I’m a Big Kid

So my next holiday is booked! Boom!

And I am going to Disneyland Paris! Damn I’m such a grown-up.

Trying to find a holiday 2 weeks before you plan on going is fricken hard, we booked time off like 3 months ago with the plan of booking and paying for something in the near future… financial restrictions and lack of free time resulted in me and my girlfriend trying to book a week long all-inclusive trip to the Canary Islands 2 weeks before our departure date.

It was almost impossible, not only were prices extortionate (£650 was the cheapest), but we saw a hotel at 7pm Saturday evening and by 9pm the last room was gone. So we stressed Sunday trying to find anything and decided to maybe cancel the holiday altogether.. then my girlfriend suggested Disneyland.

Hotel booked, park tickets booked and train sorted and about 2 hours later we were all set for out trip to Disneyland!

It’s not the sunny, relaxing, all-inclusive holiday we had planned, but it is considerably cheaper (saving money for the next trip) and its just a fun, short trip to just enjoy being a big kid.

My Bad

Hey All,

Wow its almost mid-way through September and I realised I haven’t posted anything on the site for almost a month! My bad.

August/September has been a crazy busy month, I do a distance learning degree so my academic year runs from Dec – September..weird huh? This means that July/August is revision time and exam are the first proper week of September.

That hasn’t left much time for blogging, or much else, a severe reduction in Netflix, a lack of exercise and a major lapse in my relatively good diet I had made into a habit.. I went from eating chicken & rice to getting KFC delivered.. bad I know.

Getting home from exams, I missed a shopping session, then I didn’t have much time to go out and shop after exams so I settled for a lot of take-away’s. Whoops! but now exams are over its back to eating healthy.

Its also time to get back on with normal life, work and back to blogging, playing basketball and everything I have missed over the revision period.

I plan on blogging more regularly from now on about travel, life, fitness & general health and well-being, if those topics interest you check back soon to see whats been happening 🙂

The Truth – Mental Health

This will probably be one of the hardest blog posts I have ever written, and I apologies in advance if it gets a bit long and a bit tough to read.

I haven’t written about this before because I feel like I will get judged, I feel like people will think and look at me differently, I feel like people will feel sorry for me, and I don’t want that, I want to feel normal, but how I feel probably is normal for someone in my situation. I think we need to agree that mental health is an issue.

I have been resisting writing about it for a while, both my girlfriend and my mum suggested I write stuff down and I instantly said no, thinking that writing things down wouldn’t actually help my situation.

They probably didn’t mean a blog but I think this is an issue that needs addressing for guys across the country.

Because I am probably in the same boat as 90% of guys, we reject emotion, we train ourselves to ignore feelings, we don’t cry, we don’t get sad, we don’t talk about it.

We should.

I have had a pretty shit year, you wouldn’t be able to tell that reading my blog, posts about New York City and throwbacks to past holidays and signing up for a half marathon I try to make everything look normal.

But I am far from it.

My dad was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor in December, 6-12 months was an optimistic outlook. I spent the beginning of the year visiting him in hospital, taking him for radiotherapy, it didn’t work, in February I was told his life expectancy was actually more like 6-8 weeks.

He moved from the midlands down to Hampshire in March and sadly passed away on the 23rd of March.

Just over a month later on the May Bank Holiday weekend my Grandpa passed away, he was 96 and had been battling dementia for quite some time.

I never expected to lose two people in my life so quickly, we had time to prepare for dad… it wasn’t long enough, but I don’t think you can ever prepare for something like that. I wasn’t prepared to also lose my Grandpa.

I have been on a downhill spiral since January and while all this has been happening I have been trying to balance work, life and university. My dissertation/final project was due at the beginning of August, I had coursework’s due the weeks surrounding my dad passing away and I tried to manage and do my best in all of them.

Recently I have burnt out, the final few weeks of finishing my final project were the most difficult, I had interview questions with industry professionals and my head simply couldn’t even process the responses I received, I wrote the questions but the analysis of the responses just went straight over me.

I had a report to write at work and that too went straight over my head and I couldn’t process anything, despite being a relatively straight forward report which had already been written and just simply needed updating, none of it, in my mind, made sense.

