Friday, February 19, 2010

Good day at the office dear?

It's fair to say I have written a few posts down the years about sleep and the lack of it.

This one is different.

This is the post that may end my posting about lack of sleep forever.

We have a friend who works in marketing for a worldwide sports brand. Consequently, from time time she works with some of the world's greatest football players.

Last month it was England striker Wayne Rooney, arguably the best player England has produced in years and who is in a rich vein of form for his club Manchester United.

A potted bio: A Premier League footballer from the age of 16, he shot to stardom when he became the youngest ever scorer of a Premier League goal.

He appears on the front and back pages of the tabloids and has a wife whose celebrity status (born of being his wife) means her books sometimes out-sell his. Married for several years, they recently had a baby boy. They are, in the UK at least, one of sport's golden couples.

So far, so what.

Here's where it got interesting for me. Our friend spoke to him less than 48 hours after he had scored all four goals in United's 4-0 defeat of Hull City. He told her that on the day of that match he was absolutely shattered. Why? Because he had been up in the night with their baby.

Up in the night? The night before a Premier League game?! I had assumed that some distant wing of Rooney Towers would have been lovingly prepared and set aside for this sporting superstar to make sure he was fully rested before the game.

It turns out, he has a life, much like the rest of us. He had been suffering the same deprivations as I had so often complained about and then went out and scored four goals in a game of football at the highest level.

One other thing woirth mentioning about Mr Rooney. By anyones estimation, a few years ago he was an aggressive, ill-tempered youth who could at best be described as a rough diamond. Our friend commented that on this latest meeting he was the most laid back, helpful and professional individual you could imagine. And it shines through on the pitch too. He is still ultra competitive, but things that would have made him explode in the past, now seem to wash over him.

Did fatherhood do that to him? I would love to know.

So the next time I feel tired at work after a semi-sleepless night spent shuttling to and from my offsprng, I shall think of Mr Rooney's 4-goal haul, do my best to forget my lethargy, and try to be grateful that the sort of goals I have to achieve don't require me to charge around for 90 minutes avoiding flying boots while under the scrutiny of 75000 cheering fans and the spotlight of the world media. Well, most days anyway.

P.S. Have a look at this video he shot for Nike. Fake? I suspect not.

Wayne Rooney's Accuracy For Nike - Watch today’s top amazing videos here