Bowing to Sports

 

So you wish to conquer in the Olympic games, my friend? And I too, by the Gods, and a fine thing it would be. But first mark the conditions and the consequences, and then set to work. You will have to put yourself under discipline; to eat by rule, to avoid cakes and sweetmeats; to take exercise at the appointed hour whether you like it or no, in cold and heat; to abstain from cold drinks and from wine at your will; in a word, to give yourself over to the trainer as to a physician. Then in the conflict itself you are likely enough to dislocate your wrist or twist your ankle, to swallow a great deal of dust, or to be severely thrashed, and, after all these things, to be defeated.
Epictetus
Greek Stoic philosopher.

Spirit of freedom, isn’t that how we should be experiencing the countdown to hosting the Olympics?   I’m not a sportswoman in any sense of the word. I neither play any nor enjoy the spectacle to any particular degree. I am forced by default to honour and respect it, in the shape of cricket and football, as the majority of the household seem to be avid competitors or spectators and often both.  What I do like is the effects of sport – the distraction from the harsher realities of life, the engagement and passion that flow from it, the team spirit and camaraderie amongst players and fans. The self discipline it breeds in the training  and the self esteem it builds . Then of course there are the physical benefits, the fitness and the reason to avoid stimulants and alcohol. I have a lot of gratitude towards sport, even if I cannot lose myself  to it. I have managed to come across these though, which celebrate sport in a wonderfully illustrative way.  Cigarette cards, again! Thanks to NYPL digital gallery, if you want to find some of your own, then finger walk over here http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/explore/dgexplore.cfm?topic=all&col_id=161

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