This week Fruit of Womb Two sent me a text from school. This is usually a sign of a problem. Sometimes it’s
“Forgot to tell you, I am doing drama tonight – do not cook tea.” *Mother sighs, thinking of huge Shepherd’s Pie defrosting in kitchen*
“I have been sick. A lot of it seemed to land on school nurse. She is not happy. Please come and get me. NOW”
This time though it was much more celebratory. As she finished her GCSE year to begin study leave, her text read,
“That is it! I never have to do PE again :)”
Unfortunately, my daughter has inherited my “non-sporty” gene.
It reminded me of a story I had shared before so, if you have read it, my apologies. You don’t have to read this though – not as if you are paying for it or anything. Anyway, as I said, I was completely rubbish at PE, but a group of my friends were not. They were really good at hockey. Good enough to form the core of the school team and, for reasons best known to themselves, they wanted me with them. There’s no accounting for taste. I was placed in defence, and dutifully turned up every week for my ritual humiliation of so called training. This involved being shouted at loudly by a PE teacher who didn’t even bother to learn my name and getting whacked so often on the legs by the ball, that I should have taken out shares in witch hazel.
In truth though, actually playing matches was easy. My friends were really good and the ball spent most of the match at the other end of the pitch while they battered seven bells out of the opposition. Our goalkeeper and my good self would while away the match playing air guitar with our sticks and singing Bay City Rollers songs.
The trouble started when, through no fault of my own, we were promoted. We had now, quite literally, gone up a division. Thus began a torrid time. As a defensive player, I suddenly found myself having to defend, which was not part of our original agreement. More people ran past me than the starting gun at the London Marathon. Still, I kept coming to training, kept trying, kept dabbing the sore spots.
The whole thing came to a head when we were visited by the division leaders. As they walked on to the pitch, dragging their knuckles seductively along the floor, I was tempted to demand a mass sex test. These weren’t school girls. They were freaks of nature and cocky with it. Sure enough, before I had time to feign injury and leave the pitch, one of them was hurtling towards me, legs pumping like pistons. There was nothing for it, I just had to have a go, so I swung the stick back and trying to remember something, anything, from training, I had a wild stab at taking the ball from her. Amazingly, I hit it, slap in the middle and it went flying up-field. She was, quite rightly, astonished and, with no attempt to spare my feelings, demanded “How did YOU do that?”
To my surprise, the answer came from our PE teacher. She leaned into the pitch and growled ” By keeping going. She never gives up. That always ensures you will eventually be in the right place at the right time.” Then she ran away up the touchline, doing her usual uncanny impression of the Incredible Hulk and calling down curses on the referee.
I wish I could say that this was the beginning of a beautiful relationship with playing sport but I quit the team soon after, still dining out on what was (direct quote from coach here) “One of the finest defensive hits I have seen” Oh yes.
Keeping going is an underrated skill. Pushing on through, despite how tough it is sometimes. Believing that if you keep doing the right thing. God will notice and come though for you. Yet I think he will and I am unusually certain about this for once. How can I be so sure? Because It’s not me that says so.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.