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  • Writer's pictureJen

Guess Who's Back

Updated: Feb 11, 2020

Hello! Welcome back, or you know, maybe just welcome, because it is entirely possible that you’ve managed to resist my mum’s frequent attempts to get you to be interested in me. Until now, it seems. Good job, Mum.

For the newcomers... Let me take you back in time, back to the summer of 2012 where I, sport hater and Civil Servant (I’m sure there’s no direct correlation betwixt the two) stood in St James’s Park, practically weeping as the London Olympics unfolded before me. Despite being a sport hater, there had been quite a lot of weeping during those weeks, and sure, yes it did later transpire that I’d actually been quite depressed at the time, but don’t let that detract from the amazingness of it. Don’t tell me you didn’t love the 2012 Olympics - unless you’re the chief of G4S, I simply won’t believe you.

I was staring down the barrel of turning 30: terminally single as babies started to sprout forth from the loins of my nearest and dearest; hating my job; and feeling pretty shit in the round, actually. Perhaps it was this frame of mind which led me to follow the suggestion of my mate Maya to try EVERY SINGLE DISCIPLINE OF SUMMER OLYMPIC SPORTS and write a blog about it. Though I wouldn’t say I necessarily pride many of my adult life-choices, I can honestly say this is the best decision I ever made.

Even after I finished my challenge, I was still all over this sporty shiz, nipping about town on my beloved road bike Beyoncé, punching other people’s hands (in a controlled fashion), trying new stuff and writing for various sporty blogs, when an opportunity to get out of the job I had grown to hate more and more was presented to me. Having found a new sense of adventure through my “journey” and generally speaking a much happier bunny from all those endorphins and the newfound sense of confidence from actually being alright at something, I decided to take a chance and leave to pursue my childhood dream of writing. The main lesson I learned from this is that children with dreams aren’t usually financially solvent in their own right, but hey ho – I got to work in the park for a while. And now I have a real job on the Standard Issue Podcast so, what I'm saying is, it worked out quite well.

So sport: I love it, it’s ace, but it’s a funny old world for women – it’s not sold to us at school, because PE was (and quite possibly still is) shit, then we get all bothered about our bodies, then if we re-engage at all, we probably do it a lot later, so it’s not really marketed at us which just exacerbates the whole problem. I don’t think I’d really realised, prior to my Olympics challenge, what a massive division in the sexes there was in this industry, and how undervalued the achievements of women are.

Perhaps it was something to do with the time in my life all this was happening, but suddenly I had this sense of how differently women actually are treated by society, in a way I’d not actually really noticed before. Then it was everywhere – women in pants, being sexy in music videos or trying to sell me make up, or in cardigans having babies trying to sell me mum stuff, but almost nowhere were they being doctors or lawyers (she was being George Clooney’s wife, that one) or politicians or athletes, and all the shite that little girls are exposed to that will stop them believing these are viable and desirable ambitions. Sport is just one teeny tiny part of a much wider societal problem.

But back to sport. Despite an awful lot of chit-chat about women's sport (although in fairness, quite a bit of that has been post 2012 - trailblazer, innit), bitches, we are not doing enough of it. I think there's a sport for everyone, but it takes a bit of dicking around on crash mats and abseiling down turrets to find it, and I appreciate not everyone has the time or inclination for such pursuits.

This here blog is a record of my health, fitness, sporting and general well-being efforts (reader, I mean I'll throw in the occasional moisturiser review too - cos I'm worth it, right?), hopefully proving that if a sports-hater-turned-lover can get off her ass and find joy outside of their comfort zone really anyone can, if they fancy having a go.

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