I’ve been running for over 40 years….that’s a chunk by any standard. And you’d think that I’d have figured it out by now…I sure had. But I’ve been off my form for some time now. No flow, nagging injuries which refused to respond to a variety of treatment modalities, a lack of zest and the competitive spirit which I could always rely on to motivate yet another return to form. This time last year I had just won the Canadian indoor 1500m Championship, this year I could barely get to the track once a week for a gentle session of 60 meter accelerations. What to do, where to turn? READ MORE

I knew the recent separation from my wife of 18 years was playing a role in my energy levels but I refused to believe that was the whole story. It didn’t explain why my movement didn’t feel right. So I swallowed my pride and got in touch with Douglas Wisoff from Radiant Running and asked his opinion on what was wrong. Now lawyers will tell you that in court you don’t want to ask a witness a question you don’t know the answer to beforehand to avoid nasty surprises. I figured Douglas would simply rubber stamp my sense there was nothing wrong with my stride…that I was just going through a tough time emotionally and things would gradually get back to normal…

I was wrong!! Douglas confirmed my vague suspicions that I was guilty of the dreaded ‘bum in the bucket’ error many runners make and this was probably responsible for the ongoing hamstring problem that continued to plague me…My initial reaction was one of shock and horror. How could I be doing what I had helped so many others to correct? And then he put in the kicker: it was probably due to my alignment…Geez Louise…”Don’t you know who I am?” I wanted to shout!!  “How can my alignment need work? I’m a bloody Alexander Teacher!!”

Well we had a bit of a laugh but when I looked at things objectively I thought he had a point and was prepared to have a go at changing…not easy if you’ve been at it as long as I have but I didn’t feel there was any choice. You can’t keep doing the same old thing and expect different results.

Well some 3 months after that fateful exchange I am happy to report there has been progress. My bum is no longer in the bucket (as often) and the niggling hamstring problem has abated without further treatment. I can run without pain and once the weather gets a bit better I am looking forward to starting back with a little speed work…no rush. More importantly I have found renewed interest in running…experiencing a differentand I feel better, way of moving after all these years is both unexpected and completely delightful…even if it’s a bit slower….for the moment!!

Douglas and I will be holding a 2 day clinic in Montreal June 9-10.

Check out this link for more details: https://goo.gl/5cTV3C


Still Learning After All These Years

One thought on “Still Learning After All These Years

  • April 20, 2018 at 3:07 am

    Hi Malcolm,
    This is very humbling. I’m also an Alexander teacher and it’s so easy to believe that this somehow makes me invincible and out of reach of the “slings and arrows of outrageous misuse”.
    I’ve also been through something similar to you recently with regards to my running and after a lot of inner debate I ate humble pie and visited a sports physio that someone recommended. It was quite liberating to actually listen to another expert and take his advice onboard. Since then I’ve got myself back on track.
    By the way, what does “bum in the bucket” mean?
    All the best
    Robin Gott


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