Ode to Tim Henman


Most of us have a skewed idea of success. Just look at what happens every time a major sporting event comes along. Look at all the crap being spewed on the internet about mixed martial artist Anderson Silva right now, for example. For non-athletes, none of the work that goes into forging a professional career is seen, only the snapshot of a title fight or a Wimbledon final.

For Brits, a special place in the collective consciousness is reserved for Tim Henman. Yes, the seemingly hopeless figure that never made it to a Grand Slam final, most notably never the Wimbledon final. It seems quite irrelevant in the minds of so many that he was ranked No 4 in the world at his peak, won 15 ATP titles and is in the top 30 for career earnings at the modest sum of $11.6 million.

He’s been retired for six years, and still some people can’t resist a call of “Come on, Tim!” at Wimbledon. I’m not sure if it’s affection or scorn, but the guy has always kept his chin up in public regardless. Henman keeps a solid profile in the tennis world, taking part in the BBC’s tennis coverage since 2008 and remaining active on the masters circuit.

Tim Henman is a salient reminder in my mind that we can’t all be Federer, and that it doesn’t diminish being better than 99.999% anyway…

Come on, Tim!

Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.

Save the NHS… with judo

I’m serious. We all know being physically active keeps personal healthcare costs down, but I’m talking about a specific skill of judoka.

Watch a judo match and see the thousand and one ways they get dumped on their back, on their head, on their arse… and get back up. BREAKFALLING. It should be on the PE curriculum.

Think how many people get admitted to A&E for tripping over the kid’s toys, or how many slow declines of older people start with a hip break that might have been avoided if they had lots of experience falling over.

Keiko Fukuda. Judo kept her going for 99 years. RIP.

I’ve not had a judo lesson since I was 5, but that little bit of judo practice (and a smattering of wrestling and BJJ afterwards) has probably saved me from killing myself with a broken neck more than once.

I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down!