I was very fortunate to be taught to listen to my body by David Heard in 2002.
Heard was the founder of The National Rehabilitation Centre for The Paralysed, for which I worked, as well as its sister charity, Sportability. His testimonials for his work with elite athletes include those from the then England Cricket Captain, Andrew Strauss. In 2002, when I interviewed David to record an audio product on ‘Strength for Life’ and ageing, he had just completed a challenge to cycle a thousand kilometres around Vietnam, at the age of 62, in temperatures of 90 degrees and in 90 percent humidity.
Whether with elite athletes, for people at his rehabilitation centre, or everyday people in all walks of life, Heard told me how he always worked with people with a view to getting them to listen to their body. This is about paying attention to what’s going on in your body: What are the signals being given to us, what information is being provided? I asked if this was like a mechanic listening to a car engine and getting a feel for it. He agreed, adding, “You’re reading the runes of your own body.”