It was exciting to meet Andrea Siqueira for the first time on August 5, 2019. We arranged to meet at her house at 9:00 a.m. and would take her vehicle to a running track near where she lived. I arrived at 9:15 a.m. and met Andrea’s husband, Terry before we started out to cover the points Andrea had planned for a private workshop.
The morning started out pleasant and cool but soon became warmer as the day wore on, resulting in some minor sunburn on the nose and forehead. I was nervous, as I wondered about how I would appear in the eyes of an experienced running coach, but Andrea never made me feel awkward or foolish. I appreciated how she would point out what I was doing right and then add where I could improve. Sometimes the truth about one’s self can be hard to accept, but I found her approach to be encouraging and not the least bit discouraging. I had already read the Chi Running book by Danny Dreyer, so I was familiar with the terms Andrea used and most of the material she covered. One of the first things Andrea did was to take a video of me running on the school track. Later she sent the video to me with a narrative on what was good about my running form and what needed improvement. I’m amazed at how effective this method is, as Andrea was able to zoom in and go frame by frame to emphasize her point.
Time went quickly as I tried to absorb as much of the helpful information as I could because this was for me and I wanted to get it! We ordered a take-out lunch and went to a park near the Sheep River to review what I had learned. When we were done eating Andrea and I ran along the gorgeous Sheep River, while she watched my running form and called out encouragement and helpful advice. I have to say this was a dream come true and I enjoyed every second of it. I could feel the change and was conscious of my speed increasing without any extra effort on my part. Truly amazing! Arriving back at the park we covered the warm-up drills and body looseners described in the book. From the river, we drove to where there was a hill and practiced the proper running approach to the different inclines one may encounter on a trail run. It was getting on into the afternoon when we again found ourselves back at the track where we started so Andrea could make a final video. This video was used to compare with the first one so that improvements could be noted and shared with me.
We returned to the Siqueira’s home, tired, hot, and happy. I felt very satisfied with all the material that had been covered and felt a more confident runner because of Andrea’s skillful approach in pointing out the wrong while enforcing the right. My plan is to take what I have learned and practice it through body sense until it becomes engrained in my mind. I don’t anticipate another intense day like this one, but I would like to see Andrea again next year to confirm that I’m still running in true Chi Running fashion, maybe more in the light of a tune-up session. Running never felt this good!