Compartmentsee enjoyed a burst of glory recently as it was propelled into the top 100 tennis blogs with my last post "The Hollow Crown" on Technorati, a blog search engine. So this time I thought, with the olympics and all, I would go for gold and develop my new niche of sport expertise.
The trouble is, I am just not a sporty person, not in any respect. At school, one of my greatest sporting achievements was to run into the park and hide behind the trees to avoid the school bus which would take us every week to the playing fields.
In a comprehensive school in South East London circa 1985, sport promised old victorian swimming baths reeking of chlorine, being relegated to Wing defence in the netball B team, and cold showers. How different it could have been to have had music from Massive Attack (or Frankie goes to Hollywood at that time) pumped through the sound system, like in this year's London Olympics, as I spluttered around the track on the last leg of the 1500 meter track and field race as a hapless fourteen year old.
When my computer was requisitioned by my family this week to watch the olympics I remained resolutely unmoved by the sporting events. What does sport actually mean to me, I asked myself as I glanced at the lean legged and taut bodies seeking out perfection? Unfortunately at that moment, I caught a glimpse of my post baby belly where, unlike Ennis' checkered abs, my muscles had dissolved into some kind of sponge pudding.
Sport is about having endurance, I thought. Hey, I have got that in spades. What about the personal best of four and a half hours spent at the playground. That has got to count for something, even though most of the time was spent on the bench, the park bench that is.
Sport is about using tactical skills to help you to reach your goal. What about the strategic planning involved in getting a toddler through a supermarket without finishing up with a trolley load of Kinder Eggs. Now, I might even qualify for a silver medal in that.
Sport is meditation in motion. What about that time I caught, with an almost zen like intuition, the plate being tossed off the table by my toddler, and caught a piece of lego flying across the room before I even "saw" it. One of those could have earned a gold, easily.
Here are a few of the events I would like to see in the next olympics, for those of us not yet touched by the spirit of the games.
Toddler sprint. The toddler runs off and you have to catch him, fast. A test of speed and agility.
Tantrum endurance. How long can you endure your toddler's tantrum in a public place before you give in to him? It's sheer psychological willpower in this one. Every second counts.
Sibling Relay Race Both children are demanding your attention at the same time, which involves a relay "race" between the two. I envisage two separate stages with different craft activities
to be completed at a distance of 100 metres between them. Multi-displinary skills and negotiation count here.
The Children's Run Triathlon It's time to pick the kids up! Tram, bike and foot. How long does it take to get across town to pick up one child and get back to pick up the other one? Penalties for any items of clothing forgotten, lost school notes and number of ice creams consumed before reaching home. Only will-power and the thought of a nice cup of tea at the end of it all can help you get through this one.
At this moment I have got motivational music booming through my loud speakers. I am limbering up for my next stint at the playground. I am using the power of positive visualisation that I have heard is such a powerful tool for the modern athlete. I picture a leaner version of myself sitting on the bench after downing my third coffee, having just completed a second round of pushing on the swings, and, and yes, - I have broken the five hour barrier, the crowd goes wild!