I got a call from my old mate Hendo a few weeks back.
Hendo is one of my hockey mates from Armidale and has been organising some of the Armidale veterans teams for the state over age championships for years.
This year, the over 55s is being held in Tamworth on March 23, 24 and 25, and Armidale has decided to enter two teams.
Trouble is, they will need about 30 fit players at the start of the weekend to have any chance of filling two teams of 11 by the end of the weekend.
There are getting desperate for numbers.
That’s why Hendo phoned me.
As one or two of my regular readers may recall – maybe all three — I played my last game of cricket nearly two years ago.
And, after I moved to Newcastle about 15 months ago, I unofficially retired from hockey and cricket.
Then I got the call.
So what does an overweight 59 year old, who hasn’t picked up a hockey stick in two years, and hasn’t gone for a jog in 18 months say when he’s asked to play in a tournament that could involve five games over three days?
Count me in, of course.
Then it struck me. I haven’t played hockey in two years, I’m overweight, I’m unfit and I could die out there.
They might have to use the “defibs” that are provided at all veterans hockey games these days.
At the very least, if I head into the tournament in my current condition, there is a chance I won’t be able to walk by the end of the weekend.
I had five weeks to do something. I needed a plan.
Two weeks later (you can’t rush these things), I came up with a plan. Problem is, now I’ve only got three weeks.
I had already started a bit of a diet in January and had lost a couple of kilos.
Now I’ve dusted off the old treadmill.
I’ve been slowly building my way from walking on it for 10 minutes to spending about 20 minutes a night jogging (well most nights).
Not all at once, mind. Five minutes on, five minutes off — but I’m improving.
Hopefully, by the time the game comes around, I won’t collapse after five minutes.
I’ve now lost four kilos.
Problem is, while I have been planning my fitness, I’ve missed so much sport.
The Winter Olympics have come and gone, with three medals to Australia.
While this might not sound brilliant, it is when you consider how much government funding went into winning those three pieces of metal.
Some $16 million, compared to $340 million for 29 medals at the last Summer Olympics — that’s a bloody brilliant result.
Do the maths. Each summer games medal cost $11.7 million, compared to just $5.3 million for the winter games.
Food for thought hah?
And remember, there’s no such thing as too much sport!