I expected today’s Juneathon activity to be a second shot at my new strength and conditioning regime but I’d forgotten one thing. As it turns out, I had much more fun!
On my way home from work my phone went off in my pocket. Enough to spur my memory into recalling that we were due to babysit my goddaughter and her two brothers for a couple of hours. There was just time to get changed and then head over town.
With the weather taking a turn for the better it was an opportunity to get into the garden with the 3 siblings and I was immediately invited to play swingball. Now my hand-eye co-ordination is shocking, it always has been, but I must stand a chance against an 8 year old? Turns out no!
In my defeat I scanned the garden for other toys and after being shown the colourful push-along mower I spotted a plastic football. Aha! Football is still not my area of expertise but a light plastic football can double up as a volleyball – something I loved to play at uni.
So an impromptu training session with the older two soon led to a formal tournament. I felt a little bit like Alice in Wonderland with the rules and playing pitch changing as we played. Apparently if the ball went off the “pitch” it was a let. If it went behind, it was in the stadium and was another let. And was accompanied by a “spectator voice” yelling “hey, your ball’s knocked over my beer”!
Every point seemed to result in a slight adjustment to the rules. I love a good rule so initially this was slightly uncomfortable but actually it was liberating.
Having called a time out to give me a break to push the youngest around in his Little Tykes Cosy Coupe car I was heartened to see the other two “practicing” their volleyball.
I returned for a second set having, unsurprisingly, lost the first set. The second set didn’t go my way, with further rule adjustments and interpretations.
My requests of not needing to play a third set was not accepted as a valid reason to stop but Tamsyn managed to negotiate that a decider be played, first to 3 points. I couldn’t battle the tide and lost 3-1. Sad times. This was no knock about in a garden. This was a top quality tournament that saw the British team lift the magnificent trophy and the Union flag raised on the flag pole – a real one attached to their tree house!
While the runner-up, me – apparently representing Australia, was awarded the ceramic plate.
So for the first time, my “athon” activities included tennis and volleyball. Of sorts!