Recently I went back to one of my old stomping grounds; Gloucester AC. For about three or four years I trained with the middle distance group at Blackbridge Athletics Track. Running is in my blood, both my parents run and my dad is a coach. I used to run at least four times a week. But it took me five minutes to remember why I stopped.
The head coach gave a speech on the importance of competing on behalf of the club. He basically said if you do not compete you cannot train. And this is simply the clubs down fall. many young people; girls especially do not want to compete. They want to keep fit and have fun.
With such a big obesity problem in the UK with around 20% of all children in year six being obese and a further 14% over weight, shouldn't we be focusing on on combating that rather than winning competitions and killing morale when these young people don't win.
Because of the pressure to compete I started to hate running. I never felt like I was good enough and eventually this transpired in my running. I was soon not able to even run a mile without stopping purely because I gave in to that little voice in my head that said "why do you even bother yo are crap at this you are crap at every thing".
So I quit.
It had been nearly two years since I left when I visited last week. In two years the group has grown with only two people left that I know. A couple of the people who I used to train with now run for team GB. A new track has been built with competition level facilities and a new club house is waiting to be built.
It is not the same club that I left but in many respects it is the very same club with the same flaws and attributes.
If I could I would set up my own training group that is open to any one of any walk of life. There would be no pressure to compete but if you did want to compete you would be fully supported in that quest. The aim of the group would to bring about social cohesion whilst trying to combat the obesity problem that plagues our fair country and many others. Only this is a very lucrative dream. I do not have the qualifications first of all nor do I have the time or money to set up and support such a feat.
I would just like to say thank you to those who gave me feedback on my last blog it was immensely over whelming to hear that my blog had inspired and related to so many people.
But as always thank you for reading
Love Hayley Beth xxx