Monday, January 24, 2011

All Journeys are in some way Full Circle.

Me in Wimbledon Park.  You can see the top of Centre Court and Court 1 in the distance.
Hey Everyone,
So, the Chicago Bears are not going to the Super Bowl.  I'm not very pleased with this and I can only assume it is because they didn't have Rex Grossman leading the charge.  Well, all in good time Bears fans, it will happen soon!

On a more important note, I'm still here in London, and still enjoying every second.  Yesterday I did something that I have always dreamed of doing since I became a tennis fan a couple of years ago; I went to Wimbledon!  The tennis capital of the world!  Although it was chilly and a little overcast it was one of the best days I have had so far!

I went with my friend Andy, and we arrived at Wimbledon Park station for a 2PM tour.  We got to walk through the park near Wimbledon (called Wimbledon Park) before our tour.

Once we arrived we got to see the museum.   We took pictures in front of the trophies and other memorabilia from past Wimbledon matches!  The tour was amazing.  So guess what!  Did you know that Tennis actually was never played at Wimbledon when it was first opened.  It was only a Cricket club.  To take care of the grass at Wimbledon they had these ponies (probably by the name of Joey) that would pull around rollers.  When they needed a new roller they decided they needed to find a good way to raise money.  So they held a tennis tournament, which Roger Federer, just joking.   That was the first Wimbledon tournament, soon it grew into the greatest tennis tournament in the entire UNIVERSE!  WOO!
Even the benches were awesome!

Centre Court!

Isner Mahut Court (Court 18).  The windows are to the press area in Wimbledon.

Anyways, for those of you who don't know this, the last stop of my great adventure will be Wimbledon, where I will attend the 2011 Championships.  It was interesting being there today and thinking about what it will be like there in five and a half months, after all of my traveling and whatever else I encounter.  The excitement was overwhelming!  But I also am ready for the wait.
See you in June Wimbledon!
Men's and Women's Championship Trophies

Andy and I with a statue of Fred Perry (last Englishman to win Wimbledon, he won in 1936)

After the tour of Wimbledon which included: Henman Hill, Centre Court, Court 1, The Press Room, the player's greeting area, Court 18 (where the historic Isner Mahut match took place) and the new courts that are under construction, we went and hung out at a cafe near Centre Court. 

Hopefully you all enjoy the pictures!

This morning I went for a walk through Hyde Park with my friend Laura and her friend Carly who is here in a different program.  We saw the Peter Pan statue and all of the Queen's geese that were hanging out there!  It was a great way to spend a lazy Monday morning!
Peter Pan!

I could elaborate more, but honestly I'm a bit tired this morning.  I'll make sure to write more in the next blog soon!  Today is my flatmate Dennis' 21st birthday so I think we are going to celebrate somehow tonight!

One other thing: I looked up at the date on my computer and saw that it was January 24, 2011.  The date seemed to ring a bell for a second; then I realized that today is the five year anniversary of my surgery!  Its amazing to think that five years ago my feet couldn't bring me anywhere, now, they are bringing me across the world!  I know most of the people who read this blog are also the ones who helped me through this point in my life; so thank you.  It was also fitting that this afternoon when I opened up a notebook I brought with me a photograph slipped out.  The photo was of Ilga Pagoulis, our neighbor who died about three years ago who I used to visit and who taught me many of the lessons I use in life today.  I remembered one day when I went for a run and I was in so much pain and nearly limped down the road and back and had basically decided to give up on running.  Later that day I visited Mrs. P and she said in her usual broken English, "Stephen, I saw you running today.  You looked so graceful!  It made me so happy to see you!"  It was in part because of her words that day that I kept fighting to recover from my surgery, which today I can now say I have! 
Some people really make this world a better place.  Mrs. P was one of them.

Today, I wonder sometimes how things would have been different if I had never met this amazing woman.  What she taught me that day, was that through all the diversity, and the hardships that invade our minds and cause us to just want to sit at home and give up, there is always a bit of hope that keeps pushing us out the door.  As ugly as we may think we live certain aspects of our life's, there are always some who are still there to support us and care for us.  I've stepped out the door again, and sometimes I think I'm limping, but I know still that at least one person thinks that I walk with grace, everywhere I go.  So thank you everyone, and thank you Mrs. P.   Now on to the next thing! 

I used exclamation points a lot!  I guess that means I'm still really excited.

Good thing!

Well, cheers everyone!



  1. It's true what we were talking about earlier- relationships mold us to who we are today. Even if those relationships aren't that intimate, even if it's just a friendly neighbor (like Mrs. P) or a family friend, everyone has an influence on everyone else and I'm glad you had the opportunity to meet her because chances are you changed her life in some way too.

  2. Hi Stephen,
    Mrs. P would have been very proud and happy for you! She loved the idea that you and Christian would see the world and maybe even make it a better place.

    Keep enjoying and experiencing everything that makes you happy! Wish Dennis a Happy B-day!


  3. Hi Stephen,

    you are certainly leaving no stone unturned in your travels around London!
    That in itself is a wonderful thought, but it is enhanced by the recognition that so many of your "family of friends" are with you in spirit as you experience all that life has to offer.
    Some have passed on like Ilga, but as long as they live within you, they will enrich your life. Your generous sharing of this trip also enriches the lives of your " family of friends", so thank you for sharing!

    love, Rosalind

    PS happy birthday Dennis!

  4. Thanks for the amazing comments. Ilga was an amazing woman who had a huge impact on my life. I can't thank her enough for what she gave me, just as I can't thank all of you enough for the guidance in the past (esp. with the pillowcases Rosalind!). You are right Rosalind, I'm so happy to have all of my "family of friends" with me in spirit or in person. This experience would not be what it is without any of you.