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Insight

Easing the tension

Chelsea fan Anna Madden’s anxious wait for the Blues to lift the trophy in 2021 was the winning entry in our Champions Journalist fan reporter competition

WORDS Anna Madden

Anxiety affects many people. Anxiety made me unable to attend classes. For years, I couldn’t attend matches at the Bridge, because I couldn’t handle big crowds! But when I look back, I don’t remember being more anxious than I was in the week leading up to 29 May 2021. Now, I am keenly aware of how that sounds. Perhaps the memories that came after have clouded my judgement. So often it seemed like I had no control over things; that’s what made life so terrifying.

But that week was entirely different. No matter what I did, I wouldn’t be able to change how that night would end. I could do my pre-match rituals, but that was it. I asked myself, would not doing those rituals change anything? Ironically, that thought filled me with the same anxiety I used to feel before going into school. Looking back it’s funny, especially when you consider that the scenarios were not remotely comparable.

So, of course, I stuck with what I did before every match. I kissed the badge of the oldest shirt I had. I know it’s not exactly a novel concept, and it may not seem important to most, but it is so implicitly a part of my matchday routine that it would’ve been crazy to disregard it.

My anxiety didn’t fade when the match began. I’d be lying if I said I was calm for even a millisecond throughout it. There are moments, however, that nearly two years on, still make my heart drop, despite knowing the outcome. It was going a mile a minute when Azpi made an unbelievable clearance in the 67th minute. I was almost brought to tears when the seven minutes of added time were announced. The world seemed to stop when Riyad Mahrez had a shot in the closing moments of the match.

Then, the whistle blew. The match was over – Chelsea were Champions of Europe once more! I watched my team celebrate the victory in Porto, as I did the same from over 1,000 miles away. I watched my captain lift the trophy; I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving than César Azpilicueta. I went to bed later that night, happier than I’d been in a long time. I figured that maybe the anxiety I felt wasn’t so bad, not when this was the outcome.

Anxiety affects many people. Anxiety made me unable to attend classes. For years, I couldn’t attend matches at the Bridge, because I couldn’t handle big crowds! But when I look back, I don’t remember being more anxious than I was in the week leading up to 29 May 2021. Now, I am keenly aware of how that sounds. Perhaps the memories that came after have clouded my judgement. So often it seemed like I had no control over things; that’s what made life so terrifying.

But that week was entirely different. No matter what I did, I wouldn’t be able to change how that night would end. I could do my pre-match rituals, but that was it. I asked myself, would not doing those rituals change anything? Ironically, that thought filled me with the same anxiety I used to feel before going into school. Looking back it’s funny, especially when you consider that the scenarios were not remotely comparable.

So, of course, I stuck with what I did before every match. I kissed the badge of the oldest shirt I had. I know it’s not exactly a novel concept, and it may not seem important to most, but it is so implicitly a part of my matchday routine that it would’ve been crazy to disregard it.

My anxiety didn’t fade when the match began. I’d be lying if I said I was calm for even a millisecond throughout it. There are moments, however, that nearly two years on, still make my heart drop, despite knowing the outcome. It was going a mile a minute when Azpi made an unbelievable clearance in the 67th minute. I was almost brought to tears when the seven minutes of added time were announced. The world seemed to stop when Riyad Mahrez had a shot in the closing moments of the match.

Then, the whistle blew. The match was over – Chelsea were Champions of Europe once more! I watched my team celebrate the victory in Porto, as I did the same from over 1,000 miles away. I watched my captain lift the trophy; I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving than César Azpilicueta. I went to bed later that night, happier than I’d been in a long time. I figured that maybe the anxiety I felt wasn’t so bad, not when this was the outcome.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

Anxiety affects many people. Anxiety made me unable to attend classes. For years, I couldn’t attend matches at the Bridge, because I couldn’t handle big crowds! But when I look back, I don’t remember being more anxious than I was in the week leading up to 29 May 2021. Now, I am keenly aware of how that sounds. Perhaps the memories that came after have clouded my judgement. So often it seemed like I had no control over things; that’s what made life so terrifying.

But that week was entirely different. No matter what I did, I wouldn’t be able to change how that night would end. I could do my pre-match rituals, but that was it. I asked myself, would not doing those rituals change anything? Ironically, that thought filled me with the same anxiety I used to feel before going into school. Looking back it’s funny, especially when you consider that the scenarios were not remotely comparable.

So, of course, I stuck with what I did before every match. I kissed the badge of the oldest shirt I had. I know it’s not exactly a novel concept, and it may not seem important to most, but it is so implicitly a part of my matchday routine that it would’ve been crazy to disregard it.

My anxiety didn’t fade when the match began. I’d be lying if I said I was calm for even a millisecond throughout it. There are moments, however, that nearly two years on, still make my heart drop, despite knowing the outcome. It was going a mile a minute when Azpi made an unbelievable clearance in the 67th minute. I was almost brought to tears when the seven minutes of added time were announced. The world seemed to stop when Riyad Mahrez had a shot in the closing moments of the match.

Then, the whistle blew. The match was over – Chelsea were Champions of Europe once more! I watched my team celebrate the victory in Porto, as I did the same from over 1,000 miles away. I watched my captain lift the trophy; I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving than César Azpilicueta. I went to bed later that night, happier than I’d been in a long time. I figured that maybe the anxiety I felt wasn’t so bad, not when this was the outcome.

