May 16, 2011

Tales from New York City

My trip to New York was utterly amazing in every way. I learned so much about biomechanics, coaching and people in general that I will undoubtedly be processing for quite some time. In short, it was truly life-changing for me.

I arrived at Newark on Saturday after an uneventful flight (other than a lovely conversation with a local Calgarian and a plane-shifting wind close to landing), followed by an easy and direct shuttle ride to the Chelsea International Hostel (which I highly recommend for low-budget travellers). It was late when I arrived so I hung out at the Hostel to prepare for the following day of sight-seeing. (I ended up moving to the Gershwin Hotel on Thursday night, which was totally awesome and would recommend to any New York tourist no matter the budget as they have a wide range of rooms available.)

On Sunday, Angie Bee Hotz (super mom and barefoot runner), Sabra Ellingson (Operations Director for VIVOBAREFOOT), and I walked all over Manhattan soaking in the sights. We met at the Chelsea Piers Sports Centre, where the VB Coaching Program was going to take place, and then walked and rode the subway around Manhattan checking out Central Park, the American Museum of Natural History, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal, the Chrysler Building, Battery Park, and ended the tour with a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. We managed to squeeze in quite a number of sights in a short time. It was so much fun hanging out with Angie and Sabra! We ended the day with a late supper at the Brooklyn Public House and I headed back to Chelsea to get some rest and recharge for the beginning of the VB Coaching Program course.

Me and Angie Bee at the American Museum of Natural History

I don't want to go into detail about the course, it would take me a week. It was outstanding! I feel incredibly honoured to have participated and been given the opportunity to learn from Lee Saxby and meet the wonderful people who also participated in the course with me. Congratulations need to be given to Lee for the incredible success of the event. Not only does he possess a profound depth of knowledge in human movement but also the skill to share that knowledge clearly and effectively to his students with a wide range of backgrounds. Thanks must be given also to Michelle Hinsvark, the VB U.S. In House Marketing Executive; she was completely invaluable to the running (haha) of the course.

Basically, we were taught the biomechanics of human locomotion, how to diagnose inefficient and/or injurious running form, and how to coach correct form using video analysis and drills. I am excited to apply what I learned to not only improve my own form but that of any runner interested in becoming a more efficient and potentially uninjured runner.

The basics are already available to anyone who wants to learn. I highly recommend Lee Saxby's ebook Proprioception - Making Sense of Barefoot Running. It outlines the concepts and exercises important in the evolution of a not only a barefoot runner but anyone who wants to develop their sense of proprioception, the most important sense that humans have in developing good biomechanics.

Me and Angie Bee after the course

Me and (genius coach extraordinaire) Lee Saxby