Tuesday, June 12, 2012

David Beckham...and Ultrarunning

My local newspaper, the Chambersburg Public Opinion, carries on its sports pages a daily quote they call "Say what?"

A recent entry reads thus:

David Beckham [soccer superstar] has a pretty good right foot.  He can hit a stop sign from 40 yards away.  Not many players can do that.  It's why he is rich.  We [American coaches] probably would have grabbed David Beckham, put him on left wing and said, "You need to work on your left foot, kid."

-- former U.S. soccer player Eric Wynalde, who has been critical of how American coaches develop players, mostly working on the their weaknesses rather than taking advantage of their strengths.

Decades ago, when I used to be fast and competitive, I would eagerly read all the technique and how-to stuff I could get my hands on: breathing, stride length, leg turnover, foot strike, you name it.

Then I finally realized that each of us has our own natural running gait, one that has evolved over time and over miles to be the most efficient for YOU.  And to tinker with it was folly.

So then and there I decided that I would run.  Just run.  And that was the root of my lifelong love of running.


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