As some of you may know, I am a HUGE Chicago Cubs fan. I’m still in the afterglow feeling of celebrating the first World Series title in 108 years. It seems surreal to me even now.
The Cubs manager, Joe Maddon, is a quirky character who gets every bit of potential out of all his players. In one game in 2016, he put his relief pitcher in to play Left field, then he makes a great catch and hits a home run! He rarely holds team meetings, and plans visits from magicians, zoo animals, and other celebrities to break up a grueling 162 game schedule. He just makes it fun. After all, it’s just a kids game out there, and when his players are loose, they get in the flow or “the zone”, and boy did they play amazing last year!
One night last year as I watched Joe Maddon speak with the media following a game, I saw something written on Maddon’s t-shirt that drew my attention immediately. I instantly wanted to buy one on Amazon.
It read “DO SIMPLE BETTER”.
There’s a lot of pain that comes from over thinking and making things WAY too complicated!!! I’m sorry to tell you folks, but baseball, running and life can actually be quite simple, especially when you have some basic guiding principles in your life.
Mine are Love, Forgiveness, and Kindness. I learned of these principles from Chunyi Lin of Spring Forest Qigong, and they have helped me tremendously. When things get overwhelming or difficult, then I look to Love and kindness, and forgive myself and others to get into the flow again.
In ChiRunning, we have lot to learn in all the lessons, and it seems like it’s really complicated—which translates in most people’s minds as “difficult”. Sometimes we are trying to take in all the details of the lessons instead of the whole of what we’re getting to. It’s a classic “forest” and “trees” analogy.
Yes, there are lots of intricacies of the ChiRunning form, but just like gravity, you don’t have to know everything about it to enjoy its benefits. Heck, I even had a physicist come into the clinic once, and he said that they weren’t really sure what gravity was!!
The point is that you can focus on even ONE Thing of what we teach in ChiRunning and gain a crap load of benefit. Sometimes for patients in the PT clinic, I’m just telling them to use a metronome and aim for 170-180 steps/min. It’s amazing how just this one change of increasing your cadence can yield amazing results. This has been scientifically proven to decrease impact forces.
The basics of the ChiRunning form are:
Ankle Lift and Chi Walking
Leaning from the ankles
Yes, there’s a lot more to it than that, and it would be great to have all the lessons down, but LET THAT ONE GO!! Remember NOPS:
Play With it
And Stay With it.
Every Major League Baseball hitter started as a kid trying to hit a ball off a tee, and now can crush a pitch around 100 miles per hour! The same can happen for any of us, but you have to focus on gradual progress. Over time, as you just do the simple process of following one focus AND HAVE FUN WITH IT, then everything starts to integrate towards a whole beautiful movement that glides over the earth.