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Why Cricket Saves My Sanity

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, finding moments of respite is becoming increasingly crucial. As an Expert Facilitator at Real Schools, I immerse myself in incredibly meaningful work, sculpting positive changes within school communities. It’s a passion and a privilege that fuels my soul. Equally significant is the time I devote to my family, cherishing every moment with them (well mostly!).

Yet, amid these fulfilling pursuits, I’ve come to realise the importance of nurturing my own wellbeing, and that’s where cricket enters the stage.

Back in 2019, a group of awesome mates and I founded the Madagascan Lemurs Cricket Club and we play in the local Last Man Stands (LMS) cricket competition each Sunday.

Together, we embark on a journey of hilarious banter (well we think so anyway!), gentle competition and a little bit of reliving the glory days!

But most importantly, we’re outside enjoying the Queensland sunshine and it’s just plain ol’ good fun! Beyond the boundaries of the cricket field, we forge bonds that transcend the mundane routines of life. We celebrate victories, endure defeats, create stories and talk a lot of shit. Nothing earth shattering, nothing too deep, just chew the fat around whatever’s relevant at the time. Today’s issue was a footy reporter with a bit of a rap sheet who clearly had a few too many and was filmed (isn’t everything these days!) shaping up to a younger opponent in the early hours of Sunday morning. Of central importance is the compulsory debrief and re-hydration session after the game. Playing over 200 games and now into our sixth year, we’ve won two premierships, competed in national championships, been on 4 or 5 tours and over 70 blokes have had the privilege of representing the mighty Lemurs, including four father son duos! How good!    

But why is it so crucial to cultivate a hobby like cricket outside of work and family commitments? I think the answer lies in the delicate balance of the human experience.

While our vocations provide purpose and fulfillment, and our families offer boundless love and support, we mustn’t neglect the essence of our individuality. We’re more than just professionals and parents; we’re complex beings with multifaceted identities yearning for expression.

Engaging in external hobbies or interests is nourishing our souls. It’s a testament to self-care, a declaration that our wellbeing matters just as much as our responsibilities to others. Amid the stresses of daily life in both my professional and personal life, for me, cricket serves as a sanctuary where I can recalibrate, rejuvenate and reconnect with myself and my mates. The crack of bat striking ball (or in my case today – the inside edge!), the adrenaline rush of chasing a run and the shared laughter with mates all contribute to a profound sense of fulfillment. I know I return to my family and my work with more intent, focus and energy.

More generally, hobbies foster personal growth and holistic wellbeing. Through cricket, I’ve learned (or re-learned) valuable lessons in teamwork, sportsmanship and resilience – skills that transcend the boundaries of the cricket pitch and enrich every facet of my life. It’s not just about playing a game; it’s about embracing a lifestyle that prioritises passion, pleasure and personal development.

This significance extends far beyond mere recreation. It’s a lifeline that anchors us amidst life’s ups and downs, reminding us to savour the simple joys, cherish meaningful connections and nurture our inner selves. So, as I nervously pad up and anxiously walk out to bat each Sunday, as I turn at the top of my run up to bowl another delivery, as I patrol the outfield waiting for a catch, as I sledge my own teammates in good humour, as I share a laugh and a cold beverage at the end of the match, I’m not just playing a sport, I’m reaffirming my commitment to self-care, personal growth and the enduring pursuit of happiness.

At least that’s what I tell my wife!

Have an awesome week folks,