As a teenager I dreaded P.E or any occasion where I might have to move my ungainly body in front of people. Bleep tests filled me with fear; road runs made me feel sick at the thought. Rounders wasn’t a lovely fun game in the sun, it was ritual humiliation. Worst of all though was the prospect of sports day, the day in the year where I would have to do the things I was worst at in front of everyone. Come last in the race, jump the shortest distance, drop the baton. All whilst my sister won races, captained her netball team and relayed her way to county champion status.
I found myself constantly perplexed by this, how two sets of related genes could be so different. Sport isn’t my friend, my hands and my eyes don’t co-ordinate, my feet don’t move fast enough, my limbs don’t work to any rhythm. I’ve tried hard to find a sport I’m not rubbish at, maybe archery, golf, bowling? Unfortunately I’m hideous at all of these! I even went through a phase of trying to run, but sports bra included, my body is not made for running.
Plenty of times before some kind of group activity, a bowling social or a work bonding obstacle course, an ice skating session or a picnic that turns into rounders, I am re-assured by other girls that they “were the worst at P.E at school”, that they can’t do sport to save their lives. 9 times out of 10, they proceed to score a strike, fearlessly throw themselves down inflatable slides, twirl perfectly on the ice and score a double rounder. Getting older I’m trying, I really am. I do zumba, occasionally pilates. I even went on a run this summer (major achievement). But the struggle is real. This blog is for all the girls like me that couldn’t catch a ball if their life depended on it, who look like a sweaty tomato if they try to run, who lob the bowling ball into the gutter and fall flat the minute they step onto the ice. All we can do is try.