Running Shouldn’t be Taxing
I've always loved using ChiRunning and ChiWalking as metaphors for Life. So, since it's TAX WEEK I want to play with the financial metaphors that these two practices bring up.
For as much as running and walking give us good health, more energy, a positive attitude, a sense of accomplishment and confidence, there is still the perception that it can be taxing on the body, or that it takes a lot of effort. We still hear, all too often, “I've ruined my knees.” or “I’m too old to run,” and most often, “it’s just too hard.” That's why we’ve spent the past sixteen years working to dispel the myth that running and walking are taxing on the body.
Who likes to “pay” taxes? They're there for the greater good, but that doesn't make them any less inconvenient.
What we all really want is a great return on our investment. The truth is that running is very natural to the human body and pays out considerable dividends and long term "profits" when approached mentally and physically as a gentle, positive way to stay fit.
Every focus in ChiRunning® is the "sweat equity" it takes to cash in fully on the benefits of running, without paying the piper. Running is an investment. And you deserve and can have very profitable returns.
Here are some tips and focuses that ask you to recognize the parallels between running, finance… and Life.
1. Keep the long term in mind. You are less apt to run too fast or too far if you have plans for 6 months down the road. AND, pay full attention to the present, allowing your Body Sensing (your accountant) let you know how you (your finances) are doing and what you need to do, in the moment, to stay on track.
2. Relax your shoulders while holding them steady – a fabulous practice that asks for both stability and letting go of tension (yes, in terms of finances, we're talking both literally and figuratively here).
3. Engage your core muscles (core values) while letting your hips (action items) rotate around your core. This is another dual focus that teaches you to maintain strength and stability while still remaining nimble in your responses to hiccups along the way.
4. Feel your foot land squarely on the ground in a midfoot strike while your opposite foot lifts behind you like a leaf blown off the ground in the wind. Some part of you has to be stable while another part of you is moving ahead… in every situation. This is the meaning of Yin and Yang, in running and in Life.
5. Use your upper body to get up hills and let your legs relax…ALL THE TIME! Whether you're dealing with uphill running or uphill battles with money or your Life, the best way to move forward during these times is to settle into a sustainable effort level, and not try to push too hard or pick up the pace.
The real trick to maximizing your results is to notice where your effort is. Effort in any place except your core means you’re not moving forward in a way that is connected with your core, whether its virtual or literal.
At the end of your run, your running week, or your workday, you should feel energized, not depleted; strong, but not tired or sore. No taxes, no tolls, just rich rewards.