Posts Tagged With: cheerleading

Runners: Fall Like a Soap Actress

More than a month after falling on a run and busting up my knee on a rock, I was happy to go on my 3rd run this week.  Along the 4 mile jaunt, I was thinking about what I know about falling.  Here’s what I came up with.

Runners fall.  I’ve seen it a hundred times (exactly, I guess).  When you take thousands of steps at a time, you’re bound to trip up every so often (Hopefully not too often, klultz).  So be ready for it.

I have some tips for falling.  Now keep in mind that I’m not a stuntman, but I was a college cheerleader.  And believe it or not, we had to practice falling in practice (coincidentally).

At nationals.

At nationals.

Cheerleaders occasionally fall.  That’s what happens when you’re making a difficult human pyramid.  So here’s what we practiced.

Don't worry, I didn't drop her.

Don’t worry, I didn’t drop her.

We’d climb up on a big box and then jump off it, falling to the ground.  Sounds silly, right?  But it helped.  We were trained to try and roll down – one body part at a time.  Kind of like soap opera actresses who roll to the ground when they faint at some shocking revelation – ankles, lower leg, upper leg, hips, torso, shoulder, then head.

Also, NEVER put your hands down to break your fall.  I’ve seen many a person over the year break an arm by trying to stop their fall with their hands.  I understand it’s difficult mentally to allow your body to hit the floor first, but here’s why you do:  If you ever watch pro-wrasslin’ then watch how they land – perfectly flat back with arms outstretched.  That’s so the impact is spread out, and not just one small area is absorbing the blow.

Here’s a super sweet video I found showing how-to do a wrasslin fall:

It’s kind of like how they say when running you should land more flat footed than with a heel strike – to spread out the force of impact over a larger area, instead of it all come through a concentrated point, thus reducing the shock and chance of injury.

Now you may be saying, “Dude, you jacked up your knee falling, why should we listen?”  Here’s why, smart-arse.  When I fell, my legs got tangled in some kind of metal wire – like a coat hanger.  Unfortunately, there was a large rock that my knee hit on the way down.  My other knee took a bump, but was ok.  I can’t help that there was a rock.  But peep this.  Even though it was hard, I didn’t put my hands down to stop my fall.  I stretched out my arms and allowed my torso, ribs, and arms to absorb the shock at once.  It hurt like a muther, and I got all scraped up, yes, but it’s better than breaking a forearm.

So there ya go, them’s my tips for falling during a run.  Good luck to you, and watch out for those rocks!

Do you have anything to add?  How do you fall?  Do you believe that pro wrestling is really just a soap for males?


Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

Don’t be an Embarrassed Runner

There’s no reason to be.  I bring this up because recently I’ve had a few interactions with people, who for whatever reason, are embarrassed to work out.  I guess I didn’t really know that so many people feel this way.  But I hear that they think everyone is judging them (either in the gym or on the roads) and they don’t want to be embarrassed by how they look working out.  They tell me that they are self conscience about their bodies, their running pace, their lack of knowledge around gym equipment, their age, etc. etc. etc.

I have never felt that way.  Well, except for once.  I had just had wrist surgery, and once I was cleared to start rehab, the only weights I could lift were 2-3 lbs.  So I hid in a side room at the gym so nobody would see me doing curls with baby weights.  But then a group of body builders came in the same room and stripped down to g-strings and started critiquing each others poses, as they were preparing for a competition.  I was trapped in the room, surrounded by giant men in tiny banana hammocks, lifting 2 pound dumbbells – so yes, I was a little embarrassed.

But anyway, I seem to recall in college someone telling me they were intimidated being around buff dudes in the gym, so they didn’t go.  Now I’m not saying I was buff, but I was on the cheerleading team and we had to lift weights…a lot.  The gym was our second home.  And yes, we had a strength and conditioning coach, just like every other sports team on campus.  Here’s photo proof of my involvement:

Here's my fav cheerleading photo (Hint--I'm the one on the bottom)

My fav cheerleading photo (Hint–I’m the one on the bottom)

I remember talking to some of the other regulars at the gym and asked if they ever judged anyone else, and they all said “No.”  They were too busy focusing on their own workouts.  In fact, they said they actually respect the out of shape people they see in the gym.  They respect how their in there working to get better.  The only time they don’t is when someone just shows up one time and quits.  Or people who are just there doing things half-butted.  But if you are there and committed, then others respect you, no matter what your fitness level is.

This goes for people running too.  Whenever I pass another runner, I don’t say to myself, “They should not be out here.”  Instead I think, “Hey, another runner trying to get better, just like me.”

And when I’m in my car and pass by someone running, I’m always jealous.  I’d rather be out there on my feet than on my vehicular wheels.

So to sum up:  lift the weights, run the roads, swim the the pools, bike the streets, yoga the yoga mats, do whatever it is you like to do without fear.  Nobody is judging how fast you run, how much weight you can lift, how unflexible  you are, etc, etc.   Chances are, you are actually being respected or envied……Unless of course you’re doing something weird, like stealing all the paper towels and putting them in her giant purse, like I saw an old lady at the gym do the other week.  If that’s the case, then yes, I am judging you Mrs. Paper Towel Stealer.

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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