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September 2019 Instructor of the Month: Aaron Lew

Aaron Lew, instructor

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 am Lew Seng Leong (Aaron). I live in Singapore. I am a Certifying Master ChiRunning & ChiWalking Instructor, a Garmin Coach and a Life Coach/Motivational Speaker. My athletic background is in multi-sports racing and coaching, now I am mainly coaching ChiRunning & ChiWalking. I have raced every distance from 5k to ultras, triathlons, IRONMAN to adventure racings. I am a full-time practicing Engineering Professional in addition to coaching CR.

How did you start running?
I started running to build up my aerobic fitness for competitive volley ball games when I was a teenager.

When and how did ChiRunning come into your life?
I knew ChiRunning in the early 2000 when I raced competitively in triathlons and adventure racings through a Total Immersion (TI) swimming coach. Back then, running efficiently with good technique was never that important so to speak, for most of the competitive athletes around me.
I am fascinated by ChiRunning that stresses running with the pull of gravity with strong core muscles rather than depending on the leg muscles to run. I managed to get hold of ChiRunning DVDs, audios and books, then the rest is history…

In what ways has Chi changed your perception of and success in running?
The idea of running simply by moving the Dantien forward in great posture is amazing! Knowing the deep potentials and practical use of our core muscles such as the active/passive pelvic rotation to run faster has been an eye-opening experience for me too.

In addition, chi also maximize the use of our bone structure (the strongest components in our body) when carry out a weight bearing exercises like running. The midfoot striking pattern and the vertical and directional alignment of chi is so fundamentally right with human body in the sport of long distance running. With an understandings of the ChiRunning principles, I find a true pleasure in every steps that I run!

What do you think is the biggest misconception of ChiRunning?
ChiRunning may be is only for the older generation/seniors or the injured runners.

What motivates you to run?
I run because it gives me a sense of FREEDOM and helps me to stay fit.

What achievements are you most proud of?
I am proud to change the life of a senior (in his 60s) who never run, from walking with hip pain to running on track in 8 weeks.

I am also proud to coach a runner in his 20s, from failing IPPT (for a few times) to clinching a GOLD AWARD in his IPPT (Individual Physical Proficiency Test) as part of his National Service obligation in Singapore.

What led you to become an Instructor?
I like to share the joy of ChiRunning and help all liked minded people to sustain and achieve their goals with good running and walking technique.

Why do you enjoy being an instructor, and how has it affected your life?
I enjoy being connected to people as an instructor. I learn to speak, organize and having the confidence to coach people with different backgrounds. Coaching has broadened up my horizon.

What does your average week look like, run-wise?
I run typically 25-30km a week. Most runs are after office hours, running home with my camelbak. I am doing once a week 20-30 minutes barefoot run on a green field with gentle hills on it.

What other forms of exercise do you practice to compliment ChiRunning?
I am doing functional training and core exercises regularly.

Advice for people new to ChiRunning?
ChiRunning is a life long learning process. New ChiRunner needs to learn to relax and give themselves time to build up good habit.

Short answer! Okay, GO.

Favorite race and why: Standard Chartered Marathon. It is a well organized race that is held every year around December. This is the last race of a season, I get to run together with a few close buds, pacing each other, afterwards I can relax a little before the next season begins!

Most memorable race: Mountain running and adventure racings in China with top class athletes all around the world in the Mild Seven Outdoor Quest in 1999 and 2001.

Ideal weather for running: Cool 18-20 degree celcius, running in the mountain.

Focus that currently dominates your running: Lift the Crown of Head, Move The Dantien

Favorite place to run: Barefoot runs on a big green field with some small hills.

Go-to before race food: Coffee and bread

Celebratory food after: Fish porridge with milk tea

Upcoming race/goal: I like to help more people to find the joy of running with ChiRunning

Run with or without phone/music: Occasionally running with music

Repeat on your playlist: iTunes Songs of the Summer (mixture of pop, dance and R&B hits)

If I didn’t run I hang around with my kids.

I can’t run without thinking about Lifting the Crown of Head and Lead The Move With Dantien.

My first race was a 10km cross country run in the neighborhood of where I grew up and I started to realize I can do long distance running!

My current favorite shoe to run in is New Balance Zero Drop with Vibram sole.

My most difficult run ever was 42km Ironman run.

I’ve lost count or how many marathons/races I’ve run.

The longest distance I’ve ran is a 50km ultra trail running challenge at the North Face Trail Running Challenge 2012, Singapore

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