Archive | June, 2013

Alana’s Tip of the Week: Don’t be Swayed by the Opinion of Others

26 Jun

How many times do you do something, or not do something, because of how someone else might react? It’s time to look beyond your peer’s expectations or beliefs, and do what you want. 

I don’t know about you, but I see a lot of sheep around today, plus a lot of naysayers and pessimists. Don’t let them drag you down! If you take a good hard look, most of the time the naysayers are the ones who haven’t done anything in their lives and are jealous of your optimism, of your success, of your dreams! Stick it to them I say, really give them something to be jealous of and chase that dream! Don’t let anyone tell you “that’s too hard”, “You’ll never get there”, “What are the chances of that happening?”. If we all thought like this, no one would get anywhere in life. So don’t be one of these people and don’t let these people ruin your aspirations. Dream big! You have nothing to lose. 

And back to those sheep. Feel free to lash out, do something different, be yourself! Don’t go and get that tattoo because your best friend did. Why follow? Where’s the fun in that? Be original, be creative. Go down a different path. You might think it’s ‘uncool’ to stray away from the crowd, to not take drugs or drink when all your mates do, but the reality is, this separates you from the pack, in a great way! Because being yourself and being an individual is so rewarding! Trust me, it feels great to step away and abide by what you believe in. Drugs and drinking are just examples, because everyone is different, but its so important to do what you want and not just follow everyone else. That’s just the easy option anyway, because anyone can be a follower.

So live a little, dare to be different, and dare to dream big! And always remember, never let the negatives opinions get you down. 

A Little insight.. Alana’s dreamland

21 Jun

What’s a blog without a bit of background info on the writer? Well, here’s a little insight into what i like to call my ‘dreamland’.. a place that will hopefully one day become a place of reality.

I begin first with where my first passion grew, and the simple topic of ‘books’ seems like the right place to start. As a kid growing up, i loved to read. From Enid Blyton and the Famous Five to L.M Montgomery and Anne of Green Gables, i was always enthralled by a good adventure story. These authors inspired me to write from a young age, though if you’d asked me what i wanted to be when i grow up, i would have answered ‘Super Duck’ but that’s another story, so to speak. 

It was then of course J K Rowling who had me hooked from book 1 to 7 as i, like many other million die hard fans, followed Harry’s journey from Hogwarts to the Deathly Hallows. I have always loved ‘fantasy’ as a genre, mixed with good humour and of course adventure, so no other book would even come close in comparison. It would be my very own ultimate fantasy when the first book was produced and making its way onto the big screen, because if there’s one other thing i love, it’s a quality film. 

So right there, is 2 of 3 of my greatest loves, if we’re limiting my loves to 3 that is. Movies are really just the visual to the story though, but that’s what i enjoy. The interpretation, the feeling and emotion, and how well the producers have adapted the characters. My utmost dream in life would be to have a story published then made into a movie, but it’s baby steps at this stage. I write for fun, and my current goal is just to get the book finished! The end! That’s the goal. In the mean time there’s other goals here and there, one including my third great love coming into play. That third love would be sport, being AFL, of which i am a fanatic Saints supporter. Late last year I wrote a 7 page article on my favourite Saint and actually gave the article to his mum. This was an amazing accomplishment for me and one of my biggest highlights. So basically, if things go sour with fictional writing, i would love to write about something i am immensely passionate about, and that’s AFL and obviously the Saints. I hope to continue to gain experience writing and work in an environment that at the very minimum, entails some form of writing as part of my role.

So there you have it, Alana’s dreamland in a nutshell. I think a big key to not only being successful in life but being generally happy, is to make sure you do the things that make you happy. When you consider the amount of time consumed by work, what could be more satisfying than working in a field that you not only enjoy, but are deeply excited about?

Congrats Nick Riewoldt – 250 Games

20 Jun

Nick Riewoldt

A Number 1 draft pick who not only met but exceeded expectations beyond any Saints fan’s wildest dreams.

Nick Riewoldt came to the Saints in the 2000 draft, but would have to sit on the sidelines with an injury before making his mark on the game. And make his mark he did, taking more than most.

One of my very first memories of Riewoldt is back at a St.Kilda Family Day, where he and fellow draftee Justin Koschitzke stood tall and somewhat alone, as fans hassled Robert Harvey, Andrew Thompson and Nathan Burke for autographs, leaving Riewoldt and Koschitzke to themselves. How odd the pair looked, standing heads above the crowd together, awkward and unassuming. How things would change.

