Since having 3 daughters I always felt like a hummingbird. I am small and always rushing around to get things done. Usually feeling exhausted at the end of the day and definitely having big cravings for sweet things!
I had always been very competitive and sporty at school, playing football and netball and loving sports days. But after having my children, I never felt like I had enough time to exercise. I work part time as an ESOL teacher and also recently set up a weekend Guide/Brownie unit for girls in the local community. So weekdays and weekends are always busy.
But I haven’t lost my competitiveness because I find myself doing odd things like putting a bowl of porridge in the microwave for 2.5 minutes and then racing to the dishwasher to see if I can empty it before the beeping sound!
So when I was invited to a local rounders training session by some mums at my daughter’s school, I was super excited. My first time at rounders was on a Sunday evening, which was difficult as I had run a Brownie group in the morning. I left the children with my mum and felt guilty leaving the girls but they had a great time at Brownies and now it was my turn! I was super nervous because I hadn’t played rounders for about 20 years and hadn’t run in like ‘for ages’ so I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep up or if my body would ‘fall apart’.
I got ready and put on my trainers and remembered I needed to do some stretching. I should have googled what to do, but in my mix of excitement and utter panic I decided to do some lunges. It was a big mistake because I had ‘over lunged’ and pulled a muscle in my thigh! Well that was it – a sign that maybe this wasn’t for me. But I hobbled around the lounge and somehow the pacing helped settle the nerves. I drove to the sports centre and decided to go for it. I had nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain.
Walking through the doors felt daunting but what I saw was inspiring – women of all ages, running, catching, batting and having a great time.
I forgot about the pain in my leg as I was introduced to the group and then invited to play. It was so well organised and most of all fun! After the first game I think I was addicted, I wanted to have a few more turns batting and fielding and realising that I hadn’t forgotten how to catch and throw! At the end of it I realised that I had exercised but it was disguised as having fun and my body hadn’t ‘fallen apart’! The icing on the cake was getting a text message afterwards to say that I had been invited to join the BatGirls rounders team and play in matches!
Since then I have managed to keep my Sunday evenings clear so I can get to rounders training and play in matches. A supportive husband and mum and a bit of forward planning have also been vital in helping me to achieve this.
I think wanting to be active through sport has started to rub off on my girls. I have a rounders bat and tennis balls in the boot of the car and my youngest daughter will always want to have an emergency play stop whenever we go past the park. Using the tennis courts to see how far we can hit the ball and running after them. 9 months since joining rounders, I have inspired my 12 year old daughter to come along to training sessions and this has really boosted her confidence and helped us to do something together.
I would definitely recommend joining a rounders team if you are looking to get fit and have fun. The thrill of being part of a team, making new friends, learning new skills and celebrating together is a wonderful feeling. But it is also very flexible and you can commit to whatever is suitable for your lifestyle – be it just taking part in a weekly training session or satisfying your competitive thirst and playing in local indoor and outdoor leagues