You may need to step smartly out of the way if you spot jogger Laura Cattivera ahead of you.
The keen athlete has been told there’s only one way she can continue training – and that’s by running backwards.
She has a rare neurological condition which causes involuntary muscular contractions and prevents her from running in a straight line.
Known in athletics as ‘the yips’, focal dystonia is usually caused by muscle overuse.
The 46-year-old Californian first noticed the symptoms when she kept bumping into the hurdles during training for the 1992 Olympic trials.
‘But I always had a passion for running and I was determined nothing was going to stop me,’ the former Princeton University runner said.
Ms Cattivera tried experimenting with new ways of running, initially moving in a zigzag pattern.
But it wasn’t until she met Dr Nicholas Szumski that she hit upon her ingenious technique.
‘He suggested I run backwards.
So I tried it and it gave me something that was really working. It has been a new adventure for me,’ said Ms Cattivera.
Now she plans to organise a backwards running race in Manhattan Beach to raise awareness of focal dystonia.
20 May 2014 | 8:48 pm – Source: metro.co.uk