At about the 15 minute mark of walking the dog this morning, I managed some logical thought. Some quick maths which took a bit longer than usual made me realise that I am at day #307 in this year without sport.
Less than 2 months left.
58 days to go.
8 weeks, 2 days…
As I look back upon the journey, I’m really pleased that the low point of this journey – January 24 – is in the past. This was when I realised that the New England Patriots were in the Super Bowl and I was missing it, resulting in the most widely-read blog piece in the year so far.
At that time, I was suffering from yet another event that I had to miss, combined with the fact that I wasn’t really close enough to late May to begin the countdown to the end of this journey.
I was stuck in no-man’s land.
(Sidenote – I just re-read that piece. Man I was low! Thanks for stickin’ with me!!)
‘Oh the irony…’
Ironically, there were a number of counter-intuitive decisions I made after the ‘Super Bowl incident’ that got the ball rolling towards a more positive outlook with which to see the year out –
- Friends were asked to hold off on sports news,
- I was tougher on myself on not sneaking peaks at news headlines or articles, and
- In an unrelated decision, I am currently in the midst of going without surfing the net for Lent.
AFL is back?!
Again, being a human being who talks to people, you can’t help but be a little informed when you go out to parties.
One mate asked me what it felt like now that the AFL season was kicking off. I would have been none the wiser, except when I was setting the hard drive recorder for Harry Potter on Saturday night before we went out, there were the Western Sydney players linked up, as the national anthem played.
I didn’t feel like I was missing anything in not being across the many machinations of the AFL season kicking off. I may, however, miss footy in the next couple of months and I will certainly enjoy certain aspects of it once May 24 ticks around.
But I was out having a great night, free of curiosity about scores or who’s playing well, who’ll be a future star, how long Sheeds will last, etc! I was around great friends, talking about issues like the challenges for indigenous Australians living in big cities, the difficulties of immigrating to another country and the undercurrent of low-level racism in our country.
You’ll be surprised how your mindset can change when you deny yourself just a lil’ bit.
Nothing at the G
Another mate filled me in on Saturday’s front page news of my favourite nemesis, the Herald Sun. (Again for our overseas readers, the HS is by far Melbourne’s most widely read newspaper … with reading material intellectually fit for a 7 year old.) The AFL season was kicking off and, ‘controversially’, there was nothing on at the home of footy, the MCG.
And this is news?!
I know far less people read the papers on the weekend than on weekdays, but you could at least look like you’re trying!
It’s these types of contrived ‘stories’ that help me revel in being offline, glad that the hysteria of the AFL media in Melbourne is noiseless for now.
My mind is far more filled at the moment with the excitement of being a father for the first time in 6 or 7 weeks.
Can families with children and sport be merged healthily? Can the two live together? Does one have to exclude the other or can they co-exist? Of course!
But in terms of my mental focus, sport doesn’t really rate a mention. The footy or NBA or the other sports I’m missing out on, as well as the pending May 24 end of the viewing drought are hardly registering.
Ask many who have given up a former crutch of theirs and you are bound to hear similar results…
This is fitting exactly with the design of the last 307 days. Sport will soon become an add-on, something to be included in the fabric of life, not woven into the core of it, as it was for me, and it is still for so many.
I wonder if coming back to sport will be like those heading towards a wedding. For too many in that season, it is a stressful time of logistics and family shenanigans. Yet the honeymoon always starts, and for many, the holiday is like a surprise – ‘Oh yeah, we get to totally chill out for a couple of weeks.’
Now I’m not saying that I’ve missed Kobe Bryant or Jobe Watson that much to warrant the wedding analogy, but hopefully you get the point!