Reflections & new beginnings – by Sally Johnston
I have no doubt that sport has positively helped to shape who I am today – from child spectator of my active parents to immersing myself in every opportunity I could to grab for my next sports fix.
Now when I reflect back, I don’t think that it mattered what the actual sport was just what feeling it gave me. I wouldn’t have defined it then; all I knew was it made me happy.
So, ‘thank you’ sport for making me feel that I belonged, for teaching me to respect rules and others, for helping me to cope with disappointment, for boosting my confidence, for introducing me to friends, for taking me to new places and of course for my career.
It was also handy being so active to square off against the big Sunday roast dinners my mum used to cook!
These days unfortunately my body doesn’t agree with my heart & mind having being diagnosed with arthritis over 17 years ago. I have reluctantly come to admit that I just can’t do what I want any more due to pain & limitations and I can feel sad & frustrated at times.
But enough of the pointless self-pity; a positive mental attitude is vital for my well-being. These days I walk my dogs on the South Downs after work and feel uplifted, I cycle around the village lanes soaking up the wonders of the countryside, I try to take the stairs instead of lifts & escalators and I feel good about what I achieve.
I also congratulate my family, friends and colleagues when they do great sporty stuff and can sympathise when they feel they haven’t.
So, happy childhood feeling restored and the physical and mental benefits of exercise and physical activity continue indefinitely.