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My summer goal: training for the Greater Cambridge 10K

We look forward to seeing Jen at the start line of our Greater Cambridge 10K

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Goodness, it has been a long time since I wrote anything on here!! I’ve overcome injuries I never thought would go and have taken up new and exciting physical activities including, rather amazingly, the aerial hoop. I’ve finally been able to regularly run 5km again. But one thing I still haven’t done is enter a proper running race.

When I originally set this blog up I was planning on running a marathon. I’m not sure that I’ll ever run a marathon now – simply because I don’t want to risk getting another injury. But I do want to start pushing myself – slowly and sensibly – on the running front. A few months ago, I quietly decided that I would look for a local 10km race to enter. Then a few days later saw THIS outside the Cambridge University Sports Centre, my beloved gym:

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This 10K race is organised by Living Sport and is a…

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Jenni Kayaking

Too short for sport…never!

The challenges in sport I know only too well and the main one I find the hardest to overcome is my height. While standing at 5ft tall (give or take a few inches), I am still well on my way to finding the perfect sport that suits me. In my most recent blog; “Jenni vs Sport, I shared my reports on several different sporting activities I undertook. As I’ve already pointed out, sport to me seems to be a bigger challenge than I imagine it is to most people above the average female height of 5’4″ in the UK. Nonetheless since starting at Living Sport I accepted the challenge of facing something new that I may potentially fail at. In layman terms, let’s just say in some sports I felt a little intimidated! It wasn’t because the people I played with weren’t encouraging or showing any support but because the majority of them simply towered over me! In a competitive, contact sport that is not what you need or want to feel.

Of course, in theory, there are hundreds of sports out there that would be perfect for me and my height shouldn’t matter or conflict with my performance in anyway. There are countless people taking on different sports who face the challenge of being below average height but prove to be truly incredible at their sport. These people are excellent examples, especially in contact sports as you just have to find the right position that works for you and then keep up with the training. Fitness today is a huge industry, in which a large majority of the population seems to be getting involved, either for themselves or to help support those who need the push and motivation.

Personally I feel I was never anything special when it came to ‘shooting sports’ such as netball. I would always avoid particularly challenging or responsible positions on the court such as goal shooter or attack. My excuse would always be ‘the goal is too high for me’ and ‘my tiny T-rex arms just don’t have enough power to throw hard enough’. I have the same issue with other types of games even those outside of sports. For example during one of our activity lunchtimes held weekly, a colleague introduced me to a card game called “Spoons”. At one particular point in the game you have to reach across the table and grab a spoon; it’s safe to say my ‘T-Rex’ arms didn’t help me out then either.

For me, being 5ft means short limbs, so as per the issue of having small arms I face the same issue when facing any running sport. I’m no sprinter and picture myself running double the pace of others just to keep up with people- even when someone is just walking! The image itself I find pretty hilarious but it doesn’t help when I have people shouting at me on the side lines, ‘Run! Use those little legs!’ When I try to I just get the sense that my legs are about to fly off if I push too hard or feel that burning pressure.

Though having said all of this and probably portraying that being short is the worst thing in the world, it’s not. I am 5ft tall but I’m happy with it, as I believe if you keep up with your training and find the right place in the game you will be fine and even have fun. Small people are much harder to catch, just like mice so this can help you prove to be better than other players. The important thing I’ve learned from playing more sport is to just go with the flow and enjoy it because there should always be something out there that will make you stand out!

Lets us know what sport you enjoy and makes you stand out by tweeting us @Living_Sport

Written by Jenni Misseldine, Administrator, Living Sport