Easing the tension
Insight

Easing the tension

Chelsea fan Anna Madden’s anxious wait for the Blues to lift the trophy in 2021 was the winning entry in our Champions Journalist fan reporter competition

WORDS Anna Madden

Anxiety affects many people. Anxiety made me unable to attend classes. For years, I couldn’t attend matches at the Bridge, because I couldn’t handle big crowds! But when I look back, I don’t remember being more anxious than I was in the week leading up to 29 May 2021. Now, I am keenly aware of how that sounds. Perhaps the memories that came after have clouded my judgement. So often it seemed like I had no control over things; that’s what made life so terrifying.

But that week was entirely different. No matter what I did, I wouldn’t be able to change how that night would end. I could do my pre-match rituals, but that was it. I asked myself, would not doing those rituals change anything? Ironically, that thought filled me with the same anxiety I used to feel before going into school. Looking back it’s funny, especially when you consider that the scenarios were not remotely comparable.

So, of course, I stuck with what I did before every match. I kissed the badge of the oldest shirt I had. I know it’s not exactly a novel concept, and it may not seem important to most, but it is so implicitly a part of my matchday routine that it would’ve been crazy to disregard it.

My anxiety didn’t fade when the match began. I’d be lying if I said I was calm for even a millisecond throughout it. There are moments, however, that nearly two years on, still make my heart drop, despite knowing the outcome. It was going a mile a minute when Azpi made an unbelievable clearance in the 67th minute. I was almost brought to tears when the seven minutes of added time were announced. The world seemed to stop when Riyad Mahrez had a shot in the closing moments of the match.

Then, the whistle blew. The match was over – Chelsea were Champions of Europe once more! I watched my team celebrate the victory in Porto, as I did the same from over 1,000 miles away. I watched my captain lift the trophy; I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving than César Azpilicueta. I went to bed later that night, happier than I’d been in a long time. I figured that maybe the anxiety I felt wasn’t so bad, not when this was the outcome.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

Anxiety affects many people. Anxiety made me unable to attend classes. For years, I couldn’t attend matches at the Bridge, because I couldn’t handle big crowds! But when I look back, I don’t remember being more anxious than I was in the week leading up to 29 May 2021. Now, I am keenly aware of how that sounds. Perhaps the memories that came after have clouded my judgement. So often it seemed like I had no control over things; that’s what made life so terrifying.

But that week was entirely different. No matter what I did, I wouldn’t be able to change how that night would end. I could do my pre-match rituals, but that was it. I asked myself, would not doing those rituals change anything? Ironically, that thought filled me with the same anxiety I used to feel before going into school. Looking back it’s funny, especially when you consider that the scenarios were not remotely comparable.

So, of course, I stuck with what I did before every match. I kissed the badge of the oldest shirt I had. I know it’s not exactly a novel concept, and it may not seem important to most, but it is so implicitly a part of my matchday routine that it would’ve been crazy to disregard it.

My anxiety didn’t fade when the match began. I’d be lying if I said I was calm for even a millisecond throughout it. There are moments, however, that nearly two years on, still make my heart drop, despite knowing the outcome. It was going a mile a minute when Azpi made an unbelievable clearance in the 67th minute. I was almost brought to tears when the seven minutes of added time were announced. The world seemed to stop when Riyad Mahrez had a shot in the closing moments of the match.

Then, the whistle blew. The match was over – Chelsea were Champions of Europe once more! I watched my team celebrate the victory in Porto, as I did the same from over 1,000 miles away. I watched my captain lift the trophy; I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving than César Azpilicueta. I went to bed later that night, happier than I’d been in a long time. I figured that maybe the anxiety I felt wasn’t so bad, not when this was the outcome.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

Anxiety affects many people. Anxiety made me unable to attend classes. For years, I couldn’t attend matches at the Bridge, because I couldn’t handle big crowds! But when I look back, I don’t remember being more anxious than I was in the week leading up to 29 May 2021. Now, I am keenly aware of how that sounds. Perhaps the memories that came after have clouded my judgement. So often it seemed like I had no control over things; that’s what made life so terrifying.

But that week was entirely different. No matter what I did, I wouldn’t be able to change how that night would end. I could do my pre-match rituals, but that was it. I asked myself, would not doing those rituals change anything? Ironically, that thought filled me with the same anxiety I used to feel before going into school. Looking back it’s funny, especially when you consider that the scenarios were not remotely comparable.

So, of course, I stuck with what I did before every match. I kissed the badge of the oldest shirt I had. I know it’s not exactly a novel concept, and it may not seem important to most, but it is so implicitly a part of my matchday routine that it would’ve been crazy to disregard it.

My anxiety didn’t fade when the match began. I’d be lying if I said I was calm for even a millisecond throughout it. There are moments, however, that nearly two years on, still make my heart drop, despite knowing the outcome. It was going a mile a minute when Azpi made an unbelievable clearance in the 67th minute. I was almost brought to tears when the seven minutes of added time were announced. The world seemed to stop when Riyad Mahrez had a shot in the closing moments of the match.

Then, the whistle blew. The match was over – Chelsea were Champions of Europe once more! I watched my team celebrate the victory in Porto, as I did the same from over 1,000 miles away. I watched my captain lift the trophy; I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving than César Azpilicueta. I went to bed later that night, happier than I’d been in a long time. I figured that maybe the anxiety I felt wasn’t so bad, not when this was the outcome.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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