BBC Radio Kent's Andy Garland in Kent Life
PUBLISHED: 11:17 18 July 2012 | UPDATED: 21:38 20 February 2013
BBC Radio Kent broadcaster and producer Andy Garland on using the Olympics as a personal spur to greater sporting fitness - and keeping up with his kids
ON THE MIC
BBC Radio Kent broadcaster and producer Andy Garland on using the Olympics as a personal spur to greater sporting fitness - and keeping up with his kids and older mentors
I am thinking about the Olympics
Not the sports fest that is currently dominating the airwaves, no, my thoughts are focusing on the Olympiad of 2032.
Why? Well, as I write this I am sat on the beach at Westgate-on-Sea watching my elder daughter attempt to master the art of the perfect cartwheel and handstand. A few moments ago she was cantering up and down, skipping rope whirling like a banshee attempting to better her total of 10 skips while running at the same time.
In that futuristic year she will be 25 and at her physical peak, but will the intervening years have taken her in a sporting direction? Going on present form, itll be gymnastics for sure or maybe athletics that she excels at.
If she takes after me, then football, cricket and rugby will be much in evidence; if its Mrs G then itll be tennis. With aunts and uncles who are hockey mad and granddad still up near the top of the Black Lion Squash League in Gillingham (really annoying when your father-in-law is giving you 20+ years on the squash court and you still cant take a point off him if hes playing properly) there are familial sporting traits that should stand her in good stead for the future.
Ahhthe future, were back to that again. Sport has played such a huge part, particularly in the early part, of my life that its hard coming to terms with my own declining physical performance.
That typical middle-aged malaise of competing demands on free-time, a slowing metabolism, (an oft-misused term I use it here to admit to eating freely and thus consuming more calories than I am expending in energy!) and a waning enthusiasm for futilely trying to kick speeding 17 year olds as they steam past me once again on the football field.
It doesnt have to be this way of course, while I cant arrest the passage of time completely I can at least slow its inexorable march. One of my Sport Science lecturers at Canterbury Christ Church College (as it was then) was the gymnast and international swimmer John Wright, who was still able to walk around the gym on his hands well into his sixties, something he used to challenge his students to try and emulate and to my knowledge none ever achieved it.
So this is a clarion call, a proverbial kick up the backside, written here in black and white and something which can be used in evidence against me, to make 2012 not only memorable for the London Olympics but for being the year that I return to some decent level of sporting fitness.
Who was it who said: Playing in the garden with your kids, you beat them easily at five, at 10 youre starting to have to try, at 15 youre trying hard, not to show, how hard you are trying and at 25 youre praying hard that theyll let you win one or two. Whatever sport the next generation decides to turn her hand to, this is one dad who guarantees hell be practicing hard on the sly to try and keep up!