Last Friday I had my first ever coaching session for running with Steve from Zenergy. It was tough work – more mentally than physically but I enjoyed it. I was also surprisingly very confronting emotionally.
I learnt to run a bit over a year ago for the first time. When I say “learnt to run” I mean that I decided to start running to ramp up my exercise and because I wanted to know what it felt like and to see if I could get a piece of that runner’s high action so many talk about. I used the fantastic resources from 12WBT and was fortunate to have a brief group coaching session with the amazing Amelia Burton at a 12WBT finale workout. I stopped running for a while when doing one round of Lean & Strong last year, then I hurt my hips and could not run or do much training. It was really frustrating as I felt like I had only just started to understand the joys of running!! My physio had already said that I needed to work on technique and when I was ready to come in for an appointment with him to check it out. Now that running is back on my list of goals, I will be making that appointment.
In the meantime, I had this running technique session with Steve from Zenergy last Friday – here’s a little v-log recorded immediately afterwards:
It was very confronting to run knowing Steve was watching. I used to find it confronting to run in public or at group workouts but I quickly realised no one was looking at me so it was cool. They are focussed on themselves! The reason it feels confronting to be watched when I run is because it brings up some powerful and negative feelings from my childhood.
I have very clear memories of being teased at school when I ran. When you are one of the tallest and biggest kids, a bit chubby and already feel like the jolly giant then the other kids find enough occasions to call you fat and point it out to you in the ugliest of ways. Daily I was reminded of my being big one way or another. I found ways to preserve my pride and to reduce the likelihood of inviting such comments. But I could not prevent it all together.
When you are a big chubby kid and you are lumbering along, uncoordinated, heavy, puffing and beetroot red and, well, then the flood gates open and the kids go to town don’t they? I might be a slow learner with some things (kettlebells!) but generally I am quick on the uptake and it didn’t take long before I learnt to vigilantly avoided all sitautions where I would leave myself opent to these humiliating and hurtful encounters. If tiggy was the in game at lunch time on the oval, I would go read a book or find another girl who was anti-sport, often another chubby kid, and hang out with them. I was on the sidelines.
If I am honest, this started before primary school because I had an issue with my hips that required seeing an orthopaedic specialist and wearing orthopaedic corrective boots for 18 months. Fortunately they were off before I started school but I have some vague memories of feeling like I could not, and did not want to, do what the other kids did at preschool. Things like climbing up the slippery dip ladder was hard in those cumbersome big brown boots that were worn on the wrong feet with chunky metal build ups on the soles. Hideous. Truly, now I am glad I wore them and I really appreciate that my parents had the musculoskeletal issue seen to as when I was a little older I knew children who had similar issues that were not treated, who developed a progressively worse gait and I can imagine they experience pain and dysfunction to a significant level. Also, they were teased relentless and called ‘spac boot’ and other charming things which fortunately I was not subjected to. Kids are so cruel. The *Fattie Bombarda* taunts were more than enough for me.
I left all that behind in primary school and weas determined in high school to make changes to minimise the risk of that teasing happening. Amongst many older girls I did not seem so huge, so that helped as well. But being reasonable smart I was able to get out of almost all sport often coaxing teachers into letting me off as I *had* to practice for debating or chemistry competitions – and they obliged. I am not blaming them for one moment….I was totally cognisant of what I was doing & I am sure they knew exactly why I did it too! I tell this story more to point out the lengths I went to in order to reduce my physical activity to reduce the opportunity for teasing.
While it was a really uncomfortable scenario, and Steve would have had no idea about all this going on in my head, I blocked it out and focussed on the theory he was giving. I tried hard to make my body do the things Steve was instructing me to do. It made a huge difference – I felt lighter on my feet instantly, my legs did not get as haevy as fast and my breathing was under control. All that realised at the end of just one session was huge! I was stoked!! Steve suggested I need to do a bit more work on these things before I regularly attempt any decent distances (ooops about the 4km Mother’s Day Classic becoming an 8km event…. but I did not run it all, so it is OK!).
I am really looking forward to practising these tips and having more run couaching sessions in the coming weeks. I’ll be reading up on pose running and making sure I get that physio appointment for his input also!
Stay tuned – more adventures about improving my running technique to come soon. xx Ange