Home brewing antics can now be found at my other blog; http://gettinggrist.blogspot.com/

Monday, 4 July 2011

Good Sport?

I’m pretty sure I’ve not finished last in anything I’ve tried hard at. That was until last Thursday.

The scene of my humiliation was the school playing field last week - my first school sports day for our youngest – and the finale was the parents’ sprint.

I rather liked the idea and joined the dad’s race. I didn’t expect to win, I just wanted my five-year-old to have someone to cheer in the final event.

So I took up my position, oblivious to the other competitors.  It was only when I overheard a latecomer saying “I’ll wait to the next heat, these guys look a bit too serious” did I glance across at the other lanes.

Long legs, running vests, plus one dark guy who I swear was the spit of Usain Bolt. It also became plainly clear that I’m not a young dad. In fact, I could probably have fathered any of the guys that lined up against me. Suddenly this didn’t look the fun event I had envisaged.

My reactions had to help. I remembered the time I outgunned the fastest road production bike in the world through the first set of timing lights on my clapped-out 600 in a drag race up at Santa Pod raceway. Boy, I prayed I could get off the line as quick, with just my little legs to propel me.

I did, but reactions were not enough. As I powered forward, the guys next to me clawed at my arms as they tried to keep balance, elbows were thrown and I almost went down. Regardless of the manhandling, the truth is they would have gone past in the last 50 metres anyway, as my limitations as a 100m sprinter were ruthlessly exposed.

Despite the fact that I had twenty years on some of these guys, I had at least tried.

A courteous ‘unlucky’ missed the point completely. There was no hatchet to bury with Lady Luck, it was Mother Nature who decided the outcome this time. I consoled myself with the fact that while growing old may be mandatory, growing up remains optional.  

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