Instructor of the Month
BRENDA GIBSON, OH
Brenda Gibson became Ohio’s first certified ChiRunning and ChiWalking instructor in 2006. Since then she has been teaching regularly in the Dayton, Ohio area. She has traveled to Chicago and California to teach ChiRunning at workshops with Danny Dreyer. She won't be traveling as far to teach with Danny this May!
GET TO KNOW YOUR INSTRUCTOR OF THE MONTH
Tell us a little about you. Where you live, what your background is.
I live in Kettering, Ohio. In my other life, I work in public relations.
How did you start running?
I played three sports in high school and ran in the summers during my off season to stay in shape and for weight management. I love my chocolate.
When and how did ChiRunning come into your life? (The short story.)
I had given up running for a couple of years due to back and knee pain, and shinsplits. I found ChiRunning in 2005 while searching the web for something else with the word “chi” in it and wondered if ChiRunning might not be the answer to a prayer. It was.
In what ways has ChiRunning changed your perception of and success in running?
It’s helped me dial down my Type A personality and become more process-oriented rather than goal-driven.
What motivates you to run?
Running makes my whole life feel better. I feel more balanced. Most of the year, I run before work. It gives me a sense of accomplishment as I start my day, and on the days I run, the workday just seems to go smoother. Plus, I pay more attention to what I eat because it impacts how I run.
What other forms of exercise do you practice to complement ChiRunning?
Cycling and yoga.
What achievements are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the impressive accomplishments of my students. One student suffered from stress fractures and shinsplints. She had visited PTs, chiropractors and orthopods. Within months of taking the ChiRunning workshop, she completed her first marathon – and qualified for Boston! Then went on to Boston to run a personal best.
What led you to become an instructor?
After taking my first workshop with Danny in Baltimore in late 2005, I made the decision to become an instructor on the way back to the airport. I wanted to bring ChiRunning to Ohio to people who thought running was too hard, to people who were running with pain, and to people who had given up running because of pain. I wanted to show them a better way.
Advice for people new to Chi Running?
Be patient, be persistent, be consistent. Embrace the principle of gradual progress. It’s fastest way to get where you want to go.
Favorite race you’ve run and why: I rarely race. I run simply for the joy of moving my body, the endorphins, and how it makes me feel.
Ideal weather for running: 50 degrees, sunny skies, early morning
Focus that currently dominates your running: Run relaxed
Run with or without phone/music: Without. Music distracts me from taking in the environment around me. I like focusing on the smell of fresh-cut grass in the spring, the colors of fall foliage, and the sounds of the neighborhoods I run through.
If I didn’t run I would be a lot more stressed.
I can't run without my metronome. Although I don't need it anymore, I like having it, especially on long runs. I like checking in when I start to fatigue and make sure I'm keeping up my cadence.
My current favorite shoe to run in is Altra One.