Women are rubbish at sport

15 Mar


Well if you talk to the mums and women I know, that’s what you’d believe. Recently I set up a weekly training session with ‘Ron’ – a fabulous trainer who I’d met while working on a feature.

But as a sex, I must confess we are rubbish. Not one of the women I spoke to said: “yeah but watch out as I get really competitive, so be prepared to eat my dust.”

It was all: “Well… I’m really bad at sports/I’m really unfit/I haven’t done any exercise since the birth of Tiddles/ I can’t run….” you get the picture. And I’m not judging them because I include myself in this. I regularly use the lines: “I make a ‘grapevine’ look like Spaghetti hoops” and “I gave up aerobics as I knew my super-bad co-ordination would never improve so I’d be able to actually go in the right direction as the rest of the class.” to belittle my abilities – which as it turns out are not quite as awful as I remember.

It’s just insane and I’m coming across it ALL the time – Many of the women I now know are the women all those articles were written about over International Women’s Day – we are the lost mummies – the professional women who had good careers up till about 35, then had kids and are now floundering in the ridiculous ‘you-can-have-it-all’ mantra we were promised as children of the 80s but clearly doesn’t exist.

But it’s not just these women who have this self doubt – and it’s not just in sports – this was just the latest example.

Over the years I’ve interviewed many successful women (often not mothers) and I would guestimate that at least 80-90% of them have self doubt and are constantly scared that they are going to be found out as frauds and will be ‘discovered’ as inept or incapable of doing their job.

What is it in the female psyche that makes us put ourselves down so much… and so often? I just can’t imagine men saying those things. We limit ourselves by our own put-downs. Surely there are enough external influences out there in the big wide world to put us down and challenge our success, we shouldn’t need to sabotage ourselves and our own potential as well.

I don’t know what the answer is, it seems no one does – but it sure isn’t belittling ourselves and our abilities. Every one of the women I’ve come across is not only super-capable, intelligent, charming but they are also adeptly juggling more than most circus performers. That’s not to be sniffed at, or belittled. Ever. Especially by ourselves.


One Response to “Women are rubbish at sport”

  1. Greysleeves March 16, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    I agree. Surely our children deserve better role models. Ones that CAN achieve and congratulate themselves in the real world.

    Its an inevitable outcome if we take on the challenge of changing our lives forever. As one of the ’51 percent’ (aka women), I sense this is the beginning of the beginning…slowly the swing to favour the ’51 percent’. And it will mean changing the entire workforce habit of the 9-5. We’ll ALL need to work flexibly, 24/7. More jobs/shares, higher output and more revenue. More minds bring more solutions. Better understanding, action and compassion.

    Achieving this balance would mean women’s negative view of themselves simply crumbled; even men’s view of their place in the world would transform for the better. Simple by-products of a massive undertaking that women should start. Now.

    I’m not saying this is a faultless vision but something needs to happen in our lifetime, before the ’51 percent’ swings the other way to the status quo or worse. (Historically, there is a surge in worldwide violence and unrest when the world population favours men.) Our populations are booming and this is a time-critical problem. Collectively, we must act now.

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