I was rubbish at PE and games at school. Well, actually I was most rubbish in PE - I couldn't clear a vaulting horse to save my life, though unbelievably I could climb a rope. My hand/eye coordination was rubbish too, so at an early age I discovered having to play rounders equalled an hour's torture - I don't think I ever managed to hit the ball with that silly little stick. Later, at Grammar School, I was full of admiration and envy for the lithe girls who captained the hockey and tennis teams, and competed on Sports Day in all the field and track events. I so much wanted to be like them - I wanted to BE them! To me, they were the epitome of glamour.
And then came marriage and motherhood. Terry, my husband, was very sporty. When I was expecting our children, I knew he wanted a boy to play football - and the rest -with. Two girls came along, but joy of joy, both were really sporty like him. They both ran, Suzie was in netball, hockey and tennis teams, and both excelled in the swimming pool, Terri as a high-level synchro swimmer, Suzie speed. Our sideboard groaned under all the cups they won, and I could have taken out shares in a firm selling silver polish. As I had pointed out, a boy might have taken after me and not been sporty at all.
Oh, how proud of them I was! The pleasure that came from seeing them do well at something I had always wanted to do but never could was immense, far outweighing the fact that neither of them seemed the slightest bit interested in 'my' things - drama and writing.
And now I'm proud all over again. This weekend my two youngest grandchildren, Dan (8) and Amelia (6), together with a group of six of their friends did a mini-triathlon in aid of Sport Relief. The Bishopston Mini-Triathlon, they called it - a swim, a half-mile run and a 4-mile bike ride. And between them they've raised over £1000 for the charity!
Didn't they do well?
Congratulations to the Bishopston Eight!!