It was to be the biggest sporting weekend of the year for my younger son – and for me too. My son had football training on Saturday morning, followed by unheard-of rugby training on Saturday afternoon in preparation for the big county cup finals. Then on Sunday it was his county cup finals and my half marathon.
The weather had been cold for days. We’d had a couple of days of torrential rain. The forecasts looked bleak. On the weather maps, we were on the border between the snow and the milder (but still way below spring temperatures), wetter weather. Who knew which way it would go?
On Saturday morning, I got up to heavy snow falling, although it was hardly settling, the ground was way too saturated. Somehow we hadn’t really believed this was going to happen. It snowed like that all morning, but never settled.
There was no football match scheduled (but a ref would definitely have cancelled), so it was up to my husband, the coach, to decide if football training would go ahead. It wasn’t really a hard decision to make, although he didn’t like making it. He’d never cancelled training before. It was a no-brainer, the ground was waterlogged and there was horrible, wet, snow falling from the sky. To make 8 and 9 year old kids run around in it would be cruel. Most of them would be crying well before the session was over.
One down, three to go…
An hour or so later the email came through that the rugby county cup was being postponed, so that automatically meant the training was off too.
Three down, one to go…
I’d done so much stressing, worry and soul-searching about the clash between the rugby and the half marathon and now there was no clash. How did I feel? Did I hope the half marathon would go ahead so the clash would never be a possibility again in the future and so I could cut down on the draining and time-consuming training runs? Or was I dreading the thought of running the race in snow and extreme cold and hoping for it to be cancelled? I didn’t know.
I didn’t have long to ponder. At 12pm the email came through – the half marathon was being cancelled. There was a lot of snow in the Forest of Dean and they were predicting wind chill on the morning of the half marathon bringing the temperatures down to minus 9. Minus 9! At the end of March!
So it was all cancelled. Our big sporting weekend ended up with no sport. And we had no idea what to do with ourselves. We were lost without it.
By the end of the afternoon, my younger son, who is like a dog who needs to be let off the lead regularly for a run round, was stubborn and tearful. We didn’t know what was wrong with him.
‘I just want to play football.’
He plays so much, he just doesn’t feel right without it.
So he had a kick about in the road with Daddy as it was going dark. The snow had long since stopped.
And on Sunday morning, instead of getting up at 6 and running 13 miles, I got up at 6.30 and ran eight miles. Because I’ve got to keep training.
And then we realised my eldest actually had rugby. His was the only sport which wasn’t in the countryside. We hadn’t even considered his rugby in the original plans, because we couldn’t possibly be in three places at once. So he went to rugby.
And, after hurriedly replacing our broken sledges we all went sledging.