Friday, 5 July 2013


...Or, It's not whether you Win or Lose but how you Play the Game.  But it's nice to get recognition when you do win :o)

Where do we stand these days on competition?  Is it still a bad word?
Me, I've always enjoyed it.  Not that I'm one of the world's Shiny People who always seem to win everything ... although if I could get paid for Enjoying Pictionary and Being Quite Good at Quizzes that would certainly solve a few cash-flow problems right now.  (Yes Dog, I am talking about the enormous drain on the family coffers you are proving to be with your expensive drug habit.  But that's another story.  Aaah, bless her).

Any excuse to put a poochy pic up.  Aint she adorabubble?

Anyway, now we are into England's Glorious Summer Months, school Sports Days once again loom large.  For a while now, our Sports Days have consisted of an often bewildering array of activities laid out on the school field.  Hours I have spent wandering aimlessly, squinting into the sunlight, madly trying to spot one of the three Offspring - only to find them just as they'd finished their particular 'event'.  These were the kind of occasions where there were no First Place awards - instead everyone got a sticker proclaiming, 'I Took Part!' which is surely the athletics equivalent of peering at someone's newborn baby and the best you can say is, 'ooh, what a lovely blanket'.

Of course I believe everyone (well, almost everyone) has some talent worth celebrating.  We are all good at something.  But no-one is good at everything.  Even the Mighty Derren Brown can't sing.*

"Who says I can't sing?"

Personally, I think learning to deal with competition, its successes and the inevitable disappointments, is no bad thing.  Some you win, Some you lose.  'Twas ever thus.

Besides, running races can be fun (and I speak here as someone who has never won a race IN HER LIFE.  In fact, when I threatened to run away from home as a child, the only response I got was, "We'd like to see you run anwhere").  And I suppose the stickers have their place.  Taking part is fun ... AND so is winning! 

And something else you learn is that it's not so bad not winning.  Sometimes it's as much fun celebrating that your best friend won.  Or realising that the quiet kid in the year below you is a prodigiously fast hurdler.

So this year's Sports Day was imminent, and I found myself staring at the skies and praying for prolonged periods of rain.

"I wish they'd go back to old-fashioned runny-racey kinds of sports days", I whined said wistfully in Mr W's general direction.  "You know, the ones where the parents sit on benches and the kids throw themselves around with gay abandon in old potato sacks, or balance eggs on spoons, or just run hell for leather for the finish line."

Well, Sports Day afternoon came and, as luck would have it  :o{ ,  the skies were clear and the sun was shining.  I grabbed my trusty camera and trudged around the back of the school to the playing field.  As I turned the corner ... what's this?!  Could it be?!  Could it really be....?!?!


There, like a wonderful mirage, laid out on the school field were ...

... benches for parents, a painted track (yay!) and the whole upper school having the time of their lives racing!

Man it was marvellous!  Winners, Losers, Personal Besters - and they all coped!

Apparently they had a pep talk in assembly that morning about how not everyone can win and that is okay - and certainly from what I could see they were all having a great time.  No doubt someone, somewhere got upset at some point - but for the most part there were smiles and cheers and team spirit all around.

And they had FUN.

And so did I. 
(And that's the main thing) :o)

* This may not be true as I just made it up.