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Women’s football, fortitude and a lesson in positive thinking

Last blog I was struck by the impact of a group of little four year olds on transforming the lives of old people. This last week has brought another lesson – fortitude and positive thinking.

It was Friday morning in the gym and, having walked in worrying about the size of my backside and bingo-wings, I found myself surrounded by courage. Friday is rehab day when all the patients from the local stroke unit arrive with therapists to make lost muscles work, re-create connections in their brain, and urge limp limbs to move and mouths to talk. As I scuttled past the mirror to avoid my profile, a man my age was edged onto the cycle by two young men, his feet strapped to the pedals to prevent him slipping and then his legs moved manually to get him moving. When I nodded ‘hello’ he said four words: ‘Better than last week.’ I was humbled.

Determined to look on the positive side I returned home and tuned into Woman’s Hour (BBC Radio Four) to hear Jenny Murray run an interview about the England Women’s Footballers losing 3:1 to The Netherlands. We had the usual hangdog responses about the precarious future of the coach, questioning about the future of woman’s football, predictions of funding drying up and reports of a team humiliated and flattened. I did not feel humbled – I was raging.

So what propels us to think that perfection is the only goal?

When it comes to ourselves, it is easy to be tracked into focusing on what we cannot be. We are assaulted daily with images and data on what is available, fashionable, ‘must-have’ and expected. We are bombarded with unachievable beauty and so compare ourselves to the impossible. It is easy to feel old, unattractive and wanting. Too many of us are in the grip of negative thinking and failing to recognize the gifts of mobility, wisdom, intelligence and anything else we have. See our article 'Top Tips for Changing Negative Thinking' to start the journey back to positive.

As for sport and success – it seems today that anything less that winning is losing and creates a negative feeding frenzy as the media seeks someone to blame. It is the same psychology – only perfection is praised. Yet we must remember that only a few years ago women’s football was nothing, had no TV coverage, no recognition and earned the derision of too many commentators who said it was boring. But a team of hardy women have battled through and led their country into the top four teams, put their game on the map, have thousands cheering them on and girls realizing that a round ball and a pitch is not just the domain of the males. We should be rejoicing and cheering a brilliant rise to success. It is time to take the Eeyore out of Radio Four and start shouting to the skies.

So for me it is a lesson – or maybe a kick up the backside. I have legs, arms, a brain and the ability to use all of them. I need no help to get out of bed, go to the bathroom and run my day. Time for me to look past the mirror and say my thanks. Time to take lesson from the women’s football team and a man helped onto a machine – ‘Aim high, try hard and it will be better than last week’.

 

Until next time.....Stay Sassy

Dr G

Women's Online Magazine Blogger

"The Online Magazine for strong women"


 

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