That inability to make sense of even relatively simple work led to me talking to someone, for the first time since all this started I sat down with someone and said “I’m struggling”.. that led to a doctors appointment which led to a counselling session over the phone.

I’m still struggling, I can literally feel myself being more agitated, angry and annoyed at stupid stuff compared with before, I got into a Whatsapp argument with a mate last week for no reason whatsoever, I am struggling to sleep, struggling to wake-up.

I know I’m not the only person in the world going through these things and I honestly think that talking about it to people recently has helped massively, but I still struggle, and I probably will at least for a few months.

I feel like I need a break, a holiday or just a week sat at home where I don’t have to think about anything, however, with exams approaching in September (I do a distance learning degree so our timetable is very weird) I wont be able to take a break until at least late September.

Getting to this point, I have no idea how to finish this post, I don’t think its finished, but I can’t think of anything else to write right now. I may ramble on again about this in a future post.

I think all I can add is please don’t treat me, or anyone else who may feel the same as me any differently, I didn’t write this post for sympathy, in fact that’s why I haven’t written this sooner, I wrote this simply to get it off my chest, rather than letting it all swirl around in my head…

Don’t worry about me, don’t think I am constantly sad, I’m not, I can still smile, I can still enjoy things, I am still a pretty happy person, I always have been and hopefully I always will be, I just need a little while to get back to normal.

It’s Official – Southampton Half Marathon

So today I decided to take the leap and officially sign up for the Southampton Half Marathon. I’m nervous but also excited and looking forward to beating my existing personal best time.

I have done one half marathon before, the Silverstone half way back in 2012 (I think) and my time was embarrassingly shit, my training maxed out at 8 miles most of which was walked and I really didn’t prepare myself properly for my first proper long distance run.

Fast forward to 2017 and I feel my fitness is gradually improving, since returning from NYC at the end of May I have lost about half a stone mainly thought an improved diet and a huge increase in activity.

I am currently playing basketball 2/3 times a week plus running 1/2 times per week depending on basketball and the weather. I will also start putting gym sessions into the plan to include some weight and strength training. The basketball season starts in September so currently off-season training is helping and preparing for a strong season in 2017/18.

I hope that 2 training sessions a week plus consistent running and gym sessions will result in a much better half marathon time in the Southampton Half. I have always been pretty embarrassed by my previous time and really would love to clock in a reasonable time.

I am also running this event for charity and will post another update about that in the very near future.

Have you done a half before? What was your time? Would you do it again? Let me know in the comments.

NYC – The Review – Part 2

If you haven’t read Part 1 of the NYC Review check it here. 🙂

Now Part 2!

The High Line is fantastic, an old disused subway line that used to run above the city converted into a park that glides above the city featuring plants, sitting areas, awesome views and a different perspective on such a vibrant city.

The wildlife, the colours, the difference from walking on pavements for 99% of the trip, the High Line is really great and its free!

If you’re in NYC this is a must see from start to finish. Apart from the struggle to find the entrance, it was all awesome, we entered on W 34th Street by the Jacob K Jarvis Convention Center (which is huge FYI), we made our way to the end at Gansevoort Street next to the Whitney Museum of American Art.

We followed this up with a delicious lunch at Bubby’s (warning their website may cause food envy), if you finish your High Line experience at this end I highly recommend this place, you wont miss it as its straight across the road, even if you just want an ice cream you can grab an Ample Hill Creamery Ice Cream just past the entrance for the Restaurant. If you can grab a table inside the Bubby’s Burger is pretty awesome too.

Next up watching the Baseball at Yankee Stadium, wow, what an experience, great to see this side of the American culture.. but the game really wasn’t for me, the Yankee’s lost 4 – 1 (yes they managed just 1 run in the entire 3 and a half hours we were there), they also only managed to hit the ball (not including foul balls, etc.) a grand total of 5 times ?!?! 5 times in almost 4 hours are you kidding me? Good atmosphere, cool photo’s of the stadium, but we got unlucky and had a pretty boring game. The highlight was the food, go to the game just for the food.. we also managed to bag a free frozen glass for being one of the first 25,000 (I think) in the stadium.

