Friday, 8 April 2011
G is for Games
I am very, very bad at all sport. If I see a ball coming towards me, there's a(probably primitive) part of my brain that says "missile! duck!" and that's what I more or less do.
Of course, with a vicious game like hockey, when a blow on the ankle is something to be reckoned with, this is actually quite sensible. Not duck, exactly, but at the very least, run away. But if you want to succeed at sport, you must go for the ball, embrace the opportunity, love it, even; and hit it/catch it/kick it.
At my school, if you were bad at sport, that was it. No-one bothered to help you to improve. You were a failure; a person of no value; and (worst of all) that common humilation for the school child: Last To Be Picked for a Team.
In the end (and I now I've referred to this before), I was relegated to the corner of a large sports field, together with two equally useless friends, where we were equipped with a javelin and a discus and told to get on with it. Can you imagine? Three giggly teenagers, armed with potentially lethal weapons, left on our own to "practise". Oh, Health and Safety, where were you when I really needed you?
Safety issues apart, to this day, I cannot see what possible use the ability to throw a discus can be in the life of a young - or, come to that, any - woman. Certainly, I have never found it to be useful. In any case, I was as hopless at discus-throwing as I was at any other sport. So the three of us (mercifully, we were close friends) lay in the grass and made daisy chains and gossiped about boys.
My small grandson (and he is very small for his age) asked me the other day to guess what he worried about when he couldn't get to sleep at night.
"I don't know," I said. "Tell me."
"Rugby," said poor Max, who is regularly battered on the rugby field.
Oh, poor Max. I think that in that respect at least, you take after your grandmother.