I’m A Run­ner

The vo­cal coach, 39, on switch­ing off dur­ing a run and teach­ing S Club 7 to sing…

Runner's World (UK) - - Contents -

Vo­cal coach Cece Sammy on learn­ing to run again after se­ri­ous ill­ness and teach­ing S Club 7 to sing…

I grew up Trinidad, where I lived un­til I was 15. Life there is all about be­ing out­side and en­joy­ing the fresh air. That sense of be­ing ac­tive out­doors and run­ning about has al­ways stayed with me, even when I came to Lon­don to study clas­si­cal mu­sic.

I was a back­ing singer for Diana Ross when I was 17. In a funny way, that got me into run­ning. I needed to be more in con­trol of my breath­ing while singing, es­pe­cially on stage; jog­ging was how I learnt to con­trol it.

Run­ning has been part of my life for more than 20 years. I try to run most days – usu­ally for about 25 min­utes, or longer if I have time. With a hec­tic sched­ule in the UK and in the US, run­ning is some­thing I look for­ward to after a long flight.

Go­ing for a run has al­ways been my way of recharg­ing my bat­ter­ies. I don’t wear head­phones – mu­sic is what I do for my job – so in­stead I sim­ply ob­serve na­ture as I run through parks or the coun­try­side. It’s the time when I can switch off from ev­ery­thing.

I’m never afraid to tackle a hill when I’m out run­ning. My sis­ter, who I run with some­times, says in a dif­fer­ent life I must have been a goat be­cause I al­ways pick the hilli­est routes, any­thing that re­ally chal­lenges me.

In 2011, four months after hav­ing my daugh­ter, I suf­fered a brain aneurysm. A blood ves­sel rup­tured and I was in the hospi­tal’s high-de­pen­dency unit for a month. It took me a year to re­cover, learn­ing to walk and talk all over again. I now never take be­ing able to run for granted. Dur­ing my re­cov­ery I re­mem­ber tak­ing my first steps, then walk­ing faster, be­fore slowly jog­ging. Un­der­stand­ing my body from my years of run­ning meant I knew I would even­tu­ally get that fit­ness back.

In my job as a vo­cal coach, I en­cour­age those I’m help­ing to run. I’ve worked with groups such as S Club 7. I got them to jog on the spot and sing, and even­tu­ally run out­side, too. I showed them that run­ning, like singing, is about con­trol­ling your breath­ing.

The LA Marathon goes right past my apart­ment but I’ve never had the de­sire to do a marathon. Run­ning for me has al­ways been about re­lax­ing and escape rather than chas­ing times or do­ing loads of miles.

When I’m in­volved on shows such as The Voice there’s noth­ing bet­ter than go­ing for a run at the end of the work­ing day. I’ll go out what­ever the weather, but I pre­fer it if there is still a bit of day­light to run in.

I love lots of the run­ning gear you can get th­ese days, but I’ve been caught out some­times. I’ve made the mis­take of buy­ing some kit, such as a clingy top that looks great, but turns out to be to­tally im­prac­ti­cal – if you’re a woman – once you go for a run in it.

‘I never take be­ing able to run for granted’

For more de­tails on Cece Sammy, visit cca-en­ter­tain­ment.com

AGAINST THE GREEN Cece likes to en­joy the nat­u­ral world when she runs

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