches of eating very healthy and very unhealthily. If I’ve had a few drinks I kind of think ‘fuck it’ when it comes to food. But, if I eat the right things my body needs and stay away from processed food or junk food, it helps me just as much as excercise.

Therapy. This was a game changer for me. I did counselling for nine months to tackle some pretty long and deep routed issues that I’d never truly faced. My mum has worked in the mental health profession ever since I was about eight or nine. She had always encouraged me to seek some type of therapy. Never pushed. Just encouraged. From my early teens till I was about thirty my reaction was always ‘it won’t work for me’. The truth is I’m an arrogant prick at times and I thought no human being in the country, probably the world, could possibly help me. It wasn’t that I was afraid to ask for help. I just thought I was ‘above it’ and that any type of therapy would be a waste of time. Two months into my counselling I was like a new person. I had finally started to understand certain things which had haunted me all my life. Without that nine months of help I wouldn’t be in the place I am now. There will probably be a time where I will need to go to counselling again. That’s fine, it’s like going to the doctors for a check-up. I get that now. I wish I could tell my sixteen-year-old self, who was so angry, scared and confused that if they just talked to a professional, they’re life will be infantly better.

As everything in my life has been so manic. As I haven’t been able to run as much as I have wanted too.  Because I have been on the road a lot, I haven’t been able to cook and eat exactly what I should. I’ve decided to enjoy and write about the World Cup a little bit differently this year. Instead of watching the World Cup with a six pack and some junk food or going to the pub. I’m going to be going for some runs while listening to some games on the radio. Making some healthy meals inspired by the countries in the World Cup, sharing the recipes and of course talking about the football.