When I was at school, if anyone had suggested that I would ever do a cross-country run voluntarily, I would have considered them stark raving mad! Yet here I am. In those heady days of the 1970s, as well as avoiding cross-country, I enjoyed the TV series, the Dukes of Hazard, where the “good ol’ boys” were constantly harassed by the county sheriff Rosco P Coltraine. I always thought the way he said his name, emphasising the “P” sounded like “Rosco Peco’train” and it’s funny because today’s race was part of the “Peco” league and with steep rooty woodland paths, “Hazard” is definitely the word.
And yet, it was great fun. Helen, my wife, said that the atmosphere of the pre-race build up, including the fact that each running club has its own tent and flag, reminded her of the Harry Potter film where everyone was gathering for the Quidditch World Championship. Magic this may not be but it’s a pretty special thing to be involved in!
The point is that no one ever told me that this sort of thing could be fun. I rather hope things aren’t like this anymore but in my childhood, if you didn’t like doing sport, they simply made you do it. You can’t ever make someone like anything and forcing them to do it is going to cause them to dislike it even more!
Running a cross-country or running around a field in a race of any description is pretty horrible and why we find it fun is unlikely to become apparent again any time soon, but strangely we do like it. However, if anyone reading this has children, please don’t make them do it!
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”