Friday, April 27, 2012

Empty Cup

Bruce Lee had a theory about training that is as true for race walking as it is was martial arts.  He phrased it; emptying your cup so you could refill it with the new knowledge.  I have been in the process of learning the skills of race walking for the last 6 years and it amazes me that not only am I still learning but that there is still so much more to learn.

I came from a background of running, I started running in the 70s when there wasn't a lot of information out there like there is now.  Now we have the Web and hundreds of good books and videos on just about any and everything we want to learn about.  But in the early seventies you had to pretty much wing it on your own.  I started my running career in the army, we ran in uniform pants, cotton T-Shirts and combat boots.  Sometimes we ran with a rifle and or a full pack.  That wasn't a lot of fun and you just got through it.

When I decided to run on my own and not as part of military training, I put together what I thought was a good running outfit.  Cotton was the exercise fabric of the day so I had cotton pants and shorts as well as shirts to run in.  I wore canvas 'deck shoes', since those were my favorite style and they were cheap.  I ran on my toes since that was how I had always run.  As you can probably imagine a mile of going as hard as I could go for a mile on my toes like a sprinter was pretty tiring.  I couldn't get my mind around how people could actually run distance.

Then I bought a Runner's World magazine.  It happened to be the shoe issue and I learned about shoes and also about running where I landed more on the heel and mid foot area instead of the balls of my feet.  That was the big turning point for me actually becoming a runner and an adult athlete.

Leaning to race walk has been like that also.  I've had to relearn how to move forward.  I'm still learning and have become smart enough to realize that no matter how simple a sport may seem to get good at it you have to keep on learning the moves.  You also have to strengthen the body parts that make that motion happen.  Stretching is also vital to keep everything moving in the proper direction.  Now everyday I try to learn and grasp just a little more about this amazing way of moving forward.

Thanks for reading.

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