This week I made a subconscious decision not to play for the park cricket team tomorrow. I have no other commitments on and I’m fit to play. I didn’t really know why I failed to answer the weekly roll call, I just didn’t bother. I felt I fancied a break. Only today has a deeper realisation dawned on me: I was more excited about watching sport than playing.
The Cricketers Arms Metrosexuals have had a reasonably successful winter season so far: winning twice, losing once, with another game abandoned due to rain. I currently sit seventh in the league bowling charts. After two years of no cricket, it’s good to be decked in whites again. It’s also an entertaining experience to play Sydney park cricket and immerse oneself in the local mental disintegration techniques – a practice at which the ‘Metros’ are particularly adept. Yet, stacked against the feast of sport on offer on TV this weekend, I was unmotivated to play.
England are playing Australia in an ODI, the Swans have a chance to consolidate themselves in the top four against Brissie, Andy Murray is starting to get interesting (and, just possibly, British rather than Scottish) and there’s some flicking over to the Tour de France to be done. It’s also the British GP weekend, with its usual prospect of wet weather racing.
On Monday my regular futsal league fixture was called off. And I was relieved. It seems clear that in my 32nd year I’m becoming a spectator rather than a participant. Outside of park cricket and futsal, my own personal pursuit of glory is limited to my new addiction for New Star Soccer on the iPhone.
I’m comfortable with this turn of events. Truth is, I’ve probably felt this way for a few years.
It’s not really acceptable to drink beer and eat meat pies while playing sport; while watching it’s de rigueur. It’s far more satisfying criticising the occasional lumpish attempts of elite competitors than confronting my own (many) faults on the other side of the white line.
I’ve often espoused the view that you must take advantage of playing sport while you still can, before age and offspring cut you down. Stuff that. Now I can think of counter arguments. For instance, this England cricket team are actually good, if I don’t support them now I may never see them win anything again!
Besides, if I have kids then I can just belatedly live out my own sporting ambitions through them. That’s totally healthy. If that doesn’t work I’m sure there’ll be a new footy app on the market to ease my pain.