Get Healthy! – Day 1


‘Start again!’


‘That’s rubbish!’,  said Clara, writing busily on her clipboard as she stared down at the pathetic figure on the ground.

‘I’m trying, really I am, but I’m injured, you see…’  Hardy said, lying on his side, rubbing his left arm, ‘I don’t think press-ups are good for my tennis elbow’.

‘Tennis elbow?  Rubbish!  How would you get that, you don’t even play tennis?’

‘Well, there’s something wrong with my arms, anyway’, said Hardy miserably, ‘I’ll do something else…’

‘OK.  Star Jumps.  Ready?  One…two…three.  What’s up now?’

Hardy was lying on the ground moaning, clutching his thigh.  His left leg was splayed out in front of him and his right leg had buckled underneath him and was sticking out to the rear.

‘Agghh, now, it’s my old injury, you know, the one I picked up against Derby Road last season, when I was ill’,  groaned Hardy.

‘You can’t even do a star jump?  Oh man!’  Clara laughed as she turned to her next victim.

‘And you’ve made my Chelsea kit all muddy!’  shouted Hardy after her, as the dampness in the turf started to soak through his shorts and socks.

‘I’ll be along to give you your lunch in a minute, got to build you up!’  replied Clara sarcastically as she walked away.


Across the field, Michael was warming up for the bean bag race by juggling the bags between his hands and feet. 

‘OK, that’s enough of that!’  snapped Clara, ‘let’s see fifty press-ups, NOW, one…two…three…’

Michael instantly dropped to his hands and performed fifty perfect press-ups.  Clara nodded appreciatively and scribbled busily on her notes.  A small bead of sweat formed on Michael’s forehead.  Clara watched it slowly as it crawled down his face.

‘I knew there was something about you that was different’, she said.  Michael elegantly wiped the drip from his forehead.  ‘What have you done to your hair?’

‘Sorry’, said Michael smiling, ‘it’s a Becks thing!’

‘But it’s all grey!’

‘I know, he’s making his debut for the Galaxy this weekend, in LA’,  said Michael, smoothing his cropped hair down at the front.

‘Yeh, and it’s against Chelsea!  One-man team…one-man team!’  cried Hardy, who had got his breath back and was miraculously walking without any hint of a limp, strutting his stuff in his Chelsea kit.

‘We’ll see’,  said Michael carefully, ‘he’s not their only player, although he is injured, so it might be difficult for Galaxy’.

‘Oh, yes, I see, like me’,  said Hardy, limping away.


The preparations for Sports Day were not going well.

Clara had appointed herself coach of the North team, which included Hardy and Michael.  Freddy and Wil were in the South team, along with Alex and Barry.  And Jaz was in the West team.

Freddy looked round at the rest of the South team, lazing around on the grass waiting for the practice to resume.

What a bunch of layabouts!  he thought to himself.

‘I know what you’re thinking!’,  said Wil, striding over, ‘you’re thinking, ‘what a bunch of layabouts’, aren’t you?’

‘Well, look at them!’,  said Freddy, amazed at his brother’s perspicacity, ‘no hopers, that’s what they are.  Unfit.  Unfat. Unfunny.’

‘How can you be unfat?’

‘Well, look at them, Wil…’,  implored Freddy, ‘they’re not fat exactly, but they’re stuffing themselves with rubbish just before a major training session!’

Several children continued stuffing themselves with the contents of their lunch boxes.  Not a lettuce leaf in sight.

‘Relax!  It’s only Sports Day!’,  said Wil.

‘I know, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously.  It’s taking it apart that’s important’.

‘What?’ said Wil.  Freddy desperately searched his mind for the correct phrase.  He’d read it somewhere, but it hadn’t come out right.

‘I mean…sorry…it’s the taking part which is important, not the winning’, he remembered.

There was a shrill blast from a distant whistle, as the teams were summoned back to the session.  The South team wandered over to the waiting teachers and joined the other three teams already there.

‘Now!  Captains come forward please!’ shrieked the teacher.  Clara stepped forward from the Norths, and the other captains joined her.

‘I have the events listed here for Friday.  There will be flat races, obstacle courses…’, yelled the teacher, waving envelopes above her head, ‘you need to decide who’s going to be in each one.  I’ll leave that to you, captains’.

There was a mass surge forward as the children tried to get closer to see what the envelopes contained.  The teacher was barely visible as every single child dashed up in an attempt to grab the contents.

‘I will NOT have…urghh!’  yelled the teacher as her arm, holding the envelopes, became the only part of her that was visible.  She bobbed up once, so that her head could be seen above the throng, then disappeared back down again.  There was a flurry of arms and legs.  The melee continued with two hundred children scrapping on the ground, and no sign of the teacher.  The noise was like dogs yapping, or piranhas, snapping at their prey.

Miraculously, out of the mess of bodies, crawled the teacher.  Her normally perfect hairstyle was now caked in mud, and strands of matted hair hung despondently down her face.  Her glasses were similarly smeared with mud.  Her tracksuit was rucked up and ruined.

Even more miraculously, she was still holding the four envelopes.

Raising herself up to her full height, she turned to face the heaving throbbing mass of children.

‘RIGHT!’  Her voice pierced the air.  Silence fell.  Her glasses slipped.  Someone smirked.

‘RIGHT!’  she repeated, looking at the smirker, ‘THERE’S GOING TO BE SOME CHANGES HERE!’.  Dramatically, she tore up the envelopes, slowly, one by one.  A lone voice called out,

‘Oh…oh…we’re sorry…please don’t cancel Sport Day’


‘I’m not going to cancel...I’m just going to change some of the events, that’s all!’ As she said the word change, a small smile seemed to play around the corners of her mouth.

And with that, she turned, and her glasses fell with a splat into the mud.  She whisked them up, put them muddily on her nose, and was gone.


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