ChiRunning: Performance For Everyone - Chi Living

ChiRunning: Performance For Everyone

Posted by Danny Dreyer on Wed Jan 28th, 2015, 5 comments

I've been thinking a lot about performance lately and I've come to believe that, as a culture, we've drifted away from its original meaning. I hear the media mostly associating the word with the image of elite runners, high-level athletes, and people being noticed for exceptional effort. The word faster is always in there as well. Performance has morphed into a word that implies some amount of comparison. It's no wonder we all end up with varying degrees of "performance anxiety." What I'd like to offer is a more friendly definition so that performance doesn't bring up thoughts, feelings or fears of comparison.

Per • form‘ • ance: "Per" means, by way of; "form" means structure or shape; and "ance" means the act of. So, if I'm getting this definition right, performance really means doing something in a specific way, with the accent on form. It doesn't mean being the best at anything; it just means paying attention to how you do something. If you're aware of how you do something, and how you can become better, you hold the possibility and promise of improvement in your hand.

The ChiRunning Training Programs are a way to bring out the best in you without having the goal of being the best. We are very strong proponents of the idea that performance is for everyone. Here's something to ponder: Your best doesn't happen in the future, it happens right now. As you progress from one level to the next, you are forever only as good as you are right now. If that is better than you were, then you're at your best. Could you be better than you are now? Most likely. But, you're only as good as you are today.

Everyone is going after the goal of speed by trying to get stronger, run more miles and push themselves harder. But, what many seem to be overlooking is the most important component to getting the speed they're after… the ability to move their body in a way that offers no restriction to moving at a faster speed. In order for speed to happen, you have to set up the conditions for speed to happen. In order to run greater distances, you need to set up the conditions for more distance to happen… no more no less.  Create the conditions for energy to flow and it will flow, whether it's in the form of speed, ease of movement, distance without effort, or even peace of mind and joy.

Performance is the result of doing everything you can to create the outcome you're looking for, while at the same time minimizing unnecessary effort. That begins with putting the accent on Form.





5 CommentsLeave a comment below

I really like this idea. Why is faster necessarily better? Maybe there should be points for form or style and ease of running. And attitude! I guess the fastest runners always, or at least usually, seem to score well in these departments, too!

Staci Antaya Jan 29th, 2015 12:53am

What a poignant commentary on our focus and effort associated with “trying.” Many runners appear to strive for perfection, excellence, and achievement. I had the pleasure of seeing Danny run and it was beautiful. He moved with strength and ease. Many runners are burdened with wanting to look a certain way when we run. Yet how do we feel when we are running? How is our alignment? And what are our thoughts? Chi running is such a gift. Thank you for a healthy and intelligent blog.

Michael W. Preyde Jan 29th, 2015 07:31am

Thanks for sharing, i have been trying to help a person through exactly this. This gave me another avenue to help.

Brilliant, Danny. No doubt, the outcome of a meditative Chi Run!

Mary Ann Cain Feb 5th, 2015 01:43pm

The New York Times just published an article that states how slower joggers actually have more longevity than high performance, high endurance runners. As a slow and steady jogger (not runner) I was glad to hear this.  I started running again after 12 years away due to persistent injuries.  Chi running got me back in; almost three years later, I am injury free and still going, albeit still slowly.  But now I know that faster isn’t necessarily better.

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