What happened when our sports columnist tried to learn how to be a hurdler?

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Our sports columnist Marcus Hartman recently traveled to Central State to learn first hand what it takes to become a national champion hurdler from coach James Rollins and Dunbar grad Juan Scott

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

After kicking off my new series with a visit to Alter for volleyball, I accepted an invitation to go to Central State to learn about hurdling from coach James Rollins and two-time national champion Juan Scott of Dunbar High School.

ARCHDEACON: How Central State hurdler went from ‘knucklehead’ to national champion

What did I learn? You can check it out in the video above, but to paraphrase a popular song from a few years ago, ‘Hurdlin’ ain’t easy!”

I assume once you have done it a few thousand times, you stop worrying about falling over the hurdle and breaking multiple limbs.

I didn’t get that many reps in, but I did have a good time learning  what to do.

I’m not sure how many 90-minute crash courses in hurdling Rollins has done, but I was impressed with the one he put together for me.

I felt like I really understood everything he was teaching, from popping my forehead with my lead fist to “knocking the bee off” my trail leg.


We went through the whole pre-practice/pre-meet stretching routine with him explaining why we did each stretch and warmup.

He showed a lot of patience as I overthought various steps of the process, too.

It was pretty much exactly what I was hoping for when I thought up this line of stories: Learn how to do it then embarrass myself trying to put those lessons into practice.

OK, this wasn’t too embarrassing: Like I said, I wasn’t injured. But we did cop out a little by going to only a partial hurdle.

That was the coach’s idea, and I didn’t complain.

It all made sense as we were going over it.. it’s just tough to simulate really doing it.

There’s no half speed in hurdles, you know?

RELATED: What happened when our columnist tried to learn volleyball?

You’re either doing it or you’re not because a lot of different parts have to come together to go over a hurdle while running, and if anything doesn’t go right, you are probably going to end up with a face full of track.

I like my friends who work for the Xenia Township emergency squad, but I would rather see them in a more casual setting.

I ended up none the worse for wear. I got some sun and came home with some sore PCLs in my knees, but otherwise I felt pretty good the next day.

While the highlights of my trip to Greene County can be found above, a more extended version is available on Facebook.

What do you think? 

What should I do next? 

I'm always taking suggestions at marcus.hartman@coxinc.com