Friday, 9 September 2011

My (not so) Sporting Career

My son is now happily installed in sixth form and loving the grown up feeling of being top of the tree.  His school phobia is a thing of the past (see older post) and everything’s going swimmingly.

Well almost …

We still have an issue with sport.

Due to his problems in the past, his school have been very lenient as regards his participation.  Being younger than his class mates, football and rugby have terrified the living daylights out of him - some of those kids are big!  He’s taken part in tennis and some circuit training but that’s about as far as it goes.  He’s a fantastic social cricketer (seriously, he’s a natural) but hides his light under a bushel and has yet to showcase his talents at school.

This year there are more options open to him - they have the use of a local gym, can swim and also take part in classes like Boxercise.

And yet he’s still squirming and trying to find any excuse to dodge it - I’m waiting for him to pull the ‘I’ve got my period’ trick because, trust me, that was one of my personal favourites and he’ll try anything!

Is it something in the genes?

Let me share my school sporting history with you and let you decide for yourself.

I once spent a lovely afternoon day-dreaming on the field during a game of rounders.  I was quickly brought back to life with a swift whack to the head by a rounders ball - they are hard!

Being tall for my age, it was expected that I would be good at netball.  By the age of nine, my classmates knew never to pick me as a team member.  I galloped around the court like Bambi on speed, totally useless but embarrassingly enthusiastic.

This led to the downfall of my sporting career.  I wanted to be good at netball and wasn’t, so what was the point in bothering with anything else?  Long jump would be my thing, I was told.  Long legs must mean you’re good at long jump, surely?  No, again useless.  Wobbly, skinny Bambi legs were just unable to co-ordinate themselves to do what they were meant to do, resulting in a flying leap of faith that achieved nothing but giving me a face full of sand.

Soon after this I cottoned on to the fact that girls were using the ‘period trick’ to be excused from sport.  The amount of periods I said I had should really have had the teachers seeking medical help for me but at least they didn’t have to waste any more time trying to find my sporting niche.

Cross country running in a gym-slip, Aertex top and bottle green knickers during the dead of winter is just cruel.  I can remember my legs resembling tins of mottled corned beef, my ears aching with the cold and my eyes streaming (not good when you’ve slapped on layers of black eyeliner and caked mascara).  Desperate times called for desperate measures.  Three of us decided that this lesson was inhumane.  So we took it into our own hands.  We’d set off with everyone else, make it look like we were in it for the duration and then hide in the bushes behind some trees.  An hour later, as the goody-two shoes returned to the starting point, we would time it to perfection and join them looking exhausted.  Many hours were spent in those bushes discussing the merits of David Bowie or Bryan Ferry - a much healthier way to spend an afternoon!

In my final year at secondary school, we were playing a netball match and one of our team members lost a rather unsavoury looking sanitary towel on the court.  This would have been embarrassing for her except for the fact that good old Bambi here leapt into the area just as it landed, so everyone thought it was mine!

Enough to put you off sport for life, I tell you.

I’m still hoping that my son will take the bull by the horns and get involved in some sort of sport this year - he’s a growing lad (tall and stick thin) and exercise will be good for him.

But with my track record, I’m not really in a position to lecture am I?

Fancy giving an eBook a go?  Check out ‘Diary of a Mummy Misfit’ on Amazon.  You can download to Kindle, PC or Smartphone with a free app.  Now also available in paperback at Lulu.

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