ChiRunning and Walking Focuses in the 21st Century: What app are you “running?”
I’m always trying to figure out ways to help runners remember their ChiRunning and ChiWalking focuses during their practice sessions, and my favorite (usually most successful) approach is to make it fun, interesting, and easy to relate to.
If you have a smart phone, an iPad or any other current electronic item that runs on apps, you’ll love this one. Apps are specific computer applications designed to accomplish a given mission and are most valuable when applied at the right time, in the right place. In essence, they’re “purpose driven,” and when you no longer need them, you “close the app.”
All of the various ChiRunning and ChiWalking focuses work much like the apps on your hand-held device. When applied at the right time, in the right circumstances, they’re like highly effective, purpose driven apps. Here are some examples of possible “apps” for running your body. Don’t forget to have fun…
Imagine you’re going along and come to a hill. What do you do? Well, if you’re well-versed in your chi focuses you simply open up your “uphill app” and let it “run” your body. Think of all the characteristics an uphill app would have: shorten your stride, lean into the hill, swing your arms forward and upward, keep your heels down, use your y’chi focus to pull you up the hill. Then treat all of these focuses as aspects of one app… the uphill app. Then, when you get to the crest of the hill, close that app and open up your “downhill app” (with its own set of unique characteristics) and off you go, easy as pie.
Go back through the ChiRunning book (pg. 117-120) and treat each of the bolded subject lines as a separate app. Then, memorize all the qualities of that app before you head out for your run. When you come upon a situation where you feel the need for a given set of focuses, you simply “open the app” and let it do its magic.
If you have the ChiWalking book, your apps are described on pages 103-135. There are twelve different walks described in these pages, so memorize the focuses for each one and treat each walk is a stand-alone app.
Who knows, maybe in your future you’ll have a relationship app, or a courteous driving app, or raising your kid app. The possibilities are indeed endless when you expand beyond the worlds of walking and running.
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