Mac's story

Find out how Mac found his move and how he helped others find there’s with Walking Cricket.

“I know I would be far worse off without Walking Cricket”

I am not a natural “Fitness” person, and never have been! Aged 15 I joined the Army, and for the next 15 years I dodged most sports and coming out of the Army meant I was very busy building a career in the care sector, a sedentary working lifestyle.

With this and the pressure in employment, I consistently smoked more than any reasonable amount, until I gave up completely in 2007, the last few years leading up to that point averaging at least 60 cigarettes a day. I am not proud of that, and my eating preferences were in much the same vein, I only really enjoy things that is bad for me, and dislike all the things that are good for me. I eventually retired in 2016, fairly happy and content with life, although overweight and breathless.

In 2018 I fell to Sepsis, and was rushed into hospital, where I learned a lot about myself. Sepsis attacks your organs, and it takes a while to recover. With test after test, a consultant telling me to lose a bit of weight and get a bit more exercise. “Or else!”

I have always worked hard and have never been lazy, I just never did much about improving my lifestyle.

I was already a member of a marvellous organisation for people who are semi-retired or older, called u3a. So, it was a natural thing to join Walking Football. I get no satisfaction personally in just walking, (and I was certainly in no condition to start anything that involved running!) and as it was a “non – contact” sport I thought it was worth trying.

Having picked myself up for the second time after either falling or being knocked over I found myself thinking “I wish this was cricket” – I always loved playing cricket, and played a lot in the Army, and when on leave used to play for a team in the Bradford League, but the time comes when age prevents you playing anymore, and you “hang your bat up”.

That night I did a bit of research on the internet, looking for Walking Cricket, and there was no such thing, I create a set of Walking Cricket rules, which mirrored “normal” cricket, except - No Running!

From that rather doubtful idea, I made plans, and found a venue, a five a side outside football pitch with high fencing surrounding, - (the fencing becoming the boundaries) and after putting an interest list up within Barnsley u3a, quickly found some interested potential players both male and female and we had our first meeting and game on 5th January 2019!

Immediately after the first session I knew I had found something and realised I had exercised without being conscious of it. It was gentle exercise, but a fun “game” with people who quickly became friends, and my whole outlook on life changed there and then as I felt fulfilled with being able to exercise in a way that suited me.

My mental wellbeing improved as well, the social cuppa and natter at the end of the session with teammates, became as important as the cricket itself!

Other health scares have come into my life restricting my mobility even more, but with adaptions I am still able to play Walking Cricket and maintain as active a lifestyle as I can.

I feel better within myself, both physically and mentally, - I still have health problems, my mobility is limited, but I know I would be far worse off without Walking Cricket.

I wish I had taken more care of myself years ago, but it is never too late to start making changes to your lifestyle. The oldest player we have is 94, with many in their 70’s and 80’s.

From personal experience I would encourage everyone to become more active, small changes can lead to big results, but make it fun! “My Move” is Walking Cricket, it has changed my life – “What’s Your Move?”