By: Kember Greco, Bonney Lake Galloway Program Director
“We’ll keep you off the paddleboard,” is what Bret Bellevue, the Tacoma Galloway PD, told me. I can’t help but laugh every time I recall this moment because hours earlier I was on Amazon looking for inflatable paddle boards.
Let me back track quick. At the time both my quads were strained. I also had completed my first 50k a month prior. While most people would bask in their runner’s high glory and spend countless hours searching for their next race I wasn’t. Instead I decided I would never run again and would buy a paddleboard.
At the time paddle boarding somehow had the same appeal to me as a 5 year old going to Disney World. It seemed perfect and if could do it all the time I would be happy (and have KILLER abs). I recall going as far as Googling paddleboard races (Yes. I actually did search for that. Yes, there are paddleboard races in the area).
Let me be clear: I am not paddleboard shaming. I highly recommend paddle boarding to anyone who is curious. However, if you are looking into paddleboarding because you feel that you are a broken runner or can’t run I am here to tell you exactly what Bret told me:
We can keep you off the paddleboard.
1. There is joy in running. You just have to find it at your own pace.
Finding it at your own pace are key words. Health and happiness embody Fleet Feet Bonney Lake’s Galloway program. We run to find health and to find happiness. If both those things are not present during your training then what is the point?
2. If you aren’t having fun you will not commit.
Trust me! If you are going to commit to running you should be having fun with it! If it’s not fun you will have trouble committing to any exercise or workout. Building lifelong habits isn’t easy but I would bet my life savings that if you love a workout and truly enjoy it, that you are more likely to go!
I had to find people who were like-minded. Galloway provided me with an entire group that told me it was OK to be a turtle and get healthy! It was ok to walk frequently during a run and take control of my workout. Running was finally fun!
3. Give yourself credit, no matter how long it takes.
This is the main reason I find Galloway method to be so wonderful. A mile is a mile either way! It might take you eighteen to twenty minutes to get ONE mile done. Guess what? It is still a mile!
Pace is a secondary thought with Galloway method. It happens to be a by-product of committing to your health. If you want to get faster we can work on that. However, you will more than likely become naturally faster from inserting walk breaks.
Most of my participants come to me happy to have completed Saturday’s workout. Sure- a few of them will come to me happy the ran their fastest mileage yet. However, it’s more a shock factor. They are incredibly happy because they ran at their own pace and actually liked it.
They are smiling ear to ear because they took control over their workout and completely removed any pressure they had on themselves. Running and walking one mile, three miles or more is something to give yourself credit for. It doesn’t matter how long it took you. What matters is that you got it done.
4. Pace isn’t an issue. The boundaries we place on ourselves are.
Galloway method has made me a stronger person. Mentally I’ve been able to see that I was holding myself back from enjoying something I loved: running.
Why was I placing boundaries on myself? I needed to look at the bigger picture and realize there are alternate methods to running and Galloway was the method for me. Once I removed my negative boundaries and thoughts on running I realized I was in fact in love with run/walk (and that I didn’t want a paddle board anymore).
5. It’s more than a training group. It’s a community of life long friends.
I picture what life would have been like with a paddle board. It would have been great! I would have had the best view of the Puget Sound! However, I would have been really lonely. Every Saturday I wake up so excited because I know I am going to hang out with my extended family. Not only do you run/walk with these people but you are getting to know them. You come to understand why they are there and you find yourself relating.
Pretty sure you can’t find any of this on a paddle board!