Last up in this review is the shopping, damn, being a guy who doesn’t exactly enjoy shopping, I spent $$$. A new fancy watch, new basketball trainers, tonnes of new clothes, I left with a half empty suitcase weighing in at about 10kg, and I left with 20! My wallet isn’t going to thank me for a while.

It goes without saying really but NYC is shopping central, I don’t really even need to tell you where I shopped because you will already know, but Macy’s and Century 21 (Near the WTC) were definitely providing the most bargains during this trip.

Check back soon for even more reviews.

And if you’re going to NYC and plan on visiting any of these places let me know in the comments 🙂

Why I Blog

Some of you may be pretty new to the SRChadwick blog so I thought I would wrap-up why I started blogging and what makes me want to keep you all updated on absolutely random rubbish that probably isn’t worth reading.

I blog because I enjoy writing, my English and Grammar may not be amazing but I enjoy writing in general, I write to some extend for Ball in Europe a basketball website which focuses on European Basketball and European Players. Writing about Basketball is where my passion for writing started.

I blog because I like to be busy, and apparently, university work, full time job, a social life, basketball coaching and playing, plus writing for Ball in Europe all while trying to do some exercise weekly and watch all those Netflix series that are just so addictive, is apparently not enough.. so I added blogging to the list.

I also blog to share my photos, I enjoy taking pictures, mostly of buildings and landscapes and having a blog gives me somewhere to share those with family and friends.

The purpose of this blog is sort of like a diary, in a way, keep people up to date on where I have been or plan on going, the NYC pictures and plans for example, the plans to go on more trips in future.. the bucket list, which I hope will inspire others into writing one, all of those are reasons why I blog, and then lastly somewhere when if I want to moan, spew random rubbish or get something off my chest.. I can.

So that sum’s up why I blog, I think.. do you blog or are you interested in starting your own? Let me know in the comments.

NYC – The Review – Part 1

Sooo NYC obviously was awesome, I’m sure you have seen the pictures and can tell I had an amazing time.

My feet ached after about 2/3 days from walking about 12 miles per day!

That didn’t stop us though as we kept on walking and taking in the amazing sights right up till the last day.

The weather for our trip was a little disappointing, but that was the only thing negative about the entire holiday… and by that I don’t mean it was terrible, it just wasn’t sunny, lovely and nice daily everyday like I would have wished, etc.

We semi-stuck to my daily plans posted previously but we didn’t manage to fit everything we had on the itinerary. Walking 12 miles a day was tiring and somethings there just wasn’t the motivation to do.

The Statue of Liberty for example we took in from Battery Park and didn’t do the cruise because the water was a bit choppy, weather was a bit grey and we didn’t feel up to it (there is always next time).

A couple of other things that really stood out to me;

The NYC Pass was really useful, queue jumps, bus rides, entry, etc.. at the 9/11 memorial and museum for example we got a priority  lane and the tickets were included. For the open top bus we again got our tickets and didn’t have to pay on the day (the only thing was we had to use the tickets on successive days – I was hoping we could do 1 tour Monday for example and another on Wednesday, no biggie).

Americans/New Yorker’s please don’t hate me but.. The American Museum of Natural History isn’t as good as London, it was a good day and one I would recommend if you have the time but I wouldn’t prioritise it in future and if you do go .. make sure you get the local train because if you get the express you end up wayyyyy up town. We got the ‘A’ line and ended up at 125th street! we needed 81st!! (you need B or C).

If you’re a sports fan, do the tour of Madison Square Garden, I’m a huge basketball fan and even though I have been to an NBA game here and they didn’t have the basketball court set-up 😦 it was still really cool to look back on the history (Muhammad Ali vs Fraizer) and see the changing rooms, private suites, etc. Plus our tour guide was pretty good too which made it really interesting.

Highlight of the trip by a mile was Bar Sixty Five at the Rainbow Room, we somehow managed to get arguably the best table with a view of the Empire State building and all the way downtown to the World Trade Center, it was stunning, I’m scared of heights but I swear this was the best experience of my life. This picture doesn’t even do it justice..

We didn’t plan on it but we even ended up eating here, we originally planned cocktails only, but we didn’t want to leave, I would go back tonight, and tomorrow and forever if I could! Seriously.

There is more to come.. this trip had too much stuff for just one blog post. So check back another time to read what else we got up to.