Recent events have really made me think about why I do what I do. One thing I have been questioning is my participation in sports.
Of course, a big reason is that it is a fantastic way to stay fit. For most of us, having a team relying on us to turn up for training or a game means that we will turn up and run around.
The social and community links are also a big part of it. I have met so many wonderful people in recent years, and have new friendships that will outlive the activities that brought us together in the first place. Many of these are people that I would never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise, people of different ages, work backgrounds, and social circles.
But you know what, I do it because it is fun. Competing gives me a buzz, whether it is only against myself to get a PB in a triathlon that I will probably come last in, or against one person in squash, or with a team against another team in soccer. Winning is not really the thing (although that is great!) but having something to challenge against gives me a reason to push harder and reach higher.
Some things recently have made things not so much fun. Angry people and sometimes careless people. I had some time off recently because a player thought it was OK to kick me in the head whilst I was collecting the ball on the ground as a goalkeeper. They broke my nose, and given how hard I was hit, we are pretty lucky it wasn’t worse. It was an accident, just a careless miscalculation, but it was a bad mistake by the other player. And she was able to turn up to work and Monday and play the next week when I was not. I have also heard people speaking harshly to other players, or to referees/umpires. This is also not fun. We are all there to enjoy ourselves, it is not the World Cup and we are certainly not professional athletes. There is nothing at stake but everyone having a good time!
There are sometimes situations that arise, not every experience is always fun, but if nothing else recent experiences have shown me that I have a responsibility myself, not only to choose things that are fun for me but to help everyone on the same field or court have fun too. And even better, to be safe, well and happy at the end of a game. I hope that everyone that reads this decides to get out there and have fun and to make it fun for others.