My ChiRunning Story

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My ChiRunning story to date (as briefly as I can): By way of background, I am a 47 year old attorney. I have been doing a mix of aerobic and strength training for about 13 years. At that time, I weighed almost 300 lbs at about 6 feet tall. Having let my intensity and focus on healthy living slip, I re-dedicated myself to being fitter about 4 years ago and added running to my regimen–lifting 3 days and running 2 days per week. The most I could run was 3 to 4 miles, but my calves were cramping and I would hobble around until my next run.

In September, I heard part of an interview on NPR with Dr. Mark Cucuzzella regarding ChiRunning. With only what I heard, and the online article, I started experimenting. In my first run I went 4.5 miles without any pain. I bought the ChiRunning book; incorporated many of the concepts into my running, workouts and life in general. I now run 3 or 4 times per week, as weather and time allow–between 6 and 10 miles per run (both on the treadmill and out on the street–I live by a parkway next to the Milwaukee River). I am gradually improving my form, time and distance, as well as posture and core strength generally (with the goal of adding half a mile to my long run each week if my body tells me it’s ok) and plan on doing a half marathon this summer. I am about 190 pounds now, and I am sure I will continue to slim down a bit more. I have re-adjusted my workouts with lower weights/more reps twice per week, with a focus on my core strength and form.

I believe that ChiRunning has become a sustainable approach for me, and I am spreading the word to many people who are also starting to examine and practice ChiRunning. I am in the best shape I have been in my adult life–I never could have imagined running 10 miles (1) without pain and (2) with unadulterated pleasure. There are many of Danny’s comments and insights from the book that come to me in transition into, during, or after a run–ideas that I didn’t understand or appreciate previously. I am really very new to running/really running, and so far it’s been nothing short of miraculous and the process itself has been very fulfilling.

It’s beautiful running by the river in the quiet of the early morning, running through different neighborhoods, and even running on the treadmill at the gym, filled with friends and strangers coming and going–it’s awesome to be able to converse with someone who comes up to talk to me when I might otherwise be lost from the world, any number of miles into a run.

My thanks to you and to Danny.