Thursday, 27 December 2012

2012 - Hello and Goodbye

2012 has been a funny old year - but I guess that's true of every year.  12 months is a long time, and there are bound to be a lot of things to look back on during the year.  As I've got older, it seems that every year is less interesting than the last, but I'm starting to wonder whether that's just the cynicism of age rather than life getting calmer.

For every "Hello" there is a "Goodbye" and the biggest goodbye I've had to say this year was to my Grandmother.  For as long as I can remember - that's over thirty years - my family has had three strands - my Mum, my Dad and my Granny.  Every birthday I had three main presents, every Christmas I had three phone calls to make and every holiday I had three presents to buy.  That has all changed over the past few years.  Two years ago, I lost my Dad to lung failure and this year I lost my Granny.  My family life will never be the same again, and Christmas just wasn't the same this year.  Of course,  I still have my Dad's relatives and my Granny's relatives and I keep in contact with them, and I love them - but they wouldn't take offence at my saying that it's just not the same.

I have had some achievements this year, though.  I got back into a swimming pool for the first time in over thirty years.  I was proud of myself for doing that, even though ultimately I ended up giving up before actually being able to swim.  Maybe one day I'll pick it up again, but for the moment it remains an experiment I'm proud to have tried, but which just wasn't for me.

I've also had to hang up my badminton racquet this year.  I've played badminton for a few years now, and was actually pretty good.  I had coaching, got the technique and for the first time in my life I learned a sport properly, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  But in August my arm started to twinge.  It had been a little sore after playing for a few months, but nothing which made me worry unduly.  in August, I started a course of physio and things improved - but every time I picked up a badminton racquet my arm would start to twinge.  Eventually, the only way through the day was Ibuprofen and rest.  I had a steroid injection into my elbow in December, having only played badminton a handful of times in the previous few months.  It will improve, and it's already definitely on the mend - but the reality is that once you have tennis elbow it's very likely to come back and much as it pains me, I have to listen to the advice which says that playing badminton regularly enough to maintain a decent level of skill is going to make it happen again sooner or later and so my badminton playing is relegated to the odd social game - and not even that for a month or three...

And so I enter 2013 looking for a new sport to take up.  It can't be a water sport (even kayaking requires you can swim, for safety reasons) nor a racquet sport (for obvious reasons).  I'm still pondering on that one...

Sport has actually featured more in my life than it ever has before.  From the rehearsal of the opening ceremony through to actually watching the Olympics. Yes, I watched some sport!  For once in my life it was fun.  I couldn't quite bring myself to be fully patriotic but I was still waving the odd flag and the odd tear did fall...

So that was 2012 in a nutshell.  A few old friendships have fallen by the wayside and a few new ones have come along.  I've spent more time in the gym than ever before, I leave 2012 the fittest and strongest I've ever been, but searching for a new sport to take up my time and give me a bit of a cardio workout.  But whatever happens, it could've been worse - at least the Mayan Apocalypse turned out to be just a rumour...

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