Walk or Run!

I have two doctorsmy left leg and my right‘ – George Trevelyan

IF you choose not to read any further, please consider watching this YouTube video and PLEASE do not think that you cannot run!! This gentleman’s story is another example of evidence that WE ALL CAN!


The above is a quote which has inspired me and I thought I would share it. The more a person moves, elevates their heart rate, strengthens their ligaments and tendons, taxes their skeletal system, elevates their metabolism, strengthens their muscles, oxygenates their bloodstream, bolsters their immune system and so on…… the less likely they are to live a life of constant visitations to the doctor. Are you motivated by a lifestyle of prevention or treatment when it comes to your health?

The ability of the human body to run and walk is such an unbelievable gift. Likely one of the greatest of gifts which is taken for granted today. It is likely something which many do not appreciate until it is taken from them….often by the deleterious latent effects of a sedentary lifestyle or perhaps a debilitating injury or simply the excuse of “aging”. The old adage, “use it or lose it” surely applies to this topic as it does becomes harder and harder to begin running, the longer one chooses to avoid it.

I often hear from athletes who think of themselves as “ball sport athletes”. I was certainly one of these individuals as a young adolescent. If a game didn’t involve catching or kicking a ball, throwing a pitch or a pass, firing a wrist shot into the top corner of a cage, or slapping a backboard, I figured….”What was the point”? Running was (and is) considered the consequence for not performing well during practice or games. A message I read many years ago written on the back of a cross country runner’s hoodie summed it up very well. It stated, “Our sport is your sports punishment”.

Running is a foundation activity for anyone choosing to be an athlete or a healthy individual. Without pushing ones body to move faster, a person’s performance cannot improve sufficiently and their health declines over time. Even power sport athletes can benefit from simply running more. Their benefit is an increase in endurance, thereby allowing them to train a little longer and/or a little harder.

Many talented young people do very well in high school without a great deal of running. Probably because their bodies are so young and resilient. I argue, however that unless they incorporate some running into their training, they could become like this person…. “The Classic All-Everything” when they were in high school. Picture this individual now at age 45, overweight, high cholesterol, sitting in a recliner, arguing with the television, remarking how he or she would have done it, chicken wing sauce stain on their belly, bragging about the glory days. Coaches will not always be there to provide their athletes with a practice or training plan. Without that extrinsic motivator, they often settle into a lifestyle of wondering what to do next. Their confusion often spirals into a frustration and an apathy which elicits a common response…..”I’m not a runner”. If you can relate to this statement I respectfully disagree. Please take a look at Jason Cohen’s story linked above.

I often ask athletes or those in my PE classes how they would feel about walking or running if they spent the last several years in a wheelchair. Many of them elicit an expected response and are motivated. They show their understanding by moving a little quicker or simply begin to move. They understand why I asked the question and get going! Others choose to continue at the same pace and ignore the question. It is my plea to those who choose to ignore their body’s natural inclination to move to try and do so. The choice to walk or run for most people is just that….a choice!

See you out there!

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