A ferocious scrap of a girl

  • Sunday, July 28, 2013
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Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that's turning
Running rings around the moon

Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes of it's face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind !
I run in a large irregular circle. Annie runs with me, a ferocious scrap of a girl, mop topped, dark eyed and Blythe spirited. She is sunny soul up. She endures my luminous yellow sunnies as we wheel through the tree's, mostly to the left but occasionally to the right. She is also a stoic with stamina as I bore her with my chatter. Normally I am the silent runner, the zen in the zone, the nod and grunt guy, movin' and groovin' to another's beat but today I talk. I talk about education and inclusion and how passion and vision have the power to transcend. I talk about how unwavering adherence to strong principles are dynamic drivers that are unstoppable and how respect for other peoples strengths allows us to overlook their weaknesses. I talk about the pursuit of excellence, about never being satisfied with the status quo but always reaching forward.
At this point I jink down a new path and the subject changes. I expound on the subject of cooling, quoting Bernd Heinrich's book Why We Run. Bernd 's research found that humans sweat through our skin, unlike animals who sweat through the tongue. As a result we can better control our body temperature and thus run further. Having exhausted this I conclude with a lecture on the Nuchal ligament which runs from the base of our skull to the top of the spine. This sucker is what stabilises our heads allowing us to run in the first place. Pigs don't have it. primates don't have it, cats don't have it but we do.
Passion and vision, the Nuchal ligaments of the soul.
Annie and I part company after eight miles of nod and grunt. Unbelievably She is willing to meet me again for another run.
She is mad, sunny souled but mad

I ran with the Paralympic ghosts

  • Monday, July 15, 2013
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15 July 2013.
I run at Midday.
I run in 29 degree heat.
I run on a track.
But I run at Stoke Mandeville, the famous blue oval where the Paralympics were born.
I am supporting one of our students at the Step Into Sport Camp run annually by the Youth Sports Trust. We were meant to attend at Easter up at Loughborough University but the inclement weather in the UK forced a postponement and venue change. I have a 45 minute window of inactivity so I seize my opportunity to run.
I run barefoot, turning my toes into raw hamburger meat and my soles blue. 
I feel epic.
Eighteen laps go by as I marry my love of barefoot running and my love of disability sports.
I am a sentimental bugger and I invest a lot of emotion and significance into my experiences. When I finish soaked and spent I anoint my feet and the track with water to mark how sacred this place is to me and how grateful I am to have run here.
It's worth repeating, I feel epic. I ran with the Paralympic ghosts and felt the weight of the next generation on my shoulders. 
Afterwards I return to the workshop on mentoring, testing the power of my deodorant on the people around me. 
I also have a quick conversation with Rachael MacKenzie, a world Thai Boxing champion. I notice she is wearing Vivobarefoot shoes and we discuss heel striking and minimalist running.


It was African and hippy running at the same time.

  • Monday, July 01, 2013
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Sundays run was notable for two things. The heat and a reminder about the purity of running. It took me less than two minutes to pull on my Spyridons, grab my sun gigs, say goodbye and head out the door. No expensive sports gear. No expensive gym membership. No need for a vehicle of any type. Just shoes and old threads. I even decided to forgo starting the GPS. 
But bugger it was hot, even under the trees. It felt good though. It felt good to sweat through the roasting landscape, it was African and hippy running at the same time.
I am a Phoenix now, the mythical bird that rises from the ashes of it's fiery death. Legend has it that it could spontaneously heal itself and is a symbol of immortality, resurrection, and regeneration.
Along with the heat I could relate to all these things. I continue to return to running fitness after my death by knee injury. I am healing. I am resurrecting and regenerating.


the state of a body perceived as having or generating a high degree of warmth.
the condition or quality of being hot.
the degree of hotness; temperature: extreme heat.
the sensation of warmth or hotness: unpleasant heat.
a bodily temperature higher than normal: the heat of a fever; the feeling of heat caused by physical exertion.
6. a hot condition of the atmosphere or physical environment; hot season or weather.

8. A period of hot weather.
O.E. hætu, hæto, from P.Gmc. *khaitin- "heat," from *khaitaz "hot" (cf. O.S. hittia, O.N. hiti, O.Fris. hete, Ger. hitze "heat," Goth. heito "fever"). The same root is the source of O.E. hat "hot" and hæða "hot weather." The verb is from O.E. hætan, from P.Gmc. *khaitijanam.