Blog #3 of 52 – Running in balance when the balance point is always changing

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Running in balance when the balance point is always changing

Since I first began ChiRunning, every training run and every race has been a fluid and ever-changing blend of pushing and relaxing (in t'ai chi terms it’s called issuing and gathering). There are times when it feels right to push a little; and when I do, I incorporate appropriate amounts of strength and technique to get the job done. But, every action I take and every adjustment I make needs to contain a certain amount of relaxation for the “pushing” to be efficient and not be met with any resistance. In order to do well at running or walking, or in your life, you need always have some amount of internal substance or solidity and some amount of fluidity or relaxation at the same time, but the balance between the two is rarely 50/50. That proportion is always changing depending on your moment-to-moment needs.

There are also those times when I need to rest and regain some strength or composure, which is when I need to push less and relax more. All of this back and forth is so clearly illustrated in the yin/yang symbol. As one side of the symbol gets bigger the other side has to get proportionally smaller and visa versa. In T'ai chi, when someone is pushing me, my best defense is not to meet them with a corresponding amount push, but with as little resistance as I can muster, thus nullifying their force and power. I basically move with them with a sense of cooperation. In essence, I relax in order to be able to move with them. But, at the same time, it is most important that I always hold onto some amount of integrity so I can respond when I see an opening.

It’s the same principle working in a productive dialog with a business client, or in a conversation with your partner. One person leads while one follows and then the roles switch in the blink of an eye. Watch this dynamic in your running and in your life and you’ll be pleasantly surprised (maybe even shocked?) at how much you can learn about yourself in the process.

Posted in Beginners

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