Sport is amazing for meeting a wide range of people.
I have always struggled socially outside of sport. Found it difficult to read people, their intentions and trust. University was a huge challenge socially, I learnt so much, I found being very sensitive to people's opinions of me to be a massive issue and often thought of what others thought of me before what I wanted /thought.
During my teen years swimming was my life. At 15 I swam twice a day for up to 2.5 hours a session, sometimes covering over 8000m. Why? That's crazy. One of the biggest reasons was my friends at swimming. I loved them, they loved me, they were like my family. We faced, lactate build up, sprint sets, fin blisters and shoulder injuries together. We shared water bottles, kick board, but most of all our secrets and our raw personalities, we saw each other vomiting after a kick test but also on the podium at competitions. What I'm saying is, we saw each other for what we were, we never had time or energy for anything else.
So going to a girls grammar during this time also showed me catty, two-faced, game-players. It was the opposite. But I didn't realise that then. It was mean girls, a popularity contest. I didn't keep up with chlorinated hair, wrinkled fingers and no free weekends or evening to try cigarettes or boys.
Through to university the naivety got worse. Living with women killed my perspective on friends, trust and my self-confidence. By my forth year I was a different person, with many an issue. Maybe this was why that year I began running. I joined the University Athletics team and Bedford Harriers. Team-work was back, sportsmanship was on the cards, my comfort zone, the sort of companions I love.
This then flowed through to joining Grantham RC and doing tough- mudder with a group of lads I gym with. People who see me at my worst, minus my modesty (see last post) and give me advise, I have a laugh with, I compete with, motivate me, show me different perspectives on life, share experiences, are so interesting and willing to listen to me in return. So here's to real, sweaty, team-work. Sport brings people together.
Just yesterday I went to a bbq with my running club and tonight ran with a woman who, without sport would have quite possibly would never have dreamt would want to speak to me, let alone discuss family and child- raising issues!
They say that when you lose faith in the human race- go watch a marathon.
I've never agreed with anything more!! I have met some amazing people in sport and think it brings out the best in humans socially. x