Hi Danny, Katherine and The Team,
A massive hello from me and, at the outset, an even bigger thank you for bringing such a skillful approach to my running over the last two years. I have been meaning to get in touch for a while now, but in the inimitable words of John Lennon, “life is what happens while you’re busy making plans.”
In my case, however, I have been busy incorporating the knowledge of the clever way you have synthesized the principles of T’ai Chi with the principles of running, as set out in your books, into my own life. What a difference you have made, how thoughtful and incisive you are. Applying the idea of “Needle in cotton” to the running body is inspired.
You are so right to call this “moving with nature”! I am an academic and so often I hear people say, “How can you run? It’s so boring.” But, I equate the thoughtfulness of running to that which is required to sustain thinking. You can imagine, therefore, how ratified I felt to read your section on “Focusing your Mind” and “Preparing your Mind,” and I could easily go on highlighting other sections of the book which have helped me grasp the gist of great running. Suffice it to say, you sum it up poignantly, stating “Run as You Live, Live as You Run” – such a great sentiment, and one which resonated with me immediately.
I was, therefore, content with this book for a while, but then the Marathon bug caught hold (I must introduce a brief aside here and now. Until about three years ago the longest I had ever run in one go had been 10K – I had sworn throughout my life that, “I would never run a marathon.”
I then ran my first half marathon in Mexico City – of all places – while on a teaching contract there in 2012. It wasn’t fast, I was still getting used to the altitude, but it wasn’t slow either… and, low and behold, there was your book on how to apply ChiRunning to marathon running too. I threaded the cotton. I should add that before I encountered your books, I had started getting injuries. The first was a left hamstring lesion, and then came the most painful of all, a plantar fascia issue. I still have minor issues with these two areas of my body, but I feel certain that my continued focus on ChiRunning has enabled me to keep running – especially as now my mind set and form are so much better. I continue developing the requisite approach to avoid repercussions.
Thus, I continued to watch your videos on YouTube, and use your app on my training runs… all of which have been Fantastic! What’s more, they assisted me in preparing for, and completing, my first ever marathon (Stockholm, 2014). Using the ChiRunning App with the metronome (which really taught me the importance of cadence), during my training for this race, enabled me not only to enjoy myself thoroughly, but also to manage my body in a way I may not have been able to. I ran it in just over 4 hours! Not bad for a complete marathon novice.
My recent move to Spain has prompted me to make contact with you and to share my thoughts. We all know that moving is an upheaval, but focusing on fitness through ChiRunning has given me continuity. On which note, I checked my Garmin watch the other day and I have run hundreds of miles since I started running again. None of these moments have been wasted, and it is because of this that I would love to undertake the training to enable me to become a ChiRunning instructor. Your method has changed my life in so many good ways, and although I know that there is much work to be done before I can pass on “the knowledge,” you have a willing acolyte…
From an English admirer now living in the South of Spain,