As I begin to approach something like full health again after being sidelined by a throaty, chesty crappiness for five days which has felt like a lifetime, I had been reflecting on why? Why had I enjoyed writing my first post so much? Why was I planning such physical torture upon my ageing body (for fun!)?
The answer to all was indeed within said first post. I want to inspire my children and to be living breathing proof that… if at first you don’t succeed and moreover that you CAN DO it if you want to. I only hope I don’t disprove either theory.
In addition to the why’s one has to occasionally ask what? What gives you the determination? What keeps your desire? I suppose these things can be summed up in one question; What possesses you?
For me the answer is simple, whilst we all put public figures on a pedestal as positive role models, there is no greater role model in a child’s life than their parents. What drives me is to ensure that the children are enabled to be active in a sporting sense not just by encouragement but facilitation through active involvement, just as my Dad did for me. Enjoying doing the things that my kids enjoy is important to me, thankfully none of the children to date have expressed a desire to be ski-jumpers or boxers as my participation would be limited to spectating.
My talents albeit limited have been channeled mainly into a small variety of sports in which I can at least refer back to personal experience, lessons learnt and coaching received to enhance my children’s experiences. Football was my first sporting pastime playing from a young age perhaps as young as under 7’s if memory serves me well and as indicated my Dad played an active role and he and fellow parent/coaches all became a big part of all our lives growing up and all provide inspiration to me today as I write and remember their influence on our behaviour as we grew up. Hats off to these men Mssrs Mahon, Teece, Court et al. Without men like them and others who volunteer nationwide many a misspent hour would be misguidedly put into the wrong activities no doubt. For the mighty Hindsford during the years I spent playing, (possibly extended due to my Dads involvement) we were the fittest most well drilled side to grace the Wigan and district football league in our time. Crowned by our double winning efforts a mere 25 years ago!
My Dad and the others mentioned combined there footballing knowledge to lead us proudly week in week out, come rain or shine and I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by similar characters now, namely Mssrs Godridge and Fletcher who do the same for Ackworth Juniors U11’s for whom the big lad plays for now. With my “when I can I will” assistance. Not forgetting the team which surrounds the girls team Mssrs Coupland, Stokes And McLoughlin, hats off to you gentlemen and inspiration to me and many others I’m sure with pure selflessness and dedication striving to deliver a service to the community and the kids of many families within.
But it isn’t just football where my involvement in activities ceases. Recently as previously reported Parkrun has entered into my life and for me the most fun is at a junior Parkrun. Albeit age restrictions apply I’ve run a number of these. The proudest moment of these is by far the completion of 2k continuous running with the little guy, hand in hand we ran a steady pace throughout. Unlike me he didn’t get carried away from the start and have to ease up he paced himself perfectly round Nostell Priory Parkland and made me proud to be his Dad and showed at the ripe old age of 4 you CAN DO it, don’t know where he’s got that from.
As if running and football weren’t enough I think my deep rooted love for cycling may have rubbed off to an extent and inspired by Le Tours Grand Depart in our adopted home county of Yorkshire the eldest two came with me to the iconic Holme Moss in one of my favourite places in the world ‘Holmfirth’. After sleeping in the car in the church yard at the bottom of the start of the climb by the cricket club we ascended the climb to watch some of the sports greats and inspired by this road bikes were purchased and participation in the White Rose Youth League followed.
As cycling had my attention for the majority of my teenage years I was privileged enough to have been coached by a man known throughout British Cycling Mr Harold Nelson BEM, recognised for his services to the sport of cycling and known simply as ‘H’ he inspired 1000’s of cyclists to improve and they ‘always’ wore a hat and didn’t stand if they could sit and didn’t sit if they could lye down, modist bits of energy conserving advice which I have already attempted to pass on with some yet only limited success to date.
Memories recently rekindled at a visit to the ‘Home of British Cycling’, the Manchester Velodrome with my Dad; a well thought out birthday gift from my parents. Both myself and another gentleman shared memories of time spent on the rollers in the great mans kitchen. Times that despite my youthful age at the time, I will never forget.
My children provide a great source of enjoyment for me and watching them enjoy and occasionally succeed at anything proves repeatedly to be greatly rewarding. They inspire me, the fear of not being their positive role model possesses me and provides me with all the motivation I need for my exploits. The only problem it provides me with is the mere factor of time. Which brings me to my final question how? How do you have time for it all? Quite simply, how do people not have time? It’s used as an excuse or a justification in almost every walk of life but rather like time to train people how to do a job properly, you don’t not have time, you make time and you don’t miss what you never had (perhaps not quite true in the instance of the lost sleep from making time by forgoing a lye in!).
To be an inspiration you must yourself be inspired. My Dad inspired me to achieve in sports and my kids inspire me with their achievements too. Who am I to stop this healthy lifecycle? I won’t be in a hurry and I’m doing so the kids learn that they CAN DO it.