Summer of sport inspiration

Now that summer is with us – the sun has actually come out in Cornwall on more than one occasion, and it’s only July! – thoughts turn to sport and holidays. What with Wimbledon, the football World Cup, the Tour de France, the wonderful one day cricket internationals (sorry to any Australians who maybe reading this between bouts of sobbing inconsolably) it would be easy to spend all your spare time watching the Sports Channel. And why not?

However, while you are watching, don’t just be dazzled by the skills of the players, and the euphoria of winning (oops, sorry again to the Australians!). Take a little time to observe the physique of the sports men and women. Even in cricket, which many people consider to be a lazy mans sport, you don’t see any overweight players these days. It may look a bit tame if you don’t like the game, but let me assure you that fielders have to have a pretty good 100m time to be able to run after the ball and stop it reaching the boundary. And they do this many times every day. A recent study showed that an average first class fielder ran 15.5km (9.6miles) per day, with many high intensity bursts of running interspersed. This is not a sport for a couch potato!

Even Motor Racing, which on the face of it seems to be the laziest sport of all, is not immune. I know that the drivers basically just sit there driving for a couple of hours (I do the same myself quite regularly…). But racing drivers are different. They have to be at the peak of fitness. When Formula One driver Mark Webber broke his leg in November 2008 he was competing in a charity 250km challenge involving trekking, kayaking and riding a bike. Not the actions of a lazy car driver.

Obviously genetics must come into this at some stage. We are not all given the basic equipment to enable us to ride 3642km on a bike across France in 23 days, however much training we do. However, everyone can get better. With training we can all get fitter, improve our endurance, build up muscle, and burn off fat. It just takes effort.

So don’t just sit there enjoying the sport on TV. Let it inspire you to reach your challenges. The Tour de France might be a bit of a stretch But what about running your first marathon next year? Or entering a Triathlon for a new challenge?

Elite athletes were not born able to win world records. They trained and trained and trained. Let the great weather and the exciting summer of sport give you the spur you need to improve on your best. You’ll be amazed at what you CAN achieve!

Rob Knowles 6 July 2010

Leave a Reply