I can trace my train of thought, which has since snowballed in to a full mid-life crisis, back to the first game of the season this year… a friendly against Chipping Sodbury. It was impossible not to notice the difference having a few under 20’s made to our team, both in terms of the energy levels generally and certainly the athleticism in the field. Ewen, Ben, Ned, Fred and Harry bounded around stopping everything that came anywhere near them and without even as much as a glancing thought for how they were going to feel the next day.
It made me think, made me realise how many 40-somethings make up our Saturday regulars (has anyone watched us in the field on a Saturday when our dynamic ring of fielders on the off-side consist of Big Jarv, JK, Chris and Dan P?), and made me face the fact I’m one of them all of a sudden. Indeed I’ve noticed in a number of league matches since how many of the opposition are 40- something, if not 50-something or worse. There is a serious point here I suspect about the vitality of village cricket for the future, which I won’t dwell on particularly, but it’s a worry surely to see so few teenagers or 20-somethings playing locally for their home team every Saturday.
Anyway, back to my train of thought. I am starting to notice that I ache in places I didn’t know you could ache after a gentle
game of cricket. My back doesn’t bend the way it used to, my reactions are nowhere near what they used to be, a whack on the
toe definitely hurts for longer, and worst of all after cricket on a Saturday I have a regular battle on a Monday morning trying
to get close enough to my feet in order to try to put my socks on.
I was putting all of this to the back of my mind, adopting the ‘it’s all in the mind’ approach, until Jack intervened on Friday.
Jack for those who don’t know is my very sporty, sport-mad, aficionado of sport, 9½ year old. More importantly he is my little’un, my guy who I have taught how to play sport, whether that is kicking a football, taking a catch or thwacking a tennis ball over next door. He has always been supertalented but he has always been not quite as good as me. You see this is very
important. He has always looked up to me as Mr Sport to his Master Sport, and that’s the way the universe should work.
I fear the tide is turning and the guard is a changing though. I still look back at the day Jack played for the Sunday side last year and outplayed me taking 3-20 with enormous heart-bursting pride, but was there perhaps something more sinister going on. Jack is catching me up, overtaking and well, waving and laughing. Now he can do things I can’t do. He’s beginning to learn how to ‘play down’ to me, and not the other way around. Am I becoming scrapheap suitable, only good now for supporting Jack from the sidelines while clutching a walking frame for stability?
OK, I admit it, OK, yes this is about Friday… you see, Jack won the Boules get-together last Friday night, in partnership with James and Laura. It was a fantastic get together, really, but you see I won that last year (with help, thanks Peggy Sue).
I’m still getting over it. I’m still not getting over it! I haven’t actually spoken to him since.
Can I be on Jack’s team next year?
Editor’s comment – dating last month, full blown mid-life crisis turning 40 this? Whatever next Matty? Oh and by the way, sorry to dissapoint but I heard all Jack’s sporting prowess was courtesy of his mom!