And now for something completely different…my passion might be food and helping everyone love prepare and cook and share in the eating of good food….but I have other passions and that’s sharing good times with friends.
Today, my feet took me on a jaunt past some of the most beautiful parts of the bayside coastline of Melbourne. As part of my social Saturday morning running group we are planning and preparing for a forthcoming 16km fun run which will take us across some of the Melbourne CBDs most famous landmarks and a sneak preview that pedestrians never have the opportunity to traverse- the Bolte Bridge, the Burnley tunnel and the Kings domain straddling the Botanical Gardens.
So in the lead up to the run, I (and my feet) have decided to prepare (in addition to the Saturday 8km run) by running 14 km along the coast from my home in Black Rock to my school workplace in Mentone around 7km away.
With new running shoes I changed over to my old faithfuls half way as my left foot was giving me a bit of grief. There’s a bothersome bunion starting to emerge which gives pride of place to my big toe but shoves my little pinky toe out of place, which then sends sharp pains up the side of my foot.
Post return home, after a shower and a foot soak I decided to be very thankful for my feet helping me make the distance (of almost 15km in the end if the step tracker on my phone is to be believed). Reflecting on my feet gratitude, I remembered when I was invited to attend my friend’s Iyengar yoga class. She had raved about the strict postures and the invigorated feeling of hanging upside down in ropes to re-align the spine. So I was excited to attend. The class began with the classic pose of Savasana, eyes closed, lying on our back, arms outstretched, palms facing up. I sensed the presence of the late arrival of a fellow yogini lying on the mat next to me. As I emerged into the present the first vision I observed was my partner’s feet- well-weathered, quite gnarly feet but the everlasting image was the strength of those feet- powerful, strong feet; beautiful feet but not beautiful in the conventional sense of dainty, delicate, petite Cinderella feet. Later when we sat up and began the asanas it was a few moments before it clicked that this woman was a champion Olympiad and here she was sharing with me and several other women the simple joy of a suburban Iyengar yoga practice. Wow, I thought…the stories those feet can tell….
Which brings me to the next part of my story…the ‘Getting real’ program. This week Dr Rick Kausman and Dr Mel Irons presented the ‘Getting Real’ program to our students. Here we all learnt the important of self-compassion and the honouring of our own bodies, in all shapes and sizes. Beginning with the ruse of media hype of body image damaging people’s egos, particularly young womens’; through the illusion of fake beauty (see Dove campaign) Dr Mel introduced the assembly with body acceptance with analogies to dog varieties (an analogy after all and still disputed, nevertheless). I think I understood the face value even without the poodle analogy, as a feline not a canine lover.
The 11-15 year old students really enjoyed the presentation which addressed the unhelpful platitudes featured in most weight-loss dieting which may lead to people gaining weight. Instead, this novel program adopts a preventive approach for young people to adopt healthy eating behaviours through a positive approach to body acceptance.
In the follow up in my Foods classes, we look at building the skills of healthy eating by involving the students in the selection, preparation and enjoyment of eating their food together. A holistic, positive and healthy approach to nourishing our bodies in all their different shapes and sizes.
Post run update: March 20 signalled the day of the fun run. The game plan to run the 16km with an 800m run 200m walk within 2 hours. Yes we did it with the support of run group friends! yay!