Overcoming the first hurdle

I’ve been inspired with the recent Olympics.  However, I’ve never threatened to get a place on the GB Olympic team.

At our Tooting secondary school, we had a term of athletics which would eventually lead to finals day.  There was no podium as the woodwork teacher was rubbish.

I tried the shot put and discus, but struggled to pick the things up, let alone throw it halfway to Tooting Broadway Station.  Had even less luck with the javelin as I nearly created the climax of the Battle of Hastings with my poor aim.

The hurdles were tricky if you wore glasses, as you’d approach the actual hurdle and, with NHS ill-fitting glasses wobbling all over the shop, you’d see several hurdles and invariably hit the wrong one.  David Hemery I was not.

I tried to introduce a note from my Mum, but such was the ferocity of the PE master, it’d have been less painful impaling myself with one of my more errant javelins.

I could run about 100-yards (these were the days before metres were invented) – but anything more was torture; the cross-country run we’d be sent on was like me taking an urgent message to Marathon.

We had no swimming pool and boxing only occurred when the comprehensive school opposite invaded the rugby pitch separating our two schools.  Our school caps offered little protection.

I’ve had liked to have done Taekwondo but have never been any good at foreign languages.

On your marks…