11th August, 2010 — Training Report: First day back in the pool and it was hard work… Not only was there lots of sprints up and down the pool and plenty of shooting practice — Dan had to leave the pool with a blood injury (ie. smashed in nose) courtesy of Captain Ben! He’s not joking when he says: “It’s a contact sport sweetheart!”
Sport at any level can be a fairly thankless pursuit. Endless hours of training. Tired muscles. Injuries. Travel. Goals set but rarely achieved.
The world of masters sport requires a particularly perverse type of dedication.
It’s getting harder to pretend that you’re still at your prime. The personal bests or athletic triumphs of your youth are slipping into the past. But your love of competition keeps you going. The adrenalin. The rush. When you crank your tired body into gear and show the world that you’ve still got it. Still got something to prove. Something to prove to yourself at least.
The London Orca water polo team competes in the Thameside League. A masters league with teams from across the greater London region. Away matches can see us making the long trek out to Basildon, Walton-on-Thames, or Croydon. There is nothing glamorous about slogging it out in a suburban pool at 9pm on a Wednesday night. Defeat almost inevitable.
Why do we do it? It’s what we do. We are a water polo team. We play water polo.
On the long train ride home we share around a bottle of eye-drops to try and take away the sting of the over-chlorinated pool, lament the number of goals scored against us, and excitedly plan our next match — “Enfield? How are we going to get to Enfield!?!”