Strange times. As we, over generations, have moved toward a, supposedly, fairer and more equal society, where increasingly below average is accommodated and the highlighting of an individual’s inability to complete a given task is seen as bullying, it is in stark contrast to media, social and other, portrayals of what one’s expectations should be in life.
What defines a great sportsperson? There is the obvious answer; being very good, exceptional, at their chosen sport. There are many world class sportsmen and women. I define world class as being of a high enough level of competency to compete on the world stage, regardless of the sport.
I am starting this blog quite late in the day as I have been sidelined with my other passion, filmmaking. My body is still aching from the battering I have put it through this week and the shock of working for eight days in a row – I’m barely used to working two days in a row, further more eight! My training has been intense this past week, really showing me how much I have slacked off.
As I travel home from a post-work training session, happy that I was coerced into joining a track session, I now know the scale of the task ahead of me. I have an inkling of a plan to compete in Masters athletics once again, it gave me a target, a definite goal to aim for. Having not raced for nearly a decade, my training has been very generalised, no specific aim except to retain a modicum of fitness.
I have a confession to make. After all my proclamations about being healthy and how mental health is paramount for any and every individual’s happiness, it turns out I only care about how fitness makes me look. As well as being fit, I like to look the part as well. It is partly my ego and looking better makes me feel better.
It is probably over a decade since I was fighting fit. I have always been fit for purpose, but not since I last competed on the track have I been the model professional or set an example as a beacon of health and fitness. A lot of it can be put down to complacency and a certain level of comfort zone embracing. One settles into a routine, living life on automatic pilot.
Being in the fitness industry, you would consider it is a given that I like sports and you would be right, I do like sport. Though I like sport and enjoy watching certain sports, I am not a lover of sport like some of my friends and peers. I, of course, being a kickboxing instructor, enjoy and appreciate combat sports. I know what it is to face someone in a ring, what getting punched feels like, what is required, fitness wise, to be a fighter.
With so much information available at our fingertips, we are able to research or find out about any subject with a few taps on a keyboard. As scarily omnipresent as it is, Google is one of the best resources available for modern living, with so many of us utilising it daily and in some cases, multiple times. Everything from recipes to racing cars, places to pictures are searched for online.
It is an ironic truism that if I knew ten, twenty or maybe even thirty years ago what I know now, my life would be very different. Or maybe it wouldn’t. Probably not with decisions of the heart, they have always been made in a foolhardy and reckless manner. With other life decisions, jobs I have taken, options I have chosen, some of those, I would like to think, would have been different.
There is a popular notion in the western world, sort of a natural offshoot of the ‘be positive’ and ‘what you believe you achieve’ mantra that has permeated society. The notion is that if you follow your passion, you’ll never work again. Hmm. Now I am not the first, second or even third person to think – and now write about – this being a little, um, bullshitty.
When I was a child, growing up in south London, everything was a competition. You wanted to be best dressed, … More