I Could Have Won A Gold...I Think

It’s weird to think of sports and championships making you emotional, when I think of anything entertaining making me cry, my mind goes back to those good old romantic comedies that we all love so much, the famous words said by Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts.
I certainly wouldn’t have believed if you would have told me 3 weeks ago would Greg Rutherford loosing his title; Laura Trott embracing her fiancĂ© as he wins his 6th gold medal or Max Whitlock holding his first place on the Pommel horse would have made me cry then I would have first asked who these people are and second told you I didn’t care about triple jump, cycling or gymnastics. But now 12 days into the 31st Olympic games and number 2 in the medal table I couldn’t feel more proud of my country.

I know this is a little different then what I normally write about as there is no feminist rants and no self love proclamations. (this does not though mean you shouldn’t still continue with those strong factors.) but just that this games has really got me thinking about everything from being British to my relationship with sport.
Now however short and now divorced relationship with sport mine might have been it has always been a huge part of my life. From being part of the netball and football team, to swimming for my county, wanting to start a girls rugby team to simply watching the world cup with my dad. I have always and will always enjoy the feeling playing as a team or supporting a team brings you. I don’t play sport now, I mean unless you count the small attempts at running and the odd cardio video but there isn’t any team that i can call upon or even any sport to which I put my time into, and this makes me kinda sad. You hear these athletes encouraging young girls and boys everywhere to at least try it once, try it once and you might never know you could turn into the next Mo Farah, become the new Kelly HolmEs or even beat Chris Hoy in medals; and that really is all it takes, a dip in the water as they say and that’s it; you’re hooked.

Throughout most of my teenage life well at least any time after 15 I made a joke at my mum that if she had been more pushy then i could be A class in a wonderful sport and well on my way to that gold medal, this comes hand in hand with me bugging her to have pushed me into the curly haired place ofHermione Granger, but thats another moan for another time. I say this to my mum as though the choice was down to her, yes she could have forced me to do something I didn’t want to do but then the moment i got old enough i would have stopped and thrown that time away, so instead she let me decide for myself, this left me hearing the phrase “oh she’s started too late to be successful and get anywhere.” rather often; something which simply put me down within wanting to carry on.  I didn’t do any of it in hope of becoming one of the all time greats I did it because I enjoyed it and if not I would have done -0% exercise and never moved apart from walking to school.  So why was becoming the next gold medalist such a big deal to coaches? why couldn’t they just be happy with someone who turns up all the time, is never late and does the so called sport with a smile of her face.

I have a defining moment when I think back to my year 10 district sports day, basically an event where every school in the area comes together to show off their new talent in sports such as running throwing and jumping. throwing to where I fit in.  I was chosen to take part in the female discus event. It was an undiscovered talent of something you could say I was ‘okay’ at. I mean I could through a decent length, but I didn’t take it seriously and I sure as hell didn’t think I would get piked to represent my school in such an event.
At the time this isn’t what is going through my head. What is going through my head is “shit, people are gonna think I’m some butch unfeminine person who throws like a boy.” And for someone who was already not what boys my age fancied and going through a strange stage in my clothing development this wasn’t really what I wanted to be seen as.
I understand know this is as far from the truth as it could be, yes throwers of the discuss are larger built then runners and jumpers but that is simply due to the muscles to which they need to use in order to win their events.

I told them no, I lied and said I was busy, I pulled out of showing people I was good at something in fear of being good at something. I know I wouldn’t have pulled out of running or jumping if I had had a shred of talent in those so I think back to why I didn't think it would be okay to throw for my school. Running was cool so why was I scared to throw.  I become annoyed at the sher factor of me pulling out due to watch other might think, I wish 15 year old me had 19 year old me's head on her shoulders.
Now I wish I had said yes and even if I came last I would have represented my school and shown people I was good at something, I shouldn’t have been afraid of not looking how I thought I should look. I mean for goodness sake I don’t care in the slightest anymore. But I can’t go back 3 years so that gold medal in women discus will never be.
(Start sad violin music due to missed opportunities because silly insecurities got in the way.)

I like to think that I wouldn’t be scared to try anything once. I watch the canoe sprints and the pole vault final and wonder how on earth people get into that area of sports and then just realise that one day they see it, they try it and notice they are in fact pretty god dam good at it.

My relationship with sport walked right on out the door but I would just like to say to so many young people out there or anyone in fact that things sport isn’t for them, or has the silly idea that it’s ‘uncool’ to take part in a team; then you are so wrong, I regret not carrying on with any of the sports I loved, and I miss being part of a team and having something you could call your own but I don’t regret any of them; they made me understand what a real team is, how important it has become in my life and most of all they gave me purpose, I knew I was needed for that team to work, me and everyone else on there.

So even from sitting at home on my sofa and watching sports like table tennis, golf and sailing that I didn’t even know I had these passions for I can understand what it all means to have that proud moment of doing this amazing thing that makes you feel good and brings so much joy to everyone else. My relationship with sport may be over for now, but I have seen other peoples life long love of it make me cry, my mum cry, have me glued to my phone watching and keeping myself updated, and suddenly out of no where I get those chills whenever I hear the drum roll of ‘god save the queen’.

What has been your best moments of the 2016 Rio Olympics? 

Love Always 

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