I won the bean bag race at sports day every year from 1980-86.
It's that time of year again where we do lots of handwringing about why women don't involve themselves in sport all that much. I'm listening to women who have chosen to be professional sport people discussing/judging those women who don't involve themselves in sport. I think they're part of the issue (yes, I know I've spoken about this before).
I heard a lot of things from the professional sports folk today and they connected lots of things that I'm not so sure about.
Sport is not the same as activity or fitness.
Not wanting to involve yourself in sport isn't the same as being unhealthy.
Not wanting to involve yourself in sport doesn't mean you're lazy.
Not wanting to involve yourself in sport doesn't mean you need to be educated.
Not wanting to involve yourself in sport doesn't mean you eat unhealthy food.
Not wanting to involve yourself in sport doesn't mean you don't know how to cook.
Not wanting to involve yourself in sport doesn't mean you lack intestinal fortitude.
Not wanting to involve yourself in sport doesn't mean you're scared of competition.
Not wanting to involve yourself in sport doesn't mean you're not strong, whatever that means.
Not everything is a this or that issue.*
Lots of people have no interest in playing sport and it's nothing to do with laziness, or not having a role model, bad parenting, money, or not wanting to take you clothes off in public. I was very sporty at school, I have no idea how that happened. I played hockey, did athletics, gymnastics, dance and inexplicably rounders and represented the school. I don't know how it happened, it just did and once I was in I couldn't get out. I wanted to play badminton but for some reason it was not to be. why did I stop playing sport when I left school? I have no idea, possibly the same reason I stopped wearing a tie every day, I didn't have to.
Doing something doesn't make you special, or better than anyone else. If you play sport/ lift weights/ crochet/ eat meat/ don't eat meat/ have no mortgage/ cook from scratch/ live off grid/ anything else and it makes you feel good then that is delightful, it doesn't mean it's delightful for everyone else. Even if it would be delightful for everyone else, judging people or acting as though you know better isn't going to help.
I suppose what I'm wondering is whether sport is important at all and whether we're saying "sport" when we mean something else.
*I realise that I'm talking about sport, but not just talking about sport.