Sporting Sista!

My Home Truths

This week's prompt for I Must Confess over on Kirsty's blog, My Home Truths, is your love of sport. Or lack thereof as the case ma be.

Personally I've had a love/hate relationship with sport my entire life. When I was a little girl, I loved sport. I used to do gymnastics and I'm told I was quite good at it. Good enough that the coach wanted to start entering me in to comps. It didn't happen though. Apparently gymnastics comps take place very early on a Saturday morning. And as my Dad travelled a LOT for work and I was the oldest of quite a few kids, well, you can see how that would have been hard for my Mum to coordinate.

I got to an age in primary school, maybe around year 4, where it suddenly stopped being cool for girls to be good at sport. Combined with having a group of very sporty boys in my class, who loved nothing better than to put shit on the girls for giving anything physical a go, I came to dread doing sport, but even worse, to think that I was no good at sport.
Dancing was my sport of choice for about 14 years

The only sport I did at primary school in the last two years was swimming, because I knew I was good at that! I even came first in the 50m backstroke at the school swimming carnival and went to District, where I placed 4th. I was so proud of myself, that I could say I'd made it to District carnival for something, anything! Swimming was another thing that once I reached a certain level outside of school, the next step was to start swimming competitively. It wasn't something I was really interested in though, I found squad training a little boring, just swimming up and down, up and down, and to my Mum's relief I decided that competitive swimming was not for me.

I spent a lot of high school coming up with different ways to avoid PE classes and being convinced that I was totally unco and no good at anything sporty. Despite the fact that every time I ran out of an excuse and had to do PE I wasn't too bad. I did pretty good at the beep test, and I even won the cross country in year 12. But that doesn't really count coz there was only 4 of us doing the CC and I went back on the agreement that we would all cross the line together and legged it to the end, just so I could say I'd won it!

The thing is, as I've gotten older, and lost the fear of what others think of me, I've realised that the bit about me being unco? It's not entirely true. I've embraced my sport loving side. And in the process discovered that I am actually quite good at some sporting pursuits.

I have a good, accurate arm. I know how to throw a ball and throw it well. I'm a killer in cricket, I bowl the meanest yorker of anyone I know. And I'm not too bad with the bat. As long as the boundaries are big enough for all the sixes I hit. I can't hit small, I whack the shit out that ball with all my strength or I miss it completely.

I'm an excellent darts player (if you can call throwing darts a sport!). Dave is pretty good but I give him a run for his money. I can also kick a soccer ball pretty well, with a fair bit of accuracy. I'm also a pretty mean putt-putter, I can kick most people's arse, although I've never played proper golf, but it's my mission to one day soon.
4kms here I come!

I've recently started running, as a way to lose weight, but also just to prove to myself that I can. I ran 1.6kms without stopping for the first time ever the other day and I'm pretty proud of that! I've signed Dave and I up to run the 4km Mother's Day Classic and it's my goal, and my determination, to be able to run the entire 4kms without stopping.

Where I really excel at though is air hockey. Man I love that game. I turn in to a beast when I play, and I haven't been beaten by anyone in years. Dave refuses to play me now as I am so aggressive! It works well with my ultra competitive side, that normally only comes out when playing air hockey, or playing board games, especially ones that rely on having good general knowledge and knowing lots of useless shit!

I don't mind watching a bit of sport on TV either, test cricket is always good to have on in the background of a hot summers day, and the one dayers and 20/20 aren't so bad either. Tennis is ok, but only if there is nothing else on, it's not a must watch for me. I also don't mind a bit of Rugby League action, but only if the Panthers are playing!

But when it comes to professional sport, I'd much rather see it live. There is nothing better than being there in the crowd for a one day cricket match, or standing on the sidelines screaming at the players at an NRL game. I'm pretty passionate when I'm there in person, and I've been told more than once to keep it down by other spectators at matches! I came away from the 2003 NRL Grand Final game, and every State of Origin match I've been lucky enough to attend, with absolutely no voice left for days afterwards.
{Image Credit}
You'll only get this is you're a diehard SOO fan. You'll only appreciate it if you're a fan of the right team. NSW that is!

In 2011 we went to the second game of the State of Origin match and I had people telling me to calm down, worrying that I might go in to labour. I was halfway through being pregnant with Punky and I guess people thought the excitement would be too much for me and that a pregnant woman shouldn't be screaming things like "Break a leg!" to the players on the field! But I can't help it, I just get so excited when I go to a game.

I'm quite partial to a bit of motorsport too. I had to be, growing up with a Dad who lives and breathes cars, not to mention works in the car industry. I love Rally driving and have been privileged to have a go in an Australian rally champions winning car, as well as having gotten to drive around a skid pan getting pointers on doing handbrakies with said champion rally driver. The perks of having a Dad who's good friends with some of the motorsport world. Sitting in the press box at Bathurst is pretty awesome too, and there is nothing quite so exciting as the sound of all those V8's revving their engines at the start of a race, or the energy and adrenaline that courses through the pits in the middle of the race.

So that's my story. I really wish there had been more encouragement for girls to play and be involved in sport when I was in primary school. When I think of all the fun I missed out on, because I was self-conscious and scared of being ridiculed by the boys, it makes me sad. I hope my girls are lucky enough to go to school with boys who won't be so mean about them doing sport. And I hope I'm able to instill enough self-confidence and love of sport in them that it won't matter if the boys are horrible, they are gonna get in there and give it a go anyway.

Did you enjoy doing sport at school or did you avoid it like the plague? Do you like to attend professional sporting matches?

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Kylie Purtell said…
I've just signed up for the 5k colour rad run and I'm not a runner. Can't wait till I can run for more than a few minutes but slightly resolved to walking (really fast) the entire course. I have a few months to prepare but not entirely sure where to start. Perhaps putting on shoes and just getting out there might be the go :)
Kylie Purtell said…
I'm not such a fan of participating (but I do like fun runs, as long as there is more emphasis on fun, not running) and I love archery and volleyball. But we go and watch plenty of sports live - ice hockey, roller derby, AFL and F1....I'd go to more if it wasn't so $$!
Kylie Purtell said…
I suck at sport - and always have! I was always the last kid picked for a team at school! I used to think I was just uncoordinated but then I saw something on TV a couple of weeks ago and now I'm wondering if I had a form of dyspraxia (which wouldn't have been a diagnosis back in those days). The TV program had an exercise you could do with your hands to see and I failed miserably, while hubster managed without a problem!
Kylie Purtell said…
Sport isn't for me. PE at school was sheer torture for me. Sounds like you've found your sporty side. Congrats on smashing those running goals, with a baby, no less. Very impressive!
Kylie Purtell said…
That photo of you in your heart outfit is adorable! I was a super star at sport when I was 7 years old. Won the all round champion for my age group for the region. That was the peak. It was all down hill from there. I've just started tennis lessons though, and am keen to get more involved.
Kylie Purtell said…
She is adorable. Love all that hair!
Kylie Purtell said…
So true about girls and sport...I was the same! I remember in Year 7 at the athletics carnival I did NOT want to go in the High Jump...I hated it...My dad made me do it and I remember being so upset whilst doing it and then I came third and I wasn't even happy about it I was still so angry at my dad for making me do it (I think it was because I knew I wouldn't win!) I always made excuses for not doing PE in HS. I think it was all linked to my self-esteem of not being 'good enough'. My sport of choice was tennis and preferrably singles so then I could just do it by myself and wouldn't be letting anyone else down if I lost! Sad really looking back on it now!
Kylie Purtell said…
Wow, six months has totally flown by!! Hard to believe!

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