What’s been keeping me busy during May? First up the Oxford Town & Gown 10k (organised by Muscular Dystrophy UK). My reason for signing up to an event like this is to help keep me focused on including running in my regular training routine. Over the years I’ve noticed that of, all the different types of exercise I enjoy, when I regularly run around 10-15 miles a week my mood is better, calmer and I’m more comfortable in how my body feels. It’s interesting that even after discovering these benefits over the 12 years since I first started running the habit still slips and I keep re-discovering the magic. The Town & Gown has definitely helped me remember to prioritise the running again and the plan is to carry on training through to the Oxford Half Marathon coming up in October – fingers crossed!
The race itself went well. A beautiful sunny morning with the bright orange of MDUK everywhere I looked. After a crowded start, sometimes frustration getting around the twists and turns of central Oxford’s back streets, it opened up into a nice, fast finish through University Parks. My finish time was a pleasantly challenging but satisfying 53:41.
Next up was Body Combat Initial Module Training. It’s been really interesting going back through the process I’ve done twice now (Body Balance, Oct ’15; Body Pump, Apr ’16) and noticing what’s different this time. The format is familiar, go through choreography and learn two tracks, show up ready to present and get feedback. This time I had LOTS more teaching experience behind me so that bit was less scary, but with Combat it feels like there’s so much more to learn in terms of technique, martial arts specific knowledge and the quantity of choreography – we move so fast!
Luckily I was with an awesome, supportive group of women and we had an awesome trainer taking us through the weekend. By the end of the second day it was starting seem achievable and fun instead of quite so scary. Now comes the really hard part of learning, practice, learning, practice, learning, practice until it all starts to flow more naturally. I caught myself thinking the learning process would be quicker or easier maybe due to having two modules done already but I’m finding it needs as much time and effort as the others. If not more, because it seems like there is more content and I’m less familiar with it. Since the initial training weekend I have practiced a few tracks with a live class and that’s when I find it clicks in to place or crumbles and so far I’ve had a bit of both. Either way it shows up what still needs to be worked on: choreography, technique, coaching, all the essentials still!
The key thing I think I’ve learned from all of this is that the best way to learn is to do. Have a go. Sometimes it clicks, sometimes it crumbles, but there’s almost always something to learn and work on. And even if it feels unnecessary or too much effort sometimes the practice is worth it.