On the whole, it would be fair to state I am not generally that interested in sport either as spectator or participant. Other than occasionally. Long time readers of this blog may be aware I have a kind of masochistic tendency to support Scotland during the Six Nations tournament, I have been known to enjoy Wimbledon some years, I have taken far more interest in the Olympics than I intended to, and have thoroughly enjoyed it.
I think, on the whole, I had a reasonable experience of sport in school. I tried, I was always commended for making an effort, but by secondary school we all knew the truth… team sport and me did not work. I was the one people fought over not having on their team, … the one rounder I scored in my life (it was an inter-form competition, we were all on the team) was a cause of much applause, and even more amazement. When we did athletics tests from an AAA badge programme, where the scoring was 100 – 1 (100 being the best, and 1 the worst) I couldn’t run fast enough to score a single point in the 100 metres. I think, if I recall correctly, I did score something in the 800 metres. I never did get a badge, though.
I considered myself lucky, though, as I was deemed Sensible and Responsible, and throughout the summer, I could be seen, all by myself, at the far end of the field throwing javelins and discuses to my hearts content. In the winter, I was often allowed to play table tennis, at which I’d proved occasionally quite good. I also, by my O level year, had worked a cunning system of ensuring my clarinet lesson fell in my main PE lesson, which was with a teacher who didn’t get that there were those of us who did try, but were never going to improve much!
I have, over many years, confounded my GPs and other health workers by being fit and healthy, yet definitely obese. The second rudest moment I recall in a GPs surgery was the time I had my blood pressure checked, re-checked, and then informed I had no right to have such good blood pressure at the weight I was for my height. The rudest moment? Oh, it involved me suggesting to the GP concerned that he could disbelieve me all he liked, but if he engaged brain before opening mouth and considered my occupation and address, he would see my statement about my sex life was likely to be accurate. He looked, blushed, apologised profusely, and never questioned me again….
I do lead a fairly active life. I commute by walking and train, and have been aware that my fitness levels have gone up considerably as a result of the hour and a bit of walking I do every working day, as well as the lugging of the work bag, and the climbing of the stairs. Why do I work on the Second Floor so much?! [NB – Don’t whinge, it could be worse. there is a Fourth Floor]. I have been known to go off for long hikes on days off, if feeling the need for some activity. I used to cycle, but gave that up to preserve my knee for more important activities, like walking…
Thing is, if I’d been forced into more competitive team sport at school – I’d’ve come away with a perfect hatred of it or an enhanced set of techniques for avoiding doing it. What’s made me a team player is not sport, but music. What’s made me willing to keep being active is an awareness of my health and my strong desire to keep doing the things I love doing.
I shall continue admiring from afar those who do love sport, and who are competing. I shall continue encouraging, with all my might, those of my students who want to do well, at what ever that happens to be! For that is my greatest occasional contribution to the world of sport, someone needs to sit on the sidelines, look after the coats, and encourage!! How many times have I heard over the last two weeks how amazing the crowd support is? I shall continue to do the many things I love, and am pretty good at. But, sport just isn’t one of them!