Learning to run
May 8, 2014
HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. - Many Soldiers have heard the phrase crawl, walk, run before. It's a phrase used to describe a series of training events and the skill and speed which they will be carried out.
Soldiers of the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade skipped the crawl and walk phases and went directly to run at a running clinic held at the Hunter Army Airfield Theater May 2.
Sandra Elliott, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Georgia Game Changers running company, was the keynote speaker for the event.
"My goal is to educate Soldiers on how to run with more efficiency, lessen injury, and teach them to use their body how it was naturally designed," said Elliott.
A former Soldier herself, Elliott became interested in what is called "natural running" after having a disc removed in her lower back. Doctors told her she should never run again. She followed their advice for 6 years. She then discovered a certain type of shoe that allowed her to run without pain or numbness. Since then she has made it her goal to help others to make a comeback of their own. She recently finished her first half-marathon.
"Never in my life did I think that I would be doing this," continued Elliott. "I recently ran a two-mile run with the National Guard and I ran a personal best 15:35."
Elliott went on to say that running helps her to deal with stress while keeping her energized and ready to face the day. Her life has changed completely due to being able to run again, and she doesn't try to hide her emotion when she speaks about it.
"I have been able to help a lot of people," said Elliott. "I am thrilled beyond words to see people using their body more efficiently and how it's helping them."
The clinic was the brainchild of Capt. Ethan Miller, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment.
"We found that a lot of Soldiers were going to sick call with bi-lateral knee pain," said Miller. "According to the doctors, bi-lateral knee pain is the result of Soldiers not knowing how to run properly. So we brought in a specialist today to hopefully affect change in how efficiently we run, and how healthfully we do that."
One Soldier looking to improve her two-mile run time was Spc. Kerry-Ann Smith, HHC, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment.
"I have been told by quite a few people that I have poor running form," said Smith. "I've always wanted to be better at running so this is exciting and hopefully it will help me."
Many of the Soldiers said no one had ever shown them how to run. Miller hopes to see more training such as this in the future.
"I want to see Soldiers thinking outside of the box to help improve our Army with the fewer resources we have," said Miller.