ChiRunning: Performance For Everyone
I've been thinking a lot about performance lately and I've come to believe that, as a culture, we've drifted away from its original meaning. I hear the media mostly associating the word with the image of elite runners, high-level athletes, and people being noticed for exceptional effort. The word faster is always in there as well. Performance has morphed into a word that implies some amount of comparison. It's no wonder we all end up with varying degrees of “performance anxiety.” What I'd like to offer is a more friendly definition so that performance doesn't bring up thoughts, feelings or fears of comparison.
Per • form‘ • ance: “Per” means, by way of; “form” means structure or shape; and “ance” means the act of. So, if I'm getting this definition right, performance really means doing something in a specific way, with the accent on form. It doesn't mean being the best at anything; it just means paying attention to how you do something. If you're aware of how you do something, and how you can become better, you hold the possibility and promise of improvement in your hand.
The ChiRunning Training Programs are a way to bring out the best in you without having the goal of being the best. We are very strong proponents of the idea that performance is for everyone. Here's something to ponder: Your best doesn't happen in the future, it happens right now. As you progress from one level to the next, you are forever only as good as you are right now. If that is better than you were, then you're at your best. Could you be better than you are now? Most likely. But, you're only as good as you are today.
Everyone is going after the goal of speed by trying to get stronger, run more miles and push themselves harder. But, what many seem to be overlooking is the most important component to getting the speed they're after… the ability to move their body in a way that offers no restriction to moving at a faster speed. In order for speed to happen, you have to set up the conditions for speed to happen. In order to run greater distances, you need to set up the conditions for more distance to happen… no more no less. Create the conditions for energy to flow and it will flow, whether it's in the form of speed, ease of movement, distance without effort, or even peace of mind and joy.
Performance is the result of doing everything you can to create the outcome you're looking for, while at the same time minimizing unnecessary effort. That begins with putting the accent on Form.