The article, "Grief and the Body" in the autumn issue of The Rosemary Branch resonated with me. I decided to write about the rarely mentioned sport of Croquet and how it supports the self-care tips of exercising, being involved in social interaction and doing activities that bring pleasure.
Throughout our marriage, and particularly during our retirement years, my husband and I did almost everything together. We ate sensibly, walked daily, attended gym at least four times a week and considered ourselves quite fit and healthy. It was a terrible shock when, without any warning, my husband died in his sleep.
Friends advised me to 'try something new', 'never refuse an invitation'. This was good advice. I needed something we had never done together, and I tried Golf Croquet, which I enjoyed from my very first game. Golf Croquet is easy to learn and very social, particularly when playing doubles. It involves lots of gentle walking, eye-body coordination and stimulating decision-making. I enjoy playing this gentle sport and being out in the fresh air in a safe and friendly environment.
Player involvement can range from 'hit and giggle' to pennant competition and tournaments played with others of a similar ability. There are pathways to advance to the highest level. The 2013 World Champion Association Croquet player comes from regional Victoria.
I really surprised myself taking up this sport. I have also joined U3A, which offers a multitude of activities, and three years on I have just returned to the gym. Keeping busy is the best therapy.