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Careful with the inspiration of the Olympics
THE word ‘inspirational’ has been bandied about a lot in the past week.
There’s no doubt whatsoever that the fantastic achievements of our Olympic sportsmen and women have filled every one of us with a lot of emotions ¬ admiration and pride at being British being just two of them.
But unless you are already achieving to a reasonable degree at one of the Olympic sports is there any sense in going out and trying to match our medal winners?
It’s true that one of our first gold medal rowers Helen Glover is a PE teacher who only began her sport four years ago – but her talent and dedication are something only about one person in a million possess.
Here in East Lancashire there’s also a barrier to rowers because we don’t boast the sort of wide gentle rivers where aspirants can practice!
The ups and downs, and large rocks, to be found on the likes of the Rivers Darwen, Calder and Brun, would be more of a test than learning oarsmanship and who would want to risk crashing into submerged supermarket trolleys on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal?
I’m sure lots of people will be heading off to gyms though and the already significant numbers of joggers and swimmers will be encouraged to exercise more frequently and push themselves a little further which is a great spin-off.
Everyone should be encouraged to get themselves fitter for a multitude of reasons but also remember that someone who sofa sports enthusiasts can’t turn themselves into Bradley Wiggins types overnight.
Where I live it’s common to see cyclists on fairly gruelling three or four mile road circuit which includes some testing climbs.
In the past ten days there has been a noticeable increase in the number of men on the wrong side of forty, perspiring heavily and presumably trying to block out the loud sound of their hearts beating in their ears by having loud conversations with their colleagues between agonised gasps for breath.
Their determination is admirable but also raises a question. Should middle-aged men with a body mass index of more than 30 be encouraged to wear Lycra in public?