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Tough times down the stretch

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Since I last posted, I have missed one of the epic cricket innings you’re ever likely to see – David Warner’s 180 off 159 balls, including a century in the last session of play on Day 1.

A friend had already texted me, ‘Warner!!!’ so I had to laugh out loud when I turned the tv on to boot up a dvd and there was a Channel 9 visual showing a recent shot of his (I assume) that went for 6 and landed on the roof at the WACA. Just another epic sporting moment I’d missed to add to the list from the last 7+ months.

Believe me, I am looking forward to compiling that list in a blog posting once these 12 months are up!

Was this the one that landed on the roof??

Me and Mrs Year Without Sport this morning –

Me: Hey, if it’s ok, I’ll get you to proof today’s blog at some stage today…

Mrs YWS: Sure. No problems. (Short pause) It’s not going to be about cricket again is it??

Ok everyone, I get your point. Enough about the cricket! It was fun while it lasted, well, for some. But now, it’s back to the journey.

Mixing it up

You see, there’s only so many ways you can talk about how sports affects you or me or society and how that can be a good or a bad thing, depending on the circumstances. It can start to feel like Groundhog Day if you don’t mix it up a bit. Hence the chats about how wrestling is definitively a sport, Michael Clarke is an underrated captain and star and how God may or may not be helping NFL quarterbacks with their passing during the playoffs…

As the 8 month anniversary nears, today is an opportunity to reflect on the struggles ‘down the stretch’, at a time where the journey is no longer new and exciting and yet there’s still too long to go to instigate a countdown… (128 days to go, but you get what I mean!)

Following are the 3 major themes that are swimming around my head as the year without sport ventures on… slowly.

1.  ‘What’s the point?’

That comment above has come to mind more than once these last few weeks, while I’ve been on holidays. With cricket, NFL football, tennis and NBA basketball on offer and having enough spare time to paint a baby’s room and a bathroom, it’s not exactly going to be catastrophic to my health and wellbeing, nor is it taking up my precious down time if I was to plonk on the recliner for a little while and take in some of the day’s action…

The whole point of the journey was to engage more with what’s important – people, community and family. Except, you can’t do that 24/7… Sometimes, you just want to chill. The difference between reading an easy novel, booting up a dvd or watching a sporting event hasn’t exactly seemed clear at times.


2.  Blurring the line

One of my rules to myself over this 12 month period wasn’t just to withdraw from watching sport, but to remove myself from newspaper and online reading as well. Initially, this was freeing. I no longer went to the back pages at work every morning and there was less time spent online, as there was less to take in.

This has started to shift somewhat over the last couple of months. As last year progressed and I became more tired at work, something mindless like the sports headlines were quite appealing. I tried not to read any of the articles – and pretty much had 100% success with this – yet the lines were becoming blurred at this first stage of cheating.

Online reading has also been avoided less than it should have been. Articles that catch my eye on news sites are getting the (very) occasional read, and hitting to read the latest from my favourite sports writer in the world – Bill Simmons – means that my mouse somehow gravitates towards the other headlines.

Hard a$$ or head case? (And who cares?!)

3.  Unworthy replacements

As the holidays have progressed, I have to admit than I am far more up with useless pop culture information and references than I care to admit!

As a tv and movie buff, I love reading and hearing about the latest film, show or star, but this can quickly degenerate into the ‘Merits of Shia LaBeouf’ or ‘Reality TV Scorecard’ (don’t ask). I can’t exactly claim the high moral ground if I’m replacing endless sports viewing with meaningless anecdotes from a world so far away from reality that it makes Warnie look well-grounded…

Warnie. Grounded...

Gotta be intentional

These weeks and months where there’s plenty of down time and loads of summer sport are a looooong way away from May 24, 2012.

It provides a handy reminder to, again, intentionally engage with this journey and in doing so, the world around me. Some options as to how to go about this –

A)  Reading is great. There are only so many Harry Potter books you can get through (books 5+ are good for a workout, btw…!), however, before you get itchy feet…

B)  Paint the baby’s room. Check.

C)  Bathroom? Check.

D)  Engage more with your neighbours. Ok, haven’t done that.

E)  Read more non-fiction texts. Alright, but I’ll need a plan – I can’t do that for 2 hours straight; they do my head in.

F)  Get that stuff done around the house that you’ll look at in 2 weeks when you’re back at work and think, ‘Why on earth didn’t I do that when I was on hols?!’ Check, check and checking.

I’m sure that if I stay with it, there’ll be G, H and I, all the way through S, I assume.

Got some work to do* (* Not my backyard...)

A gear change

It’s a nice shift in the process to take stock of where things are at and resolve myself to put my head down these last 4 months and continue to engage with the world around me.

Blocking out the distractions and temptations is challenging but necessary as I seek to re-enter a new world where sport will be present, but hopefully as an outer layer of my day-to-day, not as a core component of my life.

We just have to convince Warner to settle down so as to not make things too hard!


About petek8

Pete Evans has just finished going 12 months without watching any sport. The journey stemmed from a sense that the balance was out-of-whack with my time and my priorities. Everything seemed to revolve around creating enough time and space to fit in the last game, games, recap shows or space to surf the net for the latest numbers and analysis. The cycle never ends - one season leads into another, seasons overlap if you follow various sports and the media's insatiable appetite for a new 'story' means that even the greatest of achievements aren't heralded for more than 3 days. So I stepped away from the machine for awhile and intentionally engaging with the journey by writing about it.

One response »

  1. Nice one, this blog is back on track. That said, I personally enjoyed the Cricket posts.


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