Life Life

26/03/2020 - 07:09

Family sports in the time of “Miss Vit”

Just some stories about playing sports collected from our small alley; but they give food for thought.

Father and son running 

1.  Mr. H has a big belly due to sitting too much. He rarely exercises and has the habit of eating late at night too.

It is not because he is lazy but because he works in IT with his eyes sticking on the computer screen and his butt to the chair all the time. What is more, he often works at night until falling into sleep.

As a next-door neighbor, I always hear his wife complain. Of course, she complains because she is worried for her husband’s appearance and health; at least that’s what she says, when seeing her dear husband is getting fatter and fatter. 

“You should play some sport. Look at you. How can I carry such a heavy body to the hospital if it happens?” says his wife with both worry and love. 

Then it has been more than one month since I began to hear his gate crack open earlier than usual. At first I did not care much, assuming he had to go somewhere early. But no, those sounds keep being heard every day, plus the sounds of trainers and giggles of the newlyweds, which fade away in early morning dew. 

Once I happened to ask the wife about it, and knew that thanks to “Miss Vit,” she had succeeded in pulling her husband out of bed to exercise. Now though his belly is still big, he looks much more active.

“My husband is an IT engineer. He spends the whole day surfing the internet. On the first day hearing about COVID-19, he looked uneasy and worried. I was more “alert” because I heard the warnings from the Ministry of Health that people should exercise and play sports to avoid being infected. I seized the opportunity to both threaten and persuade my husband. He eventually agreed to leave his bed early in the morning to exercise. Since then every morning we, husband and wife, have been jogging together,” smiled the wife with happy eyes. 

Sports help connect people in the family

2.  Still another story that happens in my alley. Mr. T and his wife have a son and a daughter. Everybody thinks it is a happy family because they are the richest of all, and people have never heard them shout at each other.

One Saturday, I happened to meet them when Mr. T and his two kids went out to buy breakfast. While waiting with them, I heard his children insisting: “Daddy, please you and Mom teach us to ride bicycle this afternoon.”

In the afternoon, I saw the two children with their bicycle. When I approached them, I realized they looked very sad and quiet. I followed them and asked. “Daddy said we can do it by ourselves because he is busy,” answered sadly the elder sister.

“Then let me show you then.” “No, we’d like my parents to play with us. They never play with us. They always say they are busy,” replied the younger son, about to cry. His sister had to comfort him. Looking back suddenly, I saw Mr. T. standing there dumb.

To tell the truth, I did not think much at the time. Without the news of COVID-19 which prevents pupils in the province from going to school, or if I did not have any reason to go further to the end of the alley towards Mr. T’s house, I would forget the story.

In the yard covered with soft Japanese grass, I heard the sounds of someone running and falling down, plus the laughter. Then I saw the two children holding the tennis rackets in hand, while Mr. T and his wife were shouting and cheering for them. 

The tennis ball was flying back and forth; sometimes it hit the orchid pots which Mr. T always cherished. The sister kept reminding her brother not to ruin Daddy’s orchids. But their parents shook their heads: “Don’t worry.” They continued their simple joy with their giggles pervading the alley.

When the sun began to disappear, Mr. T and his wife stopped to cook dinner. “It has been a moth since my parents began to wake us up early in the morning. They jog while we bike around the Imperial City. How fun!” said the sister.

3.  Mr. D was a businessman who drank a lot. When his wife complained about it, he said he could not resist because of his friends and his business. He could not go there just to sit looking at them drinking. Unable to persuade him to stop drinking, his wife suggested he should do exercises instead.

Frankly speaking, Mr. D listened to his wife. He put on his socks and trainers. However if he did it in the morning, he could not get up early because he had drunk a lot the night before. But if he did it in the afternoon, then many times his friends wanted him to go drinking with them. Gradually, he was discouraged.

When the epidemic became serious, very few people dropped by his house. But it was also the time when his wife put on a radiant face. She did not go to her neighbor’s house until very late as before.

Asked, his wife said when the COVID virus appeared, he spent much of his time surfing the internet. Then one day, he brought back some bottles of sanitizer and masks, then he wiped their two old bicycles carefully and asked me to bike with him every early morning, saying that the Ministry of Health advised people to exercise and play sports to prevent the COVID-19.

“If so, then how will you find time for drinking?” I teased him. He chuckled, trying to flatter me: “Forgive me. Be generous, please.” It has been more than two months since we began to ride bicycles together around town every morning,” smiled the wife with glistening eyes.

Story and photos: HAN DANG