I have been staying up late to watch sport for as long as I can remember. Whether it’s for the Tour de France, international cricket or to watch English football, being up in the middle of the night for a game has been part of my life forever.
At present we are experiencing an apex of late night sport watching activities with the Tour de France overlapping with The Ashes and before that, Wimbledon. There’s also been some late night motorsport on too and some others, depending on your interests. So you’d think I would be in my element, getting no sleep and loving every minute of it and that’s what I thought too, but for the first time I have found myself not able to do it anymore.
Every night I have gotten settled in to watch le Tour and the tennis or cricket and right as it’s starting to get good, I can’t keep my eyes open anymore and end up passing out and missing all the action. I think this is something that ends up happening to us all as we get older. First you can’t handle the all night partying of the early 20s and eventually you can’t even handle the all night TV watching. I’m officially getting old at the ripe old age of 28.
Watching sport has a way of forcing you to come to terms with your own mortality, even if you aren’t actually doing anything besides sitting there and watching a TV screen. First comes that day where you finally realise (well most of us anyway) that you aren’t going to actually become a famous athlete and that most of the guys you are watching are younger than you. That is a sad, sad day and I don’t think I’m fully over it yet, despite the fact I was never good at sport and barely played it.
Then after that, comes this day, where you can’t even watch sport like you used to. As someone who actually writes about sport and planned on writing about these late night events, it certainly has made it a lot tougher considering I’m not actually seeing it happen.
So what do I do? Either I accept the fact that I no longer am the spring chicken I once was, capable of putting in the hard yards on the couch watching TV, or I train harder than I ever have before, stop coasting off natural ability to stay awake and get there on determination and hard work. Or perhaps I should go down the route of performance enhancing drugs and take up drinking coffee.
All I know is that this phenomenon is new to me and I don’t like it one bit. Hopefully I can put it behind me and get back to watching sport like I used to, because we’ve got an entire Ashes series in front of us as well as the meat of le Tour still to come. Then we go straight into the start of the English Premier League season and I foolishly am once again optimistic about Liverpool’s future.
Yes, I am fully aware that this entire silly article is the quintessential ‘first world problem’. Shut up.