As regular readers might have worked out, I’m not about to make an Olympics team in a hurry. Age being one factor, talent another. Plus a general aversion to cardio.
In my teenage years, I was a cross country runner of middling capability, a gymnast who unexpectedly won a regional competition despite a fear of backflips (how ironic that I later worked in politics) and a tennis player who, while never a Serena Williams in the making, should probably have reached greater heights than I did at my local club.
These days, I get my heart rate up trying to get my daughter to school on time or whenever George Clooney pops up on the telly.
In other words, I’ve come to terms with the fact that the step on to the podium, arms raised in tired and sweaty victory to the chorus of adoring fans, is not to be part of my life’s journey.
I have instead become a loud and willing voice in the chorus, cheering on any number of Aussie athletes in everything from archery to ziplining.
Looking back, I had some excellent childhood training in spectator sport. I remember pre-dawn rises to watch John Newcombe, Jimmy Connors and Bjorn Borg. I was mesmerised by the Olympics and the likes of Nadia Comaneci and Carl Lewis.Embed from Getty Images
In my adolescent years, I discovered cricket. Or rather I discovered Imran Khan, the imperious Pakistani all-rounder, on whom I pinned my raging hormonal desires. My love for cricket endured, for Imran not so much. He now being a politician dodging bullets for a living, I feel I had a lucky escape there.
When Sydney staged the 2000 Olympics, I practically lived at Homebush, decked out in green and gold, from painted toenails to fluoro wig. It was a fetching ensemble. Friends pretended not to know me.
In said garb, I lucked my way into a corporate box and joined the suits for Cathy Freeman’s epic win. I still rate it as one of the best nights of my life, which reflects either the magnitude of my love of sport or my chronic lack of a social life.Embed from Getty Images
And then I started writing satirical sports commentary and emailing it to my friends. In the pre-Twitter dark ages, my missives ended up in some unlikely places, such as the athletes village in Athens and Aussie Olympics boss John Coates’ inbox, courtesy of some well connected mates.
“You should start a blog,” friends told me. For years I resisted. Because of the time involved, because the blogosphere was foreign to me, because I was a total social media virgin, because here there be monsters. Because, because, because.
But six months ago, I leapt in. I started a blog, got profiles on Twitter, Facebook and Google+, became fluent in platforms I’d never heard of before. I went from social media atheist to guzzling the Kool-Aid. Friends found my conversion hilarious. So much for my fear of backflips.
The numbers have grown in fits and starts. Six weeks in, when 20 views was a good day, I wondered about the return on my substantial investment of time. Two weeks later, WordPress promoted one of my posts and my follower numbers went gangbusters.
I reckon this is a blogger’s equivalent of a podium finish. Like a victorious athlete I’m chockfull of adrenalin and doing multiple fist pumps. Just not in lycra. And I haven’t had to give up red wine or chocolate.
And like any athlete, I have to thank my small but expanding support group. That would be you, good readers. Thank you and bless your cotton socks.