Project 365 – 10th Nov 2010

Posted: January 1, 2011 in Project 365, Sport
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Day 283 – Sport for Women

“You’ll get nothing out of sport”, I was once told that, many years ago, by an individual who shall remain anonymous! Approximately 10 years on I’m glad I didn’t listen. In fact I’ve used it as a motivation ever since, not just in sport but for anything I’ve wanted to achieve. Its been a phrase that calls to mind the effort that’s needed to overcome resistance and a reminder of the rewards that can follow. It’s something that has been imprinted into my brain.

Why am I blabbing on bout this now? Well the day I was last supposed to update my blog I attended a launch Zumba class to promote the Sport for Women Day in March 2011 (http://sportforwomenday.com.au/about/). Sport for Women hopes promote exactly that by combating negative portrayals of women’s sport in the media as well as other initiatives. One of the questions asked on the day was what were some of the ways to keep girls from leaving sports at the typical teenage years, when they are increasingly distracted by school, work and social factors and sport takes, a sometimes permanent, back seat? I had always been mad about sport, fanatical about playing and supporting and couldn’t understand why more people didn’t take it up, but here was a question that got me thinking, this time from a different point of view.

2 years ago I went back to college to study photography and the demands of that, along with work and injuries meant I let sport take more of a back seat. It’s often easier to let stress fool you into needing another hour in the library or on the computer instead of a trip to the gym, it’s easier to believe you don’t have time to do something your mind tells you will hurt. But does the mind lie? It took me until this launch to realise I had been going down the same path that I had been campaigning people not to take.

I mean for most people who see a ‘list of benefits of sport’ in some article or website it reads like skeptical Oprah-esque ‘glance at it but ultimately it is exaggerating to make you buy into something’ scheme. Words like ‘beneficial for the development of social skills’ or ‘contributes to his/her mental well-being’ can be the type of scientific speak whose subjective use we are worn down by through public advertising. It makes you want to ignore you saw it and sit down on the couch to another bag of chips and an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

And I had been doing a lot of that, or telling myself my brain needed an extra hour in bed to rest from all the study instead of an hour on the treadmill to revive it for another day. Or forgetting that sport took me from being a painfully shy, almost reclusive 16 year old to someone who could talk to the walls, and probably has done, albeit while under the influence of alcoholic substances! Even mentioning alcoholic substances or unhealthy food, it prepares you for a life where those things are a luxury, not a way of life.

In the modern developed world we are used to seeking short term highs, watching a movie instead of reading a book, getting a Facebook comment instead of spending time organising a get-together with a friend, getting a sugar fix from a can of coke rather than a banana. Yet psychology tells us we are more content when achieving long-term goals. Sport is one of the best ways I can see to buck this trend. There is an awareness that some things take a constant, continued effort and that they are worth that effort. But it’s more than that, it’s a feeling that you have spent what time you have putting your life into a positive spiral, not one of regret, armed with a host of new friends, a few trophies and more experiences than most people fit into a lifetime.

And yet it’s difficult to get up an hour earlier or want to put in more effort when the day has already made you tired. You give up and something stops you from going, or doing. My advice going forward is something I give to myself also, figure out what in your life is telling you not to do something, stick 2 fingers up at it and walk out the door.

You’ll get nothing out of sport? I’ve got everything from it and I’m sure so many more would say the same.

Happy 2011 and new years resolutions to all!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s