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 an infant 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, working with young people in a setting where competitive sport was extremely important, I played my part and coached the teams. 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 watching a fun Saturday morning football club for a small group of very young children. As I watched these tiny human beings running, kicking and rolling around, for the sheer joy of it (and with absolutely no knowledge of any rules or desire to win) I knew instantly this was the age group I wanted to work with, and as often happens when it is meant to be, fate took a hand. I was given the opportunity to work 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; and those whose confidence needed a boost.
Working with this age group helped me to appreciate that there was so much more to physical education and physical activity than just sport. I stayed at that school, in various capacities, for sixteen years. The children taught me a great deal and as I reflect on this period of my career I realise the seeds for my new coaching programme (so new, it doesn’t exist yet!) were being sown. The programme is (going to be) an exploration of mind and body; of body and soul. It will be 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 a programme 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 a programme for those who want to re-discover that way of being and feeling. It’s a programme for those who don’t feel comfortable in their own skin and who want to do something about that.
Watch this space to see how this ‘so new the programme doesn’t exist yet’ project unfolds. In the meantime drop me a line if any of this resonates. Hit the contact button below.
Photo credit: Pxfuel