‘I always felt like I had time, time left in the sporting bank’, says Sports Liberated blogger Julie Moorcroft, ‘time to become a sporting hero of some kind, a great athlete, admired by many and feared by all. When does reality kick in, and when do you realise that your dreams are very unlikely to come true…’
About now I guess, I’ve just turned 37, my day job is a nanny, and I’d not received any calls about competing in the Rio Olympics…
I grew up as a gymnast, running, jumping, flipping and balancing my way through life but I was pretty obsessed by all sport, despite being one of the smallest kids in the school.
I would take part in whatever was needed at District athletics, all 3ft 2ins of me towed the line for high jump and long jump, as well as running any distance.
(I hate running now, thank God, so there are no deep regrets for having never run a marathon).
A keen and enthusiastic footballer, in a time when it was frowned upon for girls to take part, I happily abandoned my female friends in the playground, for a game with jumpers for goal posts.
The footie continued through my early 20’s, there is nothing quite like a hungover Sunday morning spent on a freezing hard pitch at Hackney Marshes.
Late 20’s was my chance to shine as a manager, and yes it is possible that joy can come from organising a bunch of gossipy women; however, weighed up with the moaning, injuries, tears and constant drama from my particular group, I retired early and headed towards playing 5-a-side.
Perfect for me, as it required much less running, and other than your boots getting full of little black bobbles, and the fits of giggles shared with pals over some of my interesting techniques, it was a big success, until half the team moved away and had babies. Rude.
What happened next?
So what now? I’m still feeling the need for sporting greatness, but with a distinct lack of speed, agility, and skill for anyone particular sport, what can I do?
Cue Facebook post by friend with young agile and sporty son. He is taking part in a racketlon tournament… oooh, what’s that I enquired? It’s simple, you just have to play table tennis, badminton, squash and tennis, one after the other against the same person… now that sounds like fun!
I’ve been a keen racket sports player for a while, a bit of tennis as a kid, the odd game of badders with friends, and a regular squash player in a local league, so it all seems perfect, could this be my moment of glory!
Except, like any sportsperson worth their salt, I had a shoulder injury, which kept me out of action for nearly two years.
With no magic cure on the horizon, I made a rather bizarre decision to try and learn to play left handed but more of that, and how I got on in my first racketlon, in my next post.
By Julie Moorcroft
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