by guest-blogger Tricky
Let me tell you about pain, you all know pain right? You remember how it felt when you first truly hurt yourself.
You fell out of that tree / off your bike / off the climbing frame, and that split second between the event occurring and your reaction to the incident, that nano-second of a moment, when the white hot explosion sent every sensor in your body sparking, as the electrons quickened to the receptors in your brain.
That fleeting moment when all around you could cease to exist, because all that matters is not what has happened but what is about to happen. That was pain, your first most pure experience of something that would re-visit you in years to come.
And then we grow older and wiser (in some cases) and the world teaches us that pain is relative, it has different degrees and dimensions and it differs between people, because it becomes relative to our most painful experience.
I now consider myself fortunate to have, once in my life, been in so much pain that the receptors have overloaded and unconsciousness has shut me down, because anything less than what I felt that day, with the claret and the exposed bone, is a bonus. And a lot of us have been there, and to different degrees we have each had our own moment.
And then there is emotional pain, compounded by anticipation, nervousness, rejection, denial. It is in its own way the complete and absolute opposite of happiness and the antithesis of joy. And this different type of anguish, it hurts less in the short term, if truth be told, but nonetheless it exists and it is cold and unforgiving and it plays with our thoughts in a way that physical pain never can.
Twisting our thoughts back to those moments when the world once again ceased to have any bearing on the ‘here and now’, replaying those moments in our head when we have to face the world and all that it can do to us. It makes us cynical unbelievers that any good that might have happened in the past or indeed might ever happen again.
I remember well the day of 7th May 2006, not for the game, but for the pain. I was in a bar in Ibiza, with a few fans of other ‘well supported clubs’. Watching the goon fan’s pre-match nerves falling away like some shadowy veil, whilst my dehydration/ sleep deprivation combo provided only a prelude as to what unravelled that day. I still remember it well, though I don’t want to, I can remember every single heart beat and bead of sweat that could be lived during one game, just one game, which occurred thousands of miles away from where I was on that one day.
And even though I was not there in body, my spirit was crushed, I wished I didn’t care. But deep down I knew the reason for the pain was because I did care, and that nothing anyone would say to me would explain the injustice of it all.
And so now to today's game, which occupies my thoughts every three seconds. And part of me still will not dare yet believe that it could happen, because I remember the pain all too much and relive the hurt now more than ever before.
99% of me doesn’t want the game to happen because I don’t want to feel that pain once more, that 99%of every sinew and receptor does not want another moment to have to re-live.
And yet that 1% won’t give up, it makes my heart beat with every syllable of every battle cry, it stops my breathe with every moment of expectation, it makes me want to shout in an involuntary way, because I know that to be able to live with pain, is to be able to enjoy the pleasure of those once in a lifetime moments.
I know that we will end up where we deserve, on merit, and nothing else. But nothing can stop us dreaming, even the most cynical of us, those whom have known pain, and have sat around that metaphorical poker table, have looked it in the eye and say ‘I’ll take your pain, and raise you elation’, and we know that sometimes it’s a gamble worth taking.
The battle cry’s are all Spooky’s, but know that I will be with you all in spirit, believing that we can do this, in the knowledge and understanding that we may yet have to endure this moment all over again on Sunday, and I am with you not because I chose to, but because I have to. I can’t allow that 99% to stop me from living the possibility of pleasure.
And for those lucky enough to go to the game, know this; that we are all with you, you represent our hopes and dreams on this night, with our hearts collectively beating like warriors, faced with that moment of calm before the battle commences. That audible and visible beat ringing in our ears and thumping our chest, like the drum beat of an army marching forwards into the unknown.
And all we ask of you there on that night, is that you make us proud and ‘dream that impossible dream’.