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Sunday, 16 December 2012

#47: Dazzling to Deceive on the Sporting Stage

I’ve always been good at sport(s). Never great. But always displaying at least a modicum of talent in a variety of activities, such as football (/soccer), cricket, athletics, swimming, table-tennis, pool and golf.

On occasion, though, a spark of greatness would shoot to the fore when I least expected. Making me think, if only. If only I’d been able to transform that ‘good’-ness into something a little more consistent, how different my life direction could have been.

The cross-country trial race I mentioned in a recent post – where I finished 6th out of 50 – is an example. A race where I had seemingly no form going in, but got stuck in and excelled.

Then, as a sprinter, coming third in the 100m trials and qualifying to compete for Holywell in the esteemed Town Sports competition.

People knew I was nippy on the football pitch, but that had never translated into anything of note on the track. Until one year in around Grade 5, when I ran out-of-my-skin and kept first and second in sight. A Top-2 finish was never in range, but I comfortably held off fourth.

At the Town Sports itself, my display was only remarkable for how unremarkable it was. Fourth of four in my semi-final sent me home, still wondering where that trials performance had sprung from.

On the football field, I shone one Saturday morning during a 7-a-side competition at a rival school. Twice embarking on dazzling runs and clinically finishing them off to help us bag a victory or two. That performance earned me a hallowed place in the 11-a-side team for the next big match, only for my hopes to be dashed by a clashing dentist's appointment.

Then again, playing for Shelthorpe Hearts, outside of school hours, I pulled off a move reminiscent of John Barnes for England against Brazil in ’84.

That night, the wily Watford winger danced his way around at least 35 Brazilians (on a team of 11), before coolly slotting home (a wonder goal/moment he was never quite able to repeat).

My version came during a training session at an army barracks (a scary-looking place which kind of gave me the heebee-geebies) on the outskirts of Loughboro...

To read the rest of this column, check out BC Johnny's upcoming book: Chilled Almonds. 


Sonya Solomonovich said...

Hey at least you keep trying and enjoy the sports! I'd always been told I was good and had potential but never stuck to one thing long enough. Currently I'm trying my hand at surfing...

BC Johnny said...

Thanks Sonya! How's the surfing going? You must be currently catching an ice wave or two? ;o)