Dear Reader… Don’t be put off by the opening paragraph if you hate exercising and feel uncomfortable being physically active! This blog is to you, with love and understanding from me…
Being physically active has always been an important part of my life. Climbing trees, learning to swim and riding my bike through puddles, are all fond childhood memories. It never occurred to me to slow down or to be still. That’s how it was when I was a youngster and that’s how it is now, sixty-odd years later. Sport was my life as a youngster and it surprised no-one when I decided to train as a physical education teacher. I could articulate the benefits of sport eloquently – fitness, health, socialising, leadership, learning to win and lose. It never occurred to me, in my late-teens and early twenties, that there might be something beyond the practical nature of being physically active. I just knew it made me feel good, most of the time.
As a newly qualified teacher, back in the late-1970s, working with young people in a setting where competitive sport was extremely important, I played my part and coached the teams, but the work didn’t set me on fire. Looking back on those early years of teaching, I realise that a preference emerged from the very start – a preference to work with the pupils who didn’t make the teams; who needed encouragement to engage; and who really seemed to benefit when that engagement came from enjoyment (and vice versa).
Fast forward ten years, and a couple of teaching jobs and twists and turns further on, I found myself working in a school where my focus was on developing a physical education programme for the 3-7 year olds. And once again, I particularly enjoyed working with those individuals who struggled; those who hadn’t quite found their feet (literally and metaphorically); and those whose confidence needed a boost. I thrived as I watched these tiny human beings running, kicking and rolling around for the sheer joy of it as a result of my gentle nurturing.
Working with this age group helped me to appreciate that there was so much more to physical education and physical activity than just sport and I realise now the seeds for one of my coaching programmes were being sown. The programme called ‘Ready to Roll’ is an exploration of mind, body and soul. It is a one to one programme in its own right, but elements can also be integrated into my other coaching programmes if the client feels they would benefit from it.
Ready to Roll is for the grown-ups who once ran, and kicked, and rolled about, with hearts filled with laughter, but who have forgotten about that. It’s for those who have lost the feeling of joy that can be found through movement; for those who have fallen out of love with their body; who have forgotten who they truly are. It’s for those who want to re-discover that way of being and feeling. It’s for those who don’t feel comfortable in their own skin and who want to do something about that.
And the outcome? The client sees life differently and lives life differently. They discover a new way of thinking about their self and their body. They discover the enjoyment and the feel-good factor in being active, even if it has eluded them until now.
Photo credit: Pxfuel