Bad enough that Son&Heir had emerged yesterday, still bruised and sore, from the rugby-generated pink plaster cast on his wrist - the one that went on four weeks ago, an impressive two whole weeks after the six-week-long, hockey-induced pink ankle cast was removed... And worse still that he has been 'officially' signed off sport for another month to allow serious soft tissue damage to heal. Not good either that Daughter no.2 is still suffering the acute agonies of shin splints, or that HunterGatherer is hobbling around thanks to a half-healed torn hamstring (also sustained while on active hockey duty).
But at 7.00 this evening, even I was seriously beginning to doubt the veracity of that much-vaunted government advice that sport is good for our health. At that point I was 30 minutes into a training session of what can only be described as water hockey (only there wasn't a swimming pool in sight). The rain wasn't so much falling in traditional droplet form as descending in an all-engulfing icy torrent which rendered even moderately waterproof clothing saturated within seconds. The athletic ladies of the local hockey team, instead of pursuing the ball gracefully up and down the Astroturf (as is our norm...), looked something akin to a gaggle of constipated geese. With our once-elegant hair-dos (!) reduced to rivulets and our über-soaked trackie bottoms adhering fast to our legs, we could only waddle extremely ungracefully, sticks threatening to slip out of our hands each time we attempted to hit the ball - when we could actually see the said spherical object through the wall of water, that is. By half-way through the evening’s athletic endeavours, most of us could be heard muttering words to the effect of “who said sport was good for you?” Yet here’s the strange thing. By 7.30 p.m., the rain had stopped and we all had a healthy glow on our (albeit) wet faces. Stranger still, I - for one - felt invigorated and (curiouser and curiouser) all the better for the experience. The only possible explanation for this complete about-turn in sentiment is that all those super-duper endorphins released during exercise must wreak havoc with the short-term memory. So much so, that next Wednesday at 6.30 p.m., I'll be back for more - come rain, hail or snow!