The fear of my children becoming either or possibly both is why I subject myself to the horror of Primary school sports days.
These events have changed dramatically since is was a kid.
For starters, I don't seem to remember Parents coming to them, whether this was because they weren't allowed, couldn't be bothered or simply because they were all working is yet to be confirmed.
I don't seem to be harbouring any issues by the lack of parents as I was forced to run, jump over things and throw stuff around a playing field, which negates my reasons for being there. Although the harbouring of issues were very apparent in the other parents, but ill get on to that in a moment.
During said events we wholeheartedly accepted that some of us were good at stuff and others weren't.
Winners would learn from their failures and losers would dwell on them, mainly because of the merciless piss taking they had to endure when they did.
But at least it gave them something to strive toward.
As for the running, jumping and throwing stuff, there didn't seem to be too much of that either.
Two hours of watching children balancing eggs on spoons and hopping into hula hoops is a far cry from the Javelin throwing and 200 metre slogs that I had to take part in.
But the parents oozed and aahhed as they peered over the sea of I phones recording this special moment all with a very friendly and non competitive spirit.
Status's being automatically updated as they shared the fact that their child can jump up and down on the spot for 1 minute with their face book 'friends'.
What had been promoted as a 'Sports Day' turned out to be nothing more than organised party games, and stuff you could train a dog to do if you were inclined to do so, and probably a bit better too.
The finale attempted to redeem this playful and quite frankly boring event by holding a proper running race.
A 50 meter dash down the School field.
The kids were separated into groups of 10 and set to race against each other.
Now, im not a competitive person, its just never concerned me.
Ive observed other parents as they push their kids at every opportunity to win at everything and the very apparent disappointment when they don't.
Ive always felt a little sorry for these kids in what I saw as them paying for their parents lack of self esteem and acting out their own issues through them.
Parents offered up gritty toothed congratulations to the parents of the winners, the smell of insincerity as strong as a field full of sweaty plimsolls.
In one genuinely inspiring moment a little boy with biffy legs who had to walk with the aid of crutches
Managed to come 8th out of ten in front of a couple of fat kids, but amongst the clapping for this spunky little chap I could have sworn I heard complaints that it wasn't fair because having crutches was obviously an aid for winning running races and akin to taking steroids.
Next up was my 5 year olds turn, who despite not yet showing any signs of academic prowess is an insanely hyperactive boy who wakes up running and only stops when he collapses at night.
As the coming wave of little white legs bounded along the track I smiled as these cute little fellas jostled for first place as I cheerfully shouted his name.
Because of course Its all about the taking part.
Suddenly out of the crowd he made a break for it and hurtled towards the finishing line.
Something snapped in my subconscious as I internalised the words.
'COME ON RUN YOU LITTLE BASTARD!!!'
Shocked by my sudden personality transplant, I quickly shook it off and excepted the faint disguise of praise from the other parents as they walked away murmuring,
'He might be able to run fast, but the little shit cant read properly yet, what a Dumbass'
Later that night I sat frowning as I scrolled through the face book hall of fame as Parents pointed out the various victories loosely reworded as
Well done my little angel
3rd place so Proud
Robbed by boy on crutches, etc etc.
But it suddenly occurred to me why ive held such disdain for overly proud parents.
It's all so fake, id rather they embraced that feeling of being better than everyone else and actually posted up.
Yay! My kids faster than yours!!
At least it would be honest.
We've become ashamed to be good at stuff and taught to silence pride.
I believe it's a good indicator to our nations collective attitude, where we hate winners and the underdog is generally championed.
Apathy is now king.
You only have to look at TV talent shows, where people with genuine talent are forsaken in favour of a village idiot.
To conclude I think we should remember that Maybe winning isn't everything, but wanting to is.
Without that urge, were destined to fail.
And did I mention that my kid came first in his class race.
Up yours loooooooosers.
For every lap dancer and traffic warden there's a childhood memory of missed dance recitals and Football matches.