Maureen Wicks Certified Instructor
I was never athletic growing up. While other kids enjoyed all kinds of sports, I could only watch from the sidelines. Kids at school fought over who HAD to have me on their teams! Track & Field day was a nightmare. So, I just gave up trying to do anything athletic whatsoever. That’s pretty much how I remained from childhood and for most of my adult life.
At the age of 28, I contracted a rare illness-Guillaine-Barré Syndrome-that left me paralyzed from the neck down for 3 months. I spent another 9 months recuperating and learning to walk again. Unfortunately, things did not come back fully the way they were before my illness and I was left with balance issues and permanent nerve damage in my neck, face, hands, left leg and both feet. I later underwent surgery on my left foot to alleviate the pain of just walking. A little while later, I thought I would give running a try, but that was short lived when I broke a bone in my left foot. It seems the medication I had been taking daily during my illness left my bones weak and susceptible to breakage Defeated, I went back to being a slug!
As time when by, I found myself gaining weight and eventually ballooned up to 285 lbs. before I knew it! At age 50, I decided I had to do something about it. I joined a gym and started working out 5 – 6 days a week. I experimented with numerous diets, and finally got things under control after consulting a Holistic Nutritionist. Yippee! The weight started coming off! As I started to slim down, I thought about giving running a try again. My past attempt at running had horrible results, and this time, it was no different. I endured many injuries- pulled calf muscles; sprained ankles; shin splints galore and a dislocated hip! You would think I would give up at this point, but I was tired of giving up on myself. Giving up on me is how I ended up being so overweight!
I started doing some research into running. I was too intimidated to join a running group for fear of being ridiculed. The best I could do at this point was run twice around the track at my gym-400 meters-so sore, tired and out of breath! My goal was to run 5K someday, and at the rate I was going, that was not going to happen.
One day, after another case of painful shin splints, I did a Google search: “How can I run without getting shin splints?” Chi Running was the first thing to come up. That’s when my life changed forever! I clicked on the link, and I liked what I read-Injury Prevention-Energy Efficiency! Yup, that’s for me! I clicked on the link to find an instructor in my area, and I was surprised to find one so close to where I live. I decided to contact him, and if this didn’t work, I decided that I would give up trying to run once and for all. Fortunately, my Chi Running lesson went far beyond my expectations. After some interesting lessons on posture, ankle lift, leaning and arm swing, we started to run around the track. I remembered saying “This is running?” because it sure wasn’t what I had been doing! It was so gentle and easy on my body. We did one lap, then two, and as we started to make our third lap, my eyes bugged out of my head in amazement! I had never run three consecutive laps around the track ever! We ended up doing 5 laps and I was so relaxed and rested and nothing hurt! After some more instructions, we did another 2 sets of laps. Amazing! I felt wonderful! When people asked me how my lesson went, I replied that it might sound strange to say, but it was like I was running without using my legs!
I haven’t stopped running since that day. At age 60, two wonderful things happened. I ran my first 5K race with my daughter Kelly-a dream come true, and I celebrating losing 100 lbs! I ran 6 more races that year- three 5K’s and three 10K’s, and at age 61, I ran my 1st half marathon! I have since run 2 more half marathons and a 30K event, with more to follow.
I knew right away as I started rounding that track for the third time that fateful day in November, 2014, that someday I would like to teach Chi Running. Then I thought, why someday? Isn’t today someday? I signed up for the instructor training course in Chicago in September, 2014, taught by the same wonderful person who taught me to run. I completed all my training requirements on March 15, 2015 and at age 61, I became the 9th Certified Chi Running/Chi Walking Instructor in Canada! AND THAT WAS SOME DAY!
I know there are lots of people like me out there who would like to run but don’t think they can. These are the people I want to reach out to help. I’m proof positive that no matter what life throws at you, there’s a hidden athlete in you waiting to be unleashed!
NEVER GIVE UP ON YOURSELF!
If you’re a seasoned runner and are looking to improve your performance and reduce injuries, I can help you too!
If you would like a Workshop in your area, please contact me!