It does seem that all that I blog about at the moment is sport... This does seem very surreal to me when I think about it; I never really enjoyed sport at school, indeed two of the three sports I'm participating in at the moment were triggers for me to "play sick" at my first secondary school. Yet, now that I'm older, and these sports are not compulsory, I am really enjoying the challenges that they set me. I no longer feel that I am being judged by my classmates or teachers (even for TKD, which does have a class/teacher/pupil setting).
Even within a team setting (both for hockey and the TKD demo team), there are no recriminations when mistakes are made, just a knowledge that as we are human, mistakes are inevitable, but that we do our best not to make them.
A good example of this was our first hockey match of the summer league on Tuesday night. We were playing an excellent team (it turned out that they were in division one of their winter league, whereas we are division four of ours), and the ball was constantly down near our goal. Our defence and mid field played superbly; everything hung together, and, even though the attackers did their best, they were constantly being frustrated by our defence. Despite that, we lost 3-0, with all the goals happening in the second half of the match. Mistakes happened, though I feel that there was very little we could have done to stop any of the goals (we were purely outplayed), and there were no recriminations at any point from anyone on the team. So different from playing at school, where even the slightest error, particularly on the part of the goalkeeper (which tends to have major consequences for the match!) would be dissected and pulled apart.
Our Tae Kwon Do demo team had our first demo down in Bournemouth on the Bank Holiday Monday; again, we were not perfect as a team - mistakes were made, but there was a recognition throughout that we were trying our best (after a little pep talk (lecture) before we went on, mainly for the benefit of the younger members of the team :-) ), and that we impressed the crowd.
And, I'm rather proud of this shot of me breaking my first ever board (I've broken a plastic 'joined' piece before, but "on the day" was the first time I'd ever actually tried to break wood) I don't honestly remember whether I had my eyes shut for the strike or whether I happened to blink at exactly the point that the photo was taken!
EDIT I just had to add this photo in, too - pinched off our TKD website...
And my final sporting joy for this week was going out for a run last night, mainly to get rid of some frustrations that had been building up through the working day. I have a nice on-road circuit to run round John's office which is just under a mile from start to finish. With one minor break of about 30 secs to give a colleague directions, I managed to do 3.13 miles in 34 minutes without stopping running - this is my 5K target for the Race for Life in June. Now all I have to do is improve the time and persuade my legs that they don't need to shake once I stop running!