Thursday, 18 December 2014

Karen writes: On sports involving small spherical objects.

Someone has recently tried to convince me that there is something of merit about participating in ball sports.  The opinion was that it is possible with a bit of hard work for anyone, even me, to be taught the art of being cruel to poor defenseless spherical objects. Something I am sorry but I have to dispute.

One reason I do long slow endurance sports is because I don't have to think or act fast, well, most of the time.  Of course there are exceptions, for example when you are about to leave the vertical plane on a bike, or make inconvenient contact with an unexpectedly placed tree branch, fellow athlete or large hole in the ground. Most of the time however, as a sloooow distance athlete you can take a less aggressive approach to decision making.  You can pause, think a bit, pass on instructions in a leisurely fashion from an endorphin stupefied brain to the rest of the body, then like a great and stately ocean liner, gradually come to a halt. As an endurance runner I also don't have to know the difference between left and right, something I have never come to terms with instinctively. I have always had to actually look at whichever hand first to figure out which one it is. I always I thought I would grow out of that with practice but never did. I don't feel so bad about it these days, I found out in the unlikely situation of jumping out of a plane that I wasn't alone when the instructor drew a humiliatingly large black L and R on my hands.

So chasing small round things about requires thought and reflexes and an understanding of which hand is which. Oh.  I might just have to stick to running and leave the ball sports those who do have the necessary attributes.