I’m sure I’ve spoken on here before about being a member of Run Dem Crew. I feel very lucky to be part of a collective that gives me such amazing support with my running. One of the main things we believe in as a crew is empowering young people through running, hence, why we run the Run Dem Crew Youngers project. I’m one of the mentors on the project and this season, we have a truly great group. We have teamed up with Livity and Somewhere_to and for the first time, we are mentoring a group in South London as opposed to our usual base in East. Somewhere_to have re-purposed an empty shop in East Street Market and we hold our sessions there.
Each week, we have a creative workshop, followed by a run. At the end of the six week program, they’ll run a 10K. The aim of the creative workshops is to show the link between running and creativity. If we can link activity with the more exciting creative elements of these young people’s lives, then in the end, they’ll see how exciting running can be too. The workshops range from how to set up a good creative system/way of working for yourself, last week I did a social media session with them, we’ve had them write about their running playlists and this week we’ll be talking about nutrition.
Obviously, since I run this website and am on a mission to empower women to embrace being active, I strive to be a good example for the young women in the crew. After the run, I lead a little cool down and stretch session. I’ll often kick it off with some squats, planks and press ups to make sure we work some other areas of our bodies and not simply run. I was really surprised to discover on week one that none of the girls could do a press up. Not one press up. Not even lady press ups on their knees. We had a bit of a giggle about it, but they all acknowledged that it is a concern.
Interestingly when I said ‘we’re going to do some press ups’ they instantly said ‘I can’t do that’. It made me wonder how often they’ve actually tried. We’re all guilty of that – heck, I was guilty of saying that about running before I actually gave it a go. We have to be careful about the internal dialogue we have going with ourselves. If we’re constantly telling ourselves we can’t do things, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. If they never try, they’ll never be able to do them. Progress may be slow, but it’s still progress, nonetheless.
Anyhoo, by the time the program ends in a few weeks, I want the girls to be able to do at least five press ups. I’m leading an extra session with them tonight where I’ll teach them a few of my favourite core ad glute exercises that’ll help to strengthen them.
I really want them to get the message that strength is a good thing. So, here’s to getting stronger day by day.