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I’d never really considered my approach to exercise through my life before, but when I look back over my sporting life there has been a definite aversion to hard physical training. Despite this apparent dislike of training I have thoroughly enjoyed all my sport. I may not like the training aspect but I can be as competitive as the next person when it counts.
Aged 7 I started to play football [soccer] at my local park. Right from the very beginning I was drawn to the position of goalkeeper. Less running you see. 21 years later I played my last game after being carried off the field with a career ending knee injury. From that early age I had a natural aptitude for the position between the sticks and played to a reasonably high amateur level, winning numerous awards along the way. During my years at Grammar School in England we played Rugby and Cricket and I represented at school level in both sports. At no time did I ever enjoy the repetition of fitness training although what skill training there was provided at this time was totally absorbed.
I loved playing football and to this day it is still a passion.
After rehabilitation and recovery time which involved a lot of non competitive walking and cycling I took up golf. Another sport I could play competitively with minimum physical training. I used to hit golf balls for practice 3 – 4 times a week, but you couldn’t call that hard work. I never did any strength or flexibility work to improve my game because it just didn’t appeal. I eventually played to a handicap of 11 before injury once again finished a promising sporting career. I hit a crook shot one day playing in a downpour and the club slipped as I hit the ball. This had the effect of reversing the angle of my right elbow and tearing all my ligaments in my arm. Nasty.
It finished my golf. After attempts to numerous to mention I was never able to regain my confidence in the elbow and return to my former level. I ceased to enjoy the game for that reason and gradually faded away from the game. I’d still love another go one day but I still don’t know if the old body will stand up to it.
I took up Table Tennis.
Another sport that doesn’t need lot’s of physical training, although it’s surprising, you can play it as hard as you like and you will get a good aerobic workout, but it doesn’t involve hours of running and weights etc. unless you play at the elite level. During this period I took up refereeing and qualified as a State Registered Table Tennis official and even officiated at a National Veterans Championship held in Hobart in 1998. I eventually had to give it away as like most things, the more you do the more people want and holding down a fulltime job as well made it tough to devote the time that people wanted. I was never a star player but I was competitive and it fulfilled a need for competition.
I currently don’t play any competitive sport, except Chess with the wife, and you wouldn’t believe how much physical training that requires. No really you wouldn’t.
I enjoy my garden and work around home at weekends; I’m a bit [lot] of in Internet junky these days. When you look at my sports history there is a noticeable aversion to all the hard physical training involved. I’ve no doubt that had I applied myself more physically I may well have gone to the next level but what could I do.
All that time and it was in my blood all along.