Tell us a little about you. Where you live, what your background is. What (if) you do in addition to being a Certified Instructor.
I live in Vancouver, Washington, and am a Doctor of Physical Therapy.
How did you start running?
I used to love baseball and basketball as a kid, then decided to go out for cross country for Dubuque Senior High School in Dubuque, IA.
When and how did ChiRunning come into your life?
I was frustrated to see patients who I helped with their injuries keep getting hurt again. I heard other physical therapists talk about ChiRunning, which led me to buy the book. It made sense to me instantly, and I knew this was a huge missing piece to helping runners.
In what ways has Chi changed your perception of and success in running?
I used to think that success in running ONLY had to do with pushing harder and harder. There’s no doubt that it takes work, but it’s all in how you can focus your mind and body that determines how hard it will be. I’ve learned to align and relax more and still run quite quickly, even after 40.
What do you think is the biggest misconception of ChiRunning?
“Just lean forward” or looking at it from a purely mechanical point of view. The mechanics will definitely improve, but it’s really more about your mind.
What motivates you to run?
I love getting into the flow state, whether it be through meditation, work, or running. Time just stands still, and I can enjoy the moment and accomplish great things.
What achievements are you most proud of?
When I was in college, I ran 29:45 for 10,000 meters in track, but the training destroyed my body. I also ran a 2:37 marathon, which is a satisfying accomplishment. I’m also very happy with my progression as a human being on this planet, learning to let things go and be more present, enjoying time with family and friends and whatever comes my way.
What led you to become an instructor?
Physical therapy was awesome to help runners, but ChiRunning was the missing piece that taught runners more of the “X’s and O’s” of how running form can be made more efficient with less injury and impact with a mindful approach.
Why do you enjoy being an instructor, and how has it affected your life?
Being an instructor allows me the opportunity to meet all sorts of people who I may never have met any other way. I’m so grateful for that. I love having the impact through my teaching to change how they view running from something that may hurt them to something that makes them stronger and healthier, just by changing a few things. The trajectory of their improvement is entirely up to them, and I’ve seen some nice changes.
Being an instructor has let me have a lot of fun to talk about and teach a topic that I’m very passionate about. It’s amazing how 4 hours of a class can go by so quickly because I’m having so much fun.
What does your average week look like, run-wise?
Right now I’m doing about 15-20 miles per week, which fits nicely with my busy life with my family, coaching baseball, and starting my business coaching runners and seeing physical therapy clients. I do a couple 4-5 mile runs during the week, then get a longer run on the weekend, preferably on trails😊
What other forms of exercise do you practice to compliment ChiRunning?
I do basic core strengthening on most days, and a special stretching program that I teach my clients. I’ve also been doing more breath work, primarily the Wim Hof method. It has boosted my energy level when I do it consecutively for several days to weeks.
Advice for people new to ChiRunning?
GO easy on yourself! Take the Beginner’s Mind attitude to the process, and just work on a single thing that you can focus on improving today. You only need to take the first step, not jump the whole staircase at once!
Short answer! Okay, GO.
Most memorable race:
When I won the Iowa state cross country meet in high school, and dedicated the race to my mother.
Ideal weather for running: 40s to 50’s with a light drizzle. We get a lot of that in the Pacific NW!
Focus that currently dominates your running: My ARMS! Weird huh? But it works to help get my legs in the right place without focusing on them.
Favorite place to run: Whipple Creek park near my home.
Go-to before race food: Kion clean energy bars!
Celebratory food after a race: What do you have around? Nothing like a juicy watermelon on a hot day.
Upcoming race/goal: The Bix7 in Davenport, IA. Would be very happy to run under 42 minutes, elated if under 40!
Run with or without phone/music: Never with music. I’m not against it, just haven’t done it. I love podcasts and might help me on my longer solo runs.
Repeat on your playlist: I listen to a lot of inspirational audiobooks. Most recently it’s been a lot of Wayne Dyer. His book Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao is life changing. You’re welcome!
Fill in the blank.
If I didn’t… have the struggles and frustrations in my life, then I wouldn’t have become the person I am today.
I can’t run without… doing some sort of mental and physical preparation first. Even if it’s just a few seconds, I like to acknowledge how darn lucky I am to be able to run.
My first race was… the Prairie Invitational in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and I …actually had a super kick because I was worried of going out too fast and dying.
My current favorite shoe to run in is… my Altra Lone Peaks. Put my Correct Toes and metatarsal pads in (thanks Dr. Ray McClanahan) and I’m good to go.
My most difficult run ever was… probably something in college…I’ve blocked it out of my mind, haha! I remember 3 x 2 milers on the golf course at around 10:00 each, then lots of extra running that day that put us over 20 miles for the day.
I’ve run… 3 marathons: Chicago, Boston, and Arizona Rock and Roll. I’d like to run one again soon.
The longest distance I’ve ran…. is the marathon, above. I’m planning to do a 50K this September in the Columbia River Gorge, but it will likely be a glorified hike.