It didn’t take long for Nick to become one of the games’ biggest stars. His white blonde hair stood out for one, but it was his sheer will and determination that had him a cut above the rest. He had an unbelievable work rate, an unstoppable engine and would work tirelessly for his teammates. His biggest asset, next to his outstanding marking ability. I couldn’t help but be excited about this kid’s talent. It was beyond anything I had ever witnessed. I remember watching him at training and being in complete awe of his ability to outrun and outlast those around him. He simply didn’t stop. He was the ultimate professional.

Nick’s desire and thirst for the contest has been second to none, he has always been a class above. He has been unreal and incredible to watch, and that’s before I even start on his amazing marking ability. If the ball is in the air, and Nick is within any close vicinity, you can almost guarantee he’ll take a spectacular grab. He doesn’t even have to be in the vicinity, I’ve watched him on countless occasions run that extra 30 metres just to meet the footy. He has an astounding desire for the footy, and above all, a hunger to win.

2004 was a breakout year for Riewoldt, taking a record breaking 256 marks and being named as the league’s Most Valuable Player. ‘Roo’ was named captain the following year and I remember only too well his first game as Captain, which unfortunately for Nick, didn’t end well. I still get frustrated today when people label Nick a sook, due to the state he had been in on the bench after receiving ‘treatment’ from the Scott brothers shortly after his injury. What many didn’t understand was the sheer disappointment for Nick who had anticipated not only his first game but his first year as Captain, it had all been taken away so suddenly, and was without question devastating.

It’s hard to describe the star Nick Riewoldt has been not only for the St.Kilda Football Club but across the AFL. If anything, his stats at least speak for themselves. He has won the Saints Best and Fairest 5 times, been named All Australian 4 times, has been voted the Most Valuable Player and has finished as the Saints’ Leading Goal Kicker on two occasions. Impressive to say the least.

To really establish yourself in the elite category, you need to be able to step up in the big games. Enter Nick Riewoldt. A Preliminary Final against the Dogs in 2009 immediately springs to mind. He performed like a true Captain, playing his absolute heart out throughout the match and eventually sealing victory with a toe poke to secure a Grand Final berth. He also stood up in a Semi against the Pies, I recall my envious Collingwood supporting friend who had been completely taken aback by Roo’s ability to dominate and devastate his opponents. It has been nothing short of an honour to watch a player of Nick’s caliber in the red, white and black and it’s something I won’t take for granted.

Nowadays you will see players being rotated to match up on Riewoldt throughout games, because not one player can run with him for an entire match. He has been double and triple-teamed but often to no avail. Because Nick has a ‘never-say-die’ attitude that makes him quite unlike any other player.

Roo has had his fair share of injuries over the years, but he continues to will himself over the line. I have no doubt that they will ultimately cut his career short, but until then Nick will continue to do what he does best, and that’s get the best out of himself. He has had an outstanding career and I feel privileged as a St.Kilda supporter to have watched him closely over the years. If I can give anyone a tip, it’s to get to a game and watch Riewoldt play live, he’s nothing short of inspiring and a terrific leader on the ground. He’s definitely up there with the best I’ve seen. From winning finals off his own boot to taking that breathtaking grab, Riewoldt is the full package. I salute him in the lead up to his 250th game and hope the boys can help him celebrate in style.

Now, 13 years on since Nick came to the club, if you attend a Saints Family Day, try to spot the tall blonde. The youngsters sporting the #12 might just be as close as you can get.

He is a champion of the game, a fantastic leader, and a true Saint. Congratulations on 250 games.

Justice System Disgrace

20 Jun

Today’s subject is something that I feel desperately needs addressing. In a country that is first world and considered as one of, if not the safest on the planet, there is one area that needs plenty of work. I speak of what is a complete joke to our society, that being our so called justice system. It’s time for something to be done about it, because too many innocent people are dying, and enough’s enough.

The justice system has become one big farce, with convicted rapists, assaulters and even murders let back on our streets. How many victims is it going to take before something is done? Because unfortunately, Jill Meagher isn’t the first and she won’t be the last. If anything can come out of what was a sad and unforgiving waste of young life, surely it can at least draw attention to the poor way in which these oxygen thieves are penalised. Now I know the death penalty doesn’t exist in Australia and it is highly controversial, but in my opinion, the fact that it is outlawed in Australia needs review.

I think of the poor families and friends who have lost their loved ones, not to mention the safety of the community in general who no longer feel safe after dark. Surely the government must ask the question, where would Jill be now if justice had correctly been served? You can’t tell me that with Bayley’s record, he had any right to even be on parole. Where would many of these victims be, had their abusers/killers been properly put away. What ever happened to life in prison? It seems to be a term that is no longer fulfilled. I can only plead to the government to stand up and do something because until they do, I can’t help but hold them responsible for the innocent lives who are affected, mentally scarred and above all stolen.