I am trying to get back some fitness and have begun jogging again. On today's 30 minute jog (at a very slow pace) I thought about how I was introduced to jogging. I was a rookie teacher at Rideau District High School, in Elgin, Ontario. There the head of the Physical Education Department, Lyle McLellan, asked all rookie teachers which sports they would coach. The question was not would you coach! The only sport I could possibly coach was cross-country running. After all, in my own high school career at Leek Boys Secondary Grammar School in England, I had placed third in the open mile when only fifteen.
I was then introduced to the 5Bx (and later the 10BX) fitness training plan. This was a fitness training plan involving running devised by the Canadian(?) military, possibly the air force. I discovered I really liked running long distances. I trained with the cross-country teams and loved it. Later, when I taught at Red Lake District High School, my coaching expanded to soccer, rugby and Reach for the Top.
From these early beginnings came what became an obsession with jogging. Adrian, our son with autism, had very little physical activity in his schooling, so the whole family took up jogging. We lived very close to the high school in Red Lake, on land we had purchased from the school board.
The land once was part of the high school's acerage. We took advantage of Adrian's fascination with numbers. He jogged 10 laps around the inside of the high school gymnasium at 6 30 am for the first few days. Then 11 laps, then 12. Then more and more. We all entered "fun runs" in Winnipeg of 1km, 5km and 10km. We could get to Winnipeg in six or so hours for a weekend of shopping and running two or three times a year.
The 5Bx plan started us on this course. In my 30s and 40s I started six marathons and finsihed four. Lyle McLellan has a lot to answer for as that Phys Ed Head!