Uphill battle: First running lesson

Last updated 05:12 15/05/2014
Jo Mckenzie-Mclean runs like a ballerina

NUTS? Jo Mckenzie-Mclean runs like a ballerina, with no shoes on.

Related Links

Uphill battle for 'overweight mum-of-two'

Relevant offers

Well & Good

Dr Libby's top tips on how to stay healthy when travelling Rachael Taylor: I survived domestic violence and I am not ashamed The Change Makers: Challenging how young Maori think about their future Attn women: Don't be slaves this Christmas Indian woman's world record breaking gallstones The five crazy new health elixirs to try When fat fights back: This may be the reason you are not losing weight The Facts of Life: Death and disease Beyonce is launching an activewear line so girls can Run The World in style Uncle Tobys stung for misleading claims

Never in my life have I been told to run like a ballerina and walk like an elephant.

I just about choked with disbelief when Terry Davis, during our first training session for the Northburn Station 50km Mountain Run, told me to take off my shoes because we were going to run on concrete. 

Ha? This man is nuts I thought as I peeled off my socks and hid my shabby shoes from view. Catching me, he says he thought my shoes would be in worse condition.

Thankfully, I wasn't made to run the streets yelping as I dodged glass and chunks of stone - we ran together along the steps of Cromwell's Alpha St football club where he started with the basics - form.

Skipping across the steps showing me how running should be done, he describes it as keeping my feet under my body, being light on my feet and to kind of dance like a ballerina.

Now, there is a reason I took up tap dancing as a child and not ballet. I can relate to the elephant in me and walk with my arms swinging like a trunk, but to run like a ballerina? I am more than 90kg (yes, believe it), 178cm tall and clumsy - there is nothing ballerina-like about me. But throwing dignity to the wind and probably looking hilarious from the street, I attempted to run like a ballerina. Once Terry was satisfied with my attempt we did some gentle laps around the football goal posts.

Biking home together - me with a child seat on the back I hadn't had time to take off and flat tyres I didn't have a pump for (which Terry said gleefully was fine because flat tyres make you work harder) - I was feeling excited and ready for change.

Terry gave me my first lot of homework - to run around the football goals eight times before I see him again, and to read New York Times No 1 bestseller, Switch - How To Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip & Dan Heath.

Yes sir.

- Follow me on Twitter @jomacmacjourno  

- Terry Davis, is the race director co-founder of Highland Events. Check out highlandevents.co.nz to see what's in store for Jo.

Ad Feedback

- The Southland Times


Recipe search

Special offers
Opinion poll

Do you believe eating superfoods makes you healthier?

Yes, I feel so much better when I eat them.

No, it's all a con.

I don't know, I can't afford them.

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content