So there I was yesterday driving to a five mile road race a few miles away that was going to cost me £12 to enter on the day.
I had no chance of coming in the top half, let alone winning any sort of prize. Nor was I ticking it off towards some particular goal, using it to raise money for charity, doing it for a bet or a dare or for any specific reason.
Basically it was an event taking place close by and fitted in with me wanting or needing to go for a run that day to keep my training up.
I parked a couple of miles away, did a route that enabled me to complete a 6 mile warm-up, do the run and finish with a 2 mile cool down, to log 13 miles. I paid my £12, ran the race along with dozens of others, crossed the finish line, and then jogged back to my car.
I could just as easily have saved myself time and money by setting off straight from home and running around the roads here for free.
But there’s something about sport that brings people together – whether you’re a football, cricket or tennis fan watching a match, or taking part on the field or court.
We get to share our passions and pastimes with like-minded others, people we may only know through that common bond, but who understand that part of us.
Instead of running on my own, in solitary aloneness, I got to catch up with old friends, meet new faces, push my pace to a competitive edge, and compare notes on crossing the finish line of the highs and the lows. Plus support a local club event.
I could have bought three bottles of wine with my entry fee. But I’m trying to make an effort to cut down on my vino volume.
All in all £12 well spent!