Become a Black Belt…. In Running

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There is a good reason why the protagonist of many action-adventure movies are superb martial artists. When it comes to hand-to-hand engagement, no one can compete against those who are schooled in these ancient, powerful, lightning-fast movements.

While visiting China, Danny and I witnessed high-level T’ai Chi Masters who truly astounded; little, old men or slight women easily overcoming men twice their size; men who appear quite strong, but who lack agility, knowledge and experience. T’ai Chi gives its practitioners a lot of power, regardless of their size!

In movies and in live action, you can quickly see the difference between brute strength and the intelligent, directed and refined movements of the martial artist.

From the movies, you know it is not just about deadly accurate strikes and kicks. It takes mental focus and emotional mastery to be successful, to beat the bad guy, and win the day. At the core of the hero or heroine’s success is self-mastery.

If you don’t run, or don’t run as often, as long, or as fast as you would like; and if pain, injury, age, or discouragement are stopping you, these are your foes. And just like any of the “Dark Lord” adversaries, they too can be overcome with the principles, wisdom and know-how inherent in T’ai Chi.

Many studies show that elderly people who practice T’ai Chi can regain strength, flexibility and mobility from regular, gentle practice. It really works! And it works in your running as well. You don’t have to become a Master, but just focusing on good posture can have a profound effect. With focused and persistent practice, heck, you could become a black belt in ChiRunning®!

In ChiRunning® we take the principles of T’ai Chi and bring them into running so that you can run more easily, go faster with less effort and enjoy the feeling of being focused – all at the same time.  

At our ChiWeekend last year, the most beautiful runner was a woman in her 70’s. She was the most graceful and relaxed runner in the whole group, with a gentle, consistent, and firm connection with her core. Her steps were light and fluid, her shoulders steady but without constriction, and her pelvis had a healthy, gentle rotation. When given feedback, she quietly and perceptibly worked at it and improved.

Very little is set in stone in our bodies and very few impediments to your running will last against consistent effort. Age, extra weight, tension, and most injuries; these can all be overcome, so that you can enjoy the fresh-air freedom and joy of this most natural and fundamental movement. Add in some of the wisdom of the ancient East, and you too can feel like the hero of an adventure movie, or perhaps a running ninja; quietly, smoothly, lightly skimming across the earth’s surface, barley leaving a footprint.

Posted in Technique

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