LegRaises From High Bar at Age 14 months #InjuryFreeRunning #Barefoot

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I do not make a habit of doing blogs on the same person nor topic within weeks of each other. However, I am making an exception today! Before I discuss my grand niece, there was a significant error in a previous blog that I posted on the race results of my TOTT runners. I am taking the opportunity to correct my wrong!

In the blog, I stated that my runner, Kristen Page, completed the Flying Pig 1/2 marathon race in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2:05:12 when she actually completed it in 2:02:02!! This was a Personal Record by over 10 minutes (as opposed to the over 7 minutes stated in the previous blog). How I could have screwed this up so severely is beyond me. My humblest apologies to Kristen…she may – or MAY NOT forgive me!! The 2:02 time is even more significant in the context of me stating her ‘A’ goal of going under 2:00 hours. This will happen in her next 1/2 marathon race this fall, 2015 – guaranteed.

Back to my grand niece, Esme. This 14 month ‘old soul’ quite simply continues to amaze not just the old coach but everyone who comes in contact with her. She captivates you with her unbridled love of life, enthusiasm toward all things, sensory acuity and her out and out strength, power, barefoot running prowess and unrelenting determination.

Esme was at our cottage last weekend and decided to take to the high bar (aka our cast iron railing at the top of the stairs). She had to reach up, grip the bar and hang from her arms in order to complete her task – that being leg lifts in perfect balance and held in place (see video footage) repeatedly…for over 1 hour! You read that correctly – for OVER 1 hour. Notice the lack of upper body sway as Esme hangs in place with her legs parallel to the ground. This is exceptionally difficult to do once or twice for the average athletic child or adult let alone repeatedly. Notice Esme’s unbridled joy and laughter as she runs from railing to railing with NO signs of fatigue nor distress. Her core strength at such a young age is off the charts! As an Exercise Physiologist, I find this fascinating to behold.

Further to this, Esme took to the front lawn and proceeded to run unabated for another 20 minutes barefoot, kicking her feet out (see video footage), weaving in perfect balance and kicking a small ball whilst running (not visible in the video). These again are difficult tasks for those much older let alone a 14 month old. Please notice how Esme moves barefoot through the grass in absolute ecstasy and in perfect balance.

I hold this out to all of those who have young children or are planning to do so. Make sure you get your children active as early as they are able – and BAREFOOT at every opportunity. I guarantee they will grow up healthy (both mentally and physically), less injury-prone and less likely to become ill with colds, influenza etc. They will also have an automatic affinity toward safe, efficient running.

I promise this will be my last blog on Esme – for the next few months!!

coach Jeff



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