A ChiRunning Story

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I’m writing today to express many thanks and much praise for Danny’s work and the principles of ChiRunning.

I am a Certified Athletic Trainer and have worked for over 13 years providing emergency medical and orthopedic injury care to collegiate athletes. I am also a recreational cross trainer who loves kayaking, biking, yoga, swimming and running.

Three years ago I was forced to give up running because of unrelenting pain in my feet and legs that was a constant companion but always much worse with running. No amount of therapy or rest brought sustained relief. It was a hard thing for me to lose because running formed the backbone of my training and my fitness level has suffered for it.

As Athletic Training students years ago, we were taught that the normal walking gait involved heel strike, pronation, mid-stance, supination and propulsion. That same heel-to-toe roll was also thought to be normal and correct for the majority of runners- the exception being high level runners training for the 400-600 who might momentarily touch their heel during the support phase and sprinters who were up on their toes. Knee, lower leg and foot pain were most often seen as a failure of the foot to stabilize (hypermobility) or shock absorb (rigidity) and treated accordingly. Not surprisingly these problems have remained chronic for many.

ChiRunning beautifully elucidated what many of us have suspected for some time- that we got it wrong by failing to integrate the core and by encouraging biomechanical disadvantage through most training paradigms.

After reading Danny’s book, I took out my running shoes again. Not only has my pain stopped while running but it’s on the decrease while standing and walking.

And do I have to say it? My athletes will be the beneficiaries of Danny’s wisdom in my everyday work life–these principles turning their frustration into successes with simple instructions that they can easily absorb and immediately apply.

As I reach my 50th birthday this spring, I know I will be out running and feeling like myself again- no longer missing out on something I love to do…And a busload of athletes I know will be having WAY more fun.

Thanks so much,
Dale Robinson-Gervais ATC