FOMO sets in as second wave lands but Green machine brings hope
JOY is in short supply these days on the news but the moment Sam Bennett crossed the line right arm aloft at the Champs Elysée on Sunday, a shock of the stuff coursed through my body.
As a late to cycling MAMIL (Middle Aged Man In Lycra), I couldn’t help but be captivated by the Tipperary man who took on the greatest sprinters in the world and won.
His tearful, overwhelmed reaction having won the green jersey would move anyone with a beating heart and it certainly shook mine.
The 29-year-old from Carrick-on-Suir became the first Irish rider to win in Paris and only the fifth rider in history to win there in the green jersey. Having negotiated hills you wouldn’t put a goat on last Saturday, Bennett somehow managed to make a burst for the line at the last, straining every sinew and fibre of his being to will himself and his family, friends, team and country - over the line in the process.
In a week in which The Little Fella was overjoyed to be given a Raleigh bike for his birthday; one which has resulted in yours truly and his sister out on the roads of our hometown every evening, it was inspirational to see in real time what someone can achieve when they dedicate themselves to what they’re best at.
The scenes in Carrick-on-Suir were fantastic to behold Sunday night. OK social distancing was nowhere to be seen in the pub, but seeing his proud father – half soaked in champagne – talking about his pride in his son and his mother and brother: the sheer emotion in their voices, wishing they could be by his side to hug and shout joyfully with him to the stars and sky above, was something to behold.
The fact that Sean Kelly, who was the
last Irish rider to win a green jersey in the tour, also hails from Carrick, proves once more the power positive role models can have on others.
Bennett’s humility in his post cycle interview in which he said: ‘It’s a dream I never really knew I had because I never thought I’d be good enough to do it,’ was such a breath of fresh air in the vain world of sport we all too often come across, (cough Conor McGregor).
Bennett’s gratitude to his team and relief in finally beating his closest rival Peter Sagan from Slovakia, after so long, was palpable.
This was goosebumps, spine tingling stuff.
It went on the more he spoke: ‘I’ll never be the next Seán Kelly, plain and simple, I’m not that good. I’m still proud to do part of what he’s achieved.’
HOLY COMMUNION is causing an unholy row in communities across the country these days. There is a definite Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) factor as some parishes allow the whole family to attend the big day, while in other parishes only one parent is allowed to attend.
The talk of the swimming class cafe and school run has been all about the Communion.
Priests are coming up against irate parents as one rule applies for one church, while another applies to a neighbouring parish.
In a year in which children and parents have had to put up with so much disappointment, this inconsistency is the final straw for some and one wonders if there will be far reaching consequences as fatigue and FOMO anger set in.