People often ask me for advice and I am always very careful to give it because I don’t see myself as an expert at all. I still learn new things every single day and I often think people who claim to know everything actually know so little they don’t know how little they really know. With this in mind I have decided to compile a list of #letsnotcallthemtrainingtips
001 How to not get crushed by a Medicine Ball
When training for something like the KAEM where you have to carry all your things with you for seven days it is important to get used to having an 8kg backpack on your back. At the start of the seven days your bag will weigh anything between 8 & 11kg with water, and this is quite a bit heavier than you may think. Unlike other organised runners I don’t have a cupboard full of rice or dog food that I use to make my bag heavy. I usually end up stuffing random things in my Raidlight bag until it is the desired weight and then I hit the road. The first year I stuffed the bag full of magazines which was perfect until the books turned into a type of paper mache from the sweat and movement. I needed a new plan and dug through the grocery cupboard finding a massive bag of sugar. This went straight in the bag and I ran with it for quite a while. More than a few runs later somebody asked to see what the bag looked like and with great enthusiasm I opened it to find the bag of sugar had broken and I now had a very interesting sticky mess going on inside my very expensive imported bag… It became clear that I needed a new solution and I again went on a hunt through the house for something suitable.
I thought I found the perfect item in a 5kg medicine ball, lying around the gym and immediately stuffed it in the bag and headed out. On my first run out the ball reminded me of Castaway where Tom Hanks gets all involved with a basketball that he names Wilson, I decided the medicine ball would be Wilson the 2nd and hoped for the best. Apart from my centre of gravity now creating all kinds of new challenges the ball seemed to be a good plan. Everybody that know me, know that I stumble and fall quite often and this day was no different. The problem was that I had a 5kg medicine ball on my back which made it look like the wrong side of me was 9 months pregnant. I was probably about 4km from home when my crocodile brain had kicked in and I went into full on shuffle mode. As usual when in shuffle mode I wasn’t picking up my feet properly and I tripped over some tiny object (probably a rock the size of an ant) and started stumbling forward. Usually I would be able to save myself but as I now had Wilson the 2nd on my back it was always going to end badly. The stumble turned into a full on fall and with the added momentum and wonky centre of gravity I came down with a crash that could probably be felt on the other side of the planet.
In some miraculous way I wasn’t hurt at all and I basically just jumped up and carried on. Wilson the 2nd was returned to the gym and again I had to start searching for new random items. This year is my third KAEM so you would think I would have a found something suitable but that is not the case. I started training with the bag rather late this year and in a panic yesterday I was scratching around my room for something heavy. I found a very old nebulizer and a poker set that I wrapped in a towel and it seemed to fit perfectly. I put my earphones in and hit the road feeling great after two days of training in the heat in Thabazimbi. The run went fantastic and I ran faster than I have in a very long time with a weight of 7km on my back. I did however get a few strange looks from passers-by and only realised when I took my earphones out that the poker chips were making a fantastic noise as I was running along.
The moral of the story is that I don’t really know how to not get crushed by a medicine ball except to NOT PUT IT IN YOUR BAG IN THE FIRST PLACE and that maybe the time has come to make a trip to the grocery store to buy a few bags of rice…