I have absolutely no idea where the inspiration came from. I woke up one morning with the urge to play netball. I literally hadn't played since I was eleven but I remember enjoying it. It was a moment of madness that lasted long enough to set the wheels in motion - I emailed my local friends and asked if any of them were up for (rather prematurely) forming a team. At this point I wasn't even sure how many team players we needed. A few positive responses later and I was suddenly responsible for making it happen.
Very fortunately, whilst searching for a netball court to use, I discovered that a nearby leisure centre runs a weekly 'back to netball' group every Sunday evening. My senses came flooding back to me and I realised a session of 'back to netball' might be a good idea before actually forming a team.
Sunday evening came and I wondered what the hell I was doing.
Walking into the echoing, squeaky-polished-floored sports hall took me straight back to school. Realising that the girls at this 'back to netball' group were actually extremely up to date and good at their game managed to bring out my every insecurity. I stood there feeling very much like the new girl who was intruding on their regular meet up. Admittedly I wasn't alone, two of my friends joined us, but somehow it wasn't much comfort. Any minute now there would be a game and everyone would see that I didn't belong there, I would be in the way - perhaps I should run away.
I didn't run away, I stayed and I played and the rules came flooding back. I wasn't any good. I kept saying 'sorry' and felt uncoordinated and lanky. But I loved it.
For however long we were playing, during that time I was 'in the moment' - concentrating on the ball, marking the other team and amazingly - remembering the rules. When we stopped, I felt my lungs heaving and my heart beating. My face was beetroot red and I had worked up a sweat without even noticing. However it wasn't just a physical work out, being a part of a team meant that my mind had to be on alert - my reactions were being tested.
Everyone knows that exercise makes you feel good and aids in stress release, but to think it could sharpen the reflexes as well is a major attraction. Even an article in Forbes Magazine states that playing team sports is the secret to being a 'Power Woman'. According to the founder of Women in Sports and Events, Sue Rodin, we learn to share roles, working together towards a common goal in team sports which is obviously good when in a work environment. "...It increases the possibility that you will be very disciplined and focused, knowing that other people are depending on you."
For the rest of the night I felt elated, I had put myself out of my comfort zone and enjoyed it - I plan to go again next week. I am looking forward to learning to move and think quickly on my feet and to get to the stage of feeling confident - turning up and taking my position on the court. One thing for sure though - I will not be forming my own team any time soon.