June 2018 Instructor of the Month: Josef Šverma

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Tell us a little about you. Where you live, what your background is. What (if) you do in addition to being a Certified Instructor.

Hi my name is Josef (42 years) and I live in Prague, Czech Republic. I am a sports and physical education teacher. I teach ChiRunning and also I teach people how to set their workspace and how to sit properly behind their computers so they can avoid pain in their lower back, stiff neck and other chronicle diseases.

How did you start running? 
I start running as a kid at age of 8 when I was doing athletics and since than it was a part of my life to keep my physical body in good shape.

When and how did ChiRunning come into your life? 
For last 20 years I am one of the Peace Run coordinators (The longest relay in the World – Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run which promotes international friendship and understanding). Approximately 6 years ago I was on the Peace Run route from Italy-Switzerland-Germany-Liechtenstein to Austria. On that route, a friend of mine Balavan, Thomas (ChiRunning Instructor) showed me some good tips how to run more efficiently. During the day each member of the Peace team runs between 15-20 km so his tips where very helpful. After this Peace Run I wanted to run even more effectively and help others as well, so I bought flight ticket to San Francisco where I became a ChiRunning instructor.

In what ways has Chi changed your perception of and success in running?
Everyone is trying to be happy in their own ways. To be happy usually one needs to be in very good balance outwardly (physical body) and inwardly (mind, chi
(prana), spiritual heart and soul). According to me to run with Chi is to run more harmoniously. To run with Chi is to be in balance inwardly and outwardly.

What do you think is the biggest misconception of ChiRunning? 
I think, that some people think that to run with a lean means not to use any muscles at all. To run with lean means to run with minimum amount of energy which is needed to
propel the body forward. Without the lean, the runner has to over work his/hers muscles, tendons and joints.

What motivates you to run? 
Joy from movement and energy which I get while I am running.

What achievements are you most proud of?
I am proud of every run, where I feel that I have transcend myself or where I just feel simple joy from running. In a competition I ran 2 years ago 1:24 in Prague half marathon which is not great but not bad either.

What led you to become an instructor?
I want to teach people to be more healthy, not to get injured and be happy while doing any sports and ChiRunning is one of the very good ways to do it.

Why do you enjoy being an instructor, and how has it affected your life?
I like to be with people who want to improve themselves every possible way. The people coming to ChiRunning classes inspire me. It goes both ways – I inspire them and they inspire me.

What does your average week look like, run-wise? 
I run 70-80km per week.

What other forms of exercise do you practice to compliment ChiRunning?
I practice every day meditation, chi kung, thai chi, hatha yoga, 5 Tibetan rites and if there is extra time I swim and bike twice a week.

Advice for people new to ChiRunning?
Be patient, relax, get your proper posture and lean.

Short answer! Okay, GO.

Favorite race you’ve run and why: Prague half marathon, great atmosphere in beautiful city

Most memorable race: Rockland lake state park marathon – New York

Ideal weather for running: 18°-20° Celsia

Focus that currently dominates your running: Great posture with dynamic relaxation in whole body

Favorite place to run: anywhere in the world while I am running Peace Run

Go-to before race food: banana and mixed fruit oatmeal with honey

Celebratory food after: pasta and Greek salad

Upcoming race/goal: be happy with any result I perform in any race I will participate

Run with or without phone/music: without

If I didn’t run I would have not live.

I can’t run without inspiration.

My first race was in childhood.

My current favorite shoe to run in is Mizuno, Altra, Brooks – according distance  and speed I choose one of those shoes.

My most difficult run ever was 6 hour relay race in Bratislava, Slovakia.

I’ve ran 5 marathons/races.

The longest distance I’ve run 42km in Czech

Posted in Inside Chi

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