Monday, August 20, 2012

Hard on the Body

Yesterday during my run I overhead a couple of gals having a discussion about how much they love running. I wasn't trying to eavesdrop but as I was coming up from behind I could hear them for a long way and once I passed them their conversation switched (just to be clear, I wasn't able to hold a conversation at the pace I was going and they were talking non stop, which is why I was able to pass them) to how everyone tells them how hard running is on the body. Both of these gals agreed that they wouldn't give up running until their bodies gave up running. When I was out of ear shot of them my mind kept thinking about this statement. We are told all the time as runners that running is hard on our bodies. We are even told that it isn't natural.

How is running not natural? I'm not a scientist but I think being sedentary is not natural. Yes, people do get running injuries and yes sometimes joints do give out but go to any orthopedic surgery unit and see who is getting joint replacements. I haven't done a true study on this but I worked in this setting long enough to say that the majority of hip and knee replacements were on obese patients, not on runners. I personally know people who have never been runners who have bad knees, bad hips, bad backs and are hobbling around. I'm not saying that runners never hobble, of course they do I'm just saying that I don't think running is any harder on a body than living.

I have yet to see someone who's body doesn't start to break down as they age. There comes a point when you just aren't getting any younger. I have seen people who have had knee problems prior to running eliminate those so called problems when they become runners. I was one of these people. I had reconstructive knee surgery when I was 10 years old. I had what they referred to then as ruptured my knee capsule and everything that was suppose to anatomically under the patella was sitting out to the side. I was a figure skater and it was on my jumping leg. They 'fixed' it but I had troubles with it inconveniently dislocating at random times after that. I just had to have someone pull my leg straight and it would pop right back in. Surprisingly, once I started running regularly in my 20's this little inconvenience disappeared from my life. My knee has never been a problem since. Running seemed to provide some structural strength that I was  missing. I have had a few running injuries over the years but never has my knee been one of them.

My whole run yesterday I was thinking how I agree with the ladies I overheard. I love running and will keep doing it. I might be told it is hard on the body but it sure is easy on the mind. Our bodies are like cars, if we leave it sitting in the driveway and don't drive it, it will still rust and the engine will still need work. If my body is going to break down and age, I'd rather drive it there.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Get Rolling

One of the things I hear the most from people is that they just can't find time to exercise. It isn't about finding time, it is about making time. Make a decision that you are going to do it and schedule it in. In the beginning it is hard for all of us but once it is a habit for long enough it becomes who you are and what you do. No longer is it an option, it is just part of your life and you will get it done no matter what else if going on. We all started somewhere, but just like the boulder once it gets rolling it is much easier to keep it rolling and harder to stop it. Get out the door and get rolling.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Designated Driver

One of the things that I love about being a coach is that I get to be part of so many journeys. When someone comes to me with a destination in mind it is my job to make a road map to get there safely and on time. I think of myself as the designated driver at the party. Like any good New York cabbie will tell you though, there are many ways to arrive at the same point. Therefore, along the way I need to make sure I know of alternative routes and detours for when roadblocks present themselves. At the same time, like a celebrity limo driver it is my job to get my stars to the red carpet at the correct time. I need to time it perfectly so that they can make a grand entrance, showing up early and having life time best workouts in training only akin to walking the red carpet before the photographers have even set up.

As the chauffeur to the athlete it is my responsibility to remain sober throughout the party and be the voice of reason. It is very easy after they have an amazing workout for them to want more, but I learned in college that more isn't always better and I'd prefer to avoid the hair holding incidents of over indulgence. In the midst of a good party though the revellers can often lose sight of reality, how many guys did I see put their head through glass doors (when is that ever a good idea), so it is up to me to keep sight of the large picture.

I want my athletes to have trust in my tour guide abilities. Therefore, I spend hours pouring over all the details of their trips and stops along the way that best serve their purpose. Sign up with me and you get a personalized itinerary, no two trips are the same. Sometimes along the way we might visit the latest trendy spot but we also spend plenty of time on the classics. Most importantly I make sure that everytime we travel to a destination even if it is one we've visited we don't take the same route there. Every trip can be improved on, even lifetime bests.

Right now I am driving a party bus of amazing people to several different destinations. I am super excited to have been included on all of their journeys and love to see them flourish along the way. Being the designated driver at this party is way better than it was in college:0

Who's in your cockpit?

Friday, August 3, 2012