Physios and surgeons are the only winners when middle-age collides with participation sport

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I have to give it to my husband. He really is a kind and generous man, always willing to lend a hand to others. He is currently helping our local physiotherapist build his dream home.

I should clarify, the husband isn’t constructing a house with his bare hands, he’s doing it with other body parts. Currently, it’s his legs, the left hamstring to be precise. Also, it may not actually be a house he is building; he could be funding a new car or a luxurious overseas holiday. Whatever it is, it’s pricey because a trip to the physio is never just a one-off visit, it’s always a multi-trip adventure.

My husband doesn’t limit his financial assistance to physios. He has also been a benefactor to knee surgeons in need. By “in need”, I mean they need money to pay for their children’s private school fees. I like to think of it as supporting kids and education. A worthy cause.

Knee surgeons in need – they need money to pay for their children’s private school fees.Credit:Fairfax

Sure, we could be patrons of the arts, but sadly, paintings, music, dance and words don’t heal damaged bodies. Damaged souls maybe, but not muscles and ligaments.

Former AFL star Jude Bolton, a man who can’t be chased down.

Former AFL star Jude Bolton, a man who can’t be chased down.Credit:Getty

This is what happens when middle age collides with participation in sports. While I have come to terms with the limits of my body, my other half hasn’t. I prefer a cautious approach to exercise which includes walking and surfing (the internet and TV). My husband on the other hand, thinks he is 25. He loves sport and isn’t about to let age get in the way. As a result, he can’t get up off the couch without making a noise. We have decided that his biography would be titled “A Series of Unnecessary Grunts”.

My husband is a loving and involved father, particularly when it comes to sport. He passed on his passion for Aussie Rules to our son, teaching him to kick a football at a very young age. Much to my chagrin, he also passed on his enjoyment of cricket, which has consumed more time, money, and bleaching products than any kid’s sport should. He has given up countless hours of his time coaching our son’s various teams, and has attended all of our daughter’s netball games, proudly cheering her on from the sidelines.

But it’s not enough to be on the sidelines. My husband wants to be on the field and part of the action. When the opportunity arose to join a team in the AFL 9’s, a competition of mixed ages, gender, and abilities, he was very keen. He sold it to me as a non-contact, low-risk version of his beloved sport.

I still wasn’t thrilled. Experience has taught me that in addition to any sport’s registration fee, we also have to factor in the cost of potential injury and treatment. The upside, of course, is that playing sports keeps my husband active, gives him an outlet from his high-pressure job, and provides an opportunity to socialise with people who share his interest in running, kicking and catching an oddly shaped ball.

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