Have you ever seen those tiny toddlers who zip down ski slopes as if they haven’t a care in the world?
Well, I’m a Dad who dreams big…and my wish for Sophie is that she could use her tender years to her advantage and be like those daredevil children.
So, just a couple of weeks after her 3rd birthday, armed with a waterproof suit and boundless optimism (from me anyway), Sophie and I headed off at the crack of dawn to Chill Factor…
How would she get on?
There are many sportsmen and women who have influenced me. As a sportslover, I have got a huge amount of respect for all professional athletes and there are too many to mention who have impacted and inspired me.
Michael Johnson’s breathtaking 200m in Atlanta and dominance of the 400m kept me hooked on athletics, not to mention the javelin throwing of Jan Zelezny and Steve Backley.
Alan Shearer led the charge for Blackburn Rovers before the likes of Damien Duff, Matt Jansen and Tugay kept me interested (how far away from those days we are.)
Va’iga Tuigamala, Jason Robinson and Frano Botica’s stunning rugby league skills bought Wigan Warriors a place in my heart.
Roger Federer though, almost exclusively for tennis, is right up there.
This blog has charted accounts of swimming, gymnastics and football. Such is the varied life of a toddler these days.
However, a New Year brings new beginnings and after my wife successfully secured (captured? grabbed? ensnared?!) Sophie’s attention with Strictly Come Dancing, last week saw myself and my little girl foxtrotting down to a toddler dance session at a local high school.
Tonight, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola lock horns for the second time since they both arrived in Manchester to the waving of palm branches and songs of praise this summer.
Back in September, Guardiola’s City were on the crest of a wave and, despite Claudio Bravo’s desperate attempts to sabotage their performance, swamped the Red Devils in a 2-1 win which was far more convincing than the scoreline suggests.
However, since then, both teams have been on a downward trajectory.
City have gone five games without a win – the first time for Pep since 2009 – and United’s performances have been totally inconsistent. One minute, nullifying the significant threat of Philippe Coutinho et al at Anfield and the next being destroyed by that well-known attacker N’Golo Kante at Chelsea in a 4-0 thrashing.
So, with both “Messiahs” at a crossroads, the EFL Cup game tonight takes on new importance.
But is anyone actually bothered?
Was this the end of an era?
Were the Gammy Knees about to be consigned to the annals of history?
Would they go out on a high or would their frustrating record in Manchester tournaments continue?
All these questions and more answered in the following post…
While Team GB are scurrying around Rio de Janeiro defeating the rest of the world and covering their necks with gold medals, the next generation are getting stuck into sport and training for future Olympics.
None more so than two and a half year old Sophie, whose commitment to her fitness regime has been stretched recently and she has come out stronger than ever.
I’ve got a mixed relationship with park run.
As a concept, it’s brilliant. The Olympics 2012 get inspired legacy may not have met with a huge amount of success but Park Run does a phenomenal job of mobilising people to do exercise.
(The last time I ran in a park was either doing reluctant cross country at primary school or chasing after Sophie when she legged it after a duck!)
However, ever since my wife’s great friend Sarah introduced her to it a few years ago, she has become utterly hooked.
And that’s where I’m going with this post…
In many ways, it’s been a pretty momentous week.
But, after some frustrating news on the Brexit and personal front (all in the space of 12 hours!), my 30th birthday weekend has been absolutely wonderful and I am in awe of my wife’s amazing organisational skills and incredible love.
It all started with a little girl waking me up singing “Happy Birthday Daddy!”, tunefully and happily. Lovely!
Then, the surprises began…
As a Blackburn Rovers fan, I’ve got used to losing derby matches.
This season, I’ve watched on as Burnley twice beat Rovers, both times after being outplayed.
I also saw the shambles at the Macron straight after Christmas when a much fresher Rovers team were destroyed by a hungrier and, on that evidence better, Bolton side.
Look how that one turned out.
And yet, with Rovers pressing the self-destruct button to lose 2-1 at home to neighbours Preston North End today, for me, it’s the most painful derby defeat of the season.
Forget Lewis Hamilton and the start of the brand new F1 season.
The fastest thing on four wheels is our little girl and she shows no sign of slowing down.