Monday, 5 May 2014

Runstreak Day #156 - goodbye inner PE teacher!

So, I ran this evening and thought about my old PE teacher - a battleaxe of a woman who did more to damage girls' love of sport than anyone else at my school.  I was reminded of her this morning by an old school friend who's currently working through Couch to 5K.  She shared the memory I had of cross country at school as being a tortuous struggle, screeched at by our chain-smoking PE teacher from the comfort of her brown Maxi on the top of a large hill we'd all just run up.

Anyway, as I ran, I thought about her.  And thought about how she'd convinced me that I couldn't run and was utterly hopeless at it.  Week after painful week of being yelled at.  I went from being pretty active (I wouldn't go so far as to say sporty, but I did play tennis, swim, cycle etc when I went to secondary school) to believing I was useless.  It's only since taking up running last year at the age of 38 that I've realised that was a crock of old crap.  She never actually taught us anything about running.  About technique or anything useful.  Her method was 'screech' and if that didn't work 'screech louder and possibly chuck in saying something personal about one of the girls'.

She certainly didn't let on that running could be massively, deeply satisfying... that it could teach you about how strong and powerful your body could be.  How it could show you that it's not about how you look that matters, your physical health and fitness is an incredible gift.

Anyway, this evening I ran.  It was dark.  It was wet.  I'd already been for a bike ride earlier in the day.  I didn't care.  I did it anyway.

You don't have to be fastest.  You don't have to go the furthest.  You just need to know that you can do what you're capable of doing... and just when you think you've done as much as you can, your body finds a way to show you it can do more.  And that's an amazing thing.  I never recall being taught that at school.  But I have finally learned to ignore the voice of that inner PE teacher.  About time too!

This run wasn't for you, Mrs PE Teacher.  This run was for me.

Hello Mrs Cook
Remember me?
The one you said was a 
Fairy elephant
Too lazy to run
Too useless, too hopeless, too bad.

Hello Mrs Cook
I bet you don't
Recall the girl who learned
She couldn't
In your hellish classes
Week by painful week

Hello Mrs Cook
Tonight I ran
Yes, me, that girl
I ran in dark and rain and wind
I ran for me
And I was free

Hello Mrs Cook
Do you still teach PE?
You taught me a lot
Which I learned to ignore
Like hating myself,
But not any more

Goodbye Mrs Cook
Didn't you know
That runners are her
And us and we
And I'm one of them
Like you'll never be.

Lesson learned.

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:3.25 mi
Avg Pace:8:19 min/mi

Moving Time:27:01
Elapsed Time:27:01
Avg Pace:8:19 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:8:19 min/mi
Best Pace:5:11 min/mi

No comments:

Post a Comment