Personal bests


If you’re thinking, “who is she to take on this challenge on behalf of the unfit and inactive?”, you ask a fair question.

But doubt no longer, my friends. I am a complete sporting incompetent with no experience of even the lowest level of activity. I’ve managed to reach my thirties without learning to ride a bike, swim a stroke or lift anything heavier than a bag from Waterstone’s. I can’t stress enough how terrible I am at this stuff.

Still don’t believe me? Take a wee look at the evidence:


My commitment to sport was legendary throughout the school.

Litany of sporting failures
– After only one attempt at athletics, my P.E. teacher decided I had a skill that far outweighed my ability on track and field. For the remaining six months I raked the sand of the long jump pit while the rest of the class threw themselves onto the perfectly smoothed surface. I can’t jump far but I’m a demon with a bucket and spade.

– I once wasted an entire month of my parents’ time – and a tiny, insignificant amount of NHS resources – being tested for heart problems after almost collapsing into the school pool. Turns out, I almost panicked myself to death at the thought of swimming lessons.

– The only gymnastic success I ever felt was when I skidded into the splits during a rare appearance on a waterlogged hockey pitch. My friend laughed for… well, I’ll let you know when the laughter stops.

– I was recently blessed with the gift of a bike. It’s a folding bike. It’s still folded.

– For a whole year of primary school, I convinced my teacher that I had a bad back. This turned out to be a great move for a sport-fearing nine year-old as I managed to escape country dancing and gymnastics. I was only found out on Parents’ Evening when the concerned teacher mentioned my health problems to my bemused mum and dad.



One Comment on “Personal bests”

  1. Oh my god, are you ME?! I could almost have written this. I once had a lacrosse report that read ‘Charlotte has mastered the skill of picking up the ball’. And that was the most positive thing my PE teachers ever had to say about me. I genuinely worry people when they see how much I struggle to lift eg a rubbish bag, or how long it takes me to run for a bus.

    I salute you for this challenge.

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