Teacher Feature 16.


Meet this week’s Teacher Feature…

(commuting special)

Name: David Rogers

Year group you teach/role in school: Director of Inclusion, SLT, Geographer at Large in an 11-18 coastal school in Littlehamton

Years teaching: 18

How long have you been actively commuting for: 18 months  

How do you actively commute and how far is your journey: 7 miles door to door, a variety of the Bike (Specialised Sirrus Hybrid) and runs.

David’s Story…

“I tend to cycle slowly in and quickly back, although I swear that the wind changes direction so that there is always a headwind…”

Where to start? As we come to the end of the hardest term I’ve ever worked in 18 years. I’ve been running for 10 years come New Year’s Day and to be honest, like many runners, it has saved me from tipping over into the abyss, both in terms of mental and physical health.

Rogers: the well-being running man.

I started running after seeing a photograph of myself with far too much weight. It took me six months to be able to run without stopping for 20 minutes. It took me ten months to prepare for my first race : The Great South in Portsmouth.

Recently, after some choices of mine that were devastating to others, running is my space. Running is my time. Running is my solace. Being able to move on foot (or by bike) over long distances is both a challenge and an achievement. 

“I started running the 8 miles back from school after SLT meetings on a Tuesday. The flat runs along the seafront were a fantastic way to process the meetings.”

I started running the 8 miles back from school after SLT meetings on a Tuesday. The flat run along the seafront, including the beach when tidal conditions allow, were a fantastic way to process the meetings. I love strategic meetings, they are, and should be, challenging. The addition of a head torch meant that I could do so all year round. I love experiencing  the seasons. 

The bike to work came about due to some financial issues. Going down to one vehicle meant public transport or exercise. The bike-to-work scheme was fantastic and I started cycling to work a few times a week. Once I had no transport (if you follow me on Strava you will notice that all exercise started and ended at the end of my street…) I started to cycle more. With the pandemic, it made more sense to cycle than take my chances with public transport. 

I tend to cycle slowly in and quickly back, although I swear that the wind changes direction so that there is always a headwind. I’ve never been a fan of road cycling. I’m still not a fan of road cycling. But I do enjoy the cycle commute. I also enjoy running, and have drawn on it for a recent assembly. 

In May 2021, I had been running everyday for a fair while. The issue, though, is that although I knew I could rock up and run 50 miles without too much trouble, I wasn’t pushing myself. I know that sounds wrong, but it was true. The quality of my running was pants. So, a great conversation with Sam Hill, meant that I ended up with a coach. This has led to a top ten finish in an ultra and some major plans for an attempt at the Bob Graham round in August 2022. I also plan to run the Tour du Mont Blanc in August over a ten day ‘relaxing’ trip.

For those considering a coach, they aren’t the domain of the elite runners, indeed I still find it funny that Sam refers to me as an ‘athlete’, I would recommend talking to a few. Sam’s holistic approach, passion and investment in young people and love of the mountains is perfect for me. 

Running has led to community, although my (mainly self-imposed) exile from a fantastic local running group has been difficult, I’ve found a new tribe in the Maverick Run Project and I lead weekly social runs, including a longer run a few times a month. It is interesting that running can be exclusive, and it’s important to me that it is as inclusive as possible. 

It’s important to understand that I wasn’t always a runner. I love cake and ale far too much to be as good at running as I could be.
And that’s the thing, the challenge is against myself.

Click the link bellow to follow David’s running journey on Twitter!!!

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